By Jim James - images & text © 2007
Personally this is one of most favorite designs of all times and harkens back to those simpler designs of the 50's when everything was smooth and chrome.
Based on the Estes flying rocket kit, mastered by Pat Tomlinson, cast by C.E.D. and issued under Allen Ury's Fantastic Plastic label, the Royal Starship or Queen's Ride is a beautiful kit with no bubbles or voids and minimal flash around the gear and hatch parts. The detail is very sharp and about the only concern I have is that the panel lines are too wide. That said, I feel confident that that “problem” will go away with paint.
What You Get
There are 19 parts - three for each main landing gear, four the front landing gear, six for the hatch which can be displayed extended. The remaining parts are the one-piece main hull and the two finials or pointy things stick out the back. I had always planned to build my model in flight mode and that idea was set in stone with the words on the instructions “the landing gear will not support the ship's weight.” There's really no way around this since the hull is solid resin and the glue points on the landing gear are very small. It's recommended that you drill a hole on the underside for “mounting purposes.”
Assembly and Paint
The assembly seems well laid out and calls for several holes to be drilled to accommodate the gear legs. Instructions cover assembling gear and hatch doors open or closed - sometimes these parts are not designed to do both. Otherwise assembly is straight forward (especially if you're not going to assemble the ship with the gear down like me!).
Painting instructions are non-existent except for “prime parts with automotive primer or Gunze Mr. Surfacer.”
I know we all assume that the ship is chrome overall but suggestions on where the chrome ends at the hatch and landing gear and colors of gear and hatch interior would have been nice. I think my biggest fear is that this model is crying out for Alclad Chrome and I've never had to apply it over a whole model before. I will probably use black decal for the cockpit windows.
Still thinking about it? If you like this ship, this a beautiful model kit and well worth the money. Assembly and clean-up is easy. Making it look good is all in the paint job. Fantastic Plastic did announce this as a limited edition. Allen has one. I have one. That means there are not many still out there.
I really have to put in a word of praise for Allen Ury. Allen has contracted/gathered together some of the best sci-fi ship sculptors and casters under his Fantastic Plastic label (which ironically only issues resin kits). Choosing subjects that a) he'd like and b) haven't been done by anyone else, he's carving out a well-deserved niche in the sci-fi modeling world. My hat is off to you, Allen.
Many thanks to Jim'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 © 2007 Starship Modeler. First posted on 6 March 2007.