Kit review of .

Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects

By John Lester - images & text © 1999

Detail: 9 - crisp detail, well executed
Molding Quality: 9 - Top notch, as far as I can see.
Instructions: 8 - They'll do nicely, though the paint guide appears off.
Accuracy: 9 - Looks like a Trade Federation Tank to me.
Parts Fit: 9 - The parts I have test fit go together well.
Overall Rating: 9 + - buy one now, then go to TrU in six months and buy a battalion at closeout prices.

[The box art]

The boxart is actually a good reference.


[More Bits]

[Close up of ... you guessed it, another bit]

^ All parts are cleanly molded and well detailed.

If you were disappointed by the Naboo Fighter and the Droid Fighters released in the early Summer, this kit will restore your faith in ERTL. It's BIG - fully 13.5" long when assembled, with over fifty parts. Two of these are wire for the antennae; the rest, smooth grey styrene. All are crisp and clean - as befits a brand new mold. I found no sinkholes or other flaws on my kit.

The engineering of the kit is logical - most seams appear to fall on natural panel lines or places where a surface makes an abrupt turn. One exception is the the most forward vertical part - there's a very visible seam there that shouldn't be. No decals are provided - which is fine, as no markings were seen in the movie. All the details of the "original" appear to be reproduced on the kit. Depending on what reference you use, the scale of this one is somewhere between 1/28 and 1/36. Giving ERTL the benefit of the doubt, I'll call it 1/32.

This and the Droid Fighter with STAP kit were released at the same time and appear to be ERTL's finest s/f work to date. Based on what I see in the box, I'd recommend this kit to anyone, even the novice builder. It's well worth the $19.95 retail price.

Click here to see this kit built up.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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First posted on 5 August 1999. Last updated on 24 June 2004.