Vince Hoffman builds the Jetson's Spaceship from Polar Lights

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Polar Lights' Jetson's Spaceship

By Vince Hoffman - images & text © 2002

Scale: N/A
Parts: 16 clear and green plastic, plus 5 pre-painted figures
Instructions: 1 page fold-out
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 8 - good over all, though there's a big divot in the top of the dome
Detail: 8 - sufficient for the subject
Accuracy: 7 - depends on your reference material
Fit: 9 - decent overall
Ease: 10 pre-painted figures help
MSRP: $ 12.00 USD (~ 15 EUR) available in discount stores and hobby shops everywhere.
Overall Rating: An excellent kit for any nostalgic cartoon fan

I have been a Jetsons fan since the 2nd season the show aired ( I was too young to see season 1). Every Saturday morning, I tuned in to watch Mr. Spacely yell at George for wasting nanoseconds of valuable work time, or to witness the latest adventure of Elroy "Space Boy Zoom" and Tralfaz, er... Astro. And who can forget Rosie?

And what pre-adolescent male didn't have a crush on Judy? - Ed.

[Front]

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The Kit:

The kit, produced by Polar Lights, consists of 5 pre-painted vinyl figures, 11 injection molded styrene parts and 5 clear plastic parts. The large clear dome is nicely protected in a bag of bubble wrap. The kit cost $11.50 at my local hobby shop.

Accuracy of the kit is an issue, since there were so many different incarnations of this vehicle. Most variations came in the shape of the tail fin, but the box art shows the most common occurrence. Unfortunately, the kit tail is different still. Still other episodes show an elongated body with a teardrop shaped dome.

Construction:

The kit is snap together with pre-painted vinyl figures. The parts go together very easily and the figures were very nicely painted which made finishing the kit that much faster. I chose to glue all of my parts together and leave the dome as a twist-on in case I ever had to get back inside the model to adjust the figures.

After the tail fin and propulsion units were glued together, they along with the exhaust pipes were glued to the underside of the fuselage. The tail fin attaches to the dome but was left off for painting.

I chose to follow the kit instruction for painting. The bottom half of the fuselage was given an even coat of emerald green acrylic paint, and the upper fuselage and tail fin were painted light green ( 50% emerald green, 50% white), The dashboard was painted blue, and the seats were given a mix of orange and tan to compliment the 60s-ish design. The floor was then painted flat black.

After the paint had dried for about an hour, the vehicle interior was glued into the upper half and the upper and lower fuselage halves were pressed together. The fit is very tight so no glue was used on the fuselage halves. Figures were put in their places and the canopy was twist-locked into place. Judy has rather big hair so a little bending is needed to get her to fit in her seat and still maintain dignity.

Final painting & display:

The display base is molded in clear plastic and looks like the surface of a moon. I gave the base a thin coat of dark brown paint, then dry brushed various shades of desert yellow and light tan to bring out the details. The base is assembled and the model attached to the upright.

Optional additional detailing:

I have found three areas that can be improved or changed on this model, again depending on the episode you watch.

  1. An instrument panel is sometimes shown on the top of the dashboard. The panel is silver with white dials.
  2. Individual seats are shown in the opening credits (instead of the kit bench seats)
  3. The propulsion units have clear rings.

Conclusion:

I spent a total of 2 hours painting and assembling this model. The pre-painted figures are a nice addition. I am happy with the kit, as silly as it may seem. It is currently perched on the shelf right next to Cartman Cop (is that appropriate?)

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This page copyright © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 21 March 2002.