Saturday, 23 March 2019

Star Wars Scout Trooper & Speeder Bike - Bandai 1/12 Scale Model Kit [Unboxing and Pre-Assembly Review]

Each Star Wars movie in the original trilogy had its own wow moments, especially to first my highly impressionable five, next eight and then 11-year-old eyes. In 1983 Return of the Jedi (RotJ) actually had two of such moments. And no, the Ewoks wasn't one of them. First impressive bit from RotJ was the Imperial AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) Walker which I completed last year. Another is the awesome speeder bike chase scene involving Luke, Leia and a pair of scout troopers. With this scene as inspiration, my latest Star Wars project will revolve around the Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike.

Bandai Star Wars 1/12 scale Scout Trooper & Speeder Bike unboxing and pre-assembly review
Side boxart showing close-ups of the incredible detail that closely mimics what was in RotJ
Yet more possible poses for the Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike as shown by the other side of the boxart
Mr. Scout Trooper is a specialized stormtrooper while the Speeder Bike is an Aratech 74-Z military vehicle
With a two-in-one kind of deal for this scale model kit, the box contains eight sprues

Due to it being a combination of a figurine and a vehicle, this model kit is generous in part count and as such fits into a larger than normal box to fit this two-in-one deal. In short, the Bandai 1/12 scale Star Wars Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike makes for an impressive out-of-the-box offering. And because there is so much to do in this kit, the instructions come in the form of a booklet instead of its usual fold-out design. Pictures on the booklet's back cover show the tremendous potential that this scale model kit has, especially if one takes the time to paint and weather the Speeder Bike, the Endor moon vignette display base as well as parts of the Scout Trooper.    

Front and back cover of the instruction booklet offers a fair amount of high quality reference pictures
Guide is diagrammatic with minimal Japanese instructions that are easily translated using online apps

Having worked on a fair number of Bandai Star Wars scale model kits, I wasn't the least surprised to find the near ubiquitous Sprue PCF-6AC. Included in almost all kits with a figurine, this sprue has polycaps and various connector parts for articulation of the joints. Apart from this, the rest of the kit has new molded parts I haven't seen before. Sprues A, B1 and B2 consists of the majority of parts required to build the Scout Trooper while Sprues C, D and E are for the Speeder Bike. The kit also contains two bases - one solely for the Scout Trooper and the other a vignette of the Forest Moon of Endor. Last but not least are the water decals and stickers for use if painting isn't your thing.

Sprue PCF-6AC: Polycaps and joint parts for articulation
Sprue A: Scout Trooper body and leg armor pieces, google lens, boot, etc
Sprue B1: Scout Trooper leather clothing, elbow, knee, groin, weapon parts, etc.
Sprue B2: Scout Trooper neck, hands and display connector parts

If there was only one word I could used to describe this kit, then its details, details, details! A close inspection of the molded parts on the sprues reveals a host of movie-accurate sculpted details. And judging from the completed pictures on the boxart and instruction booklet, these inherent details provide a strong platform from which an experienced modeler can build a realistic recreation of the Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike as they were seen in RotJ. Bandai has yet again knocked one out of the park with this excellent 1/12 scale kit of an iconic pairing from the original Star Wars trilogy. 

Sprue C: Speeder Bike thrust flap options, seat, stowage and miscellaneous parts
Sprue D: Speeder Bike directional steering vanes, bodywork, etc.
Sprue E: Speeder Bike altitude controls, cargo compartment, repulsor engine, etc.

An unexpected bonus of sorts was the inclusion of two different display bases on this kit. One is a black glossy square base for the Scout Trooper while the other is a more elaborately sculpted vignette functioning to contain the Scout Trooper seated on a Speeder Bike. Although I see better use of the latter, the former does provide the option of placing an additional Scout Trooper to the vignette.

Sprue SWB5: Display bases for Scout Trooper alone or in a vignette with the Speeder Bike
Water decals (blue sheet, left) and stickers (green sheet, right) for the Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike

As I've alluded to earlier, this kit offers much potential for the average modeler to work with. It'll still look good if a novice modeler decides to just assembly then display it. Therein lies the beauty of most Bandai's Star Wars plastic model kits. Baseline aesthetics are already good sans any painting and weathering. But putting in an effort to do both opens up the path to realistic, movie-accurate works of scale model art. And that's the holy grail for most if not all miniature hobbyist. On that note, I hope this week brings you closer to your hobby perfection. Until next week, it's goodbye from me.   

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12 comments:

  1. 😊 Great to see you're going an other one. Can't wait to see how this one is going to turn out.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks :) This one definitely has more potential than the FIrst Order Stormtrooper.

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  2. Sounds great, waiting for next step!

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  3. Great kits and unboxing. I'm looking forward to see them assembled and painted.
    Greetings

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mario, for following my progress on these Bandai Star Wars kits.

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  4. After the Stormtrooper, I'm really looking forward to this :)

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  5. Good luck with this next project. :)

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