By John Lester - images & text © 2010
Image: Don't want to hide this
Image: Pilot cross training
Image: Right/front view
Image: With the top down
Image: From above
Image: Above again. The ring is ... weathering.
Image: Closer look
You gotta love Pegasus Hobbies for putting the fun back into model building with kits like this one.
What You Get
Inside the box are two complete UFO kits. Each consists of two sprues of grey ABS plastic, which form most of the model, and one clear (bubble canopy, upper and lower 'lights'). A separate baggie holds two alien 'pilots'. Each model may be displayed with landing gear deployed or 'in flight'. The pilots are made from a flexible plastic and may be posed (arms, legs and head positioned in different ways). Molding is what you would expect from a modern kit: sharp and defect-free.
Instructions are the traditional fold out assembly guide with English text. A simple paint guide is also provided. There are no decals.
Assembly and Finish
There are not a lot of parts to the model and it goes together pretty quickly. Like most models with an interior, I started with .... the interior. Seven pieces make up the 'cockpit': four walls, an instrument console and a 2-part seat. I airbrushed these with Citadel Chainmail Silver and then spent some time picking out details with various bright colors and an ink/Future wash (this is just india ink - I used a dark grey - in Future clear acrylic floor polish. It's a lot easier to control than a sludge wash, and it won't stain or lift the underlying paint like a thinner-based wash may). I wasn't happy with the way the rear panel with all the raised buttons looked, so I glued various colored 1.5mm crystals on top of the buttons (there are a lot of neat things to be found in the bead aisles at the local craft store - these crystals make great formation lights for airplane models too). The crystals made that panel come to life .... but the pilot's seat would hide them. Easy fix: I ditched the seat. Doing so, however, meant I had to cover the holes in the floor for the landing gear legs. I was thinking how to do this while opening a new can of fish food (I have two aquariums) and the answer just popped out: the textured aluminum foil covering keeping the fish flakes 'fresh'. I cut this to shape with ordinary scissors and glued to the floor with ordinary white glue. The rest of the cockpit parts were glued in place with Testors' Liquid Glue in the black bottle (Tamiya Extra Thin also works well).
While the interior was setting up I turned my attention to the pilot. I'm not sure what material this is made from (other than some sort of plastic) but I do know that paint doesn't really want to stick to it. His (her?) limbs may be posed - but don't try too many poses or they'll break off. I ended up having to superglue the legs in the position I wanted because - you guessed it - I fiddled around with them too much and snapped them off. The blob of glue that fixed his leg meant he couldn't be flying au naturel anymore, so I used Reaper paints to give him a p-suit (and colored his eyes while I was at it). I made a little stool for him to sit on from bits from the spares box.
I really did not want to have to mask all the clear 'lights' (though I ended up having to do so anyway) so I painted the upper and lower hull halves before assemble. I used a metallic silver auto paint from a spray bomb for this. When the paint was dry, I glued the clear light 'rings' in place. I had to open the holes that fit the mounting pegs a bit, but otherwise the 'lights' fit very well. I had issues on the Pegasus Area 51 UFO with the clear parts not accepting paint, so I scrubbed these down with a 'magic eraser' (the micro-abrasive foam pads marketed for getting crayon marks off walls without damaging the paint). Then I brushed on Future tinted with red food coloring.- my own home-brewed 'clear red'.
When that had dried I glued the hull halves together .... and ran into a snag. There's a very definite seam where the hull halves meet. It's on the underside, and I could have (and SHOULD have) declared it a 'panel line' and left it alone. But no - I had to go all AMS ('Advanced Modeler Syndrome') and make it go away. It took me 5 or 6 iterations of 'Putty-Sand-Repeat' (PSR) to get it mostly filled (I say 'mostly' because you can still see a ghost of the seam in good light ... luckily the lighting in my model cabinet is not that 'good'). I started with superglue, followed with Tamiya filler putty, and finished with Mr. Surfacer. In between I used a lot of elbow grease and even more sandpaper in various grits.
Then I had to repaint the bottom hull half and touch up the upper, so I ended up having to mask the 'lights' after all. The upper part was easy: an upended, empty yogurt cup easily covered the cockpit and upper lights. Unfortunately, it left a mark in the paint. I used a hole punch and Tamiya tape to make circles to cover the lights underneath, Unfortunately, the resulting circles of tape were just a hair larger than the 'lights' and you can tell where they were by the different paint shades (from the same can of paint, too).
I decided that, rather than repainting the model, I would declare the blemishes in the paint as 'weathering' and move on. All that remained to do was affix the bubble canopy with white glue at one end and the landing legs at the other. Ta-da! Done.
All-in-all this was a fun little kit, and despite my ineptitude I like the result. It's a simple enough kit that a six year old can build one (as mine did). Having two in the box not only gives a lot of bang for your buck, it provides fodder for kitbashing too. You really can't go wrong with this kit.
This page copyright © 2010 Starship Modeler. First posted on 16 April 2010.