THE BADLet's start with the bad: Bandai plastic. According to modelers on various forums, this seems to be a recurring issue with a number of Bandai's Star Wars model kits; the plastic of these kits do not take kindly to paint thinners.
|X-wings are beat up, but not this bad...|
THE GOODFrom what I can tell by studying the handful of reference photos the studio model, this kit is incredibly accurate. X-wings are covered in panels and it seems that Bandai has faithfully reproduced just about all of them on this kit. Some early complaints with the kit were that the panel lines seemed too wide and deep. While they are definitely pronounced on the kit, they're a lot better than the panel lines of the Fine Molds kit which are almost nonexistent. The fit on the LEGO-style pieces is pretty tight as well and any remaining gap can be easily filled with the application of the Tamiya Extra Thin cement. The nosecone options (Luke's X-wing had a longer nosecone than the others) and the rear plate options (Luke's rear plate is unique to his craft) are a really nice touch as well. The piece that holds the nosecone on is modeled after the sensor array that can be seen in the 2007 book Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections, which is a really neat touch. The astromech droids are fantastic as well. The droid bodies are crisply molded, showing very fine and accurate detail. This is light-years ahead of the droids included in the Fine Molds kit, which are basically featureless and require decals. The pilot figures are also a step above the ones featured in the Fine Molds kit, with crisper detailing and more human-like proportions. The S-foils also have small tabs and sockets on the interior surface that allow them to be locked into the close position. Obviously it's not screen-accurate, but the ability to display them closed is nice. They also stay open much better than the S-foils on the Fine Molds kit.
In all, this was very fun build from start to finish. I also feel that out of the three and a half years that I've been making models, this is probably the single best one I've completed. It will look cracking on display in the completed diorama!