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Built Review
Imperial TIE Fighter

by: Austin Mann [ FIREMANN816 ]

This AMT/ERTL kit is a pleasure to build. It is guessed widely upon the Internet to approximate a 1/35 scale of the Fighter. This kit comes with parts to assemble two fighters, a display base, and two pilots. It is recommended by the manufacturer as thier "Skill Level 2." It should be a fairly simple build for most modelers.


The Instruction sheet is easy to follow, and is basically a set of pictures of kit parts with arrows showing the ideal placement of parts. Like a lot I've seen lately, there is little text, and the paint colors are represented by symbols where you refer back to a table to see their recommendations.I usually go ahead and write them on some part of the instructions to minimize page turning.I'm pretty familiar with the reference material so I had my own ideas about painting the parts, anyway.Overall I found the instructions helpful, and easy to follow. Most modelers old enough to read approximately middle school level or higher should have little trouble following them.

Fighter Pilot Figures

The kit instructions recommend you begin assembly with the pilot figures. I found the figures to go together pretty well, requireing just a little putty where the two main halves are glued together. I used cyano for this and firm pressure to minimize the seam, but needed a little putty along the pilot's thigh area. I felt the level of detail molded into the pilot was suitable, and left them Out Of the Box entirely. I painted my figures flat black, and drybrushed with dark gray to accentuate the folds of the uniform, the airhose, and other detail. I hand brushed Future to add the gloss effects to the helmet, boots, gloves, and breast plate.The only tricky part is the pilot is holding a joystick in each hand that you want the approximate level of the chair he sits in. I seated my figures in their chairs, set their hands upon thier arm rails, and then glued their arms into the shoulder sockets. This should make it appear that the joysticks are rising up from the sides of the chair and the pilot is holding them to steer his craft.On his helmet is a small circle where the Imperial logo goes. I was going to try to make a custom decal for this put couldn't print one small enough. I've included the logo at the end of this review, in my gallery, in case you have a better printer than I do, and would like to add this detail.


The cockpit detail is pretty nice. However Aircraft builders taking a break with this one between kits will see a lot of opportunity for detailing. If youre just relaxing and enjoying a quick build it should be sufficient. Once the kit is finished there is little opportunity to review the cockpit unless you leave the top hatch open. A lot of cockpit detial is visible through the main viewport on the front of the craft, though. If you want to enhance anything provided by the manufacturer, this is where you may want to focus your effort. You are provided walls of a cockpit that form around the pilot like a bubble. You then sandwich the fuselage halves around the 'bubble' and then add the wings.The fit of the walls is good, and the 'bubble' cockpit sub assembly fits well into the fusealge halves.A recent Kalmbach Publishing book, "A Galaxy Far Away" suggests illuminating the TIE with LEDs and a lot fo the wiring and housing snugly fits between the cockpit base and bottom fuselage half.I didnt do this but beleive it can be done with minimal difficulty.

Fuselage / Wings

The fuselage and wings are all that remain. They are mostly big pieces, with little ones added to them.The detail on the wings and fuselage is pretty well done. The peices fit together well, and have crisp raised detail. The panel lines are recessed, and will stand out well with a wash of a darker color than your base. The mating pins line up well with their partner holes, and the wings fit well and didnt tilt inward or outward on me during the cyano setup time. The cockpit's top hatch can be molded open to allow inspection of a custom detailed cockpit, if the builder desires. The only fit problems the kit had were on the the hatch at the top, and the ring of the front main viewport. The fit is good, but even seated completely leaves a noticeable gap. In the book referenced earlier, "A Galaxy Far Away" the author recommends changing the rear piece of the fuselage. he states that it is incorrectly molded and offers a template for one like the Studio Model. It is kit part number 14, in Instruction Step 7.Overall, I recommend this kit to Star Wars enthusiasts. It is easy to assemble, sufficiently detailed to go with an out of the box build, and molded well enough that a super detailer has a lot to start from.There was little flash on the parts, and i don't recall any sink holes or release pin marks.I suspended my models from the ceiling so I didnt use the included base. The base is a portion of Death Star surface, and would work well in a case, bookshelf, or desktop display.I found it to be an enjoyable build and hope you will as well.

Click here for additional images for this review.

This AMT/ERTL kit is a pleasure to build. It is guessed widely upon the Internet to approximate a 1/35 scale of the Fighter. This kit comes with parts to assemble two fighters, a display base, and two pilots.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 0998438
  Related Link: Star Wars.com TIE Fighter DataBank Entry
  PUBLISHED: Nov 23, 2003

About Austin Mann (firemann816)

Got back into modeling after a few year hiatus. Was one of my most favorite past times as a kid. Got busy with a wife, kid, and job, and picked it back up again. It's as much fun as it ever was, but I dont get the hours of uninterrupted work done like I used to, during those summer afternoons when ...

Copyright 2021 text by Austin Mann [ FIREMANN816 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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