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The Saucer Fleet

The Saucer Fleet Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review September 2013 Title The Saucer Fleet
Author Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers Publisher ARA Press
Published 2009 ISBN 9781894959704
Format 320 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $49.95


Almost any IPMS confab confirms: science-fiction fans comprise a passionate subset of the world's modeling family.  And a growing number of mainstream and cottage providers cater to this enthusiastic community.

This superb, beautifully illustrated volume embraces one of the genre's iconic symbols – the "flying saucer".  Replete with captivating copy and hundreds of photos and drawings, The Saucer Fleet by Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers brilliantly details nine celebrated saucers from 1950's and 1960's pop culture.

Readers will instantly recognize familiar film fantasies from The Day the Earth Stood Still, This Island Earth, Forbidden Planet, and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.  Joining these are circular vehicles from the American comic strip Twin Earths, Disneyland amusement park, and Lost In Space and The Invaders television shows.

Somewhat unexpectedly – but nevertheless understandable to knowledgeable enthusiasts – Hagerty and Rogers include the "manta ray" death machines from George Pal's movie adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.  And book topics remain exclusively American.  So don't expect those funky discs from Britain's Devil Girl from Mars or Japan's Battle in Outer Space.

Beginning with The Day The Earth Stood Still, chapters flow in chronological fashion.  Each includes the subject's historical and cultural contexts, narrative details, and saucer description.  And most contain an enormously enthralling "Archeologists Report" – in which co-author Rogers reveals how he researched and developed the book's beautifully detailed "Data Drawings" of each vehicle.  Fascinating fun!

Most sci-fi modelers will, I'm sure, consider those extrapolated "Data Drawings" pure gold.  With both dimensional and color information, readers collect more than enough scale detail for accurate scratch-builds.  Many chapters even include sidebars on available hobby kits.

This cool compendium promises endless enjoyment for sci-fi fans and modelers alike.  I simply couldn't put it down.  The Saucer Fleet enjoys my strongest recommendation!

My sincere thanks to ARA Press for this review sample!