Internet Modeler : First Look : Space/Sci Fi

Polar Lights 'Land of the Giants' Spindrift

By Michael Benolkin

Background

Many of us grew up on Irwin Allen science fiction during the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the episodes were even aired in black & white, prior to the transition to color television. Irwin Allen was the force behind the TV series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Lost in Space", "Time Tunnel", and of course "Land of the Giants".

In this series, a commercial space shuttle flight is enroute from point A to point B when it encounters space anomoly C and ends up on planet D. From all aspects, planet D is Earth except for a one major difference - all of the inhabitants of this planet are huge. This series told the story of the occupants of this space shuttle, called the Spindrift, and their survival on this unusual world.

The Kit

Many years ago, a model company called Aurora began offering kits from Irwin Allen series. You may remember the submarine Seaview and the Flying Sub from 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', and the Cyclops and Robot from 'Lost in Space'. Another noteworthy kit was the Spindrift, which has become a very hard to find item, even in the collectors' circles. When Aurora went out of business many years ago, all of these kits became very hard to find.

Along came a company called Polar Lights who acquired and restored many of the old Aurora molds and began reissuing kits that had been long unavailable. Then they began correcting/improving some of these previously reissued kits, such as adding the chariot to the Lost In Space 'Cyclops' vignette. If that wasn't enough, they began producing kits that Aurora never got around to, such as the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space and the Space Cruiser D7 from 'Forbidden Planet'. Polar Lights continues to amaze me with their variety of innovative new subjects as well as continuing to bring back more of the Aurora legacy.

Their latest offering is none other than the Spindrift from Land of the Giants. I haven't seen this kit in over 30 years and when did I hear of one, the price tag was staggering. While the Polar Lights reissue of the Spindrift won't drastically affect the Aurora collector's market, it will benefit all of us that have merely wanted to build one again!

Many of the more recent Polar Lights kits have a hole in the box to show the color of the plastic inside. In the case of the Spindrift, this is because there are at least two variations of this kit. One is molded in white and clear styrene whilst the other is molded in orange, green and clear styrene. The molding is sharp and flash free.

The hull of the ship is orange in color, which is why the exterior parts are molded in orange. The interior of the ship is essentially a cockpit 'Interior Green' with various details requiring other colors. Of course, the interior parts are molded in interior green. The windows, upper dome and display stand are molded in clear.

The fit of the hull appears to be spot-on. It doesn't look like there are any construction problems in this project. The main challenge of the project will be in painting the kit. No decals are provided for this kit, so the light and dark gray stripes on the hull will have to be painted and masked before the orange goes on (unless you choose to do this the other way around). What will be a little frustrating is painting the company crest on either side of the hull. The crest is molded onto the hull (as it was in the original Aurora kit). It would have been a little nicer to have this crest in decal form.

Conclusion

I had been waiting a long time to get my hands on a Spindrift kit and as soon as this kit was released, I went out and bought two. My hat is off to Polar Lights for continuing to offer innovative kit subjects and re-releases of the Aurora classics. This kit is highly recommended at all modelers.


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