By John Lester - images & text © 2001
The 1950's.... after the Big War but before the missile scares; it was the Golden Age of science fiction. Pulps ruled the newsstands, masters of the genre such as Asimov and Heinlien were writing some of their best work, and movie screens around the globe were filled with the likes of Commando Cody and Flash Gordon.
Image: The scribing around the door is too deep - and crooked (as are the rivets).
Image: Excess material has gotten into the rear exhausts, and will be a bit of a challenge o get out.
Rocketships wore fins and chrome, just like the cars, and carried celluloid heroes on adventures spanning the galaxy.
Herb Deeks Model's first kit neatly captures the lines of a typical rocket ship from this era.NOTE I've read that it's "one of the best resin sci-fi kits of all time"; I don't necessarily agree with that assessment, but it is a good kit with retro appeal.
What You Get
Inside the box are 11 resin pieces, one set of instructions, and a silver card (sticker?) with stylized rocketship prints. Packaging was good, and no parts were broken.
The resin is some of the smelliest I've encountered. Even after airing out for three weeks, handling the parts for any length of time can bring tears to one's eyes. Not sure what it is, but the resulting casts are smook and completely free of pits and bubbles. The molds for my particular kit appear to be nearing the end of their useful life - excess resin has bled into some of the holes and undercuts, where bits of the mold rubber have crumbled. For the majority of the parts, cleanup should merely be a matter of some light sanding and shaping. However, the "collar" that sits behind the "cockpit" module will need to have several holes drilled in the exhaust pipes to remove excess resin. The four exhausts further back on the main body will be a bit tougher to fix, as the excess resin is in difficult spots.
The instructions are sufficient to guide all but the most novice modeler in assembling the kit. It helps that parts fit is pretty much self explanatory. There are no decals - which is just as well. Most of the period rocketships had no markings anyway.
Assembly and Finish
Assembling this model should pose no real problems. I am going to replace the door engraved on the port side of the hull - the engraving is too deep, and crooked to boot. I'll fill in the engraved lines, sand everything smooth, and laminate a thin sheet of styrene on in it's place. Fixing the exhausts further back will be a bit of a challenge. Knowing my skill with the dremel (or lack thereof) I may just fill the cutouts with putty and use styrene sheet to extend the exhaust walls further. I have not decided if I'll add the rivet heads often seen on these ships.
Most every rocketship from this timeframe was silver - representing bare metal of some sort. The kit parts are generally smooth enough that a metallic finish is feasible. Since metallics magnify every scratch and every flaw, a good primer and diligent polishing will be required before laying down the final coats of paint.
Despite the mold flaws, I'm quite pleased with this kit as it came. It looks like a straightforward build, and may be just what I need to re-energize my passion for spaceships. I can recommend this kit to all but the most novice model builder - and especially those looking for a simple way to ease into the world of resin kits.
"This ship is based on the movie rocket ship used in the Flash Gordon serials fo the 1930s. This is the ship that Dr. Zarkov built and flew Flash and Dale Arden to the planet Mongo in. It was there that they battled and defeated the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless. Yep it's all pretty corny stuff, but Herb Deeks' reproduction of the ship is excellent and matches the movie model very well. "
Thanks Jim for setting me straight!
Many thanks to CultTVMan and Sci-Fi Matters for providing the review sample. This kit will be the subject of a build-up review in the forthcoming CultTVMan Presents ... book on classic movie/TV spacecraft - so stay tuned! Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 2000+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2001 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 22 August 2001.