Polar Lights 1/48 Lost In Space (TV) Jupiter 2 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||1999||Manufacturer||Polar Lights|
|Subject||Lost In Space (TV) Jupiter 2||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||5033||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Beautifully detailed interior, well laid out kit design||Cons||Pilots' seats need replacing|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
Polar Lights has reissued a number of former-Aurora kits including the LIS Robot and the Cyclops. In fact, they've had to repair and improve the molds to get us these kits. The Jupiter 2 represents their first original model. Lunar Models has produced some LARGE and small Jupiter 2s, but nothing like this and definately not this inexpensive!
The instructions describe the dilema that Polar Lights had to contend with. The original TV series was filmed with several different sized Juptiter 2 models/sets. Using the dimensions of the entry hatch as the constant, the kit either scaled out to 1/48 or 1/60, depending on which set or prop was referenced. Read the instructions, they describe the whole process.
The kit is molded in silver (the outer parts), tan (the inside decks and details), and clear (the windows, domes, suspended animation tubes, elevator, etc.). Polar Lights provides two complete decks inside the 12 inch diameter hull. Each deck is complete with all of the details that we can still see on the Sci-Fi Channel. You can view the detail of the upper deck through the forward windows or by removing the top of the saucer. The lower deck can be accessed by removing the mid-saucer and upper decks.
One victim of Polar Light's design compromise are the landing gear wells. They are almost non-existent. If you want the ability to model and display the lower deck, you'll have to live with the shallow wells. Hollywood never has these kind of problems.
My suggestion is to eliminate the lower deck altogether and deepen the landing gear wells. One of the ideas I saw on the internet modeling newsgroup (rec.models.scale) is to hit the craft shop and buy a few sets of those blinking LEDs that people put on hats, sweatshirts, etc. They run about $5.00 each and can be used to liven up the core reactor that is on the bottom of the Jupiter 2. They'll fit nicely without the lower deck in the way.
The only two problem areas I can see at present are the windscreen and the landing gear. The windscreen is molded from almost clear plastic. It is accurate for a Jupiter 2 that has flown through volcanic ash for an extended period. I recommend replacing with clear plastic sheet and Evergreen plastic for the frames. The rest of the "clear" parts are fine as they are.
The bigger problem is with the landing gear. The critical pieces - the steps, framing and door, are molded into halves so that there is a nice seam running through the gear door (easy to fix) and through all of the steps (oops). I'm going to cut up the legs to seperate the frames, steps and gear doors. The door halves can be replaced with sheet plastic. The steps from cut plastic strips. The steps can be removed from the frames, just leave a 1/16 inch stub where the step used to be. Reattach the frames to the new gear door, and then insert the steps onto the stubs you left on the frames.
Now you have an externally and upper-deck internally pleasing Jupiter 2! If you'd like to look at some good references on the subject, visit the outstanding Lost in Space TV Series Website.