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X-Wing Fighter

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Category: Star Wars
Subcategory: 1/36

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Medium: Styrene
Parts: 95+
Status: Discontinued
Release Date: 1998
Skill Level: Intermediate
The Electronic X-Wing Fighter was one of the kits in AMT/Ertl’s ProShop series of models. Another kit in the product line, Star Trek’s USS Yamaguchi, has also been reviewed here on the website. The X-Wing kit features lighting for the four engine nozzles, interior lighting for the cockpit, and internal gearboxes to open and close the S-Foils, allowing the builder to pose the wings in “cruise” or “attack” positions. A speaker and a circuit board are also included, although the box doesn’t disclose what sounds are supposed to be heard.

This kit features the largest-scale X-Wing fighter that was released by AMT/Ertl. The next-largest kit from AMT/Ertl was the 1:42 Flight Display set. After that, the only kits produced were the 1:63 Snap-Fit kits, one in standard gray styrene and one in gold-chromed finish.

The Pro Shop kit includes a new stand which incorporates a battery holder for three size “C” batteries, speaker, circuit board, and switches (power on/off, wings open, wings close, and sound effects). When opening the box, the first thing that you notice is that the stand and the box containing the Pro Shop parts (mechanical items, lights, wiring, etc.) take up almost half of the interior space. The parts of the X-Wing take up the remaining half.

The kit parts are molded in light gray styrene and there is a bit of flash included, but it’s kind of expected with the older AMT/Ertl releases. The plastic is a bit soft, and it is lacking in detail when compared to other models (such as the smaller Fine Molds kit) and to the studio filming model. This is a kit that would definitely benefit from extra detailing, and it’s big enough in 1:35 scale that a builder has room to work. The cockpit is actually pretty nice, with a decent amount of detailing, and the figures of the pilot and the R2 unit aren’t the “blobs” usually seen.

The wiring from the engine nozzles feeds into the central cavity in the aft end of the fuselage. The gearboxes are mounted using screws into the upper and lower fuselage halves, as is the cockpit. All of the wiring is gathered into a bundle that runs from the bottom of the fuselage down the interior of the stand pedestal and then into the stand base. From there it is routed to the various endpoints. The power switch is a standard slider with “on” and “off” positions. One push-button opens the wings while another closes them. There is a third push-button for the sound effects. A small speaker is mounted to the underside of the base and points upward, with holes molded into the base provided for the sound. The base itself has a Rebel insignia cast into the top portion, with the point facing toward the aft of the X-Wing. As the X-Wing flies toward you, the Rebel insignia is face-on.

One of the main upgrades that can be done concerns the lighting system. The kit, as released in 1998, included small incandescent bulbs. When I build my kit, I plan to upgrade the lighting to LEDs. I’m planning on using red LEDs for the engines and either soft white or light yellow LEDS for the cockpit lighting. It looks like the included lighting has the bulbs connected directly to the wiring, so it will probably require all new wiring for the lighting runs. If you go this route, you may want to use red wire for the “Positive” and black wire for the “Negative“, to avoid accidentally frying your lighting system.

The decal sheet is fairly comprehensive, but the decals depict a brand-new X-Wing (without scuffs or paint scrapes). This is easily remedied by weathering, so it’s not a big deal. One very nice feature is that the back page of the instruction sheet shows the names and markings for the six Red Group fighters: Red Leader – Dave, Red Two – Wedge Antilles, Red Three – Biggs Darklighter, Red Four – John D., Red Five – Luke Skywalker and Red Six – Jek Porkins. The wing insignia can be trimmed to make the fighter into whichever one the builder wants to portray. However, you may what to check additional resources as each of the studio models of the fighters were painted differently.

There isn’t much in terms of painting direction on this kit, so references are a must. The painting guide included is very, very basic and (as with the decals) is for a factory-fresh X-Wing. In fact, do yourself a favor and disregard the painting guide entirely. The callouts keep pointing to the wings, fuselage and cannons and direct you to paint them “F”, which is black! It should be “G”, which is gray. Some of the callouts are right, but others are just flat-out wrong. Check out the Internet for quick search items, or pick up a copy of “Sculpting A Galaxy”, which has excellent photos of the filming models. Little items such as the pale blue striping around the cannons or cockpit framing colors aren’t mentioned in the paint guide.

The length of the main fuselage from the aft bulkhead to the tip of the nose is 13.75 inches. The engines add another 1.25 inches to the overall length, bringing it to 15 inches. The wingspan (in closed position) is 13 inches. The base is 9 inches in diameter.

Overall it’s not a bad kit, and it’s one that can be detailed if the builder so chooses. If you can find one for a decent price, it might be worth picking up.

Review by: Rich “Lonewolf” Dula

Entry created: July 10, 2013
Comments: 0 | Rating (1-5): -- No rating -- | MSRP: $29.99

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