Best X-Wing Model?

Let's not forget about the AMT Electronic ProShop X-wing. It's about 1:35?

You can still find these on e-bay. It's no Capt Cardboard or Salzo but it cleans up pretty well. Much better than the other AMT/ERTL offerings - nice cockpit and figure.

The AMT Darth Vader Tie is about 1:35 so they match up well.
I have to agree. I built the ProShop before starting my V2 build. The ProShop is a very nice kit. Dump the cheesy electronics and do a straight build and it looks good. Some proportions are off but the size makes up for it.
Actually it didn't, at first. The 70s releases had raised panel lines, it wasn't until the kit was retooled in the 80s that the panel lines were recessed. You used to have to scrape the thing down and rescribe it yourself.

Hmmm, that seems odd. I got the kit on the first run and it had recessed lines. The only change I ever saw in the repops was the plastic color.
The first issue had recessed panel lines. I've got three of the original MPC kits, one with the ESB sticker on the box and two of the small box issues of the first kit. In fact, the partly built kit I have in my stash is one of the original MPC runs. I am building it since typically the early run kits usually have the best parts quality. Plus, I was able to acquire an original large box and while it didn't have a complete kit in it, it had some pieces and they were practically unchanged from the small box pressing (which came out within a year of the big box so retailers could fit more on the shelf).

Now the snap together MPC X-Wing issued for Return of the Jedi HAD raised panel lines in the same configuration as what the glue together kit had for recessed ones. That might be the source of the confusion. But it makes no sense for a model company to do an issue with raised lines and then a recessed panel version in less then a year due to how the molds would need to be altered to do that. I sold off my Revell Takara kit about two years ago since I knew I would never build it. I can't recall the detailing of the plastic. But given the Kenner toy had raised lines and the Takara offering might have been inspired by it, it may have had raised lines also. The box art was very much like that found on the MPC kit, just done by a different artist with the X-Wing posed a little differently.

Except for plastic colorings (white for ANH and ESB issues, tan for original ROTJ issues and light gray for the AMT/Ertl repops except for one last pressing in white plastic for the paint and glue version) the kits remained unchanged. The very late pressings deleted the biker pilot figure from the kit though. But they kept everything else pretty much as is.
I also have what I believe to be one of the first run x-wings. It's dated 1978, the ANH boxing calling it Luke Skywalker's X-wing, in white plastic. It has recessed panel lines.
Mike Todd
JM, what IS the raised-panel-line version then, if not the first issue? I bought it at my local store in 1978, paying for it on hire-purchase with my pocket money, took me weeks. I have the remnants of it, and one other, sitting on my scanner right now. It can't have been an "export only" version?

I recall my surprise in 1983 at noticing that the ROTJ version had recessed panel lines. "That's a big improvement!" was my first thought. "How did they even DO that?!" was my second.

While the ROTJ version was moulded in tan plastic, there were later grey releases also, and one white release. Perhaps some of you actually have that one?

(Edit: d'oh, repeating JM there, haha! See below for elaboration.)
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I can't answer what it is as I haven't seen it. Are you able to take pictures of your remnants? Given that back in 1978, there was not one company issuing SW kits for the world wide market (most everyone imported MPC kits, but under different brands such as Meccanno in France, Denys Fisher in the UK, Harbert in Germany etc...) I suppose there is a possibility for something different to have popped up in Australia. But I haven't seen anything to indicate that was the case. So any imagery you can provide would be most helpful.

If it is the exact same size as the later MPC offering, then maybe (a big maybe) MPC did a test shot run and exhiled those to the foreign market while coming up with something new for the domestic (USA) one. It would seem very strange for them to do that though.
It IS the MPC kit. It came in the original "big box", has the wonky wing mechanism, etc etc.

As far as I knew, ALL 1978 releases were like mine, with raised panel lines. A quick search on the web supports that, there are a few websites around which mention the issue. There's also a discussion here in December; Colin Droidmilk and other X-wing enthusiasts agree that the first release had raised panel lines, like Vader's TIE.

I think (but don't quote me) that there may have been later (post-Jedi boxing) releases in a facsimile of the original 1978 box. I may be wrong there, but I'm sure I remember seeing that on shelves.

I'm pretty confident that the kit was retooled no earlier than the Jedi release. I picked up a lot of these things over the years! They were all raised, up until 1983.

