Preview : Bandai 1/48 Snowspeeder


Kit Info
Manufacturer: Bandai
Scale: 1/48
Media: Injection
Price: 192.00 HKD at Hobbyeasy

The Subject
The T-47 airspeeder was a model of low-altitude vehicle manufactured by Incom Corporation. When the Alliance to Restore the Republic was stationed on the icy planet of Hoth, a contingent of T-47 airspeeders were modified to become assault fighters called snowspeeders. A small, wedge-shaped craft, the Alliance snowspeeder was a two-man ship, with a pilot and a rear-facing tailgunner. It had two heavy, forward-facing laser cannons and a harpoon cannon fitted in its rear arc.

During the Battle of Hoth, snowspeeders were deployed to delay advancing Imperial forces and buy enough time for the Rebel forces to evacuate Echo Base.

Info adapted from Wookieepedia.

The Kit
I’ve been a life-long fan of Star Wars but it was only in the 1990s that high quality model kits of the vehicles were made available by Fine Molds. Last year though, it was revealed that Bandai has taken over the license and they quickly released many vehicles and even figure model kits from the Star Wars universe. I’ve been building Bandai kits for at least a decade now and have a very high regard for them. So expectations are quite high for this kit.

As per usual with Bandai, the kit is molded in multiple colors, sometimes in one tree. If you’ve ever built a Gundam kit, then there’s not much surprise here. Details are molded very well and panel lines are very fine and consistent. Also as per Bandai, this kit is pretty much a snapfit kit but the more serious modelers will definitely add cement.

Bandai also gives you plenty of options including:

  • Opening canopy
  • A spool of harpoon cable simulating being shot out of the rear harpoon gun (to trip up Imperial AT-ATs of course)
  • 2 clear red laser beams for the forward guns
  • Opening flaps above and under the snowspeeder
  • Pilot and gunner figures
  • A stand to pose the snowspeeder flying over a snowscape
  • Landing gear

As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can display your finished kit. And best of all with the pre-molded colors, you can simply snap the kit together, apply the stickers (more on that later), and happily put the kit up for display.

After seeing how detailed the kit is though, I’m sure most folks will want to give this kit at least a wash to pop out all the details.

Bandai has replicated all the gribbles that are the signature of Star Wars vehicles and they are very well done.

Two detailed pilots are included. They are molded in one piece and come with the restraining belts molded on. Kudos must also be given for managing to get the different designs of the suit legs correct. As the kit only allows you to model (I assume) Luke’s snowspeeder, so these figures are of Luke Skywalker and his (unfortunate) gunner Dack Ralter. No option to model a dead Dack though.

Bandai gives you 2 options for the canopy. The first is a clear insert under the canopy frame which is molded in gray. The other option is the frame and canopy in one piece. You are then required to decal/sticker the frame on. The clear parts are free of distortion and are done very well.

Unfortunately my kit came with a broken harpoon cable. Not a big issue for me as I wasn’t planning of using it anyway. Still, it shouldn’t be happening.

A very pleasant surprise is that you’re given a sheet of stickers and a sheet of decals. They are exactly the same except for type. So Bandai leaves it up to you how you want to finish off the kit. The markings are printed very nicely without any faked damage or chips on them. A small minus is that you’re only given the option of the plain gray stripes (which is prominently on Luke’s snowspeeder). In the movie there are units with orange stripes which I find looks more interesting.

This is a very nicely done kit as is usual with Bandai’s kits. The inclusion of the stickers and decals is a very nice touch too since it leaves the modeler with the option of how detailed he wants his kit to be. The amount of fine details on this kit really calls out for all out weathering and finishing though. Besides, a clean Star Wars vehicle just feels odd, especially ones from the original trilogy.

Highly recommended to anyone who can get hold of one.

Kit courtesy of my wallet

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