By Tony Greenfield - images & text © 2006
Captain Scarlet was one of Gerry Anderson's later Supermarionation series and, in common with all other Anderson productions, featured unique signature vehicles. One of which was the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle or SPV, with its drivers facing to the rear and driving by way of a TV monitor.
In 2005 a CGI series was released, fully updating the show and, to no small extent, reinventing it as with the new Battlestar Galactica. However, few people seem to have seen the show. This is partly due to the show being screened as a part of the dumbest, most brain dead saturday morning kids TV show it has ever been my misfortune to see. Thank God for DVDs. I strongly recommend anyone who is interested to get hold of the DVD set.
Amongst the major changes (again shades of Battlestar Galactica) was one of the lead characters getting a sex change – Lt Green is now female. The vehicles have also been modernised and renamed. Cloudbase is now Skybase. It's larger and better equipped with two main runways. The Angel Interceptors are now called Falcons and, although similar in general design to the old Angel Interceptor they are far sleeker and better-looking than the angular originals.
Replacing the classic SPV is the Rhino. A sleek, fast 10-wheeled combat vehicle heavily armed with cannons and rockets.
What You Get
Corgi's newly-released model of the Rhino is solidly made and finished in a steel gray with black trim. The only real complaint as to the finish is the two door-mounted Spectrum logos, which are obviously stickers and are too glossy in comparison to the paint finish.
A thin wash of black ink or paint would help to bring out the panel line details and add a touch of realistic weathering. That will be my next job. A nice touch are the “No Step” and “Warning” markings on the hull and on what appear to be a pair of jet engines mounted on the upper hull. (Like I said, this thing is fast). The ten wheels are mounted on independently suspended axles and, although they do not have much play to them, they do look quite effective if you roll the model over a low obstruction.
As it’s a toy first and foremost there are the obligatory working features. In this case, a couple of very unobtrusive buttons trigger a spring loaded gull wing hatch on the left side of the cockpit (and a seated figure of Scarlet who springs out in similar fashion to the classic Dinky toy of the 60s). The second button releases spring loaded rams at the front and rear as well as a panel that opens to reveal a pair of (non firing) missiles.
The scale is not clear. Judging by the figure of Scarlet I would guess that its roughly 1/76 or maybe 1/87. Length is approximately 6 ¼ "/ 159mm(or just over 7"/ 179mm with the two spring loaded rams extended).
My examples cost £14.99 GBP from my local hobby shop (~$28.16 USD/$31.70 CAN/ € 22.18 EUR) . Comet Miniatures have them in at £15.00 plus P&P (or at £30 in a twin pack with an old style SPV).
All in all a very nice piece whether as a toy or a display model. It would also fit in well with any 15mm figure SF wargaming ranges. I can’t wait for the Falcon fighter to come out!
Many thanks to Tony's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2006 Starship Modeler. First posted on 5 October 2006.