Bandai Hobby Star Wars B-Wing Starfighter Review
Prototype: The A/SF-01 B-Wing Heavy Attack Starfighter, or B-Wing for short, was a Slayn & Korpil-produced heavy attack starfighter and heavy bomber of the Restoration of the Republic and New Republic Alliance that served as the anti-capital ship bomber, blockade destroyer, escort, and snub fighter. The B-Wing, with its unusual appearance, was one of the most heavily armed starfighters in the Rebel Alliance, and when it entered service it was the most heavily armed in the galaxy. Its primary task was to attack and destroy enemy capital ships such as the Imperium II-class Star Destroyers.
The B-wing was one of two new Rebel starfighters designed for Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. The other is the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor. The B-wing received relatively brief appearances in the final film, as it proved difficult to separate the model’s very slender silhouette from the starry background when shooting the battle scenes.
Kit: For years Bandai has delighted us with high-quality kits from the Star Wars universe. So far, the kits have only been relatively easy to get in Asia and Japan in particular. Revell is now acting as an importer for Bandai Star Wars for the European market. The kit boxes are original, only a small sticker from Revell is emblazoned on the side.
In terms of quality, the B-Wing is in no way inferior to the other highlights of the Bandai Star Wars series. The kit is designed as a Snap-Fit assembly, which allows it to be built without glue. But that has nothing to do with the rather Stone Age-detailed children’s kits from other manufacturers. The kit is aimed at an adult and quality-conscious collector audience.
The components and cast branches are already executed in the basic colors of the B-Wing. Bandai proves that mold making is a master with the precise use of four different plastic colors in a single cast branch (No. A), including clear parts, and the use of Slide Mold technology on cast branch B to create details on normally inaccessible parts to create jobs.
The parts contain very fine and precisely executed details that are second to none. The kit offers the choice between a canopy as a clear part or (as with the film model) a canopy only with a frame and without “glass”. The quadruple engine exhaust is designed as a light guide, making it very easy to illuminate it with a central LED. Bandai also offers its own lighting kit for this purpose.
Like the gyro-stabilized original, the cockpit can be rotated around its own axis. The small side wings can be folded out and in. Also included is a transparent display stand on which the model can be displayed in various flight attitudes. Also included are two laser strobe lights made of clear red plastic that clip onto the cannons. Maybe you can illuminate them from the inside with an SMD LED
The assembly instructions, which are in Japanese and, for everything important, in English, lead in small and clear steps through the cockpit construction (optionally with or without pilot), fuselage, engine, and wings to the finished model. The painting template is designed entirely as a colored photo. Two versions of the decals are included: On the one hand, self-adhesive stickers for perhaps younger, inexperienced customers who want quick success. On the other hand, there are the classic water-soluble decals, which the experienced model builder prefers.
Conclusion: Bandai is currently the gold standard for Star Wars kits worldwide. It’s nice that the kits are now also more easily available in Europe thanks to Revell. The B-Wing is aimed at a broad target group: on the one hand beginners who are looking for a display model for the collection or a participant in the space battle in the children’s room without painting and with stickers in a short time. On the other hand, to experienced model builders can produce an eye-catcher from the “used universe” with paintwork and weathering. What they all have in common is the excellent quality and impressive detailing that Bandai gives to its kits.
Available in many stores and online at amazon.com