By John Lester - images & text © 2008
^ What you get
Image: Radiator 'subassemblies'
Image: Compared with kit plastic (backs)
Moebius Models made a lot of people happy when they issued their 1/24 scale Space Pod from the original Lost in Space series. It's a good model out of the box, but there are areas where it could be improved. Paragrafix have addressed a number of these areas with their Lost in Space Space Pod Photoetched Enhancements brass parts.
What You Get
Inside the sturdy mailer are a sheet of brass with 36 parts, a small ALPS-printed waterslide decal sheet and four pages of instructions on one fold-out sheet.
The brass sheet includes parts for:
The brass is thicker than what you may be used to if you've used sets intended for airplanes or armor. This makes it more robust and, in my opinion, easier to handle. Attachment points are quite thin, making the parts easy to remove with a hobby blade or photoetch scissors. Detail is cleanly etched in several layers.
The decals, printed by JTGraphics, provide markings for:
The instructions are impressively thorough, providing a 5-step assembly guide along with tips for preparing and using the brass as well as working with the decals. Clear English text is supplemented with black-and-white photos of the parts in each step. I had no problems figuring out what part went where - or how.
Paragrafix states that “Each piece has been exhaustively researched and in most cases panel designs have been scaled directly from high-resolution photographs of the actual filmining miniature”. Good enough for me - especially since I don't have any reference material of my own to consult! The only quibble I can come up relates to the media. Photoetched metal is, by it's nature, 2-dimensional. You can get around this (and Paragrafix does) by using several layers of flat metal, but that's not a great way to replicate things like switches and levers.
Still, comparing the brass parts to the plastic they replace, I think the brass just 'looks' better (not that there's anything terribly wrong with the plastic to start with - it's a case of 'good' and 'better', at least for me).
Assembly & Finish
Installing the parts is pretty straightforward. I was able to remove parts easily without bending any using just my second-best hobby knife. Their relative thickness, coupled with their size, made it easy to clean up any 'spurs' with a metal file. Most of the panels are just scabbed on to the plastic after removing any raised plastic detail. Only the 'solar radiator' really requires folding. This is built from three pieces, the first two panels glued together and then to a 'box' shaped from the third. Note that the guide lines for the folds are on the 'inner' surface of the box; I didn't, and had to re-fold. Fortunately the brass is sturdy enough to allow this .... try folding/bending a 1/700 scale ship's ladder more than once and you'll appreciate the difference.
Paragrafix's PE set takes Moebius' Space Pod to a new level of detail. It's simple enough to use that I can recommend it to anyone who's successfully assembled a glue kit or two and is ready to expand their skill set.
The cost for this detail set is about as much as the entire kit and that will be an obstacle for some. PE isn't cheap, no matter who makes it. In comparison with the Eduard and White Ensign brass sets I've bought, though, I think Paragrafix price is quite reasonable for what you get.
If you are looking for a quick way to 'punch up' your model and are not deterred by the price, Paragrafix's Lost in Space Space Pod Photoetched Enhancements set is a good deal.
Many thanks to Paragrafix Modeling Systems for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 6000+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2008 Starship Modeler. First posted on 12 December 2008.