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The classic AMT/Ertl X-Wing

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Typical products of the 80s sci fi bandwagon. Large chunky parts especially the guns, fit is somewhat problematic and i think the small one had the additional benefit of only having the forward canopy in clear. That said they are probably valuable to collecters.

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Yes, there are two X-Wing kits issued by AMT/Ertl currently. The big one came out for the original movie and the smaller snap together one was issued for Jedi. They also did a larger third one with lights and electronics in their Proshop line, but that kit is currently not out. Anyway, I assume you mean the original glue kit, so my comments apply to that model.

Scale of the kit is about 1/41 scale depending on which reference you read, but it is close enough to 1/48 to allow you to use figures in that scale for a diorama. Panel detailing is of the recessed variety. It can be done gear up or gear down. The kit itself is typical late 1970s quality. It is generally good in shape, but could use a bit of filler and has some minor accuracy issues. Big thing to keep in mind about accuracy is that none of the X-Wing models built for the first film were exactly the same in terms of details. So I wouldn't get too anal about the shape of the model. Apparently some of these kits were built up and used as studio models for distance shots in the second two films (blink and you'll miss it), so in a sense the model would be considered accurate that way. The cockpit seems to be based a little on the one in the studio models and it differs a bit from the live action set piece.

The pilot figure (not offered in the last reissue, so not entirely sure it is in this one either) doesn't look much like an X-Wing pilot at all, but rather like some leather clad weirdo with a foam football helmet. There are some aftermarket cockpits and figures available that can be used to dress up this model as needed. But you can also go the cheap route and detail it with bits from the parts bin. Best pilot figures I've seen in 1/48 that can be adapted for X-Wing driving are the pilot and gunner in the 1/48 Monogram AH-64 Apache kit. As for where to find aftermarket bits, I'd check CultTVman.com, Starshipmodeler.com and Federationmodels.com as all have shop sections with stuff for sale. Chris Doll made a nice live action set based drop in cockpit for the kit a couple years back and it includes a pilot figure and accurized R2 unit.

The wings can be built to swing in or out, but it is better to decide on what pose you want and lock them into place since the mechanism doesn't work all that well. The guns are okay, but it is best to replace the tubes with brass and/or styrene tubing due to the quality of the molding. Most of the other details can be left as is, although some greeblie bits can be added in spots to really make the model stand out.

The decals are basic and thick. I don't know of any aftermarket sheets available for this kit, but what you have can be modified for better accuracy and additional decals can be scrounged from other sheets as needed or markings just painted on. As for paint colors and weathering, you are pretty much on your own so consult reference photos.

In terms of a trouble free build resulting in a very accurate model, the FineMolds X-Wing has the edge. But this one is a fun one to do if you are willing to take the time to do it up right. Like I said, I wouldn't get too picky on accuracy. Just use it as a model to develop your building skills and experiment with painting and weathering techniques. Once done, you will probably enjoy this one more as it is something that needs more then mere "kit assembler" skills to make it shine.

Edited by Jay Chladek
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I always liked the kit Jay describes. The smaller snap version I think was just scaled down from the larger 1/40ish kit. There is one innaccuracy that may bug you or if you are like me you can look the other way. The lower fuselage has a kink in it. This kink should not be there and instead the bottom fuselage (under the cockpit area) should be more on a straight line. You can cut the fuselage and make a fix but like I said look away.

I have a couple of the bigger Pro Shop X-wings but cannot comment on if they put the kink in it's fuselage. I never have built that one yet!


Max Bryant

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The one in the Ebay sale is the 1/41 scale kit. It was also issued at that time with paint and glue (and a much nicer looking box art painting of an X-Wing over the Death Star). This eBay one has an acrylic disk display stand, but the clear parts tree with the original stand should be in there still.

The features of the snap kit are indeed a scale down of the glue kit to about 1/51 scale. But they are very simplified. The cockpit has ole leather biker have buried into the floor and the back windows aren't clear molded. I think it was done this way as the original MPC issue of the kit had smoke tinted canopy parts, so you couldn't see much in the cockpit anyway. The wing guns and engine pods were also simplified. I did take one and accurized it, adding a new cockpit and a pilot figure built from an A-Wing pilot and an X-Wing pilot gaming miniature. The guns were totally rebuilt and the wings were accurized as well. But it took a lot of work and you don't need to go that route with the FineMolds kit currently available.

It is a bit confusing on the latest boxings as it seems AMT/Ertl is using the same box art for both the glue and snap kits (snap X-Wing on the box of both). When in doubt, look for the huge box and you'll have the glue kit (and the box looks big enough to hold two kits).

As for the ProShop kit, it does not have the kink, but it looks odd. As for the kink itself, some of the pyro models built for the first film do seem to suggest that they have a kink in the fuselage. None of the hero models seemed to have it. I would not say it is a feature that can't be on an X-Wing though.

Edited by Jay Chladek
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