u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||98 parts in cream coloured injection
styrene; two large clear injection-moulded styrene domes; six clear
||It is big! It is spectacular; plenty
of interior detail; upper dome may be left clear or unsecured to view
interior; includes a nicely detailed 1/72 scale Robby the Robot;
interesting diorama possibilties with 1/72 scale 1950s jets; did I
mention it is BIG?!
||Instructions too concise;
ejector-pin marks in main interior parts; lots of filler will be
required for a perfect join between the gigantic saucer segments; may
benefit from a jig for main saucer segment assemblies.
||A spectacular model,
recommended for experienced science fiction modelers with plenty of
Our washing machine broke down a few weeks
ago. When I came home from work to find a huge box waiting in the hallway, I
assumed that my wife must have bought a new compact replacement. I was wrong -
this box contained Polar Lights' 1/72 scale C-57D Starcruiser from the classic
1956 science fiction movie, "Forbidden Planet".
Many modelers who grew up in the 1960s or
earlier will recall Aurora's science fiction monsters and vehicles. Polar
Lights has picked up the mantle (and some of the moulds) from Aurora. Not only
have they re-released some of the timeless pieces from the original series, but
they have continued the spirit of the range with a large number of new
releases. The huge C-57D is certainly the most ambitious, and probably most
spectacular, release to date.
Packed snugly in a shipping crate with a lifetime supply of foam
chips, the kit box itself is big - almost 2' in length. The boxart by Chris
White is very attractive and true to the spirit of the subject matter. Unlike
many models that contain an unimpressively small model rattling around in a big
box, the quantity of plastic and the dimensions of the kit are even more
imposing than the packaging suggests.
When completed, the Starcruiser will be
28" in diameter. That is big. But, as we all know, size isn't everything.
How does the rest of the model measure up, quality-wise?
After procrastinating for a few weeks I
decided to tackle this review with the same approach as any other, despite the
daunting size and unorthodox (for me) subject matter.
model comprises 98 pale yellow parts in high-pressure injection moulded
styrene. The bulk of the model is made up of the saucer itself. This is built
up from six upper segments and six lower segments. These very large wedges
(each with a radius of nearly 10" and over 12" wide at the lip) are
well moulded. The surface of these parts has a very subtle brushed metallic
texture radiating from the centre of the wedge. It is unlikely that this
almost invisible texture will survive the sanding that will be required before
painting. There are a few ejector pin pips that should be removed before
assembly (three on each upper segment and one on each bottom segment), but
they are minor. Considering the size of the parts, it is surprising that they
have not suffered from sinkmarks or other imperfections. Very impressive.
The other two main parts are the upper and
lower decks. These have been moulded with the walls in place, simplifying
assembly and providing a robust core for the model. However, the limitations
of the moulding process have required a number of ejector pin circles on some
of the visible inner surfaces, most notably on the floors.
The majority of the remaining 84 yellow
parts detail the interior. The interior does not include the kitchen sink, but
it does furnish almost everything else. In addition to the supports and
structural detail, the kit includes sixteen bunks, fifteen chairs, a table and
four armchairs, instrument stations and crew stations. This will populate the
spaceship with a busy interior.
Two clear domes are supplied for the top and
the bottom of the model. These are very clear and free of imperfections. They
are thoughtfully packaged in tissue paper to prevent scratching. On the movie
spacecraft, both these domes are silver. On the model, the choice is provided
to either leave the top dome clear, or to leave it unsecured so that the
interior detail may be viewed.
thumbnails below to view larger images of kit components:
Six additional clear parts are supplied to
build the Navigation Gyroscope dome and Robbie the Robot. Robbie is quite easy
to identify even in 1/72 scale!
The instructions are a bit of a
disappointment. They comprise a single foldout sheet, with a brief painting
guide and catalogue on the outside, and three exploded view diagrams inside. I
believe that some more detailed illustrations of parts in place would have
been helpful, along with more accompanying text.
The engineering of the kit should result in
a robust model, but care will be required when aligning the six main saucer
segments of the top, and the six of the bottom. These must be assembled
separately, as the assembled upper and lower decks are added to the bottom
ring before the top is secured. It might be wise to build a simple jig to hold
the centre section of each ring at the correct height while the cement is
Also, be prepared to spend considerable time
filling and sanding panel lines if a blemish-free surface is required. There
were no panel lines visible on the original movie spacecraft, so all those
10" long join seams will have to go!
The instructions suggest that the C-57D
should be painted Chrome Silver, but I would probably go for a Flat Aluminium.
Polar Lights' C-57D Starcruiser is certainly
a large and spectacular model. The kit contains all the elements to create a
detailed replica of the movie spacecraft, and there is plenty of potential for
super-detailers to go to town.
For screen shots and background on the
movie, check out the Forbidden Planet Unofficial Home Page at http://sfstation.members.easyspace.com/fbhome.htm
The size of this model and likely complexity
in aligning the major components probably makes it more suitable for
experienced modellers, but there is no doubt that the assembled spaceship will
draw comments from a long distance!
Thanks to Jerrold from Polar
Lights for the review sample
HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com
Review Copyright © 2001 by Brett
Page Created 25 June, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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