So while waiting for the paint on the other projects to cure, I decided I needed to finish up this partially painted kit. I’m following the default color scheme quite closely but to add some interest, I decided to add some splinter camouflage to the blue color.
The darker blue is Model Master Acryl Blue Angel Blue while the lighter is Vallejo Model Color Prussian Blue. The color difference is very subtle but acceptable.
Price: 192.00 HKD at Hobbyeasy
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.
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:
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.
Preview courtesy of my wallet
My kit is very old. I got it when it was first released in 2000 in fact. Consequently, the decal sheet has gone very brittle and yellow. I ended up replacing my decals with a set from Samueldecal, which are ALPS printed. The Samueldecal decal is very soft compared to Hasegawa’s but it works fine.
The way the kit is designed, I’m required to prep and paint the exhausts before enclosing them with the 2 halves of the engine bay. These were given a base color of flat black-gray with Black Metal from the Vallejo Model Air Metal line.
Painting then begins. I’ve decided to depict this VF-1A as a unit from the TV series, hence it’s mostly brown and white. I also decided to try a new method of painting using black color as a primer base instead of gray or white. The primer I used is the A&K Interactive Black Surface Primer thinned slightly with Windex. Coverage was good but I find the surface is rougher compared to Vallejo Urethane Primer. Both do spray easily which is great.
For the brown color, I went with Lifecolor UA097 Middle Stone. Based on what’s seen onscreen, the shade is definitely not accurate. But it’ll do.
I like how the black base primer acts subtly as a preshade for the main color and if I controlled my airbruch better, I’d probably be able to pull off a more obvious preshade look.
First and foremost, I finished the most kits in… ever! 4 isn’t a lot, but considering I’ve only ever finished 3 kits a year and with my last kit being finished in 2012, this is a big deal!
I would have probably been able to finish another one before 2015 ended. Unfortunately I had an endless stream of minor illnesses in November and had a long trip overseas in December. Anyway, I’m perfectly happy to finish the year with 4 completed kits.
Now to be fair, 3 of the kits weren’t started in 2015 itself: they were all in various stages of construction when I finished them. But I hope to finish 6 to 8 kits this year. Fingers crossed.
I’ve also done a few other things in 2015 worth noting:
I hope 2015 is the start of more productive years to come. Seeing the big pile of kits in my attic is not just an eyesore, it’s an earsore (looking at the Missus)…
I couldn’t resist starting on this when it arrived a few days ago. A pleasant surprise is the inclusion of 2 units of MQ-9s in the box, with 2 complete sets of decals too. A greater surprise is how big the MQ-9 actually is…
It came together straightforward enough although the in order to get the shape of the tail right Skunkmodels ended up casting it in 2 left and right halves, with the rest of the fuselage in upper and lower halves. The nose required some weights although Skunkmodels doesn’t specify how much is needed. I hope I’ve put in enough since the landing gear doesn’t feel strong enough to bear too much weight.
The parts have what feels like some oil release all over the parts and the panel lines don’t look as fine as what you will get from Tamigawa or even Italeri. However, they do come off the sprue and cement easily. Unfortunately my kit’s left wing is warped as seen from the picture above. Otherwise though, there’s a bare minimum of seamlines and the build is quite straightforward so I can start on the finishing very soon.