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Falcon

Fine Molds 1/48 Star Wars Snowspeeder Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2011 Manufacturer Fine Molds
Subject Star Wars Snowspeeder Scale 1/48
Kit Number SW10 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Fantastic detail Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (Yen) ¥2436 (About $29.35 depending on exchange rates)

 

 

First Look

Falcon
Falcon
Falcon
Falcon

During production of The Empire Strikes Back, designer Joe Johnston conceived a ship that combined the body of an X-wing and the cockpit of the Y-wing. However, this design was scrapped for the T-47, which featured no elements from previous craft. Johnston's designs for the Snowspeeders have influenced later Star Wars designers, such as Tommy Lee Edwards.

The models were built in three different scales by Steve Gawley, Charlie Bailey, and Mike Fulmer of ILM, with the smallest (20 inches) used for motion control photography, and the largest (2½ feet) for hero and pyrotechnic shots. All models included motor-controlled flaps to imply maneuverability, and the largest version also possessed motor-articulated crew. Several full-scale props were built in London for the hangar, cockpit, and speeder crash scenes.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Rogue Group, led by Commander Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), pilots snowspeeders against Imperial AT-AT walkers during the Battle of Hoth. When their lasers prove ineffective the Rebel pilots turn to tripping the walkers with the snowspeeders' harpoons and tow cables.

The snowspeeders used on Hoth are modified Incom T-47 airspeeders initially used for civilians; they are modified to survive the "hostile environment of the ice planet Hoth". Expanded Universe material states that the Y-wing cockpit and other features were donated to the airspeeders. The two-man craft has an advanced power system and repulsorlift to compensate for additional armaments and armor, affording them a top speed of 1,000 km/h and combat speed of 600 km/h. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Fine Molds released the Star Wars Snowspeeder in 1/48 scale. While AMT/ERL previously released a Snowspeeder kit in a larger scale, it doesn't hold a candle to the detail and engineering of this Fine Molds kit. Like the other releases in Fine Mold's Star Wars series, this kit is a masterpiece that just needs a little assembly and painting to complete the effect.

With this kit, Fine Molds has given us the second 1/48th scale installment and it makes one hopeful of other subjects getting scaled up as well. This series to date has included:

The kit is molded in a light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus one tree molded in clear for the cockpit transparency.

The kit offers some nice details and features including:

  • Detailed cockpit
  • Two crew figures
  • Movable canopy
  • Choice of open, closed, or turning airbrake petals
  • Detailed weapons
  • In-flight display stand

Out of the box, the kit is an easly build and will look great with just some basic painting and the application of your choice of orange or gray stripes/markings. With the extensive detailing on the airframe though, a little patience, some subtle detail painting and weathering will really make this model stand out!

This is another impressive work of art in kit form. Congratulations go to the engineers and designers at Fine Molds who can transform a few partial sets and lots of CGI graphics into a three-dimensional model.

This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!

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