Sure you only see it for a few moments in Empire Strike Back (I’m not going to write Episode V because that means I acknowledge the existence of Episodes I, II, and III) but just like it’s owner the Slave I captured the imagination of many of the young people watching the movie at the time. It’s no surprise then, that Bandai released a Plamo version of it, though they did keep the information of the release itself a secret right up until about a month before the scheduled release date. I’ve already put together the main man, so now I’m starting on his wheels, known around these parts as 1/144 スレーヴ I.
Many people are interested to see how Bandai designed this particular model so I’m going to show the runners in their alphabetical order.
I wouldn’t say there is a lot of parts for this model but their size and shape does mean Bandai had to use a deeper box in order to fit it all in. The SW-8 base takes up more room than previous bases and for good reason, but that’s not until the end. I’ll change the subject by showing the markings. (Oh wait, those go on at the end, too.)
Start the build by assembling the pilot seat and cockpit.
Speaking of the pilot, here’s Mr. Fett himself.
I actually am supposed to put two stickers/decals on him right now.
Was there even a point to that?
There’s the cockpit. It is pretty cool how the pilot seat can slide in there though I don’t know how often I’ll be reaching in there to move it around.
I had expected to continue building around that assembly but I actually was made to put it aside as I worked on the body of the ship.
Here be undergates.
For the next few sections of the manual you are adding parts to the bottom of the Slave I.
Those clear parts look to be the engines so I’m wondering if I want to leave them as is or paint them with some kind of clear colour.
According to the back of the manual the parts that go over those circular clear parts are supposed to be gold. Hmm.
With the underside of the ship done you move on to the wings.
They lay into a space on the underside of the ship and then are secured by adding one part.
The final parts go on to finish the bottom of the ship. Interestingly, if you choose to display the Slave I as docked you won’t see any of this.
Now I have to assemble a couple of these.
They will fit onto the top of the ship and also clip onto the wings to stabilise them. I’m going to call these assemblies stabilizers.
Now I have that big nose that everyone knows about.
I think everyone is starting to recognise it now.
If you can’t recognise it from this shot then you must be living under some non-star wars rock.
At this point you should have an assembled cockpit, nose, and body of your Slave I.
There are a few more parts to slap on once you’ve got the three main assemblies together.
That looks pretty cool. It’s worth noting that Bandai gives you different rod pieces for the wings depending on what position you put them in.
With the wings like this (let’s call it flight mode) you use the shorter length rod piece. If you rotate the wings down as the Slave I would be if it were parked you have a longer rod piece to put in there.
Slave I still needs weapons. Boba is awesome and everything but he can’t take down fleeing spaceships with his bare hands.
The weapons swivel.
Now I need this.
You’re actually given a choice to build the stand as if your Slave I was flying or if it was parked. A few parts will be swapped depending on your decision at the time. These go on the base if you’re flying away.
While this one goes on if you are unloading (or loading) frozen Han Solo into (or out of) the Slave I.
What can’t I mix it up?
I’m going with ‘this is the Slave I as it was flying away just before Lando, Leia, and Chewie showed up trying to rescue Han”. I guess there wasn’t still time to save Han, hey Lando?
Pop one piece off the bottom so you can mount to the stand.
And here you go:
You are given a standing Boba figure, and a Han Solo frozen in Carbonate piece, and extra parts to swap out to have an open hatch but I didn’t get time to play with those. I may not get back to this kit until I decide it’s time to either paint or put on the markings but when I do get back to it I’ll be sure to write about it here.