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Old 26-10-2007, 12:42 PM   #1
thundergod
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Default Revell AT-AT "Easy Kit"

I don't have a lot of time for " hard-core" modelling or kit building at the moment due to the raising of "ankle-biters" (one reason why I got into the P.E Die-casts), but while in a local toy shop I came across the new range of Star Wars "Easy Kits" at discounted prices . I'd seen these kits about , but to be honest , had been put off by the unappealing packaging . The boxes feature photos of the actual kits and this gives a really "toy-like" appearance . Anyhoo, my interest was piqued by the (huge) box of the AT-AT . As the box was already open (cough!), I took a peek inside and was quite impressed by the contents , this baby looked big! I gave in to temptation and bought one .

The first thing that hits you IS the size of the model and although not enormous,the completed model stands a good 12" tall and comes "pre-painted", though in reality this amounts to a little weathering and paint streaks. The point is though , this is very well excecuted and results in a model which , with minimal effort , is a pretty good replica of the "real" thing .

It was at this point I realised what a good concept these kits are . "Snap kits", used to be the poor relative of "real" kits , but nowadays the production technology has progressed to a level where the kit parts fit together really well , on my model 99% of the joins are so tight that the seams are near invisible . The parts are crisply moulded and all proportions look more or less spot on , though the details are not as fine as the old Ertl/Amt kit ( of which I'm a fan) ,the size makes up for it . It's round the "head" area which is the most lacking in detail , it would benefit from the addition of more armour plating at the sides and the replacing of the side-cannons with more authentically scaled ones , but only the more eagle-eyed of enthusiasts would even notice this . The legs are articulated at all the correct points and feature good, stiff "clicky" joints. No wobbly legs here!

As I said earlier, the concept behind these kits is a good one . Young children would have no problem building this kit in the space of an evening ( it took me about 1 1/2 hours of "laid back" building) and without the need for all that mucking about with paint and cement , the results are there immediately . On the other hand , more experienced modellers have a good basis for a more involved model and with a little effort , a fine replica could be produced . If the other models are as good as this , I can see me coming out of my kit-building retirement! ( Hmm, I wonder if the Snowspeeder is the same scale)


Last edited by thundergod; 04-11-2007 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 26-10-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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Looks like a nice size as a base kit for a superdetailing project...
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Old 26-10-2007, 02:56 PM   #3
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I've not seen these. Looks like a good way to go.
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Old 27-10-2007, 12:17 AM   #4
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I've been researching the AT-AT and it seems like a good project to "detail-up" , as the only area that needs serious work is , like I said above , the head . I'm in the process of cleaning up the seams and joins and have given it a "mist- coat " of Halfords white primer and already it's looking much more authentic . As stated earlier , I don't really have the time to devote myself to a long term "super-detailing" project , but I'll definately have a crack at producing a "mid-level" replica ! If anyones interested , I'll keep you posted with my progress .
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Old 27-10-2007, 01:58 AM   #5
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Yes please!!
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Old 27-10-2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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As I posted earlier , I've just misted a couple of coats of Halfords white over the entire model while fully assembled .( I intend to break it down into sub-assemblies to cement/fill/sand all the joins/seams ). The white is not a solid colour, some grey is visible through it and natural areas of shade are achieved. With a relatively large surface area such as this , this will help add a sense of scale.


The main body and legs need relatively little work ( at least for my purposes ), I'll add a couple of small details here and there from the spares box , so the area I'll be concentrating on is the head . As you can see from the pics , the side of the head is lacking in armour detailing and the guns are quite toy-like .

This means my next job is to build up the armour and add panelling with sheet styrene . I'll also need to fabricate some new side-cannons . My next post will cover these steps .
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Old 28-10-2007, 09:21 PM   #7
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Thought I'd post a quick update of my progress as I'm back in work tommorrow and it might be a few days before I can get anything done . I've added the extra armour and a few details and already I'm happier with the appearance of the head . Speaking of details , although I'm using, in my opinion ,the best Star Wars modelling reference available ( "The Star Wars Chronicles" and "Sculpting A Galaxy"), my main source of guidance is the Ertl kit . This is because I would rather have two models which are consistant in their detailing as they will probably end up being displayed together . It helps that the older kit is pretty accurate to start with but an interesting point has arisen . A small section of detailing differs between the models , so I consulted my books to discover that BOTH were correct ! This could mean there were discrepancies between the studio miniatures or ,as I suspect ,that the miniatures were/are not bi-laterally symetrical . In English , the left and right sides of the AT-AT are not the same .Maybe the photos used to reference the Revell kit were mirror images ? Any info would be appreciated . Anyway , the upshot is , I'll leave the detailing as it is and put it down to "optional extras"!

