Gaijin Gunpla

For a six year old watching it for the first time the Hoth Battle scene from Empire Strikes Back had me in awe and still holds a very special place in my heart. Yes, the AT-ATs are awesome but until Bandai releases those I’m going to be playing with the 1/48 Star Wars Snowspeeder. The Snowspeeder follows the X-wing, Darth Vader TIE Fighter, TIE Fighter, and AT-ST release-wise but may hold a bigger place in my heart. This looks to be much less complicated than the 1/48 Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter Moving Edition. Check out the runner.

Basically two big plastic pieces and some extras. Well, not quite but not far off either.

Luke and Dack, I suppose?

I’ll get to you guys later.

First off, the cockpit. And that means I have to choose between stickers and water-slide decals. I’m still in the midst of decaling the Moving Editing X-wing so I’ll go with the stickers on this one.

This is a very long marking and covers almost the entire side of the cockpit, however there are some plastic edges that jut out from that surface making adhesion difficult. Bandai has tried to help this by cutting the areas of the sticker that fit around those edges. It’s not easy to line-up however.

After putting those stickered sides in place the manual has you put in the seats and pilots and then finish the cockpit but because I want to detail the pilots I am going to put the cockpit in as I have it now and add the other parts after the pilots are ready. Hope that’s not a problem.

I’ll ready the rest of the cockpit parts now, though.

As the pilots are different sizes you have to make sure you have them in their appropriate seats and that they are facing the proper direction. Bandai helps you avoid putting the seats in backwards by using a uniquely shaped connection.

Once the cockpit is in clamp the two halves of the snowspeeder together. Then you can add smaller parts.

The weapons on this thing, and engines?, assemble on their own and then are dropped onto the Snowspeeder.

Add some armour to cover the innards.

Choices! You have them. You can build the flaps at the top of Snowspeeder open or closed and can swap them any time.

The same applies for the flaps at the back.

I’m going open for now.

And once you choose those things you’re pretty much done. You do have a lot of stickers to apply, though. You also get two choices for the canopy. The first is done by using one piece of gray plastic and a clear part while the second option, the opening canopy, is two clear parts and stickers.

I panel-lined, and dirtied, this guy after putting the stickers on and the result is quite nice.

Then I added my orange pilots.

When I went to put them into the Snowspeeder I realized I should have put the entire cockpit together when assembling the ship and then dropped the pilots in afterwards. Because I didn’t I had to take some pieces off to get one particular cockpit piece into place.

At that point I grew tired of the stickers for the sides of the cockpit always starting to come off and just removed them altogether.

Trust me it looks much better like this. My advice to anyone out there planning on building this kit; use the waterslides for the cockpit or go without. Despite me repeatedly pushing them down into place they ended up off the kit and in the box.

(I kept the stickers on for the front and rear dash.)

Allow me to complain about one more set of stickers. These ones.

These are meant to go on the bottom at the back of the kit.

Hold on. I am supposed to get this flat sticker to contour around three very prominent bumps? Um… I gave it one half-hearted attempt and then gave up before allowing myself to become frustrated.


Pilots, check.

Canopy, check.

Extra flap parts, check.

I feel I can take on the whole Empire myself.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Paul Emical* says:

    F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C piece of kit. Can’t wait to put my hands on it! (along with all the others – too many gunpla kits in my backlog mean I’m struggling to have the money to dive into SW kits.)

  2. Evan says:

    Nice! Cockpit detail actually looks better than some 1/32 aircraft kits!

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