By Jim James - images & text © 2015
Poe's X-Wing Fighter
I picked this up from Target the first morning it was available (September 4). It was the last model kit on their shelves. OK, it’s a snap fit, box scale, prepainted kit and I had it built in under 15 minutes.
Image: What you get: fuselage and cockpit
Image: Wings and things
Image: Instructions could not be simpler
Image: Sound unit
As a snap kit is goes together nicely with hardly any joins showing. The preprinted markings are crisp but there’s an obvious opportunity for more detailed painting. The fuselage back panel, top panel and cockpit are nicely molded but have no coloration.
There are working parts. The cockpit canopy opens - albeit incorrectly – and there’s no Poe pilot figure. The wings snap to the open or closed position. Best of all (be still my heart), when you press the BB-8 droid behind the cockpit, you hear a selection of battle sounds!
The main landing gear is removable and there are no wheel wells. The front landing gear folds up into the nose leaving a rather ugly hole. Immediately aft of the gear is the access cover for batteries and the slots for the sound effects speaker. There’s no stand.
Overall, it’s a great kit for someone who wants to be the first on their block to have a Force Awakens model kit but if you’re looking for an accurate X-Wing, wait for the Bandai kit.
Image: Ready to fly around the room
Image: Cockpit closeup
Image: Rear view
Image: Comparison with Revell's "classic" snap-fit X-Wing
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
By John Lester - images & text © 2015
The First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter is probably the best of the four Level 1 (Build-and-Play) kits Revell has issued (two different X-Wings, this TIE and Millennium Falcon). It actually looks fairly imposing, sitting on the bookshelf behind my desk.
Each kit comes in a flimsy, end-opening cardboard box. The parts are not attached to sprues; rather, they ar packed into clear vacuformed plastic "shells" which both protect the finish and strengthen the box. There were no divots or nubs on the parts that might interfere with assembly - at least in the two kits I bought.
The TIE is less "toy-like" than the other kits. The button for the lights/sound effects is unobtrusive - though the top hatch is both overscale and very loose fitting. The cockpit is suprisingly well detailed. There is no pilot.
As with the X-Wing, assembly is fast and easy. Parts fit is quite good, with minimal seam lines. I thought about gluing the pod halves together, but I found that the friction fit is quite strong as it is, so I left it alone. I had both the TIE and the white X-Wing assembled in about 5 minutes each.
Image: Rear view
Image: Rear/ low
Image: Front/ low
Image: From above
In action (YouTube):
I can't argue with Jim's assessment. Sure, with some basic modeling skills you could make these into better display models, but it doesn't seem to me to be worth the effort. To be fair, these kits are designed for kids to build and play with (and as a ten year old, I would have loved 'em, even if I couldn't afford a $20 model .... in 1975!). They are probably best as a gift for a kid who has never built a model. Revell's next releases, the "Level 2" snap-fit kits, are supposed to be bigger and dispense with the toy features. I'd wait for those if you want a more faithful replica of the vehicles from the movie.
Many thanks to Jim's wallet (and mine) for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 6000+ readers a day? Contact us!