This is the first “redemption” build I’ve done since I started this blog. What do I mean by a redemption build? I mean a revisit to a build I’ve already done, but I didn’t feel I did it justice the first time around. And this was one of the very earliest models I built. I thought it was going to be an easy build, because it’s just a big wedge triangle thing, right? Well, it’s not. It was my first introduction to cones, and it did not go well. Or at least, that’s the way I remember it (more on that in another post).
So when I saw that my local Books-A-Million had a bunch of models on clearance, and this was one of them, I snatched it up so that I could redeem my build. It’s been sitting in my queue for quite some time, because I’ve got a ton of new (to me) models to build, and I keep getting more. But I decided it would be nice to take a quick break and revisit it. Plus, this might be a useful one to review for other builders, since Star Wars models are pretty popular, and I’ve built most of them already. And the Star Destroyer is pretty darn iconic, wouldn’t you say?
Now, I did say that this model wasn’t as easy as I thought, back in the day, but it’s also not super tough, either. It’s just that there are a few things that you don’t realize that will be challenging when you look at the model. I’ve already mentioned the engine cones, and those were the big-ticket items that I wanted to revisit in this model, especially now that I have some cone-shaping tools. If you haven’t encountered conical shaping before, it’s probably the toughest part of this build for you. But beyond that, there are a few other points that are a bit of a surprise.
The most prominent is the first thing you’ll encounter… how much do I bend the giant pieced that make up the top and bottom of this model? (It also doesn’t help that it never really indicates in the instructions that you are supposed to fold part 1). Anyways, I wish I had a good way to answer the question of how much. It really is hard to define that, but there are a few things that can actually give you a little (and I mean really little) idea of that: parts that attach across the folds. The first one you’ll encounter is Part 22: the base / support for the bridge section. It has a little triangular cutout on one edge that is designed to lay flush on top of the fold, but it doesn’t meet it vertically.
However, there are parts 24-26, which when folded, get attached over the fold. How’s that help? Well, they have straight vertical sections that have to go over that fold, and the flaps that fold down to make that have some clipping on the ends to make it possible to fold to the appropriate angle. If you want to skip ahead a ways in the instructions, and form one of these to get a rough idea of the fold, it might be beneficial.
Another fold it’s difficult to estimate is with part 14, the part behind all the engine cones (which they are attached to). This one is extremely frustrating, because even when you get it right, it doesn’t seem right once you’ve got the model assembled, as it leaves some gaps at the triangular apexes at the top and bottom. For getting the angle right, leave it a little bit open of what you think it should be. Then don’t attach the large cones first… attach the two paired-cone panels inside it, and that will fix the fold angle of the large piece for you. Then attach the three large cones. Finally, give the slightest curve outward to the top and bottom before attaching it, so that it closes up those unsightly gaps (a little) that will appear on final assembly.
Circling back to the bridge section… that provides some other challenges. Those little sensor balls on either side of the bridge are a pain in the butt if you don’t have some really tiny-tipped pliers or tweezers. And I would recommend only folding down either the front or the back of the bridge before attaching the smaller parts, then finish folding down the rest of the sides. It gives you a little more room to breath.
As for that bridge stand/base/support pillar (wow, I feel like I’m jumping around like crazy) this is one of those times I feel like Metal Earth made a little mistake in their design. It was a great idea to cut out that little triangle so it’s easy to get that end of the support flush… but why didn’t the do the cutout on the other end? I know it’s hidden inside other parts eventually, but… well, two solid objects cannot occupy the same physical space. I used my flush cutters to cut my own section out so that it would fit better. It was a little messy, but hey… it’s inside other pieces, right? You can see a snippet of the full build below, where I do the surgery.
The final points of contention, for me at least, were the two little tiny strip sections on either side of the raised structures on the top section of the model, Part 32. That part is has some tiny pieces on the ends, and it’s attached with two tabs that are parallel to each other. It’s really a challenge to get it attached and solid, since those tabs are parallel. I used a twist this time, rather than a fold, so I didn’t mash the part down (end flaps are too tiny / weak to endure that). I just had to make sure that I was holding it in the right position when I twisted. And I got lucky, for the most part. One of the sides still required some convincing to align properly.
Oh, and one last note: Make sure you check, double-check, and triple check the way the bridge section points when attached. I got it backwards the first time I built it, and had to completely remove and reattach it. I was very careful not to do that, as it’s very easy to mistake the back for the front, due to the angled edge facing backwards, rather than forwards. We’re so used to the “aerodynamic” look of slanted edges cutting into the wind for vehicles, that it seems the right way to go is to put that forward, but it’s not!
As usual, I’ve uploaded the full, but silent, build video to YouTube. I hope it may be helpful to someone, at some point, but I’m not expecting it to go viral or anything, lol. Oh, and if you were wondering, it was a two hour build, this time around.