Bandai has been doing a great job with its Starpla releases, and fans (like myself) were pleasantly surprised to see kits from the latest The Force Awakens appearing on store shelves! Being a closet First Order junkie, I picked up a couple of their sleek black TIE Fighters, intending to someday recreate the chase on Jakku, substituting the Millennium Falcon for a Gundam.
The First Order TIE Fighter model kit is at base a reissue of the Imperial TIE Fighter, which has the same design, but actually has many subtle differences. First of all, the First Order TIE Fighter has more parts, with the four pylons by the sides of the cockpit being separate parts and not molded with the main body, as on the Imperial version. Secondly, the distinctive solar panels by the sides of the First Order TIE Fighter are built more efficiently, with massive parts instead of smaller ones. Lastly, the First Order TIE Fighter has larger cannons and an antenna (that breaks very easily), along with a revised control interface for the new pilot.
Simply put, the First Order TIE Fighter is not simply a recolour of the original TIE Fighter: it is an improved version of an existing design, updated to reflect the First Order's emphasis on peace through power.
Now, I shall wait for the Special Forces squadron leader for my TIEs to be released in March!