Here's the head with the added armour .
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Old 29-10-2007, 02:36 PM   #8
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Is the smaller AT-AT in front of the Snap-Kit the older Kit which was originally issued by Airfix? I wonder if the other new Revell Star Wars kits are larger too. Good work, thundergod!
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Old 29-10-2007, 05:50 PM   #9
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Yes Transporter , that is the Airfix kit . I'm still in the dark about most of the other kits in the new range . Going by first impressions , I'd say the Falcon is more or less the same size as the older kit , though not as well detailed and the Snowspeeder is smaller ( though I'm just estimating this one from the measurement on the back of the box). The Imperial Shuttle is definately smaller and not as detailed as it's Airfix/AMT counterpart but this is no surprise as the earlier kit is a large ( and gorgeous ) model !
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Old 29-10-2007, 06:24 PM   #10
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I sold my Airfix Tyderium, AT-AT, Snowspeeder, small and large X-Wing and my Slave 1 (which took the most time to detail in point of view of its complicated colour), about a year ago. Somehow this is sad, but I was running out of space. Still the Revell AT-AT, the Tyderium and the Y-Wing look interesting to me...we shall see if I can withstand...
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Old 29-10-2007, 07:12 PM   #11
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I was forgetting about the Y-Wing , it looks a little bigger than the old one but not as well detailed . I think I'd have to opt for the FineMoulds version , more expensive , but well worth it . I've still got the majority of the old Star Wars kits in the loft in varying stages of dis-repair , as well as a complete unbuilt Vaders Tie . I may well dig 'em out and see what I can do with them ! I've also got the "Pro-Builder" ( I think that's what it's called) Electronic X-Wing half built . The electronic functions were a pain in the arse , so I binned them and was just going to build it as a static model , but never got round to it .
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:01 PM   #12
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Really nice to see decent shots of this kit. The talk at the moment is that it is 1/72(ish) scale, would you like to comment on your thoughts?

It would be great to see what you do with the guns issue.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:14 PM   #13
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I imagine 1/72 sounds about right , but as I can't lay my hands on the dimensions involved at the moment , it'd be a guess! I suspect the packaging had some height specs , but I'm afraid the box went straight in the bin . ( The Wife runs a tight ship!) . As for the guns , it's most probably going to be a complete re-build .
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:16 PM   #14
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The guns will have to wait for the time being ( I intend to use brass tube of varying thicknesses ) , so until I get hold of materials , I've been getting on with the painting of the rest of the model . I airbrushed light coats of Tamiya "Sky Grey" in (sort of) random patches over the main body and legs , concentrating on areas of natural shade and the centre of panels etc . I then added a little white to the mix and added highlights . I kept this VERY subtle as I will be adding even lighter tones further down the line.

The question often raised in relation to Star Wars subjects is " what colour , white or grey?" and the easy answer is "both". The miniatures are mostly painted in a sort of "battleship grey ", but on film appear white , due to lighting etc. This technique of misting coats of both colours is a pretty good way of approximating this effect .

Above is a pic of the area of detail that I mentioned in an earlier post.( Remember , the bit that matched some photos but not others ? The tank-like shape just right of centre).
My attention now shifted to the head and I decided to get some primer on it to see how the added detail looked . This time I used Halfords Grey as this was pretty close to the original colour of the plastic. Although I intend to add a little more detail to this area , I decided to attach the head at this point because there would be some filling and sanding necessary before I could continue with the paint job . Again , this is modelling Star Wars can differ from other subjects . Rather than working with sub-assemblies , I like to get as much of the model assembled as soon as possible ,because this is how the original miniatures were worked upon . It can make painting inaccessible areas a little awkward , but it's generally the best way to go .

Next , I intend to work on the "neck" area , where I need to do a bit of filling ,sanding etc , as well as tidying up any areas that need it , before I get stuck into that head!
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:02 AM   #15
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Its really coming together beautifully. I love the shot without the head.... looks very "wrong" Brilliant
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:14 PM   #16
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Another weekend , another AT-AT session ! First of all , a confession . After me saying in my last post about fixing the head , I ended up removing it again with the help of my razor-saw ! This was because the seam line of the two neck parts needed a LOT of work and I just couldn't get at it . Anyway , this made it easier to work on the cleaning up of the head .

