Sci-Fi & Fantasy Modeller, Volume 24

Published: April 23rd, 2012     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson - IPMS# 8739
Company: Happy Medium Press
ISBN #: 978-0-9569053-1-4
Other Publication Information: 100 Pages, full color photos
Price: $29.95
Product / Stock #: 24

This is the 3rd issue of this magazine I have had the privilege to review and it is undoubtedly my favorite one to date. Why, you ask? Well, not only did I like almost every subject in this issue, but mainly because of 3 very awesome dioramas. But, more on those later.

First off, a pet peeve of mine is articles that continue through 2 or more issues. Problem is, you may miss an issue with the conclusion or even start of a project or, as in this instance, an article may not continue in the next issue. This is spelled out in the editorial that two of the articles I covered part I of in Issue 23 were held up for production issues but should appear in issue 25. I did appreciate that Mike took the time to spell this out, as I was a little lost on my first glance through. Oh well, these things happen but the stories in this issue more than make up for the unfinished stories.

Volume 24 contains a whopping 15 articles in its 100 pages, all about modeling projects.

We start with a scratchbuilt model of the Republic Cruiser Radiant VII from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. This, of course, is the ship that carries Qui-Gon and Obi-Won to the Trade Federation for negotiations. Unfortunately, it gets blasted not long after the two Jedi disembark. The model was made mostly out of plasticard, with the round parts turned from Chemiwood, and a few model parts thrown in. The bright red ship with white markings makes a very nice display piece.

Next up is Mr. Spock, made from the old AMT kit, which has been rereleased by Round 2. The article gives some great information which will be helpful in putting together and painting any plastic model figure kit, which, fortunately, seem to be making a comeback. I have wanted this kit for a long time after seeing a build in an old magazine of Spock minus the 3 headed snake creature and now have some great information to assist me.

Another scratchbuilt ship makes up the 3rd article. This time, we have the Jagaroth Cruiser from the Dr. Who episode, City of Death. This is a very different looking ship, basically a black ball resting on 3 large spider-like legs. The author used plastic domes, sheet materials, and tubing, and lets you know the part numbers and company he purchased them from, in case you want to try and replicate the build. Pretty helpful information.

Now we get to one of my three favorites, The Seaview sub from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in dry dock. This is a great display and the article not only gives helpful information on finishing and detailing this large model, but also gives some great information on putting it into a display that is different from the norm. Unfortunately, the origin of the kit is unknown, as it had been started some years earlier by the Editor. But, it is listed as around 26 inches long, so close to the large scale kit by Moebius.

Another figure kit, this time in vinyl, is the Horizon 1/6th scale Thor from the Marvel Universe. It covers all the requirements to work with this medium and makes a colorful addition to any display case.

Up next is the second of my favorite articles. This time, we have the Moebius updated version of the classic Moon Bus from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is a release modelers have been awaiting for many years and collectors have been dreading. The build makes use of some aftermarket resin and photoetch to detail it up, plus added lighting. But what really sets it off is the scratchbuilt landing pad as a base for the display. You can see a picture of this on the cover of the magazine and, while the kit is not in my scale, this build may be enough to get me to pry open my wallet and get a copy.

Another Space Odyssey build is next, this time a scratchbuilt recreation of the HAL 9000 faceplate from the followup 2010 movie. This also includes lights and was used by the author as part of his exhibition held at the French Space Museum of Kourou, Guyana.

My 3rd favorite diorama is called Come on, Thunder Child and depicts a scene from H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. However, it is not based on the movie version but the musical cover art. This depicts the HMS Thunder Child bearing down on one of the 3 legged Martian walkers. Marco adds a second scratchbuilt tripod that is exploding from the fierce assault of the Ironclad ship. Thunder Child is converted from the resign kit of HMS Duncan from Kombrig in 1/700 scale. The intact walker was built from an ED-209 Gashapon figure, wooden sticks, and plastic bits and pieces. The exploding effect is recreated using one-component building foam and some lovely painting all added to a nice watery base. I have seen pictures of this diorama on the web before and it was great being able to read about the inspiration and build.

The large scale NCC-1701 build concludes in this issue. Part 3 covers the saucer and main hull, including all lighting, final construction, and painting. It is nice to see the end of this detailed project and the reason some project are split over multiple issues, as the amount of information for just this one build would have taken up almost a third of one issue.

Ok, who has seen Lost in Space? Not the movie remake done a few years ago but the old TV series. Yep, I remember watching this in my youth. This time, the Moebius 1/35th scale Jupiter 2 gets the treatment and the addition of the original launch cradle seen in the pilot episode. There were several changes needed to backdate the kit to the original look and these are covered in the text. But the one thing missing is pictures of the build and, especially, the launch cradle. I really think this one misses the boat, as I would love to see more.

There have been many kits depicting De Vinci's designs and the next two builds cover a couple of kits by Revell, the Aerial Screw in 1/48th and the Giant Crossbow in 1/100th. These kits are not in Revell's usual plastic but consist of precut wooden parts, string, and even canvas for the Aerial Screw. They do appear to build up fairly easily and could make some great history projects for school.

Another WoW diorama starts off with Part 1, this time using the Pegasus Hobbies Tripod from the 2003 Spielberg version. The build centers around the end of the film and will depict one of the walkers collapsed on a building. The basic build of the tripod and building are covered, but you will have to wait for the next issue to see the final detailing and finished product.

A couple quick build reviews are next - Warp's Space: 1999 nuclear waste silo in 1/72nd scale and Retro Models' Hanger Base designed for one of the 23" Eagle kits. Both of these consist of several resin parts and cover the builds and painting information, so if Space: 1999 is your thing, you probably want to check these out.

I don't think I have seen an issue of this magazine without at least one article that has to do with the Thunderbirds and this one continues the trend. UNCL's Thunderiser is a one man tracked rescue mortar or something like that. I couldn't find a scale but the completed vehicle is 6 inches long and 5 3/4th inches tall, so a fairly large scale. The kit consists of several resin parts and a vacuformed canopy and can depict the rescue mortar or laser cutter options.

The last story is the Round 2 rerelease of the classic AMT Klingon D7 in 1/650th scale and details how a little extra work can make this up into a fine replica.

As I said, I think this is the best issue of this magazine I have read yet but, then again, I may be a little biased, based on the type of builds in this one. Why not pick up your own copy and make your own decision?

Thanks to Happy Medium Press for the review issue and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.

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