Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Part 2 - The Star Destroyer Plastic Model Kit and Aftermarket Parts

The Imperial Star Destroyer plastic model kit was first made available by a company called MPC. It also had other range of star wars vehicles, in particular the one man fighters like the X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE Fighter and the Falcon. I remembered since I had all those a long time ago, and the only ones left in my stash was the X-Wing, Y-Wing and the ISD, which I had built up and painted using Humbrol enamel pants (with a very thick brush). I was 16 then. and had only begun my scale modeling hobby, so you can imagine how crappy that kit looked.

After MPC, came ERTL/AMT which produced two variants, the first being just the normal plastic kit, while the latter came with Fiber Optic lightings.

The below image is a reissue from Japan using the same mold from the ERTL/AMT kit

And here is a very nice comparison from this site of how your ISD would look like when built out of the box, and modified using aftermarket parts as well as some scratch building.

Suffice to say that the plastic kit alone is definitely inadequate if you're looking for a close resemblance to the studio model. The one thing that has it going for the plastic kit is its price. Of course that was before this kit became scarce due to it being out of production. I had two units, one of which that was crappy built, another I bought with the Fiber Optic option, and another two units I bought from a forum's marketplace. Why so many?

Well, I have always had this desire to re-create both the Avenger and Devastator, and to display them both side by side. The problem was lighting up the the two kits. I'm still very green where lighting is concerned, so what I did was to try to get all the aftermarket parts in first, and then worry about the lighting set later. I've managed to procure all of Odyssey Slipways' accurate parts, and am in the process of trying to get Arvey's accurate parts.

This leave 2 other ISD kit in my possession. I plan to clean off the old enamel paint from the earlier kit I had built and put in some scratch built parts on my ISD to come up with my own variant, or I might even try to recreate a Victory Class Destroyer, meaning I would need to butcher the kit and increase its scale since a Victory Class is a lot smaller compared to the ISD. Well, that's my plans anyway.


Why do you really need aftermarket parts for your MPC or ERTL/AMT plastic ISD kit? I could go on and on but I always believe pictures speaks a thousand words. So if you decide to assemble your ISD direct from the box, first thing you will notice are the awful fittings. I remembered I had to coat the gaps over and over with my flat brush using enamel paints just to cover up the gaps (I didn't know anything about putties and using plastic strips then). Second, just look at how monologue the plastic detail pieces are.

I plan to re-work everything that I had done on this kit, and that means a lot of work using the aftermarket parts as well as referring to the reference materials. If I had known then that such parts had existed, I would have tried to get the Detailed Parts from Sub Level 3 Heavy Industries, which is long out of production


There are currently only two sources that I know of where you can get good aftermarket parts for your ISD plastic kit, Arvey Model Products and Odyssey Slipways. I probably sound like a parrot right now since I have highlighted these two before, but here I'm going to be a little more detailed. I'm not sure if there are others, and of course I would be grateful if anyone out there could let me know if there are.

Arvey Model Products

Arvey Models provide 2 different sets of accurate parts, and depending which vessel you wish to build, they have both the Avenger and Devastator to pick from. Each set comes with a different bridge and neck set, and different turrets to differentiate the ISDs. In their website, they're called Devastator / Avenger Conversion Set SW.

Notice the difference between the two bridge layouts, and the neck's width and details.

The main gun turrets are also different on each set

The Hangar Bay, side panels, and Thrusters are however standard in each set, meaning they are the same no matter which set you choose.


Odyssey Slipways on the other hand do not sell the parts in set, but as individual packages. The packages available are as follows:

1. Hangar Bay for AMT/ERTL ISD kit

This set replaces both the main and secondary hangar bays. Set is made up of resin cast parts as well as photo etch brass parts which includes:

Main Hangar
  • Roof
  • Sides (cast as 1 piece)
  • Raised Armour Plating
  • Crane body inclusive of 3 smaller pieces complimented with a photo etch crane 

Secondary Hangar
  • Complete 4 sides with the top casted in one piece
  • Photo etch armour plates for the forward and aft hangar opening

Parts include highly detailed resin cast parts for the three main engine nozzles and the four smaller secondary engine nozzles

Minute details represented by photo etch parts on the forward upper dorsal section of your ISD

Minute details represented by photo etch parts on the mid forward section of your ISD, just after the sections covered by the Dorsal Detail Photo Kit # 1

The above merely takes care of some of the parts that need replacing. You still have other areas to work on to get your kit looking like the studio model. Best advise I can give you right now is to scratch build those parts. And which parts am I talking about? You'll need to make that determination yourself once I've published the studio model reference materials here.

More to come later.

Part 1 - The Imperial Star Destroyer
Part 2 - The Star Destroyer Plastic Model Kit and Aftermarket Parts
Part 3 - Anigrand Sci Fi Dynamics Imperial Star Destroyer (ISD) Resin Kit
Part 4 - Randy Cooper's Imperial Star Destroyer (ISD) Resin Kit
Part 5 - Darkmoonspirit's Magnificent Scratch Build Imperial Star Destroyer
Part 6 - ISD Avenger Studio Reference Bridge
Part 7 - ISD Avenger Studio Reference Engines
Part 8 - ISD Avenger Studio Reference Lower Hull
Part 9 - ISD Avenger Studio Reference Sides
Part 10 - ISD Avenger Studio Reference Upper Hull
Part 11 - ISD Devastator Studio Reference Bridge
Part 12 - ISD Devastator Studio Reference Engines
Part 13 - ISD Devastator Studio Reference Lower Hull
Part 14 - ISD Devastator Studio Reference Sides
Part 15 - ISD Devastator Studio Reference Upper Hull
Part 16 - ISD Close up of Bridge Tower Complex

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