Revell 1/2700 Imperial Star Destroyer Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Imperial Star Destroyer
|Nice details, includes display stand
One of the more iconic space vessels of the Star Wars universe is the dreaded Imperial Star Destroyer. This arrow-head-shaped warship is huge as witnessed in the first minutes of the very first Star Wars film (Episode IV). While there have been a few kits of this subject released over the years, Zvezda designed this masterpiece as the ultimate kit. Scaled at 1/2700, the model is 600mm long when built. If you do the math, that makes the full-scale Star Destroyer over one mile long! Even 600mm converts to just under 24 inches long. As you can imagine, the kit box is suitably huge as well as heavy. When this kit was first released a few years ago, I briefly wondered about licensing with Disney, given that Zvezda is a Russian hobby company. I say briefly, as I then recalled that Zvezda has a longer-term relationship with Disney given the variety of kits produced from Pixar movies.
In the first few years, finding the Zvezda kit was challenging as they would sell out quickly worldwide. It was no surprise when Revell AG released the Zvezda kit in their own box, and as these kits arrived in shops around the European Union, they too would quickly sell out. As Zvezda continued to produce this kit and provide greater quantities to their customers as well as to Revell, the kit finally made it over to the North American market. During all of this, I managed to avoid the temptation of acquiring one of these kits simply because I don't need another huge model on the shelf. That rationale lasted until a few months ago, at Wonderfest. After speaking with a couple of hard-core Star Wars modelers, I started to change my mind. As the bad guys from another science fiction universe would say: "resistance is futile." Even after ordering this kit from an online retailer in the US, the kit still took a few weeks to arrive.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on 13 parts trees (with a few of the major parts being their own parts tree). The basic structure of this kit isn't complex, but in order to provide surface detailing everywhere, Zvezda tooled overlay parts to those surfaces that couldn't be cast with details. For the out-of-the-box modeler, these overlays will go into place quickly. The model provides sharp detailing all around the Star Destroyer, and the instructions provide a basic strategy for painting using variations of gray. At the conclusion of the instructions, they provide photos of the completed model with a note that you can paint your model to match the photos and the box art. I'd laugh if they weren't being serious. The photos are black and white and don't provide any help with painting. In the movies, the lighting is such that you could paint the model anything from white to neutral gray and still be right. This is where you select a light gray and work through some variations to suit your vision of the vessel.
The advanced modeler is already thinking about how to light this model. There isn't much of any light coming from the upper or lower surfaces of the model aside from inside the large hangar bay under vessel. The vast majority of the lights are either from the engine bells or from the small port holes and gun bays around the sides of the arrowhead shape, around the sides of the superstructure, and around the bridge. Since most of these surfaces are areas where Zvezda was unable to mold details directly, you'll need to drill out the holes through the overlays and through the main hull structure. Since the interior of the hull is open, arranging LED lighting inside will be easy enough, so will light-blocking so the light won't shine through the plastic and paint. None of the Star Destroyers exhibited any special lighting effects to speak of such as navigation lights, so you won't need expensive lighting kits unless you want your main engines to flicker, then there are options out there for that.
There are no decals in the kit as there weren't identifying marks or other such details in any of the Star Destroyers featured in any of the movies to date. So how to break up the monotone gray of this model? Weathering. Once you have your basecoat and gray color variations in place, you can clear coat the model and apply gray washes to bring out all of that molded-in detailing and use the multi-color oil-dot technique to modulate the surface grays without making the finish unrealistic. If you're going to build this beast, you don't want it to be boring to view.
This is a nice project, especially for the Star Wars modeler. The results will be easy to achieve, and the model certainly be impressive. Thankfully Zvezda hasn't announced the Super Star Destroyer in 1/2700 - that would likely require a room addition to display. Give in to your inner geek and have some fun! If you are looking for one and you don't want to order from overseas, you can find this kit at CultTVman Hobby Shop. I wish I had looked there before buying my kit...