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Millennium Falcon, Snowspeeder & T-70 X-Wing Junior Update Sets (2004, 2005 & 2006) 1:144, 1:48 & 1:72


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Millennium Falcon, Snowspeeder & T-70 X-Wing Junior Update Sets (2004, 2005 & 2006)

1:144, 1:48 & 1:72 GreenStrawberry

 

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Star Wars.  Enough said?  We all know the Bandai kits from this ground-breaking series of movies (we’re talking generally here – ignore any you don’t like).  Not so very long ago, GreenStrawberry hit upon a cool idea that would appeal to a broader group of modellers, a simple pared-down set of Photo-Etch (PE) parts and accessories that can be used to improve on the detail of the base kits, which are pretty impressive to begin with, let’s be honest.  You can always improve on injection moulded plastic with a little PE and some cleverness though, and these sets are just that.  They’re smaller than their fully-featured siblings, and are useful as an introduction to PE wrangling, or in case you just want to put a little extra into your model without pushing the boat too far out.

 

Each set arrives in a resealable clear foil bag with a black card that has the usual green/red branding, and a thick piece of card within to protect the goodies inside.  The sets usually comprise one fret of PE, plus either printed acetate, stickers or paper, depending on what is appropriate to the set.  The final part is the instruction sheet, which has step-by-step isometric instructions to guide you through the process, and is folded up to add even more protection to the package.

 

 

1:144 Millennium Falcon Junior Set (2004-1/144)

Despite the small scale, the set is quite large, due to the inclusion of the mesh for the six vents on the rear deck, all of which are shown in a scrap diagram to ensure correct alignment of the mesh with the direction of motion.  There is also a rear bulkhead for the cockpit, which is layered with a door and its padded surround from either side, and a set of stickers that when applied will allow light to filter through them and give the impression of the bright flashing bulkhead we know and love.  There are similar panels for the side consoles, although these do not have corresponding holes to match the stickers.  A simple control yoke is included to place in front of Han/Rey and Chewie.  Nien Numb and Lando Calrissian have just spat their collective dummies.  The crew ramp is backed up by a two-part assembly that prevents the see-through effect if anyone is looking up there with an endoscope, and a T-shaped part is also fixed to the exterior just next to the opening.  The final parts for the interior are the gun controls for the twin cannons that Han & Luke had so much fun with in the original Star Wars movie.

 

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Externally, the seven sets of landing pads are upgraded with fine filigree ‘cuffs’ that are each single parts with four sections with pre-thinned joins that allow them to be folded and lightly curved to form the vertical parts of the cuffs.  They slip over each strut before installation of the legs into the hull, and although there are two types of legs, there is only one type of cuff.

 

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1:48 Snowspeeder (2005-1/48)

The fret for this ship is slightly smaller than the Falcon set, and includes a sheet of clear acetate that is printed with various shapes for the instrument panels, allowing light to show through if you’re planning on lighting your model, and who doesn’t?  A little removal of moulded-in detail is needed first, taking the dials off the instrument panel, the two pegs on the seat that retain the kit pilot figure, and the instrumentation on the rear gunner’s console in the centre of their control yoke.  The front and rear seats are re-skinned with PE replacement roll padding, and four small parts are applied to the back-to-back bulkhead sides between the crew members.  The main panel is fitted with a flat T-shaped part on the rear, and a laminated panel on the front that is made up from three acetate pieces and three PE parts over the top, ending with four layers on the outer areas.  This is then glued in place on the recently blanked panel.  The rear gunner’s station has a similar, smaller panel made up from two layers, then it also has a pair of grips installed underneath, folded and then laminated to give the handles some thickness.

 

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Externally, you have a choice of two styles of grille at the front under the windscreen, connecting hoses and coiled cables to the harpoon gun at the rear, as well as a twin-layer part glued into position vertically beneath the cylindrical barrel.  The final part is another grill for the back of the intake that runs down the centre of the underside.

 

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1:72 T-70 X-Wing (2006-1/72)

This set includes a sheet of printed clear acetate as well as a fret of PE, and starts with a small panel fixed to the control column, augmented with a new triple faceted instrument panel that has a clear central section.  The side consoles are also covered with new panels, and five additional parts are dotted around the rest of the interior.  Externally, there are two crew ladders, one for the pilot that descends from a slot in the lower fuselage the plastic for which must be removed from the kit before proceeding, as per the accompanying diagram.  The ladder is folded in two to give it additional thickness, and the treads are folded horizontally to better represent the steps, with a small folded part at the top representing the opened ladder door in the fuselage.

 

The other ladder is a larger accessway for the ground crew onto the aft deck that houses the BB-8 unit or other Astromech, as appropriate.  The ladder’s structure is etched as a single T-shaped part that is first folded perpendicular to the treads, then each tread is folded horizontally, and covered by cross-hatched plates, with another double lamination on the flat top where the mechanic would crouch attending to the droid.  A guide rail is affixed to the left side of the ladder, then it can be placed behind the cockpit and a crewman sourced if you feel the need.  GS have sets of 1:72 Star Wars figures too, so while you’re there…

 

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The last four parts are replacements for the nozzle detail within the exhausts, which are fixed in place after removal of the simplified moulded-in detail.  They fit neatly against the rear of the nozzle parts before adding them to the rear of the engines.

 

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Conclusion

Not everyone wants the full PE sets to adorn their model, and these sets take the most important and noticeable areas of your model and upgrade it in a relatively simple but effective manner, without too much taxing work with the PE bender.  A decent pair of flat-bladed pliers would be sufficient if you’re not already tooled up for PE.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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