Space & Sci-Fi Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale space and science fiction vehicle models.

Battlestar Galactica Viper Mark II (2 Pack)

Published: July 3rd, 2015     
Battlestar Galactica Viper Mark II (2 Pack)
Reviewed by: Doug Cole - IPMS# 46605
Scale: 1/72
Company: Moebius Models

The Kit

This review covers the Battlestar Galactica Viper Mark II (2 Pack) 1:72 Scale Moebius Model Kit #957. A new release, this model should be readily available at most outlets. These are resized versions of the original 1:32 scale model. Moebius designates this as a Skill Level 3 kit for modelers 12 years and older. It includes two main trees containing most of parts for each craft. It is molded in white styrene with a transparent canopy, display stand, waterslide decals and an extensive instruction manual.

There are markings for different craft in the decal sheet. I have to give Moebius Models credit for releasing this model and to IPMS for providing the review sample.

Vanguard Satellite

Published: April 30th, 2015     
Vanguard Satellite
Reviewed by: Ron Bell - IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/1
Company: Round 2 Models

The Satellite

Planning started for the Vanguard program in 1955. Both the launch vehicle and the satellite were to be named Vanguard, the only time that has happened in the U.S. space program. There were several "marks" of the satellite varying in size from 20 inches down to 6 inches in diameter with varying instrumentation on board and the first was slated to go up during the International Geophysical Year of 1958. The Martin Company developed the rocket and the Naval Research Laboratory developed the satellite.

Beaten to the punch by the Soviet Union in 1957 when they launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, a mad scramble began to catch up. Due to development problems with the launch vehicle, (who doesn't remember that spectacular launch pad explosion of Vanguard 1?), the U.S.A. launched it's first satellite, Explorer, in January1958 on a modified army Redstone, the Jupiter C. There were five Vanguard satellites launched, the first in orbit in March of 1958, but only three were successful, one of which was in one of the highest orbits ever attained. All three, although now dead, are still in orbit and are the oldest artificial satellites.

Space Pirate Battleship Arcadia Second Ship (Phantom Death Shadow conversion)

Published: March 26th, 2015     
Space Pirate Battleship Arcadia Second Ship (Phantom Death Shadow conversion)
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson - IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/1500
Company: Hasegawa

I really like how Hasagawa keeps releasing quality models of Japanese Anime vehicles. This one is one of the Arcadia ships (think there were 2, possibly 3 different versions) used by Space Pirate Captain Harlock. I found an English dubbed version on YouTube which, of course, featured the green ship instead of this one but still interesting to watch. I also found a fun site about the lack of continuity in the Harlock Universe that is worth a read if you like this kind of stuff.

So, what's inside the box? There are 149 parts molded in two different shades of blue, brown, black, white and clear yellow plus 4 polly caps (of which only 2 are used). The parts are cleanly molded with no visible ejector marks or sink marks. There is some beautiful scrollwork on the hull and the pirate ship parts on the rear. Decals are supplied for all this, more about them in a moment. The instructions are pretty clear and there is a full size full color 6-view profile on the back showing decal placement. It also has two pirate flags which you can cut out and attach on the stern and the main mask. The stern also has a plastic version with decal skulls.

Back To The Future II Time Machine

Published: February 11th, 2015     
Back To The Future II Time Machine
Reviewed by: Tom Pope - IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/25
Company: Round 2 Models

Introduction

"...roads? Where we're going, we don't need any roads..."

-Emmitt "Doc" Brown

The "Back to the Future" (BTTF) movie franchise began in 1985 with the release of the first movie. The film series featured the adventures of Marty McFly as he traveled back and forth in time in a Time Machine built by wacky scientist Emmitt "Doc" Brown. Brown had built that first plutonium-powered Time Machine creation from a vintage DeLorean sports car. At the end of the first movie, just when you thought the timeline had been restored and all was well, Doc Brown pops out of a worm hole in a newly modified, flying Time Machine, digs through the trash to find vegetable remains and banana peels to fuel the new 'Mr. Fusion' power cell and tells Marty that the timeline of the future has been disturbed and that "...something has to be done about your kids!"

Polar Lights has reproduced all the movie versions of Doc Brown's Time Machine in superbly engineered, 1/25th scale snap-together model kits, including the flying Time Machine from "Back To The Future Part II" (BTTFII), described below.

Space: 1999 Alpha Moonbase

Published: February 8th, 2015     
Space: 1999 Alpha Moonbase
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson - IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/2000
Company: Round 2 Models

British sci-fi has always intrigued me and in 1975 Gerry Anderson released a TV series which we youngsters just had to watch, Space: 1999. We didn't care about the improbability that the Moon could be blown out of Earth's orbit and hurtled across the Galaxy finding a new planet each week and somehow not collide with anything. All we cared about were the cools ships, neat, futuristic sets and the characters and if you were in your mid teens like I was, especially the female characters.

MPC acquired the rights to the show and released several kits including the Alpha Moonbase. This was really 2 kits in one. Mounted on a 12 x 18 inch vacuformed base you had a smaller version of the moonbase (missing 2 of the Eagle pads) with the travel tubes molded into the base itself. You also got the Mission Control which was molded in a larger scale and included several figures. This was mounted to the right of the base.

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