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  1. Hello All, Well I have completed another one of the Bandai Star Wars kits. This time its the R2-D2 kit that comes in a 2 droid set of R2-D2 and R5-D4. He builds in no time and shouldnt need paint. That said for the Chrome parts I used Alclad Chrome (sprayed over the coloured plastic) and for the dome of the head I used Alclad Duralumin as the silver plastci in both cases looks a bot toy like. He comes our really well and I can really recommend these kits, theyre a change, really easy, very accurate it seems and come with all sorts of extra's. He has arms and actuators as seen in the various films but I chose to leave him in his standard state. Eventually I intend to weather him and C3-PO up and place them on a sand base doing them as if they have just climbed out the Escape Capsule at the start of Star Wars A New Hope. Enough words, time for pictures. And here he is with his companion And finally with the other figures built so far.
  2. 1/48 Bandai Star Wars Snowspeeder. Bandai Kit Ref: 996692 Priced Yen 1,920 (about £15 before pnp and customs if they get you). Anyone who knows me knows I love Star Wars. I have done since I was 6 and saw it in the cinema in 1971 when it was released. When Bandai said they were the new official kit suppliers my heart kind of sank, the kits that were done by Fine Molds were great and I had high hopes for more. Given Bandai's reputation as a toy manufacturer I cant say I held out much hope. How wrong was I! Ive had the lot on order since I saw the 1st reviews and this is my 1st review here of one of these kits. I have the rest. It is just that Jim seems to have beaten me to the gig every time. Must have less to do than I do Though he's a bit busy right now so I figured I'd jump in and review this whilst I can get a word in edgeways. The Box. The Kit comes in a great sturdy glossy little box with what I think is really nice cover art. Oh how I wish they would do the At-AT walker in the background in the same scale. That'd make a great diorama. The box looks like this: The Instructions. The Instructions are up to the same standard as the other kits. That is that they are in Japanese and anyone who wants to read them needs a translator. The pictures and markings for each part though are very clear, the build looks really easy and they have put in some good presentation on the diagrams and illustrations. The Sprues. There are only 5 sprues. This isn't a big kit. What is there though is exquisite. I have built the Fine Molds kit in the same scale and this is up there for detail. I'd say its almost a copy but there are subtle differences and the feel of this kit is of a much more modern one (who'd have thought the original Fine Molds one is about 6 years old now?). As Jim mentioned in one of his reviews that somehow on the 1st sprue Bandai have managed to mix black kit parts with clear. It is amazing how they did this and some may see it as a gimmick. I guess it is but it doesn't make it any less impressive to me. There is a base and stand included on one sprue and in all cases the moulding detail and the panel lines are very even, crisp and up there with any other manufacturers kits I have seen. All the other sprues are as standard, except the clear Red/Pink one. This has some simulated laser shots on it so once can show the ship in action firing the forward guns. Pictures of the sprues are below: The Decals. These are really nicely done, thin and look to have little carrier film if any in some cases. Final Thoughts. Because I don't read Japanese and given the coloured nature of the sprues it makes me wonder if Bandai, like the other kits they have released recently, give the less experienced modeller the chance to do the whole kit unpainted with the sprues being coloured and no need for paint? This does seem the case when you look at it and from a viewpoint of encouraging less experienced and young people into modelling I think its to be applauded. Of course those amongst us who like a bit of fun can really go to town on Star Wars. Everything is weathered to within an inch of its life and that battered lived in look (at least for Rebel items) is almost encouraged. There were rumours that Bandai were going to ban shipping outside Asia Pacific (Revell have the Star Wars Franchise rights in Europe and the USA). I really hope they don't as these are some great little kits. I myself, as I wrote above, love Star Wars but having built the Fine Molds one in the same scale (and having enjoyed every second of that) did wonder if I wanted to build this kit too. Then I saw the following picture.... Its a promotional image from the Computer Game Star Wars: Battlefront and as soon as I saw it I knew I needed a 2nd Snowspeeder. This'll be my inspiration for the next build. If anyones interested the Fine Molds one I built is this one: In summary anyone who loves Star Wars will be thinking of getting this Im sure. If you are not you should. For anyone else I guess its down to whether you like the look, fancy something different or just want to weather the life out of something and if you do I think this is the one, or one of the ones, for you. Highly Recommended. I bought this from Hobby Link Japan but it can be found on some importers sites.
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