Kit review of Comet Model's Starbug from the Brit sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf.

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Kit Review of Starbug from Red Dwarf

By Jack Wendt - © 1998.

I bought my model of the Starbug from Comet Models about 3-4 years ago. As of the last catalog I received (1997) there were 2 versions of the Starbug. One was a vacuform and resin kit, the other was a resin and white metal model. I chose the vacuform because it would require the most work for the best out come - and I could easily light it. This kit just begged to be detailed. However, when I built it, I did not have the resources of the net and there were no magazine pictures of the model available. I had to simply watch episodes over and over where the ship was seen.

So much for references.

The main hull is divided into 3 spheres. The middle and rear sphere were molded in to 2 pieces with the cut along the horizontal axis. The front sphere (control deck) was divided into to 2 sections, cut at the vertical axis. The most forward section of the front sphere, was molded in clear styrene. Two side windows and the 2 landing lights were not molded in to the kit. I painted these areas from the inside a yellow orange color. I painted the anti-glare part of the windshield black from the inside. There is a small dome about a quarter inch in diameter on the top of the control sphere that was made from a fake pearl.

No interior details were provided. I scratch built a rudimentary control deck and inserted a small figure, dressed in a space suit, from some long forgotten kit. Looks a lot like the Cat.

The kit's landing gear is in 5 pieces per leg. The part of the landing gear connected to the ship is vacuform. The rest is resin. I did not like the way the resin was cast for 2 of the elbow joints of the landing gear. I replaced these with wood beads. These beads also had holes that allowed me to pin the legs together and then fill with putty. This gave more strength to the legs than simply gluing them with superglue.

All of the thrusters are resin cast, as was the engine deck just below the rear main thrusters. I cut out part of the vacuform body just under the deck and tacked the engine resin casting on. This allowed access to lighting the model without leaving gaping holes.

The kit provided some exterior pieces but omitted others. There were some of the main pieces that you see on the surface, but the circular disks were omitted with no explanation. This was easy to solve as each disk is just about the same size as thumb tacks. I scratch built the different antennas with tubing and wire as none was provided with the kit. No shock absorbers were included either. These also were scratch built with aluminum tubing and wire.

The ship was painted overall green. I used a # 2 pencil to make the panel lines. Decals were provided but were not complete. There are supposed to be five "1"s, one for each side of the vertical stabilizers, and one number 1 for the center sphere. The additional decals were made by hand. The kit did include decals for the name "Starbug", however.

Even though I have made several complaints about the model I still think it was worth the money.... and it beats trying to build one from scratch.

side view

Side view of Jack Wendt's Starbug

Top view

Top view

Front  view

Front view

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