Next it was out with the airbrush again to add more shading ,only with Tamiya Neutral grey . Again , the areas of natural shade were targetted but this time I was more specific and I also concentrated on the underside of the main body . As before , subtlety is the key here , to over-do it at this stage would ruin the effect I am trying to achieve .As per routine , I then used a Sky Grey /White mix to pick out highlights and I then misted a VERY fine white coat over the entire model , blending all the previous coats together .

As for the painting of the head , I followed the same procedure before re-attaching it to the body . At this point I realised that I had overlooked some panel detail on the side of the armour that I have added , so rather than trying to scribe it on , which although not impossible , would have been a pain , I decided to simulate it with masking tape and paint . ( Unfortunately , I took the last photo BEFORE this stage ).
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:26 PM   #17
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Another weekend , another AT-AT session ! First of all , a confession . After me saying in my last post about fixing the head , I ended up removing it again with the help of my razor-saw ! This was because the seam line of the two neck parts needed a LOT of work and I just couldn't get at it . Anyway , this made it easier to work on the cleaning up of the head .

Next it was out with the airbrush again to add more shading ,only with Tamiya Neutral Grey . Again , the areas of natural shade were targetted but this time I was more specific and I also concentrated on the underside of the main body . As before , subtlety is the key here , to over-do it at this stage would ruin the effect I am trying to achieve .As per routine , I then used a Sky Grey /White mix to pick out highlights and I then misted a VERY fine white coat over the entire model , blending all the previous coats together .


As for the painting of the head , I followed the same procedure before re-attaching it to the body . At this point I realised that I had overlooked some panel detail on the side of the armour that I have added , so rather than trying to scribe it on , which although not impossible , would have been a pain , I decided to simulate it with masking tape and paint . ( Unfortunately , I took the last photo BEFORE this stage ).

So , as I sit back and admire my handiwork , I'm girding myself for the next stage of this project , the weathering ! Depending on your preference , this can either be the best or the worst part of a modelling job . I personally love this task , because this, especially with a Star Wars subject ,is when a model really comes to life .
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:45 AM   #18
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Its looking fabulous so far.
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Old 13-11-2007, 09:47 PM   #19
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I managed to start the weathering process earlier than expected ( I could easily get back into this modelling lark , given half a chance!) with a black wash made up of oil paint and white spirit . Under normal circumstances , black would be too harsh and shades of grey would be used , but again , for Star Wars models , the rules are slightly different and I find the black works fine . The thing is though , every time I use this principle , I think the same thing . " Crap ! I've ruined it!!" This is because, it ALWAYS and I repeat ALWAYS looks a bloody mess until it dries and as I use oil paints in the mix , this can take up to 12 hours or so . So the point is , if you're trying this for the first time , don't panic . I concentrated the wash heaviest around the leg joints and let it run into all the nooks and crannies, bringing out the little areas of detail . The entire model was covered in this manner and runs , streaks etc , were encouraged to drip down from access ports , hatches and the like .Smudges and stains were added with the help of clean white spirit and a bit of kitchen roll.This is hardly a groundbreaking technique ,but it's effectiveness cannot be overstressed . Get a hang of this and you're laughing . ( At this point , I'll apologise for the dodgy photos , as my camera seems to be playing up at the moment!)

I also took the oportunity to try out a product I've never used before , a Tamiya Weathering Stick . I'd seen them in model shops , but due to my modelling "sabbatical" have never indulged myself . If you're not familiar , it's like a lipstick/pen type of arrangement you simply apply like a ,er, lipstick/pen type of thing ! Using the "snow" variety seemed to make sense and I added this around the feet and lower legs . Less is definately more with this and I found that after a little practice , the effect was surprisingly good .

I reckon I'm about 80% finished with this project now , and I must admit it's been a great kit to work on . I've encountered no real problems and the model is shaping up to be a really good looking replica . Two or three of these would look awesome in a diorama , but that way lies madness! ( I must go now , The Wife is giving me "The Look" again .


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Old 16-11-2007, 04:26 AM   #20
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Lookin' good!
And it sounds like you've had a lot of fun doing it. That's important!
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