AMT/Ertl 1/6 Star Wars: Episode I STAP W/ Battle Droid
|NOTES:||Advantages: Well detailed, large but not too large, articulated joints. Disadvantages: color call outs completely incorrect, joints so loose you might as well cement them, does not fit too well|
…A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…
Thus begin probably the most profitable and the most popular Sci-Fi film franchise ever! Now, Star Wars is not just a great sci-fi film, but it is also very widely known for its eclectic collection of vehicles, some of which had entered sci-fi stardom. Vehicles like the X-Wing, TIE fighter, the Millennium Falcon, Imperial Star Destroyers and the Death Star are iconic in sci-fi lore. The popularity of the films is such that when George Lucas announced three prequels, Star Wars fans went absolutely wild!....Ahh, if they only knew just how sucky those films will become…
I still remember when Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. I was at Ohio-State then, senior year and I skipped two classes to go see it (Lucky for me, a local radio station was having a promo and anyone who arrived for the 10:30 show and said the station’s name got a free ticket!) and thought just how good the movie was…Warp 8 years later, I popped the DVD back in and…Yeah….It sucked royal behind! Jar Jar Binks is absolutely the worst character of any movie and the pacing and directing just plain sucked so much, I was wondering why I liked it in the first place! Then it dawned on me I was simply forcing myself to like it cause I was such a diehard Star Wars fan, I just can’t bring myself to unlike it…
It’s also that very fact that many of the vehicles developed for that film was left in the dust and had a helping hand bankrupting the original AMT/Ertl (before Round Two finally bought the rights). Today, many people will never ever recognize the Naboo Starfighter, or the AAT, Droid Control Ship etc. However, despite this, there was one esoteric vehicle that stuck in my mind that I had to buy when it was first released, the STAP with Battle Droid. The vehicle is so esoteric, even among Star War vehicles that it just plain sticks out. I remembered how much fun I had building it. Unfortunately, when I graduated less than six months later, it got packed into various boxes when I moved to California. And when I moved to China for the long term, my original STAP kit sadly, was kept by a friend due to…you guessed it, the esoteric nature of it! Now that I moved back, I always want it back. Then one day trolling Amazon, it turned out someone was trying to get rid one of these original kit for only $25! Considering inflation, that’s actually cheaper than the original asking price! Guess what? I jumped right real quick!......It’s also quite telling just how “unwanted” these kits still are and in tangent, just how people still think of the prequels…
Basically, the kit is around 1/6th scale. The kit can actually be considered to be two kits in one. The first part is the STAP itself, the second is the Battle Droid that comes with the kit to pilot it. Both kits are the simplicity of easy. In total, the kit consists of no more than 40 parts and most of those are big and easy pieces to assemble with a simple fold out page that covers the few steps to build both. This means this kit is something one would consider to jump into after a few snap kits, or is trying to get back into the groove after a long hiatus.
Construction break down is one of the weaker part of the kit. As you can imagine, a lot of it is broken down into sub-assemblies. Unfortunately, the kit will have you build half of the battle droid, then move on to the STAP, then build the rest of the battle droid, then finish the STAP. It’s kind of convoluted and is just asking you to lose parts. The correct step is to build the battle droid first, then move on to the STAP.
Both the battle droid and the STAP are easy. The battle droid consists of the back pack, the head, and torso first. Becareful reading of the instruction when inserting the neck into the torso since there is a backing plate that will lock the neck in place to allow the head to move. Other than that, the rest is easy. One thing that is not so good is the fit. The whole entire kit leaves seams all over the place. This is true for 1999 and even more so now so break out the putty. Another not so nice thing is the joint are designed to be movable so as to allow an easier fit onto the STAP. But however, the joints are so loose once you get the droid onto the STAP, he will never ever stand up. I should know cause with my first one, I was eventually forced to break out the super glue to glue the joints in place so the droid don’t collapse into a heap. Treat the same with the legs. Now, if you lock down the knee joints tight during construction, they should be movable without it being too loose. Same can not be said about the hip joints. You will need to super glue them in place once it is on the bike.
STAP is just as easy. The only difficult thing is the fact there are two struts that support the top and connects the top to the main body. This is in a different color which means spraying can be difficult if you join them together. Other than that, the rest is straightforward.
Speaking of colors, the color call out is completely wrong so just ignore it. The bike is not rust and the droid is not tan. After breaking out the Blu-Ray edition of the movie and watch several STAP’s in action, I decided the STAP color is more along the lines of Military Brown or Flat Brown (Testor small bottle) with gunmetal support struts and handle bars. The droid is more along the lines of Dark Tan with yellowish tan as high lights. Those are the correct colors.
There are no decals as these vehicles did not carry any insignias or warnings in the movies. Details paintings are not given so one has to judge it from the box art and the completed model shown on the side of the box.
Well, that’s about all. The construction is so easy that it took me all of two hours to assemble the main pieces…Now, just need sometime to paint it (alongside the Terminator 2 HK tank). This kit is highly recommended due to its cheap price (just search around, they should not be more than $30) and it should get beginners started and learn the ropes due to its easiness and allow more professional modelers something else to sink their teeth into, especially after a big project and will look nice and big, but not so big as to overwhelm the shelf when done.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and
fairly quickly, please
the editor or see other details in the
Contributors. Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page