By Tony Greenfield - images & text © 2005
Revell Germany has begun its release of a range of plastic kits from the new Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith. There has already been a preliminary discussion in the forums of the Republic Star Destroyer so I thought I would share some observations on the ARC fighter.
Image: Pilots and canopy
Image: Lots of room for detail
Image: Fuselage, built
Image: Wing/engine built
Image: Close-up on finished fuselage
Image: Front view
Image: Above and behind
Image: With the old MPC/ERTL X-Wing
The ARC fighter (ARC stands for Aggressive ReConnaissance) is a heavy duty combat craft. Less manoeuvrable than the lighter Jedi Star fighters, it packs a heavier punch. Foreshadowing the Incom X-Wing, the ARC fighter can extend wing panels to expose cooling systems when in combat.
Revell's model is part of their Easy Kit range. As such it is both pre-painted and a snap fit model (no gluing and no painting. Where's the fun in that?) I suspect most people will choose to build this as a conventional kit and will do a full repaint as well. That said, the pre-painted scheme is well executed.
The model comes in a fairly small box. This is a pleasant change from all those AMT/Ertl packs where the parts are shaking around in what are plainly oversized package. The box art shows an effects shot of the ARC and the highly weathered image serves to emphasise how much the completed kit would benefit from some serious dirtying down…
And in the Box….
All the sprues come in an individual bag to protect the paint scheme. There are no decals. If you do choose to repaint, you will have to come up with your own markings. Three pilot figures are supplied. These are also prepainted to a decent standard but are moulded in a flexible vinyl like material. There is no cockpit interior, just three seats for the crew. Again, this cries out for superdetaling in particular given the large, clear canopy. The cockpit interior is painted in a light grey, the seats being a very dark grey. If you do not plan on a full scale super detailing rebuild of the cockpit, then at least repainting the interior in a darker shade of grey would give a more realistic look to the finished model.
The model is moulded in a hard and quite brittle plastic. Fortunately the plastic takes very clean cuts and comes away from the sprue with minimal clean up needed. There was no flash apparent on any of the parts.
The layout of the parts has been well planned. There are only a few locations where you will have to remove paint from the part when removing from the sprue. Of course, if you plan to repaint the model this will not worry you too much. There are only three main sub-assemblies. The Main fuselage, the left wing/engine and the right wing/engine. The model does not come with a stand so, having quickly assembled the kit using the snap fix approach, I banged together a crude stand using the tops of some paint spray cans.
The wing panels on the completed model are moveable. The finished kit is quite sturdy for a snap fix and has a distinctly hawk like look, where the chisel shaped nose assembly curves down like the beak of a bird of prey. The hawkish image is emphasised by the wide spread wings and prominent wing tip guns.
Moulding detail, in particular the engine, is pretty good and on a par with Revell's normal output. I'd say the quality is better than the older AMT/Ertl Star Wars kits, especially their snap fix items such as the X-Wing and Y-Wing.
Given the limitations of a snap fix model, is it accurate? Well, I'd say that it falls short of what I would expect from a Fine Molds release in terms of the mold quality. Whether it is accurate in comparison to the “real” craft, that is difficult to say. I have only the box art, the cross sections book and the visual dictionary to refer to and it looks pretty good (if too clean and badly in need of cockpit details) compared to those sources.
A major omission from the kit is the R2 unit. There is a printed on location where the R2 unit should go but this will be a scratchbuild job for the modeller looking for an authentic ARC-170.
All in all though, its a nice example of a new subject that is going to be popular with modellers and fans of the film alike. Most dedicated modellers will have a ball super detailing and repainting the ARC. But even if you snap fix it, the completed model will benefit from some weathering.
Just for fun, I posed the ARC next to examples of the X Wing and the Republic Gunship (both Action Fleet toys). The Republic Gunship is clearly undersized by comparison (the “real” gunship is in fact 3 metres longer than the ARC fighter) but the X Wing is close to the same scale.
Many thanks to Tony's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2005 Starship Modeler. First posted on 20 March 2005.