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Lindberg 1/48 Area 51 UFO Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2008 Manufacturer Lindberg
Subject Area 51 UFO Scale 1/48
Kit Number 91006 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Another nostalgic model back on the shelf Cons Missing lots of interior detail (see text)
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $20.00

First Look


Several years ago, a group of business folks associated with the hobby industry pulled together a new company and bought the rights to the brand names of Lindberg and Hawk. While many folks only associate the brand name of Lindberg with a handful of aircraft and car kits, many 'old timers' will recall the wealth of kits that were developed under the Lindberg as well as the Hawk names, but in the final years of Lindberg's existence prior to being purchased and 're-invented', the brand name was left with just a few legacy (read inexpensive) aircraft kits and a limited focus on the automotive hobbyist.

Under its new ownership, the 'new' Lindberg team went out to locate much of the original tooling. By the time the Lindberg/Hawk team had debuted the 'new' company at the Chicago toy and hobby show, they'd reassembled a vast range of kit offerings from the original catalogs, many of which have not been available for decades. One of my favorites was the 1/48 scale SM-62 Snark kit ( reviewed here).

As Linberg continues to roll out some of their new subjects (like the two 1/72 IJN submarines coming soon), they are also reissuing many of these classic kits like the Snark. While I wasn't surprised to see this Area 51 UFO kit on that reissue list, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this new team has a great imagination as well as a sense of humor with the simultaneous release of the 'Visible Alien' which we will review soon. It was too funny seeing their 'Visible Alien' kit alongside the new-tool 'Visible Man', new tool (and anatomically enhanced) 'Visible Woman, Visible Horse, etc., all on display in Chicago.

While I didn't pay too much attention to this kit when it first was released (too many years ago), I couldn't resist a look at this kit now. The kit is molded in clear and gray styrene. The upper and lower disc halves are molded in clear, while the main deck, upper equipment housing, and interior details are molded in gray.

According to Bob Lazar, who claimed to have worked on this craft within the Area 51 complex, this vehicle would become transparent when powered up (hence the clear shell). The three seats inside the vehicle were reportedly too small for a human to sit in, and the three gravitic motors were housed below the main deck.

While these basic details are included in the kit including three seats, the three motors, two 'gray' figures, and a single human figure for scale reference, there are some simple questions left unaddressed:

  1. How did Lindberg know this is 1/48 scale?
  2. Where are the rest of the details in the kit? This was supposed to be the 'sport model', not the barebones version
  3. Why are the painting instructions refering to US Federal Standard 595 colors? Is there more to this story than we know? Surely there can't be a government cover-up here? Can there?

So basically you're on your own to fill in the gaps on the interior details. It shouldn't be hard to scratchbuild the area on the craft where abducted humans were given rectal probes and turned into unwitting 1/72 scale modelers.

There has to be an on-board library with copies of that classic book "To Serve Man".

There even has to be an on-board toilet because as advanced as these visitors are, surely they can't go more than a few light-years without a pee.

So there you have it. Lindberg has given us the 'Visible UFO' that will look different next to my Monogram 1/32 Phantom Mustang model. Like that Phantom Mustang, this kit has only minimal details inside, but AMS modelers can fill in those details with a little skill and imagination.

Have some fun with this model. It will definitely be a conversation piece on your desk or on the shelf. You'll have to excuse me, I suddenly feel the urge to draw Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming...