By Alfred Wong - images & text © 2003
The Angel, with its elegant, sculptural, yet purposeful design, and the ships of Star Wars shaped my own vision of sci-fi hardware more than any other source. In fact, my pet design, the Rapier, was heavily influenced by the Angel and Star Wars designs; the early concepts looked very much like a Star Wars-ized Angel! I originally saw the new UNCL kit on the Federation Models website and knew it was the one thing I wanted to get at Wonderfest, and I got it there for a good price!
Captain Scarlet was Gerry Anderson's attempt to craft a darker, more realistic and more “adult” version of his successful puppet shows. The show lasted a full season of 32 episodes, and is available on DVD now. The Angel Interceptors were all piloted by female pilots. Gerry Anderson's wife has been very proud of this and has even said that she believes was the seed of “Charlie's Angels”. The elegance and stylishness carried over to the pilots' flight gear - check out the snazzy headgear and the too-cool Foster Grants in this still from the show.
The UNCL Kit
Colin and I had planned to do a 1/48 kit of the Angel, and I had already started the masters, but that was abandoned after the licensing agreement fell through. The plane is supposed to be 60ft. long, which in 1/48 would have been a model of 15” in length. Personally, I always thought this was an over-estimation. I had the plans blown up to that size and it looks way too big at that size. The UNCL kit is almost 14” long, which places it at approx. 1/50, but I think it looks right at this size in a 1/48 scale collection.
The kit's 16 solid resin castings are clean and crisp, and expertly mastered. There were no signs of bubbles and only faint mold seam lines to clean up. A few bubbles did open up after primer was applied but were easily filled and cleaned up. The castings would have gotten a perfect 10 from me but for a couple of errors, both of which are pretty much impossible to fix short of major scratchbuilding. One error is that the starboard side intake is noticeably wider than the port side. In other words, there's a bit of asymmetry problem here.
Another error is that the tail-plane is too long in chord, extending too far aft of the vertical tail. Again, this is hard to fix short of major scratchbuilding.
Otherwise, I have no other real complaints about this kit. The fit of the main components were very good; very little putty was needed. The panel lines were well-done for the most part, though with a few mis-scribes here and there.
The cockpit is rudimentary, and a bit more detail was added by me. The kit's pilot is pretty good, but the face is somewhat simplistic, and the plane of her face is set a bit too far back relative to her body. It's something most people may not notice, but to me, being a sculptor, this just looked odd. I replaced the head with a better female head from railroad figures. I added the helmet and long hair with MagicSculp putty. Her arms were cast in white metal. I replaced her right fisted hand with an opened grip holding a control column.
I also added more detail to the engine exhaust, which the kit gave as a plain, empty cylinder.
The vac-formed canopy fitted perfectly. A dip in Future made it crystal-clear.
The decals provided in the kit are of excellent quality, and have a nice gloss finish, which makes it far easier to hide the film. There are many stencils given to lend the model an air of realism. Inexplicably, there is only 2 Spectrum roundel provided for a model that requires 4! (Other readers have reported their kits had four roundels; also, one of the filming miniatures may actually have had two more underneath, at the ends of the horizontal bar in the large "A" marking. ---Ed..)Why, I have no idea! It's a very difficult marking to fabricate, so I e-mailed Jim Botaitis of JBOT decals for help. He came to the rescue with a beautiful complimentary set of decals for the kit, including a decal for the instrument panel, and a tiny roundel for the pilot's helmet. This is now for sale at his site.
There were no instructions for the stencils, you are supposed to get creative here. A strip of red decal sheet is also provided to do the various striping. The large “A” on the underside is given as a decal (mine was badly scratched) but is better painted on.
I was very happy to finally add the Angel Interceptor, a design that have meant so much to me, to my collection, in the manly/womanly scale! This is a kit I can recommend whole-heartedly. It's a bit expensive for a kit its size, but hey…you just gotta have it!
This page copyright © 2003 Starship Modeler. First published on 20 August 2003; Last updated on 21 August 2003.