major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
I was in our local WH Smiths the other day and saw that they had a load of Star Wars kits in, including Revell's kit of the Snowspeeder from The Empire Strikes Back. It was only £6, and I wanted to have a simple kit to practice some painting and weathering techniques on. Well, I had a free weekend for the first time in ages, and during a recent sort-out I'd gathered together all the left-over decals from other kits I'd done. An idea started to form itself...

Snowspeeder GR.1 of 9 Squadron, RAF

Revell Snowspeeder kit, painted in RAF colours

As above

As above, underside view

It's a very easy kit to put together, and ends up about 10cm long. It says on the box it's 1:52 scale; that's hardly a common scale for model kits, and I suspect someone's just divided the size of the full-size filming prop by the size of the model. That being said, from the size of the two crew this is more like 1:72, and I suspect that the filming prop probably wasn't 'full size' or in proportion.

Pedantic nit-pickers will note that the serial is from the early 1960s (it's from a Gnat kit) and the RAF markings are of a style not used on front-line aircraft since the early 1980s. I suggest that given the subject matter we can all suspend our disbelief a little...

Finally, here she is zipping her way through the Welsh valleys on a low-level sortie:

Kit photoshopped against a blurred hillside
major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
Saw this last night in one of the Gold Screens at the local Vue, i.e. the cinema-within-a-cinema with fewer but bigger and comfier seats, a bar, and no under-18s. Despite the corespondingly higher ticket costs, the 9.15pm showing on the second day after opening was three-quarters booked by the time I logged on to buy tickets back the day they became available in October. Last night's showing was the first time I've ever seen one of the Gold Screens at Vue Star City completely full.

Non-spoilery comments

This is better than any of the sequels, better than Return of the Jedi, and up there with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (the first of which had the extra benefit of novelty). It is generally well-written, with a strong plot, excellent characterisation and far, far better dialogue than any of the previous films. The return to practical effects gives a welcome physicality to the action scenes in contrast to the CGI puppetry and blatant acting-to-green-screens of the prequels. 

Oh, and BB-8 was clearly designed to out-cute WALL-E. And does. 

Unless you loathe everything Star Wars, go and see this. (And if you plan to, go and see it soon; there is a major plot development that any discussion of would be a massive spoiler, and it will quickly become common knowledge.)

Spoilery Discussion

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major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
Simon Bradshaw

June 2017

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