The Boba Fett’s Starfighter from 4D Puzzle is paperboard model kit that is constructed by the slot and tab method, or in some cases with this model the slot and slot method. The model parts come on 6 heavy paperboard sheets that are pre-punched to make the piece removal easy.
The kit includes a punch tool made of the same heavy paperboard to punch out the slots from the individual pieces, as well as glue and some adhesive strips that appear to be used to help hold pieces together while gluing them.
The instructions are full color and large format to make construction very easy.
My initial impression of opening the box was wow. The kit was much larger than I expected. The pieces are much more durable than I was expecting having never built a paperboard model before. Some of the larger pieces span the fold in the piece sheets and are scored to be able to fold without damage. Pieces that need to be molded to form the curves are also scored to allow those bends. Most impressively, at least the bottom of the ship appears to be a photo print as the engines reveal the light bulbs used in the filming model.
Construction moved very quickly and smoothly. The instructions call for many joints to be glued but most of those same joints fit together with enough friction to allow you to keep building while the glue dries, or to even skip the glue altogether.
Much like LEGOs, when building models, I’m always intrigued by the infrastructure design that holds the model together. The kit features an internal rib structure like some balsa wood model airplanes I built when I was younger. The nose and the cockpit area are straightforward. One thing I appreciated was the couple of pieces that could have been installed two different ways were printed on both sides so the correct imagery faced out to the viewer regardless of how it was installed.
The area around the boarding ramp and the skirting that the ship rests on when landed increased the challenge level a little bit but was still quickly applied. The only time I chose to pause while building to wait for glue to dry was in applying that skirting so it would be better held while trying to fit neighboring pieces as well as resting the ship on those pieces.
Resuming the build, the wings looked to be challenging but if you take your time and pay close attention to the instructions, they are actually very easy. Lastly the display stand is very straightforward and easy.
Overall, I’m very impressed by this kit. It is larger than I expected, it was easy to build, and considering the materials and construction method it looks great as well! The engine and bottom detailing has a surprising amount of physical depth and detailing to it. The curvature of the nose, cockpit, and hull is very well done and looks very faithful to the original model.
The kit includes adhesive strips to help hold pieces together during assembly however the instructions didn’t really explain when and how to use them well (in my opinion) and I didn’t find them to be necessary anyway.
The inclusion of the display stand offers some versatility in how you display it however the wings are locked into the landed position and the model is constructed with the landing ramp open so my inclination is to display it in the landed position.
Moderately experienced modelers will find this easy to build, however the kit is labeled 10+. I think anyone under 16 who hasn’t done a lot of modeling may need some assistance with following the instructions.
The only disappointment I experienced was with the cockpit. When looking at the pictures on the box as well as some other pictures posted online the cockpit glass appears to reveal empty seats within on both levels. My cockpit glass pieces do not hint at those seats and are only printed on one side so not a case of them being reversible to give you a display option.
Overall, this is a great model. It’s fun to build, it’s decently sized, and looks fantastic. Anyone collecting models of this particular vehicle should include this one in their collection.