AMT 1/500 UFO Mystery Ship Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||February 2010||Manufacturer||AMT/Round 2|
|Subject||UFO Mystery Ship||Scale||1/500|
|Kit Number||0622||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Outstanding decal sheet, great price||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$19.95|
Round 2 continues to reissue a nice array of kits that haven't seen the light of day in decades. Here is one that I was rather pleased to see announced at the last iHobbyExpo trade show, the Interplanetary UFO Mystery Ship. Those of us old enough to remember that Paul McCartney was in a band before 'Wings' will remember this gem as well.
First released in the late 1960s, this kit was billed as the Leif Ericson Galactic Cruiser that appeared on the side of Star Trek kit boxes hinting that this might appear in a future original series episode but such was not the case. Nevertheless, the design was intended to fulfull a role on some science fiction series but never got there. According to Star Trek designer Mike Okuda, the Leif Ericson was designed by Matt Jefferies, the same designer of the original Enterprise. While the Leif Ericson was written into some of the storyboards for the animated series, it never made it into production.
Despite the 'real-world' setbacks, the Leif Ericson did indeed make it to store shelves and I believe reissued once or twice in the subsequent decades. I haven't seen one since I was a kid! Here it is once again from Round 2 and with a nice improvement!
Molded in the same 'glow-in-the-dark' plastic as the original issue, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus the upper and lower main hulls.
The build is so simple, the whole project is covered on one page, with a second page dedicated to the decal placements. Three pages of the instructions contain a short story involving this ship which I'll be sitting down to read soon.
The big news in this kit is the decal sheet. I didn't have such a cool sheet with my original kit eons ago. This provides some nice 'details' for the interior of the shuttle bay as well as the rear of the main hull. A number of options are provided from pirate-like markings to a more Trek-like USS Yuri Gagarin motif, and these are provided in fresh markings as well as well-worn versions. Lots of possibilities here.
Of course you can build the kit and not paint it and enjoy the nostalgia of that gaudy glow in the dark hull, or you can take the kit into the Star Trek universe with the appropriate painting and detailing. Heck, take it into your own universe! This is supposed to be a fun kit and I bought two just for that purpose!