Revell-Monogram 1/72 Star Fury Mk 1  

Kit Number: 85-3621

Price: $12.75

Media: Injected Plastic

Decals: five versions: Two Presidential Escort, Psy Corps, Cdr Ivanova, Capt Sheridan.

Date of Review: 21 April 1998

Review and Photos by: Scott Van Aken

I have liked Babylon 5 ever since it first aired about 5 years ago.  The story is interesting and the vehicles are pretty wild.  The Star Fury is the standard Earth Force interceptor carried by all stations and destroyers.  Many of them carry personal markings of some sort on the top of the hull and upper wings.  

When you open the box of this R-M kit, you step back in time to the early 1980s.  No super-detailed parts, no engraved panel lines, a large decal sheet of extremely thick and glossy decals, and a minimalist instruction sheet with few painting guides and a lot of drawings.  I was warned that Sci-Fi kits are rarely cutting edge and this one proves it.  There are few parts and all of them fit poorly.  The large wing sections required multiple coats of putty and much sanding to fill the trenches between parts. The fuselage components also required this treatment, albeit to a lesser extent.  Much of the raised panel line detail on the engine pods was erased during construction and had to be rescribed.

Probably the most infuriating part of construction is where to place the guns.  It is almost as if they are an afterthought.  They are poorly molded and have no firm mounting.  The lower ones are relatively easy to install, but the upper ones are impossible. There in no set way for them to be mounted.  I just stuck them in there and slathered superglue around in hopes they will not fall out!!

 The rest of the pieces are part of the engine pods and fit onto their proscribed mounting places fairly well.  I used superglue to mount all of them.  The cockpit can be installed after the rest of the craft is painted if you carve away a tab on the top.  There is some detail there and a pilot.  Both are acceptable and can be made to look good by painting, washes and drybrushing.  The canopy was the last part installed and fit where it touched. Of course it could have been made to fit better, but by this time I was thoroughly fed up with all the fit problems.  Actually, it isn't as bad as it sounds--it's worse ;)

Most of the construction time of this kit was spent painting.  The basic Star Fury is overall gloss grey---about the same color as ADC grey.  However, I wanted something flashy and a bit different. First off, I painted the upper wing/fuselage area gloss white.  Then I masked off areas and painted them red.  Finally, the other areas and engine pods were painted Dark Sea Blue.  The red, white and blue were Testor's Model Master enamels.  Once dry (and I'm compressing several weeks worth of painting into a few sentences), I masked them with Parafilm M (the only thing to use for convoluted surfaces) and sprayed the rest of the kit (other than the engine nozzles) and the outside of the exhaust deflectors a special mixture of Metallizers that I did for this kit.  Once that was done, the engine exhausts were painted Titanium, the inside of the deflectors Burnt Metal and Exhaust, and the guns were Gunmetal (naturally!).  The exhaust nozzles were then detailed with a Rapidograph and then dry-brushed with Burnt Iron.  Finally they were brushed with various pastels.  The rest of the fuselage detail was washed in dark brown and dry-brushed with Steel as were the guns.

I used a few of the kit decals and the rest were from the spares bin and various other sources.  Since there are no landing gear, a semi-sturdy stand is supplied with the kit and that was painted flat black.  As with other R-M kits, the final result does not show all the hassles and efforts put into making an acceptable model.  I do recommend this kit despite all the work, and realize that most will be built in a few hours and then happily flown around the room zapping aliens.  After all, that is the market it is aimed at.  As to it being 1/72, I doubt it as the pilot looks larger than that. Serious modelers will undoubtedly spend several weeks, as I did, in building this kit, and they will hopefully be as pleased with the result as I am.

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