Growing up as a Star Wars fan so many years ago I had the pleasure of building pretty much all of the scale reproductions of the famed ships used in the first three movies. I vividly remember my X-Wing and Tie Fighter models hung by fishing line forever frozen in a mock duel in space. Also in my room were my original Millennium Falcon and a host of other cool Star Wars kits I had built. Among those kits was one of my favorites, the often over looked Snow Speeder. I mean, who can forget the scene in Empire Strikes Back when these little babies darted about in search of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker? The view from the cockpit took us from our movie seats into the movie with some of the most innovative footage ever shown in a science fiction motion picture.
Growing up, I had the pleasure of building this model and it remains one of my favorites to this day. It had a detailed cockpit, pilot and gunner figures, operational air brakes and braking foils not to mention the smooth lines of one of the fasted ships the Rebels had at their disposal.
When I heard that AMT was reissuing some of the original models from the 1970’s and 80’s I was very excited. I had hoped to see this particular kit offered. During a trip to Wal Mart I noticed a scaled down X-wing kit and the AT-AT kit on the model shelves. As I picked up the X-wing I mulled over if I should pick it up. Deciding against the X-wing I went to replace it on the shelf when I noticed the Snow Speeder tucked in behind a few other kits. I looked at the box and thought to myself it looked like the same kit I had when I was young. When I showed the model to my son and said I had that when I was younger you could see his eyes light up. Even over the test of time, the Snow Speeder still held that elusive “wow” factor. So for $12 I picked it up and in my opinion it was money well spent.
The kit itself is a recast of the original kit offered in the 1980’s. I was very happy that AMT chose to reissue this kit because it has definitely withstood the test of time.
The instructions were free of detailed wording and simply showed the exploded view of the speeder. First stage of the assembly was the cockpit and the pilot and gunner figures.
For the cockpit I painted the interior section flat black. I also painted the inside of the canopy flat black so when the canopy was closed a uniform color would dominate the interior. I lightly dry-brushed silver over the instrument clusters to bring out the details. Each of the figure’s uniforms was painted orange with red highlights. I painted the boots and gloves flat black. For the helmets, I used gloss white with hand painted accents. Each figure was finished off with a shiny silver coat over their face shields. One of the weirdest things about this kit is the positions of the figures. They are molded almost laying down with their arms extended out to grasp the rear radar scope or grabbing unseen control sticks. Prior to placing the figures in the cockpit their arms look extremely long but once the cockpit is completed, the disproportioned arms and awkward position of the figures are not as noticeable.
Turning my attention to the speeder itself, I shot the entire exterior pieces with gloss white. This takes a little longer to dry but the finished product would reflect the patience. As the exterior pieces were being assembled I added some silver and steel detailing to the two wing mounted weapons and the engine exhaust. This kit practically assembled itself. This is one of the first kits in some time I actually used model cement to assemble it instead of gap filling super glue. These molds were definitely well maintained.
After the kit was assembled I added the decals. There are 11 decals in all. 10 of the decals are orange exterior stripes with the final decal being a yellow and black warning label for an intake.
Straight-forward assembly right out of the box made for a fun night of creating and reminiscing with my son. Start to finish this kit takes less than a day to complete but when you see it, you would never know it. With easy to follow error free instructions and a simple paint scheme I would recommend this kit for all builders young and old. It is simple in design but has some near features and really looks great either nestled on its clear stand or suspended from a ceiling. Thanks AMT for putting this kit back in our hands.