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Spindrift

Polar Lights Land of the Giants Spindrift Build Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2004 Manufacturer Polar Lights
Subject Land of the Giants Spindrift Scale Approx 1/72
Kit Number 0465 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful reissue of the OLD Aurora kit Cons Missing two passenger seats (six instead of four), incorrect shaped dorsal clear dome
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $19.95

Background

Irwin Allen had a knack for creating action adventure series and the science fiction TV series "Land of the Giants" was no exception. The Spindrift was apparently the futuristic version of a corporate jet or regional jet that jumped into space to get to any part of Earth quickly. We join the series when one such flight enters some phenomenon that sends the craft and crew to an earth-like planet, but where they are merely inches tall in contrast with the planets inhabitants.

Many, many years ago, Aurora had produced the Spindrift kit, complete with interior which could be opened by removing the tail fin 'clip' and opening the top of the craft. This kit had since become a highly sought after collector's kit with a hefty price to reflect its popularity.

Polar Lights to the rescue. They have not only released a number of old Aurora kits, they've picked up where Aurora left off and have produced a number of kits that Aurora might have gotten around to had they stayed in business.

This kit is molded in bright orange styrene for the exterior parts and interior green for the interior parts, plus clear parts for the windscreen and dorsal dome. The airlock door is movable.

The Project

I decided that this would be a fun build that would also be a useful training step for installing electro-luminescent lighting (more on this later). I paid a visit to the CultTVman website where I not only found some useful information on the project, I also found that they produce decals to make the finish of this project much nicer (and easier!).

Getting Started

SpindriftThe first step on this journey was to do some bodywork. The kit comes with the 'stripes' molded into the styrene and a corporate logo molded onto each side of the hull. This was all filled in with gap-filling cyano that was "zip-kicked" to accelerate curing time, then sanded smooth with a course sanding stick, followed by the progressive polishing pads of the Micro-Mesh system (see our Tools section for more). Considering the area that needed to be filled and buffed out, this took a little bit of time and provided a nice upper body workout. You can still see where the engraved stripe lines are in the hull photo, but the gaps are now sealed with cyano in this picture. The parts you're looking at are still bare, unpainted styrene.

SpindriftThe next step was to drill out all of the holes in the engine intake and exhaust mesh. While this was almost as fun and the step above, you can now see through the grillework and this is where we'll be installing red electroluminescent sections to recreate the look of the studio model (for the short time that it actually remained lit).

Check back often as we'll get this bird build and off to the paint rack soon!

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