by: Jim Lewis [ ]
As fine of a debut model kit as any manufacturer could hope the produce, Fine Molds #SW-1 X-Wing Fighter simply established new levels of expectation in mainstream Sci-Fi modeling. Appearing deceptively simple, Fine Molds cut a complicated and highly detailed subject in 72nd scale - setting Star Wars modeling fans a buzz at the prospect of not only having high-quality models to build - but models in scale with each other. I can't explain why this wasn't done prior, I'm just happy to have it now. There is little use in comparing the earlier MPC and AMT efforts to this model - as they are light-years apart.
Cast in soft, light grey, plastic, the finely detailed parts have little flash and no ejector pin marks marring visible surfaces. You will have some seams to clean up, and delicate parts to work with. If you're accustomed to 72nd scale Hasegawa or Tamiya aircraft models, then you're right at home with this one.The model kit is a pretty accurate rendition of the X-Wing Fighter at the time of the Battle of Yavin. There are minor differences between the studio models - and Fine Molds make great efforts to present those differences to modelers. There are also differences between the full-sized X-Wing used in filming too - and Fine Molds even gives a detail option here too to cover all the bases.
The Nitty & Gritty Stuff
The Cockpit Tub doesn't fit snugly into the upper fuselage half. This results in a .010" gap between it and the side walls. Pre-painting the S-Foils made mating them tricky. I had to ream out the center collar a bit to coax them together. Lastly, the fit of the S-Foil Servo Actuator/Hyperdrive Unit was rather sloppy in my kit example. Some filling and sanding would be called for to mate properly to the rest of the model.
Decals, Decals, Decals
The decal sheet provided by Fine Molds is pretty extensive - it is difficult to choose which way to proceed with your model. I even considered painting my own set of basic markings. However, after some internal debate and desiring to build the model pretty much as it comes out of the box, I opted to go with the "weathered" set of markings for Red Three - note how "much" more they're weathered as compared to Red Five's. I also wanted a little flexibility here. Red Three (Biggs Darklighter's Ship) was destroyed in the trenches of the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin. It would be replaced in Red Squadron later on by another ship, and Rogue Squadron eventually. Reading the Rogue Squadron novels created a desire to model one of their ships too. My Red Three could also become Rogue Three. So many decisions, so little time...
Though it took me much longer to complete than the Fine Molds TIE/Ln Fighter, I liked this model kit equally well. When completed - it looks like a X-Wing Fighter - tough, mean, rugged. There's something savage about the profile of the X-Wing Fighter, and this model does the subject proud. With all the wonderful detail present, there's still room to add more if you wish, but I found what Fine Molds provides more than what any modeler could want.
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Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Lewis [ ]. 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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