The quality of tie-in model kits has risen over the years and the newly re-issued Star Wars range from Revell is pretty impressive…
Readers and action-fans of a certain age will likely remember – and will probably have owned – a whole range of Star Wars merchandise, action-figures and models from the time that the original trilogy came out (For the record, I shall never forgive one of my ex-friends taking some of my brother’s original 1977 Star Wars figures to be valued and secretly substituting replacements when we received them back). Those of us who were lucky managed to get our parents a pretty detailed Millennium Falcon model from Kenner. It might not have been able to really do the Kessel Run, but we definitely put it through its paces – usually losing some of the pieces and attachments as the weeks, months and years progressed. But it lasted, in decent condition for nearly two decades.
The latest Revell Kit, for the famous starship owned by Han Solo, isn’t quite the same size and arguably not quite as solid as the already-made, thick-plastic 1980 era version, but that’s not to say it’s unimpressive or lacking in quality. This is a remarkably highly-detailed kit, in fact better than the image on the box itself suggests and one that is – as the easyKit range infers – deceptively simple to put together. The official ‘rating’ says it is a ‘Level 2’ kit (with a ‘suitable for 8 years and above’ demographic), but while that might be a bit optimistic for an infant jedi-knight without some adult assistance, a little help from parents and bit of patience to make the finished item should suffice. The instructions are pretty easy to follow and shouldn’t cause much gnashing of teeth (as some other generic kits, less well-made kits have done over the years!)
The box states that the model ratio is 1:72 and the finished, fully constructed ship comes in at about 35cms length – about 2/3 of the size of the box it comes in. It’s already painted, so unless you’d like to do some customizing yourself, an hour or so of clipping and snapping together should produce a Falcon that looks ready for display. Nor is this just a static, rigid item. The radar dish, gun turrets and ramp are all adjustable with careful fingers. It’s important to note that this is not meant as a heavy-use toy, but it should be more than able to survive gentle, casual use. It’s perfectly possible to construct the Falcon without glue, though it might be advisable in some parts just to give it that added tensile strength and security.
Revell’s range, re-issued from the mid Noughties version – now with slightly different ‘Darth Maul’ packaging but still of the same high quality – is quite expansive and we also took a look at another kit in the range, the 1:40 sized ARC-170 Fighter, which appeared in the third prequel (of the more recent Star Wars outings). Again, this is deceptively easy to put together (this ship having around thirty-five parts pre-painted to the Falcon’s mid-fifties) and though it’s slightly more fragile, this is only because of the ship’s over-all sleeker design, more elongated and ‘pointy’ than the more robust-styled Falcon. Once again, it’s impressive when fully constructed which can take as little as thirty minutes.
Again, both these models and others in the range are well-priced, well-constructed and make good presents for the old and young, experienced or casual model enthusiast alike. It’s good to see a model range that has clearly had time spent to get it right and which aren’t the more opportunistic, cheap and inferior throwaway items found in bargain-bins. These are absolutely worth that extra investment (The Millennium Falcon at £39.99 RRP, the ARC-170 Fighter at £18.99 RRP). It may be the middle of the year, but it’s never too early to be thinking about the festive season and these kits are definitely something to add to your list…
The Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information you can also visit www.revell.eu