"Just hang on. Hang on, Dack. Get ready to fire that tow cable!"
Luke to Dack inside the cockpit of a snowspeeder during the Battle of Hoth.
Rebel Snowspeeder from Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
At the climax of the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back
, the Imperial forces seemed unstoppable. The battle appeared to be one-sided as the AT-AT Imperial walkers lumbered towards their intended targets unhindered by cannon fire or Rebel heavy blasters. However, the Rebels had another weapon in their arsenal: the modified T-47 airspeeder, known more commonly as the snowspeeder.
These swift, tow-man vehicles utilize repulsor-lift technology to hover above the ground. Two primary engines in the rear provide forward momentum, while a pilot and a rear gunner occupy the tiny cockpit in the center.
In addition to two blaster cannons mounted atop the wings, this light-weight craft also carries a cannon/harpoon launcher in the rear. Using this harpoon and an attached tow-cable one of these small snowspeeders was able to topple over a mighty AT-AT.
These fascinating vechicles were created by teh ILM model crew in resin, metal, and plastic. There were several different sizes of miniature models created for filming. These ranged from tiny models only a few inches long, to a four-foot long model used for close-up shots like the scene when the foot of an AT-AT crushes Luke's snowspeeder. Several full-sized speeder mockups were also created for action shots of the actors.
Master Replicas focused on the 21-inch studio scale models that were used for most of the primary shots in the film. The models varied substantially in detailing and markings, so our designers sought out the model with the gray stripes tha was used by Luke Skywalker.
By comparing the archived models to screen grabs we were able to locate the exact model and used it as our master reference pattern. Our design team took hundreds of photographs of the prop and obtained color chips of the paint in order to create an exact match of the prop's coloring.
Our designers took a digital scan of the model to capture the hundreds of surface details, including the blast patterns that were added to the models by the ILM crew during filming. This scan data was then recreated by our factory in CNC machined plastic and metal. The fuselage of the snowspeeder replica is cast in durable resin with numerous fine-detail parts reproduced in injection-molded ABS. For added strength the twin blaster cannons are recreated in machined aluminum with plastic detailing.
Because the cockpit of the 21-inch studio model was not designed for cluse up shots, Master Replicas' designers worked with Lucasfilm to create a composite of both the studio model and full-size sets. The result is a replica that looks realistic and maintains the attention to detail expected by our collectors. The Master Replicas 3/4 studio-scale snowspeeder replica is a perfect balance of size, value and collectability.
Almost a year of research and development has gone into the creation of this second model in Master Replicas' collection of Star Wars vehicles. It has been designed and engineered to last for many years and we hope that it will become a centerpiece of your collection.REVIEW
I must say that this Studio Scale model has well surpassed my expectations. Pictures just don't do justice to the quality of this wonderful replica. The heavy weight of the model makes is seem like it is fresh from the ILM workshop ready for filming. Each mark and bit of snow are painstakenly recreated like you would see on an actual model. The cockpit of the replica is really what will blow you away. It's an exacting reproduction of the actual full-size cockpit used by the actors. I feel like I could "take on the Empire myself" by lifting the canopy and hopping into it.
If you choose to get a Studio Scale, I would definitely suggest getting the Rebel Snowspeeder simply for the level of detail taken above and beyond what any Studio Scale should be.