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AMT ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ Imperial TIE fighter plastic model kit review

A good update to a classic Star Wars kit, though it could use a stand
Kit:AMT1229/12 // Scale:See Review // Price:$37.99
AMT (Sample courtesy of mfr.)
Updated wing for correct proportions
No stand included
Injection-molded plastic (medium gray); 31 parts
Round 2 has re-released the AMT kit of the Star Wars TIE Fighter. While the original kit released 25 years ago had two TIE fighters and a display base, this new kit contains only a single TIE and no base. However, Round 2 did take the opportunity to correct the wings that were the wrong proportions in the original kit.

While AMT’s TIE fighter has only 31 parts, they are well-molded and show good detail. The small instruction sheet has clear diagrams. The side of the box shows colored photos of a finished model, and the box bottom has a full-color painting guide for Tamiya colors.

I started with the pilot figure. The parts fit well, with only a bit of filling needed.

While I tried to hinge the top hatch as shown in Step 6, it wouldn’t work for me. I decided to glue the hatch shut after all of the painting was finished. The two fuselage halves were slightly warped and required clamping until the glue dried. The seam between the halves required a little cleanup once the glue had set.

I masked off the inside of the front window frame and top hatch and temporarily stuck them in place with pressure-sensitive adhesive. The painting guide suggests a 1:1 mix of Tamiya Ocean Grey (No. XF-82) and White (No. XF-2) for the exterior, which almost matched the color of the plastic perfectly. Once dry, I picked out the details as shown in the painting guide.

Take care while removing the wings from the sprue because it would be very easy to damage the delicate rim around their outside edge. After I cleaned it up, I painted the inner panels with Tamiya Semigloss Black (No. X-18). After they dried, I masked the panels with Tamiya tape and sprayed the frames the same gray as the fuselage. Without removing the masks, I gave the body and wings a coat of gloss clear in preparation for the black Tamiya Panel Line Accent. I dry-bushed all the gray parts lightly with Vallejo Medium Sea Grey (No. 70870) and then sprayed on a coat of flat clear. Finally, the masks came off the wings.

With the painting complete, the clear parts were attached to the front window frame and top hatch with pressure-sensitive adhesive. While test-fitting, I discovered the wings did not align properly. I filed the sides of the square locating pins slightly, to give me a little wiggle room, and got a much better alignment.

I was a bit disappointed that the kit did not come with a stand, but I found with just a slight cleaning out of the original stand hole with a drill bit, I could use a small Round 2 stand I hadn’t used from another kit. Included in the kit, but not numbered or shown in the instructions, is a small circular piece that can be used to cover the stand socket.

I spent about 9 hours on my TIE fighter, with the majority of it on painting. The parts fit well, and the kit went together easily. Round 2 reports it is a 1/48 scale kit; the original boxing says 1/51. The Star Wars TIE Fighter Owners’ Workshop Manual lists the TIE fighter’s height from top to bottom of the wing) at 28 feet 11 inches. At 1/48 scale, that would put them about 7¼ inches tall. Of course, measurements for sci-fi vehicles are funny things: The finished model (in the odd 1/51 scale), which measures 6 inches tall, matches almost perfectly to the dimensions I found on Wookiepedia ( Regardless of scale, with its updated parts, this kit really belongs in any Star Wars fan's collection. It would also make a great project for a beginner modeler's introduction to glue kits.
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