Part 1 of a 3 part series on Metal Earth’s Boba Fett collection.
Every time I buy a Metal Earth model kit, I tell myself this is the last one I am going to buy. Why? Because they are torturous. Thank you to Metal Earth for not making me buy this one; they sent over a complimentary Boba Fett helmet model kit for this review.
I spent a lot of time in my teens building plastic model kits. Mostly fighter jets and aircraft carriers. Therefore, I thought I could take these on.
Talk about a rude awakening. In my experience, nothing other than Metal Earth Model kits can prepare you for Metal Earth model kits. I am sure there are many artisans and hobbyists who have relevant previous experience in the skills needed to assemble one of these kits. I did not. As a result, my first kit, the Millennium Falcon, frustrated the hell out of me. However, the sense of accomplishment at the end was profound enough to force me to take a chance on a second. I now have six in my collection, all Star Wars except for Soundwave from the Transformers line. To date, the Falcon (from their “classic” series) has been the easiest one I have done.
The biggest challenge in assembling one of these is if it has curved, rounded, or rolled pieces. Everything comes flat so you have to create these curves yourself. It is very easy to accidentally crease a piece when you are trying to curve it. That has been my biggest weakness however I am getting better. Now, on to the helmet!
This is my first colored kit. The previous kits have all had details etched into them while the backside is typically clean and unmarked. Another challenge was making sure that pieces that were intentionally unmarked on both sides were assembled correctly. The coloring of the Boba Fett helmet, and some other newer kits that are colored, helps eliminate some possible confusion related to that. For me the biggest challenge to these kits after curving is the size of some of the pieces. Some are incredibly tiny — as in, get out your magnifying glass tiny. Fortunately, the Boba Fett helmet has very few extremely tiny pieces, all related to the rangefinder. Also a first for me with Metal Earth: it came with some duplicate pieces in case one gets ruined.
I built the cheeks first, which immediately present you with some curving challenges. The hardest part with these is there isn’t any overlap so if you don’t get the curve right you’ll have gaps in the model that can be seen through if the light is right (speaking from experience here). These are relatively easy to reshape if necessary. The cheeks get added to the helmet sides which later wrap around to form the back. The T-visor gets added to hold the cheeks together, along with the red top border of the visor.
Next comes the crown. For me this was the single most difficult step. (So challenging in fact I walked away from it for 3 days after completing it just to clear my frustrations — LOL.) It comes as a flat piece with six “petals”, like a flower. As you begin to curve the petals down they start to come together. The petals get locked together to help maintain the shape, then they get connect to the helmet. This is where everything has to be perfect to get an amazing model. I settled for close enough. The crown has to be completely circular as well as the bottom half of the helmet for everything to line up perfectly. I sat there for probably 2 hours assembling, disassembling, reshaping, and repeating to get it to where it is in my pictures. From there on out, when I came back to it, was a breeze. The rangefinder has a lot of complex folds and tiny pieces but I have grown accustomed to that, so it was a pretty smooth assembly. After that, the base and pedestal were cake.
If you are new to Metal Earth I would suggest tackling something from their “Classic” line first. They are simpler and the stakes aren’t as high cause it’s not Boba Fett. If you are planning on doing lots of these and don’t have access to the same tools I would also strongly recommend getting the Metal Earth tool set. It’s only $15 on Amazon for the tools and most of the Star Wars kits are less than $20, so it’s pretty cheap hobby to get into. They have a bunch of different licensees — I’m looking at giving the ’89 Batmobile a shot — and they have a new full figure Boba Fett on the horizon. Might have to get two of those so I have even more spare parts if I mess it up.
4 out of 5 Stars
Photos: Scott Casanova