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Wilco! Models HAL-9000 Kit Preview


By Jim James - images & text © 2005

Scale: 1/1
Parts: 3 - solid resin base, clear styrene dome, preprinted,self-adhesive metal nameplate.
Instructions: One sheet with a photo and very brief (two lines) instructions
Decals: N/A
Molding Quality: 6
Detail: 8
Accuracy: 9
MSRP: $30.00 USD (~$35.26 CAN/ 25.14 EUR) available from CultTVMan
Overall Rating: 8

"Open the pod bay doors please, HAL"

I've always wanted a full-scale HAL 9000 interface to hang on my office wall but previous incarnations have just been too expensive. I love that Wilco Models does great subjects with high quality and a good price so I had to have their new HAL 9000.

Well, it certainly won't be difficult to build having only three parts but I really would have liked a little more instructions on painting. The resin color is about right (really dark gray) but it's not a pure color and definitely needs paint to hide the imperfections in the resin.

The molding quality is really very good. Some of the holes in the speaker mesh are filled in but that won't present a huge problem. What is more of a concern are the sides and back. The sides are not exactly smooth and will need to be sanded carefully to get a nice smooth straight edge. The back just suffers from a meniscus (wow, haven't used that word in a long time) giving the back a raised lip. Sanding here will be easy and not so conspicuous.

[Instructions, such as they are]

[Please click to enlarge]

^ Main panel

Image: Nameplate and clear dome

Image: Edges need work

The clear dome is nicely done and will need a little sanding on the edge to remove the roughness. The plate is very nice and just sticks with the tape provided.

The "instructions" call for "white glue" and "silver brush on paint" - that's for the plate frame and the frame around the dome. But that's it! Nothing is mentioned about the detail under the dome although a lighting kit is scheduled. I'll probably use the many pictures of HAL on the web as a guide and airbrush with a graduated scheme of bright red, white and black. HAL looks pretty unhappy otherwise.

Conclusions

Nice kit, needs a little work. Great conversation piece. Makes you want to burst out in a chorus of "Daisy, Daisy."

Many thanks to Jim's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2005 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 19 October 2005.