Review by chachipower
There are three things in life that have made me very happy. One of those would cause a divorce if it was still a part of my life. The other two are science fiction and cars. Science fiction brings forth the robots while cars brought me the excitement of full throttle. With this review I have combined two of my passions. If you are around my age, you will remember a movie called Blade Runner. While most of the movie all I heard was blah blah replicants blah replicants blah, I hung around to get peeps of the Spinner vehicle. Back then this thing looked like something I'd drive when I grew up. Unfortunately, cars don't fly yet.
Here is a little back-story according to wikipedia.com:
"Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.
The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019 in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants—visually indistinguishable from adult humans—are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other "mega–manufacturers" around the world. Their use on Earth is banned and replicants are exclusively used for dangerous, menial or leisure work on Earth's off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and "retired" by police special operatives known as "Blade Runners". The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the burnt out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down.
I am not much of a model-builder as made evident by the 20 or so unfinished kits I've had to throw away in the past. However, his most definitely has to be the highlight of my short-lived model kit-building...at least it will be when I am done. You see, in order to finish this kit on time and keep within the review time-frame guidelines, I built the kit as it was intended for the time being. However I am not one to leave well enough alone. I plan to shove LEDs into every crevice of this kit. (Edit: I have since went a tad beyond what was intended)
For now we'll go over what to expect from this kit. If you are an experienced modeler, this kit will be a cinch. There are few parts to put together since the details are all cosmetic. This may be a negative for some as some inaccuracies are present. There are windows that peer into nothingness, the dashboard leaves no room for legs, part of the floorboard window cutouts is blocked by the interior, the bulkhead is at the wrong angle... I could go on for a while. Bottom line is, it's a friggin' Spinner and I am just nitpicking. Modelers are already modifying all aspects of the kit with sheets of styrene and putty, not to mention the plans for third party upgrades.
The Spinner comes in a standard glossy kit box with an unexpectedly sturdy lower box half. The artwork is excellent and representative of the actual kit. However, the box art depicts a generic police Spinner. Is this a licensing issue? I don't see Bladerunner spec markings anywhere and no Spinner logo. Strange. On the box front it reads "Munufactured under license from OSC.
Once I opened it, I was surprised that the kit was molded in white! This is the part where non-painters will give up. This would not be a quick build. Not that I had the intention of building it unpainted, but blue plastic should have been a no-brainer so that the painting-challenged fans can build them up quick and easy. The prototypes did show the kit molded in blue so I don't know why that was changed. So simplistic is this kit that the wheels and tires are molded together which essentially kills any type of realism. I was disappointed that no rubber tires were included. I mean, this is from a company that manufactures an enormous assortment of aftermarket rims and tires for 1/24 scale model kits. I will eventually grab a wheel and tire combo off of another 1/24 scale kit.
The body and floor pan each come on their own sprue. In this photo, I have already misted on the primer to prepare for the upcoming paint-job.
Digging further into the kit, I realized Fujimi redeemed themselves by including the Blade Runner specific police decals by Cartograf! The ones on the box are not included which is fine with me. I wonder how this all works out behind the scenes with licensing and all.
OK, I see where the money for the tires went. They included a photo-etched metal set of Spinner logos. Now I don't feel so bad, but still, tires would have been nice.
The clear parts come in their own separate baggies and it nice to see that the lights come molded in color. There is even a spare set of lenses molded in clear so they can be painted orange. The only downside is the design of the lenses. They really leave no room for an LED setup. Some magic will need to be worked to get a nice clean setup which I already have in the works.
Also included in the set is the obligatory instruction sheet with color key. I'm not going to get into how difficult my quest for the proper color blue was. It was only available in bottle form. I'm a spray kind of guy, in other words I can't afford an airbrush setup at the moment. I've honed my painting skills on touching up real cars so this was not to be a problem. After buying a few expensive Japanese brand rattle cans, I made the tough decision of choosing what I believe closely matches the Spinner blue.
Here I have the body misted with primer so I can check for irregularities before I give it a good coat. Then off to the "paint booth" it goes!
The kit calls for specific color codes, both of which I had no access to whether it be because it can't be shipped or because it required an airbrush. So I blindly ordered two expensive cans of Japanese brand paint. Neither of the two were just right, but I sided with the darker of the two because my camera tends to brighten up colors. The lighter color was also on the greener side of the blue spectrum.
So as not to bore you guys with every step of the paint process, I basically primered the parts, then sprayed a base coat of color (which came out horrifyingly bad) and a thick coat of clear coat. I then sanded the clear coat smooth to fix any irregularities and applied the high quality Italian-made Cartograf decals. I then applied another thick clear coat to seal the decals.
Since the paint took forever to get to me, I decided to test fit some LEDs I had ordered. I found chip LEDs that fit great into the light housings but found them to be too thick to put the colored lens over it. As much as I wanted to have them on for the review, they will have to wait until I can devise a proper fitment.
Since I bought various LEDs to find what I needed, I found two that fit great as headlights. You can see that they are powered by a 9 volt which will be installed in the "trunk" of the Spinner. I also fitted one flashing LED up on the top.
After allowing the clear coat to dry, I wet-sanded the entire body and underside of the kit being careful not to eat through the paint. I then started gluing all the pieces together. The final touch was to add a ton of "battle damage" similar to what a well played-with SG-01 Tetsujin 28 looks like.
While the kit itself is only about 98% finished due to running out of proper paint, it is complete enough to show you guys the kit. The only missing parts is a white decal missing from the top and some window trim paint. Oh and of course a slew of LEDs which will hopefully be put into play soon.
After photographing this view, I realized I need to tidy up the wiring and paint underneath the front wheel flip-up covers. I made the bottom extra worn since these vehicles get abused a lot out there in the field.
Overall, I enjoyed building the kit. I won't lie, I am GLAD its pretty much done. My wife is even happier. I give props to Fujimi for tackling this kit even if most hardcore Spinner fans will find they can improve on a large percentage of the kit. At least this provides a good base to start with. It a blast to customize and the parts fit perfect with each other. I didn't have to modify anything to fit properly. In my experience, Fujimi has for the most part made very high quality kits, so quality was not an issue.
In fact, I had so much fun, I may take a stab at building another kit...or have I already started?...
|Posted 28 December, 2011 - 16:22 by chachipower|