Thursday, 16 November 2017

Star Wars AT-ST - Bandai 1/48 Scale Model Kit [Unboxing and Pre-Assembly Review]

Dubbed the chicken walker, the Imperial AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) Walker is my third favourite Star Wars vehicle after the AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport) Walker and TIE Fighter. So I guess my list is top-heavy with either Galactic Empire Imperial Navy Fleet Starships or Imperial Army Mechanized Vehicles. So much so that only two Rebel Alliance vehicles i.e. the CR90 Corvette (Tantive IV) and Millennium Falcon stand any chance of joining this Empire-heavy list. But I digress. My mind is wandering off-topic as usual. So here's the unboxing and pre-assembly review of the Bandai Star Wars 1/48 scale Imperial AT-ST plastic model kit.   

Bandai Star Wars 1/48 scale AT-ST (Imperial All Terrain Scout Transport Walker)
Side boxart of the Bandai Star Wars AT-ST scale model kit

Being in the same scale as my recently completed Snowspeeder, the AT-ST would make for an interesting vignette when paired with the modified Incom T-47 Airspeeder, especially in a Battle of Hoth scene. For now though, I plan to paint the AT-ST on its own and not as part of a vignette. As such at this point in time I'm still unsure myself if the AT-ST will be painted with winter weathering ala Hoth or with mud/dirt weathering ala Endor. Either one will be fine with me.

Sprues of the Bandai plastic model kit comes in the usual individually sealed wrappings

Simple, straightforward instructions are a prelude of what's to come for hobbyists new to Bandai's line of Star Wars plastic model kits. Snap-fit parts require almost no gluing (although some here and there would go a long way in making the overall structure stronger). Individually or in-pairs, the sprues are heat-sealed in clear plastic wrappings which is what you would expect from a standard model kit. A good look at the parts indicate highly detailed castings from Bandai's injection moulding process. Long story short, the materials needed to recreate a movie accurate AT-ST is all in the box.

AT-ST booklet was a combination of colour depicting a finished painted model and ...
... black and white diagrammatic pictures for the assembly instructions

Not everything is rosy though. Of all the Bandai Star Wars plastic model kits I've worked on so far, this one has the most awful looking figurines. Both Chewbacca and the AT-ST pilots look stiffly posed. From what I hear through the grapevine the award for worst figurine (if you could even call it that) belongs to Bandai's A-Wing kit. But that's a story for another day. And to be fair, the AT-ST figurines are still well detailed. So I can still get an okay-ish result from painting them. After all, a miniature painter is only as good as the underlying base sculpture ... most of the time. 

Sprue A: Chewbacca, Endor base, gyro, connective/leg parts, etc. 
Sprue B: Front hull, connective/leg parts, miscellaneous armour plating, etc.
Sprue C1: Main hull, interior, etc.

Based on the inclusion of the Chewbacca figurine and damage decals, I assume this AT-ST model kit is intended as the version found in the Battle of Endor. But that apart, the AT-ST can easily be build and painted to fit in a Battle of Hoth diorama/vignette. As I alluded to earlier, I'm still undecided as to which version I will be doing in this first attempt at the Bandai AT-ST kit. 

Sprue C2: Main hull, interior, power system, etc.
Sprue D1 and D2: Pilot figruines, foot joints/pads, connective/leg parts, etc.
Bandai water slide decals (left) and stickers (right) for the AT-ST; a fairly limited selection

Key to making the dull grey's of this AT-ST come to live is weathering. And therein lies the biggest challenge of this model kit. Most of my weathering paints and washes are enamel-based. Unfortunately, Bandai plastic is susceptible to cracking when exposed to thinners and white spirit, both of which are used extensively in enamel-based weathering techniques. However the time has come to take on this challenge. No more pussy footing around. Carpe diem and all that stercus. It has been a slow week for me hobby-wise. Hope yours was better. Until next week, stay happy and safe.

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16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Bandai's AT-ST looks like a kit with huge potential. I'm looking forward to building and painting it.

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  2. Great looking SW set. Looking forward :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to working on this AT-ST kit too :)

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  3. Great set. Looking forward to assembly & painting !
    Greetings

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    Replies
    1. It is a great set. Bandai's AT-ST is fairly close to movie-accurate for a 1/48 scale model kit.

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  4. So excited to see this one go together!

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    Replies
    1. Me too, now I just have to get off my lazy bum and work on it. :)

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  5. After your seeing your snowspeeder, I'm sure this one can't ho wrong and will most likely turn out equally amazing.

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    Replies
    1. It's very nice of you to say so Wouter Wolput. Most kind of you :)

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  6. Well, I have no doubt this one will be totally epic :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the confidence vote Suber :)

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  7. So good luck for this beautiful kit ^^

    Serviteur,

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  8. Cool looking kit I had a couple of the toy versions as a kid!

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    Replies
    1. I've a diecast toy version myself. Love this chicken-walker, one of the great designs of Star Wars vehicles :)

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