Gaijin Gunpla

I imagine by now everyone has heard about the Great Star Wars Kit Repression of 2015. Because of my occupation and where I work many assume that I am in the know about the behind the scenes schemings of the evil corporations. That simply isn’t true. I’m about as clued-in as everyone else as to what is going on though I am fortunate to live in Japan where I am able to purchase the Star Wars Bandai kits. On the one hand I am grateful for being where I am but also feel bad for those Star Wars fans who, like me, really love the Bandai kits. As I have terrible timing, here’s my post for the AT-ST kit.

The manual isn’t all crazy like the Y-Wing and is back to the standard form we’ve seen with all other Star Wars kits so afr.


And less stickers than the others as well.

I wonder what this is…

Oh? Who is this?

Chewie! Sadly, no Ewoks with this kit.

The assembly is pretty simple though does take more steps than I thought. Here’s the rundown.




This doesn’t have pipes like the Y-Wing but does have some hoses found underneath the main body.




Once you’ve got that far with the body you move to the legs.




Foot.


I think there are more parts on the leg than on the body.

You’re going to use this tiny, tiny, easy-to-drop-on-the-carpet-and-lose-for-fifteen-minutes-piece six times during the assembly of this kit, three on each leg.




When you’ve got both legs done you have another part to put onto the body.


Then you move onto the cockpit, or driver’s cabin.

No stickers for the console on this kit.


Push that main part on, lining up the grooves.




Some hoses go on the underside of the head as well.

You have option for open or closed hatches, you just need to swap parts.

I went with this to start.

Here’s the weapon that is found under the chin.


Left side of the head.

And right side.

The base is a must on this kit (almost).

Chewie, however, isn’t.

I did find a home for him.

Chewie had his own ideas and found his place when I put the AT-ST in the studio.

This kit has some great details and the extra parts are great to have.







It isn’t stable at all, however, and you will need the base.

Bandai did take the instability into consideration when designing the kit. There is one part when assembling the knee joint which can be swapped for a separate part that actually locks the leg into one position. This will prevent sagging from the weight of the body when this kit stands up. It does mean that you’re kit is going to be in that neutral pose until such a time as you swap parts again and allow the knee to bend. Given that there’s not much you can really do with the balance of this kit, locking it as Bandai has designed is very helpful and will extend the life and enjoyment of the AT-ST.

9 Responses so far.

  1. Robin says:

    Errrrrrr……. what great repression? Seriously i dont know

    • Jason says:

      The sudden decision to prevent people who don’t live in Japan from buying a kit licensed only for sale in Japan. I have to think that Revell is the one pushing the issue since only Bandai’s model kit line is being targeted.

      Lucasfilm and Revell never had any problems with Fine Molds Star Wars kits being sold outside of Japan because they were traditional glue together kits, albeit with superior molding, that required painting to finish. Lazy Star Wars fans who didn’t want to put in extra work would be open to buying the crappy, but prepainted, Revell kits.

      Bandai kits are technologically superior and look great with minimal work out of the box. Revell can’t compete with them at all. If both brands kits were available on the same shelf the Revell ones would never leave said shelf.

      The sad thing is this is not going to help anybody but the scalpers. It won’t increase interest in the Revell kits because they are still clinging to older model technology. It will only prevent Disney from making sales to willing customers.

      The wisest thing for Bandai and Disney would be to not renew the Revell license when it comes around for renewal and start pushing the Bandai kits globally. They would probably be able to breathe new life into the dying plastic model industry in America. Bandai would also finally be able to get the solid foothold in America they failed to get with Gunpla because Star Wars is more familiar to Americans.

      • Mike B. says:

        Actually, the new Revell kits use similar technology as Bandai for the Force Awakens range, and if you watch the videos on their website for the kits, are aimed specifically at young kids.
        Revell has licensed the Fine Molds Kits and they’ll be marketed as Revell’s Master Series.
        My Sandtroopers arrived today from HLJ, and am bummed I wasn’t able to get Boba Fett in the same parcel in time.

      • Robin says:

        Ah I understand, though it seems like a major oversight by Disney and Bandai not to have seen this coming and to have taken preventive measures. I would’ve thought that the US was their target market for the kits after all.

        Thanks for the explanation, much appreciated

      • S2 says:

        I think we have to be careful not to assign blame and needlessly besmirch the reputation of anyone involved. What we know is, Disney now has the rights and is enforcing agreements signed by the people who wanted to market product using those rights.

      • Jason says:

        Revell may make them snaptite and prepainted but they quality of the sculpt and kit is extremely basic. And they are severely overpriced for the quality. Bandai’s kits are just better.

      • GabO says:

        That also applies to other kits and figures only licensed in JP. Like the figma Angela Balzac from the anime movie Expelled from Paradise. I want to order her, but the store which I order from has a hard time ordering it, since GoodSmile Company cancelled international orders (even their official partners like my store).

        Hope this thing won’t last long, since it is a bothersome thing for collectors, especially in my country (Philippines), where getting your anime/manga goods is not an easy task.

  2. Jams B says:

    My local hobbystore has this kit, Vader, a Stormtrooper, and a snowspeeder for 45 dollars each. Is there any point in spending that much when I could get a Master Grade for the same price?

    The store normally does MSRP, but will charge more depending on how hard it is to get something in stock.

    • Blorp says:

      Hey Jams. I own two Stormtroopers and a Vader, and I love them to death. They sit on my desk at work. Here’s some notes about them that might help you out, and an opinion for your thoughts on the price you listed:

      Both kits look fantastic out of the box. I always top coat my gunplas, but these do not need it. The plastic look suits them just fine. Vader has some great variance in the plastic, with some parts being very shiny and smooth and others being more dull where appropriate.

      The stormtroopers have great articulation. You can get them into kneeling and other very dynamic poses with ease. Vader is less so (somewhat appropriate), his cape is made of large sheets of plastic and hinder quite a bit of his movement.

      There is some decal work to do, but they don’t really go on well at all. I suggest painting the parts that require it. For the most part, this is incredibly easy, as it’s just stuff like the buttons on Vader’s chest piece. Take a small brush, gently go over. End result looks amazing. No need for panel lining or recoloring full pieces.

      These are crazy easy to put together, and any seasoned plastic model enthusiast will likely finish one of these in an hour. If the appeal of MG gunplay kits to you is the time you have to put into them, then paying the same for something that will take a significantly shorter amount of time is something you should weigh.

      Normally these kits are like 20 bucks. I bought mine off Amazon for 25 each. I feel this is the perfect price point. You gotta put in a little effort to get them to look accurate, but the core build is incredibly simple. It’s still fun and the end result is amazing. At 45 bucks, I’m not sure I would sink that money into one, though. For about the same you could just get a high quality action figure. The appeal behind that 20-25 dollar price point is these kits look better than an action figure around the same price.

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