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Polar Lights' Land of the Giants Spindrift Preview


By John Lester - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/64 - about 9"/ 23cm or so long when completed
Parts: approx. 40 injection molded styrene - green,orange and clear
Instructions: 1 page, English text and exploded diagrams
Decals: N/A - one small sticker is included for the base
Molding Quality: 9 - no sink marks or flash on my sample
Detail: 7 - not a lot of it, but what is there done well enough
Accuracy: 8 - quick checks don't reveal anything glaring
Price: Around $15 USD (~$23.77 CAN/ 15.53 EUR) - though smart shopping may find better deals - available from hobby retailers all over.
Overall Rating: 8 - a nice blast from the past that should make a good weekend project

[Box art]

Many people have fond memories of the old TV series produced by Irwin Allen in the 60's and 70's. Not me - even as a kid I thought they were dumb (with the exception of the first season of Lost in Space, I'll grant). Mr. Allen was never known for a strict adherence to scientific plausibility; he was far more concerned with telling wild stories and filling them with cool hardware.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Parts come in three baggies, to help prevent damage during shipping. Here's the green sprues from the larger bag ...

Image: ... and here's the orange ones.

Image: The second bag holds these interior parts and the rear hull halves

Image: Instructions are adequate, and include paint call-outs

[Click to enlarge]

^ Fit of the hull pieces appears to be decent, though the algnment pins are too large for the corresponding holes.
Typical of this was "Land of the Giants", which ran from September 1968 - September 1970. Seven passengers on a suborbital flight from the US to London were thrown by a "space warp" to a planet where everything - bugs, people, household pets - was 12 times their size. The late, great model company Aurora made two kits from this series, the Spindrift spaceship and a diorama scene of the lead cast members facing down a giant snake (which has will shortly be released by Polar Lights as well).

What You Get

Polar Lights' latest sci-fi spaceship is not a re-pop of the Aurora molds. Rather, the company has back-engineered the model and made new tooling as they did for other Aurora kits. This is evident in the very clean, nicely pressed parts. I found no sinkholes, flash or other molding flaws on my kit at all; even the inevitable mold seamlines are barely visible.

The kit is comprised of around forty parts, molded in orange (exterior), a vomitous green (interior) and clear (windows and base). (There is another issue of the kit in which all parts are either white or clear - you can see which you're getting through a small window in the bottom of the box). There is not a lot of detail present - but then, there wasn't a lot on the original. The interior parts - bulkheads, flooring, chairs and instrument clusters - are crisp enough. So are the grilles on the exterior. As on the Aurora kit, the company logo and striping are raised from the surface to make them "easier" to paint. Most modelers these days would no doubt prefer decals, but this is a faithful replica of a 30 year old kit so we get raised markings.Also included are three surprisingly nice figures. Their size is what leads me to conclude the ship is around 1/72 scale.

No landing gear is provided, just like in the Aurora offering. Instead, you get a clear stand and a small sticker to place on it.

Assembly and Finish

The fit of the parts, at least from what I can tell by dryfitting pieces, is surprisingly good. One area of concern: the alignment pins on the exterior pieces don't fit in the corresponding holes. Those will either need to be enlarged, or the pins shaved off. The upper hull can be left unglued to you can show off the interior. If you decide to glue it in place, you'll want to build the interior anyway as it provides the rigidity the model will need to survive being handled.

Painting is simple and very, very '60s: bright orange outside, vile green inside. Adequate instructions for this, as well as the crew's uniforms, are provided on the instruction sheet.

Conclusions

Polar Lights has produced another nice little kit. Those readers who want to have a Spindrift on their shelves without having to pay collector's prices for the rare Aurora kits still in existence will be quite satisfied with this issue. I'd recommend it to any level modeler.


Many thanks to for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3000+ 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 © 2002 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 6 August 2002
Last updated on 27 October 2003.