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Moebieus' The Voyager Kit Preview


By John Lester - images & text © 2007


Scale: Not stated - about 7"/ 178mm long when built
Parts: 34 injection molded styrene - 4 are clear, including 2-piece base
Instructions: 2-step exploded assembly diagram
Decals: One, for the stand
Molding Quality: 9 - minimal issues
Detail: 8 - Decent, given the subject
Accuracy: Not rated - see review
MSRP: $24.95 USD (~$25.32 CAN/ 16.93 EUR) available from Starship Modeler
Overall Rating: 9 - A good weekend project for any skill level

One of the most sought-after models from Aurora's heyday was their "Voyager". This kit, released only once (1969), depicted the Proteus craft used in the Saturday morning cartoon "Fantastic Voyage" - a spin-off from the movie of the same name, which was novellized by Isaac Asimov. The show was not a hit and kit was never re-issued; it now commands stratospheric prices on the collectors' circuit.

Nearly forty years later, Moebius has answered the call and produced a new model of the Proteus, and kept it true to its roots in the Aurora kit.

[Please click to enlarge]

^ First parts bag

Image: Clear parts

Image: Second parts bag

Image: Instructions

What You Get

Enough with the history lesson, Grampa* - what's in the box?

You get three baggies containing parts (2 sets of white plastic for the bulk of the craft, one set of clear that provides window, dome and 2-part base), a decal for the base, and instructions. Amongst the parts are four rather generic figures (one is recognizably a woman, but you wouldn't know Dr Guru by looking at anything but the part number). Judging from the size, they're about HO scale (smaller than 72d, larger than 96th) , so I'd guesstimate the kit is HO scale. Parts are crisply pressed, with no flash where it counts and nothing obvious as far as mold seams or ejector pin marks. Assembly instructions are in two steps, both of which are the exploded diagram style. There is a separate paint guide which calls for generic colors ("blue", "dark blue", etc.)

Everything about the kit's packaging and pieces evokes "Aurora": The boxart. The way the boxart is glued to the box, not printed directly on cardstock and then folded/glued. The way the instructions are laid out. The way the parts are laid out on sprues. Moebius obviously have a target audience in mind and they expended a lot of effort to cater to that audience - and good on them! It's good to see a company making that kind of concerted effort to satisfy their customers.

But I'm not part of that target demographic. I was born the year Star Trek debuted; what I remember of 1969 was Nixon and Bobby Kennedy battling Commie Space Pirates on the Moon. Given that, how does the kit look?

The answer: still looks pretty darn good. There's not a lot of detail, but given the subject's smooth exterior that's expected. Interior pieces, like seats and consoles, are simple but crisply rendered. As far as I can tell from taping the major pieces together, fit is excellent. I'll need putty, because I always need putty, but anyone less klutzy than I -- and that should be anyone reading this - should have no fit issues. Clear parts are admirably clear and distortion-free, so you'll be able to see any/all the effort you put into that interior.

The one area I won't make a judgement upon is accuracy. I have never seen the cartoon, and the Proteus from the movie is decidedly different. Given the obvious lengths Moebius has gone to with this kit, I'd say it's almost certainly quite faithful to the original .... Aurora kit. Which was their goal, no doubt. Which they have met, brilliantly.

Conclusions

If Aurora has a warm place in your childhood memories, you'll enjoy this kit. If "Aurora" evokes something different for you, it's still a good kit. Ease of assembly and simplicity of paint scheme make it something novice and expert can have built over a rainy weekend.

Highly recommended.


Many thanks to my 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 © 2007 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 4 December 2007.

* You kids get off my lawn!