By Olivier Cabourdin - Copyright © 1999
There are really few references for this spaceship and you have to take care to distinguish the studio model from Alien to the one from Aliens. These are two differents models. The second is more smooth (paneling less viewable) and with a body larger than the Narcissus from the first movie (comaring the windows and the engine pods at the same size for the two models).
The Halcyon kit looks really good when you first open the box, well detailed except for the cokpit. After dry assemblying, it appears clearly that the nose is misproportioned compared to the body, and that the engine pods do not fit correctly with the body.
- The cockpit : My first intention was to scratch the whole interior of the Narcissus. But after rewatching the movie on videotape, I found that the disposition of the elements and their details were not very clear (the movie is very dark !). In the end I only improved the instrument panels with plastic card and scratched some computer screens. I painted it with different shades of grey, followed by a black wash and then by an (heavy) white drybrush. With only the clear windscreen for illumination the interior is dark and not easily viewable so, scratchbuilding a better interior would have been finally useless.
- The nose: This is where most work is required. Modifying this part is tricky.
Upper nose part (part 25) : Separate the center "trench" floor from the rest. That gives you three parts. From the two upper side parts sand 1mm of the sides that face the "trench" and remove the exterior panel's side. Now glue the three parts together.
Lower nose part (part 26): Remove the back of the part. Make two grooves along the back of the edges wihtout reaching the exterior surface. Slighly bend the sides to get them align with the body and fill the grooves with superglue to keep the final shape (this need lots of hands ! two for the nose part, one for the body, one for the glue tube and one to wipe the sweat on your forehead !).
Glue the two nose parts (do not worry about the non-alignment of the front of the nose for the moment, it's the alignment of the top and bottom nose parts with the body which is important at this stage). Fill the sides with plastic card and sand to get a flat surface. Take care to get a little difference of alignment between the side of the nose and the body (0.5mm). Fill this difference with a V shape plastic card of 0.5mm width.Figure C
^ Note the red decals simulating formation lights.
Cockpit (this one doesn't get bigger)
Sand the front of the nose to get a flat surface (fill with plastic card if necesary). I noticed too late (the nose was already glued to the body) that the front round lights (the two oval clear parts #30) are in fact thrusters! So hollow them and add cylinder tubes of the correct diameter.
- The body: The side panels (parts 6 & 7) need attention while gluing them to be correctly put on the same level of the body: glue the edge #1, then the corner #2 and, when dry, the corner #3. Figure D. Above the back hatch, each the two rectangular holes needs two squares of plastic cards (0.25 mm width). Figure E
The four extremities at the end of the body should be square and not rectangular shaped. I found that the work needed to correct this would be too considerable for a so little result so I did not do it (see Figure F if you want to try). Four red position lights are missing, one at each of these extremities. You can either hollow them and insert red clear plastic card or, as I do, simulate them by red decals (applied after the painting stage of course and covered with a clear gloss coat).
- The engines Round off the lower edges as they adjust to the body. Do the same thing with the front edges and their counterparts on the body to get a fit without any step between them. Figure G
This kit is really not difficult to paint : overall white, light grey thruster, black inside thrusters and side holes. After a gloss clear coat (Future/Klir/Kleer), I applied the kit decals and the 4 red rectangular ones for the back position lights. I seal ed these with another gloss coat, then gave everything a black wash and, finally, a matte clear coat. The only drybrushing (white) I applied was for the four thrusters ; the rest of the ship is white, so a drybrush there would not be viewable !
After I finishied this kit and while writting this article, I found that on The Rocket Doctor site there is also a page on this spaceship. He has some images of the Narcissus and photos on the building of his kit which are usefull to explain the work needed on the nose. And, something that I completly missed while watching the movie but is clear on one of his images, there is hatch on the underside panel. Hopefully, this little part (part 16) is not glue to the rest of the ship (it is a removable part that hide the hole where the display base come), so I will modify it in the same way soon. Figure H
This page copyright © 1999 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 31 March 1999.