| By Rob
Caswell - images and text © 2000
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^ The two RCS thruster quads are largely molded as single pieces, although one quad has an add on "panel" which replaces one of the four thrust deflectors. It's this kind of attention to accuracy that makes this a remarkable kit.
^ The floor of the Pod's cockpit.
Last year Space:1999 had it's time in the spotlight. Now that that's behind us, sci-fi aficionados are looking towards 2001's namesake year. Clearly Scott Alexander (aka "Captain Cardboard") has been fueled by the coming of that noteworthy date. He first became a name to 2001 fans when he released his Aries IB kit, as part of his "Kits Aurora Should Have Made" line. His 1/12th scale Pod (half the size of the studio miniature) is the next step (and not the last) down the path of giving modelers the 2001 models they've dreamed of since the film first graced the screen.
From first announcement to delivery, the kit took a little over a year to create. During that time Scott sent out regular updates to his customers, giving us a unique insight into the process of bringing a garage kit like this to life. It was originally planned to be about a four-month project, but while some were frustrated by the overrun, it ultimately led to a more accurate model as Scott would obtain new reference materials. With the original models long since destroyed, researching 2001 subjects is quite the detective job.
This model was created using a stereolithography process. This is where the model is designed in a CAD package, and then patterns are output through computer-controlled 'growing devices'.
OPEN THE BOX, PLEASE, HAL
Inside you'll find the parts are craftily packed like puzzle pieces. I assure you that you'll never be able to pack them back in that same way. Paper towel separates many of the parts. While it may seem to be a quaint packing tool, it works quite well in keeping the resin parts from banging and scraping each other. I had only one minor parts breakage one of the Pod's "fingers". It was easily fixed with a spot of CA.
WE CAN NOW REVEAL THE DETAILS OF YOUR MISSION
That said, the kit is not for lightweights. It will require lots of filling, sanding, and some very light scratchbuilding using provided styrene stock. It's probably not the best choice for your first resin kit, but if you're a reasonably practiced modeler you shouldn't have any problems.
While the model does not come with lights, it's designed to be lighting-friendly. Holes are provided to run wiring into the hull and the instructions go into some detail about how to be approach the task. The kit features things like clear acetate control panels which will look great when backlit. However, if you just want to make an unlit display model, it's not a problem. I'm not usually a lighting kinda guy, but this kit begs for it so much, I may make the exception.
WHAT DO WE HAVE IN THE PARTS BAY, HAL?
The kit includes an interior, but it should be noted that it's a "partial interior". It's about 75% there enough so that when you light it and look in the window, it seems complete. The Pod door is hinged and can be opened. When open it would likely reveal some of the sketchier interior bits. But with some work, a modeler could easily fill in that 25%, though it may require some creative filling-in-the blanks.
I've left descriptions of the individual part details to the sidebar pictures. They say more than I could describe in words. Overall, it's a very clean kit - certainly in the top 10% of what's out there in the garage kit market, today.
THE H.A.L. SERIES HAS NEVER MADE A MISTAKE
The kit also comes with a waterslide decal sheet and a set of placards. The placards are used for various warning markings, et al.
This page copyright © 2000 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 2 November 2000.