Here's a pic of one of my scrapped fuselages.
Well I'll be damned! If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it. Thanks for posting this! :)

One of my boxes dates back to Empire. It was a small box version with a big black "Empire Strikes Back" sticker stuck on it and it has recessed panel lines, like my other MPC Star Wars small box issue (the one I have half built). In my research, I've encountered no examples of a late pressing X-Wing done in the original box art. When AMT/Ertl bought out MPC, creating MPC Ertl, they did issue kits in the MPC box arts for a time. The only two I know of reissued in the 1970s vintage Star Wars boxings were the Vaders TIE Fighter and the Vader figure kit. All the other ones were done in normal ESB or ROTJ packaging (the X-Wing was one reissued in an ROTJ box) with MPC/Ertl logos and silver commemorative edition stickers over the shrink wrap. If the X-Wing had been reissued in a commemorative Star Wars ANH box art edition, it likely would have been assigned a new AMT/Ertl catalog number. But all boxings I've seen of the MPC kit in original artwork give the kit number as 1-1914. I know that very late in the AMT/Ertl Star Wars kit run, there were some kits that were made for the foreign market only that never made it back to US shores, except maybe for closeout sales. Two I can recall quite well were the snap A-Wing and Y-Wing kits done with black borders and AMT box logos. So maybe a pressing like that was done. But I doubt it.

Checking further, Kalmbach books in 1979 printed a book called "Famous Spaceships of Fact and Fantasy" (this was 5 years before they launched Fine Scale Modeler Magazine). They did a build of the MPC X-Wing and it appears they had a recessed panel line one as well. So, the raised panel line version appears to have had a limited production life, at least through the large box versions. Apparently none made it to the small box versions (although perhaps some did turn up in foreign packaging).

Very interesting!
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Wow, that's something I've never seen or heard of before! And I've never seen Vader's TIE with raised lines either. I got both of these kits on the first release in '78, and both had recessed lines.

Thanks for posting that pic, I was beginning to think one of us was nuts :lol
Fraid not; the Vader kit was also raised from Day 1 and stayed that way for years - trust me on that one! I really don't think they revised the kits before 1983. Thinking about it, there is NO WAY that MPC was running different moulds side-by-side. If you want a pic of a raised Vader kit, I can line up five or six of them, hehe. :)

IIRC the Famous Spaceships buildup was scribed by hand; all the "serious" modellers did that around here and drew ooh's and aaah's at displays. :)
'Morning all! I should be working, but can't resist wasting more of my life blathering on about X-wings. Yeah, my 1978 MPC had raised lines ( and my Vader TIE), but it is weird that the Famous Spaceships build features recessed lines - which don't seem to have been a mod, since the guy warns you not to fill them in inadvertently when puttying. Also, he outlines what mods he's going to do, and panel lines isn't one of them. Very odd.

On the FM v MPC issue, I'm going to redress the balance a little. FM made certain canopy errors which MPC didn't (though MPC made other canopy errors of course): the too-high roof;the fact that the roof slopes; the fact that the vertical canopy side-struts are out of line with the plane of the fuselage walls. These are new errors that were not made by MPC. FM can't resist finding errors not made by MPC and then incorporating them into their new 'totally accurate' kits, the Falcon being the most absurd example. Also, MPC remains the only X - incl EFX, Salzo etc., to have a soft-edged nose - seen on many, if not all, heroes and pyros.
...IIRC the Famous Spaceships buildup was scribed by hand...

Nope. The author, Don Klein, praised both kits for the recessed lines. He said it made masking easier. He mentioned re scribing the lines where they got filler in them.

These are from the scans I did for The Star Wars Archives site.

Pics of the TIE would be cool, I never knew it existed with raised lines. Very interesting stuff!
Colin, what do you mean by nose - the actual extreme end nose cap piece? Or the forward upper fuselage? I noted your comment in the other thread about the curved sides of the upper forward fuse - personally, that's actually one thing I don't much love, it's kind of a cheat (easier to do than the correct constantly-changing radius). If you mean the nose cap piece, yeah, I've changed the shape of that fairly significantly on my V2 and V3s.

Rob, thanks for the scans. Is this a 70s edition though, or the re-release? I think the re-release was updated in certain ways. I have the 70s edition here somewhere but not to hand, so can't check mine. If that was in the original issue then it rates a pretty big HUH??!??! :) Perhaps he was speaking loosely, in the X-wing article - meaning he changed raised lines to scribed ones where he'd lost them via puttying only. But that theory doesn't hold for the TIE, he's pretty explicit there. Could we actually be looking at two side-by-side sets of moulds in parallel operation after all? Why would they do that?!

I'll set up some pics of the Vader ship in the morning.
Rob's scans are from the 1970s edition. I have a copy of both that book and the 2nd edition. Some of the fonts were different in the second version, but the core article was the same. There was one project in the 1st book that covered rescribing, but it was for the Aurora Orion shuttle from 2001.

As for molds from parallel operations, it is possible. I've seen a couple other examples where two tools were made for a popular kit going back to the 1960s. As a result, there were some minor differences in the sprue tree layouts. Given how popular Star Wars was, I can see it happening if world demand for X-Wings exceeded supply. I'll do some further checking (I may have one more magazine that dates back that far, an old Scale Modeler issue), but I believe this is what we are seeing.
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Martyn, yeah, I mean the nosecap. Nice that you rounded your Salzos out. I'd ruled that mod out as too scary! But I don't know what comment you took to mean I was into anything other than the constantly changing curve radius on the upper forward fuse edges. I'm with you on that definitely.
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