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SMT Y-Wing Preview

By Jay Chladek - images & text © 2003

Scale: 1/48 - about 13¾"/35cm long when completed
Parts: About 50 multimedia (resin pieces, aluminum and brass tubing, clear acetate sheet)
Instructions: 10 pages with clear black and white diagrams
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide, markings for "Yellow 5"
Molding Quality: 8 - some minor blemishes and a couple areas of mold distortion
Detail: 9 - deep panel lines and lots of "greeblies"
Accuracy: 8 - not 100% accurate to a particular filming model, but close enough)
MSRP: $120.00 USD when produced; no longer in production. (2007)
Overall Rating: 9 - excellent value for the money

[Click to enlarge]

[Click to enlarge]

^ What you get

Click to enlarge[]

^ The engine pods are nicely detailed ...

[Crew module]

^ ... as is the nose.

Image: A full interior is provided

[Droid heads]

^ Two styles of droid "heads" are provided



A large scale, good quality Y-Wing model has been the desire of modelers in recent times. There hasn't been much hope that a proper model of the BTL-A4 fighter would ever be done, until now anyway. SMT comes to the rescue with an all new kit mastered by Alfred Wong. This isn't the first time SMT has offered a Y-Wing in 1/48 scale. One was offered about five years ago, and although it had some fine features, some examples were marred by misshapen parts and seemingly tricky construction.

So how does this new kit stack up?

Contained in a rather small, white cardboard box are several mid-sized pieces for the nose, body and engine pods, as well as a bag containing all the small detail parts (cockpit, guns, engine vanes, etc.). The parts are cleanly cast in odorless white resin and are mostly free of imperfections. There are a few minor areas that need cleanup, but this is relatively common with resin parts. My example did contain some weird looking seams on the nose and one of the engine pods, usually indicative of a mold that flexed outward during the casting process. But I should be able to fix these and not every model will have this problem. The assembly sequence for the fighter is practically a work of art, as the small parts seem to lock together in making up the main body. A drop in cockpit and pilot seat is provided, where one might have expected a simplified arrangement molded into the nose instead. No pilot figure was provided in my sample, as apparently the pilots that SMT currently has on hand for their other kits don't fit this one without some modifications. But they do promise to send a pilot out when one is ready. Pilots should be available for the next batch of kits, scheduled to ship sometime in April 2003.

The engine pods are hollow, cutting down weight and theoretically allowing a modeler to light the engines. The vane details are very nicely done and look very delicate, like on the studio models. Upon seeing them, I can appreciate why FineMolds is reluctant to tackle a Y-Wing in 1/72. ABS T-bar strip stock is provided for the engine vane support struts. Brass and aluminum tubing is also provided to represent the piping details found in the various Y-Wing studio models. The multi-page instruction book provides some excellent diagrams for proper piping locations. Two different astromech droid heads (R2 and R5 versions) are provided for the droid socket. Optional landing gear is also provided, but gear bays will have to be cut into the kit by the modeler as there are none provided here. Clear acetate is also provided for the canopy transparencies.

Decals are also provided for the yellow nose stripping and gray side panels. Only minor drawback here is that Y-Wing studio models and full size sets also featured yellow striping on the bottom of the nose and sometimes yellow stripes on the engine pods. So matching paint coloring to decal coloring might be a chore unless a modeler just decides to paint all the yellow on.


Okay, so the inevitable question is, how accurate is this kit?

Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that no two Y-Wing studio models look exactly the same. Only the major details were mass produced, while smaller details were made up of different model kit parts and varied depending on what parts were used on what fighter.

Looking at this one, it doesn't exactly match the configuration of one of the Y-Wing studio models completely. But, there are enough hints here and there as to which one is being represented, and it appears to be the model that appeared on the box art of the old MPC Y-Wing. Another factor to consider is that the original Y-Wings were built in larger scales then this model, so smaller scale replacement parts have to be fabricated or scrounged and an exact fabrication can add more time to kit production.

Aside from the greeblie detailing differences, the only area that seems a little off compared to what I see on the studio models are some of the nose details. The proton torpedo ports seem to be placed a little differently on the bottom of the nose pod then some pictures I've seen. The contour of the bottom of the nose itself also seems a little flat compared to some studio model pictures. The cockpit canopy is also a bit of a compromise between studio model and set detailing, since it has scribe lines for the hinged part of the canopy when the studio models didn't have that. These can easily be filled and sanded if a modeler desires a more studio model appearance. Overall, even with these seemingly minor shape issues, the detailing does seem consistent with what has been seen in the films.


Well, based on what I see in the box, this one looks like an excellent kit. I am not too quick to say that as like you, I want good value for my money. My only concern with construction would be to ensure that the parts are properly bonded with good quality glue and maybe reinforced with some pins, so the model doesn't become a kit again because there are a lot of parts in this model. I'd recommend it to modelers with intermediate skills and maybe a resin kit or two under their belt to help overcome any unforseen problems. But at last, we seem to finally have a kit that is worthy of the name "Y-Wing".

Please click here for a build up review of this kit (as offered by Blue Moon)

Many thanks to Jay's wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Posted on 24 April 2002. Last updated on 24 October 2007.