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Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker (05680) 1:53


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Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker (05680)

1:53 Revell




I first saw a clip of the AT-AT Walkers from the new Star Wars film “The Empire Strikes Back”, on Clapperboard during lunchtime from school.  They blew me away, and I still think they’re awesome.  They are heavily armoured four-legged behemoths with powerful armament in a mobile “head”, where the crew of two and commander sit relatively safe from harm.  They instil terror in their enemy, as Luke found out when his Snowspeeder was crushed by one at the height of the Hoth battle, although he soono got his revenge by throwing a thermal detonator in through an access hatch in the belly, blowing it to pieces.  Top of the line stop-motion and go-motion animation from the team at ILM, led by the talented Phil Tippett, and it still holds up well to scrutiny today on the 40th anniversary of the film's release.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of Revell’s own 2007 vintage Easy Kit, but without the clumsy pre-painting that usually accompanied those offerings, so that you can do your own paint job and glue the parts together for extra rigidity.  The kit is on the larger side at 1:53 and even though it’s a fairly simple design there are many large parts with raised and recessed detail.  Some of the large panel lines have been rendered in reverse, raised instead of engraved.  This would create some extra work for the serious modeller, but the plastic is thick enough to cope.  The kit arrives in a top-opening box with four sprues and four separate parts in grey styrene that’s about the right colour already.  There are no clear parts, just the instruction booklet and that annoying safety sheet, which hid the decals within on my sample, so be careful not to throw them out without checking like I did.  This is a giftset boxing, so there are six thumb-sized acrylic paint pots, a #2 brush and a small bottle of Contacta Professional with fine applicator nozzle if you should need them.  The last item in the box is an A3 film poster, which is folded to fit the box as can be seem below.
















Construction begins with the neck, which is made up of two halves and has a short axle at the head end for later use.  The head it split horizontally into top and bottom halves, which has the two chin cannons fitted either side of the central raised portion, then the cheek guns are placed on either end of an axle and dropped into their socket with the neck fitted the same way.  The top of the head is then fitted over the bottom trapping the neck and cheek guns in place, with careful gluing allowing them to pivot.  The red glowing windscreen in the front is oddly provided with a black decal or you can paint it red for a little more authenticity if you like.


The head is put to one side while the body is built up.  The Snap-Tite heritage shows here, as the parts all clip together with large lugs, but before gluing you are incited to paint them grey with a margin around the inside also painted, and the small recesses in the sides painted a slightly darker grey for contrast.  You might want to follow your references instead, especially if you are scribing out the panel lines and adding your own additional detail.  The body is started with the top sloped section, to which you add the head, one side and the rear panel, then fit the other side to the lower hull and join the two sub-assemblies together, being careful not to get any glue around the neck joint.  The underside is then detailed with the repurposed Rolls-Royce Pegasus engines that form the mechanisms for the legs, with axles to fit them later.  The legs must be built first, with each one ostensibly similar but different enough to be made up in A, B, C & D variants due to the handing etc.  It begins with the foot, which has a hollow sole plate, so that’s another thing you’ll have to make up if you plan to have the underside showing.  The curved ankle slider sits on a groove in the top, and is trapped by a cap, taking care not to glue the slider as you go.  The lower leg comprises two parts that fit either side of the slider, and each one has a steadying ram that slots into a socket on the foot without glue.  The upper legs are also made of two halves, then attach to the lower with a clip-on pin that completes the knee joint, all of which is done four times in total.  The leg mechanisms seat on two cradles each on the underside and their linkages slot into the axles, with the legs clipped on at the corners with similar pins as used in the knees.  At that point you realise that this is a BIG model.




There aren’t many decals on the little sheet, and each one is either silver or black.  The majority are applied to the rear of the body, with a few others on the top and underside, but the majority of the visual interest comes from the accent panels and the grime that is seen on just about every AT-AT that appears on screen in the franchise.






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




If you want a big AT-AT this is probably going to be your only choice in injection plastic since the 1:48 kit we were promised disappeared from Dragon’s forthcoming list a while back.  For accuracy you will need to do a little detailing work, but as I found with Darth Maul’s Infiltrator Easy-Kit a few years ago, it’s not the hardest thing in the world.






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

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