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Star Wars Snowspeeder (05679)

1:29 Revell

 

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Star Wars.  I can remember sitting down to watch The Empire Strikes Back as a kid and being awed at the diminutive little Snowspeeders that were sent out looking for Han and Luke, then as a recovered Luke stepped into one with the ill-fated Dak, tasked with hurling themselves to near certain death in the fight against the AT-AT walkers, which were another jaw dropping moment for young me.  Those were the days!  It’s now 40 years since Empire, which is a scary fact.

 

The Kit

This kit is a 40th Anniversary re-release of a former Click-Fit kit of 2007 vintage, but don’t let that necessarily put you off, because the detail is actually quite nice if you ignore (or fill) a few sink marks here and there, most of which are caused by the attachment turrets inside.  It arrives in a themed end-opening box with a picture of a finished model performing a very tame straight-and-level manoeuvre, with four sprues and two hull parts in grey styrene, plus two clear parts on a linked tree, and two grey vinyl crew figures with a forest of overflow spruelets everywhere.  I cut those off immediately so you can see the figures, and because they were a swine to sit up with them on.  The instruction booklet is in colour, there is a small irritating safety sheet that went straight in the bin, a good-sized decal sheet, and a bag of paints, brush and glue to complete the box, this being a gift set of course.

 

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Construction begins with the vinyl crew getting a lick of paint, and as they’re vinyl it might be worthwhile googling the best method to get the paint to stick long term before you proceed.  The figures are well-detailed, but perpetuate the truncated torsos of the old MPC kit of yore.  Perhaps it’s a product of the optimistic depth of the hull that causes this, so can we blame the original model makers at Lucasfilm?  The cockpit tub is painted up and has the divider inserted to create two seats back-to-back, then you can place the two pilots in, securing them by the pegs sticking out of their butts.  The two instrument panels have tons of fictitious detail on them that you can paint up and decal, and they too are slotted into grooves in either end of the cockpit tub, before it is inserted into the upper hull from below.  Before this it would be an idea to check the sink-marks on the upper hull (or should I call it fuselage?) to see whether filling them would be necessary once the guns and their upstands are in place.  It’s possible they’ll be at least partially covered, and who doesn’t like less filling?  The coamings are moulded into the upper hull, and each one is covered in raised circles, which I suspect might irritate the purists, who would be tempted to remove them and put something more realistic in their place.  The canopy will cover much of the detail however, and this is provided as front and rear sections with a hinge on the canopy that is clamped to the rear by a small bracket, which allows it to be opened and closed.  The completed assembly is then attached to the hull on two pegs at the rear.

 

The blasters on a Snowspeeder take up the full length of the kit, and these are built from a long section with a short insert added at the muzzle, then these are fitted to the wings and joined by the upstands, which also slot into grooves in the wings, with the engine nozzles fitted to the rear of the big upstands, and the little spoilers that afford some degree of control over flight are moulded flat into this section.  The lower hullelage (??) is fitted after the rear bulkhead and huge cooling vanes are assembled onto a bulkhead, with lower spoilers either side, and finally the single piece harpoon gun is pushed home without glue to leave it posable.

 

Because this is a giftset, you get a pack of six acrylic paint pots (thumb-sized), a #2 paint brush and a small bottle of Revell Contacta Professional with a long precision applicator.  As usual with these brushes, being bagged without a protector is not good for the bristles, and they ended up perpendicular to the ferrules.  I managed to coax them back to somewhere near a decent shape eventually though.  Not only but also… you receive a nice A3 reproduction of the film poster, which would look good on the wall if you have any space.

 

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If I unfolded it, it wouldn’t fit in the booth, and I don’t have any wall space for a full pic, so there.

 

 

Markings

The decals are very well presented and appear to be quite detailed when compared to older kits, having the red stripes over the upstands and down the front, lots of stencils, and even some grey accent panels here and there, most notably the underside.  If you wanted to weather the stripes you’d be better off painting them and using modern chipping techniques unless you can scuff up the decals by some means.  From the box you can build Luke’s speeder with grey stripes (or none in some shots), or a generic scheme in the reddish orange that I’d convinced myself was Luke’s.  Isn’t the mind a weird thing?

 

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Decals are by Zanetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

It’s a big Snowspeeder of recent heritage, and on balance it gives a better impression than the old MPC kit, which incidentally is getting harder to get hold of.  While the hardcore Star Wars modeller might not be all that interested, the modeller that looks at it as a base to improve upon, the younger modeller or casual Star Wars fan would be quite pleased with their new acquisition.

 

Recommended.

 

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Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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  • 5 months later...

40 years Mike! 40! A 4 'and' a 0. So what happened to all of the years between? I feel like I've just opened the front door to this.

 

"...[ding dong]..."

"Hello? How can I help you?"

"Hi, did you know that it's '40' years since the Empire Strikes Back?"

"40 what? Eh? Hang on.... [...." Mavis!! Where have my 40 years gone...?"...]

 

This episode was brought to you by "Oh my god it's 40 years since the Empire Strikes Back and I haven't even 'started' on my Bandai PG Falcon yet".

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