By Joe Brown - images & text © 2003
Image: With instructions
Image: Rear view
Image: Completed base
Image: Beauty shot.
The humanlike Visitors arrived in 50 huge Motherships, each measuring a mile and more across. Asking for our help to manufacture chemicals desperately needed for their dying planet, the Visitors were quickly assimilated into Earth's culture. The Visitors gained power and influence, thanks in part to brilliant public relations and also to a conversion process that turned any human subjected to it into a Visitor puppet.
Fearing that the scientific community would discover their secret identity, the Visitors ostracized scientists around the world. But, a cameraman discovered their secret-the Visitors were actually lizard creatures who were stealing our water and taking human lives for food! The cameraman carried this information to a small, embryonic Resistance group, and the war for survival of humanity began!
While fun, the show did have a scientific flaw or two. If the Visitors were after water, why not stock up on ice from Saturn's Rings, where there were no pesky humans taking potshots at them? But, in the early 1980s, any science fiction on television was better than none at all.
The Visitor Fighter kit is an accurate reproduction of the treacherous invaders' attack-craft, and it has really excellent detailing. The original TV master was sculpted by T. M. Lindsey, and he sells his kit through his website.
What You Get
Inside the package are three resin pieces, consisting of the base and the forward and back halves of the Visitor Fighter. The base is superb, with a raised “V” like the spraypainted symbol from the show. The base has a locator dimple intended for use as the mounting hole. I plan to mount it on a painted wood display stand and put the completed ship and base on top of that.
The kit detail is nicely crisp and clean throughout and consists of engraved windows, doors, engines, and hull panel lines. Mr. Lindsey has provided a good quality, waterslide decal sheet with markings for the nose and sides of the Visitor Fighter. There is a warning on the instruction sheet concerning the fragility of the decals, and I did have two of them break while I was applying them; however, they were easy to “nudge” into place.
There is a single-sided instruction sheet included with the kit, along with the decal sheet. It's a simple but clear assembly and painting guide and a decal placement guide. The illustrations showing decal placement and painting notes are bang-on correct and useful. Why can't all instructions be this way? Oh, that's right, we're modelers, we don't use instructions . . .
Is it accurate? As far as I can tell with my resources, yes. It matches what I recall having seen on television and the stills that are around on the internet.
Assembly and Finish
Assembly is a no-brainer. Wash and clean all the parts, and attach the parts together with CA glue. After that, prep, prime, and paint the model, add decals, and then clear coat. The fit of the two halves is superb. Dry-fitting of the pieces to align and check their fit ensures that this model goes together very smoothly.
I used automotive (car) primer on the model, and after it dried, I used Tamiya Gloss White acrylic. After that dried, I hand-brushed Apple Barrel Black acrylic onto the engine section panels and the cockpit windows. For the panel lines, I applied Bob Ross Gray Gesso. This was allowed to dry slightly and then wiped off the model's surface with a damp rag. This process left the gray in the panel lines, accenting them nicely.
The entire base was painted with Tamiya Red acrylic and allowed to dry. I then brushed on yet another Bob Ross acrylic product, flat Black Gesso. The black acrylic dries really flat, making a great contrast with the gloss red of the raised V symbol.
During my internet hunt for V images, I had seen that the various other small craft used in the series were the small Personnel Shuttle, the Large Troop Shuttle, and the Tanker Shuttle. The forward and aft ends of these other Visitor ships were, without exception, identical to the forward and aft ends of this kit of the Visitor Fighter. Hmmm. . . I know that Mr. Lindsey has possible plans for these additional variations; however, I decided that I would make attachment points for adding my own scratchbuilt modules later. I carefully (very, very carefully!) drew alignment marks and then slowly drilled pilot holes. I enlarged the pilot holes and fitted them with brass tubing, which will allow for easy attachment of the future expansion modules. I also drilled holes in the base and the underside of the aft end of the kit for more tubing so that I could mount the model in various poses.
The amount of detailing effort that went into this model is inspiring, given its size and the relative obscurity of the subject vehicle. The resin is perfectly cast, with not one single bubble to be found! As for me, I love it. I really like this particular design, and, the kit is simple enough to be done over a weekend (cleaned, assembled and painted). Very highly recommended!
Many thanks to T. M. Lindsey for providing the review sample!
This page copyright © 2003 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 18 September 2003.