Testors 1/48 Roswell UFO

KIT #: 555
DECALS: One option
NOTES: 50th Anniversary Edition


The Roswell UFO Incident involves the recovery of materials near Roswell, New Mexico, USA, on July 8, 1947, and since the late 1970s has become the subject of intense speculation, rumor, and questioning. There are widely divergent views on what actually happened and passionate debate about what evidence can be believed. The United States military maintains that what was actually recovered was debris from an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program named "Mogul." Many UFO proponents maintain that a crashed alien craft and bodies were recovered, and that the military engaged in a cover-up. The incident has turned into a widely known pop culture phenomenon, making Roswell synonymous with UFOs. It ranks as one of the most publicized and controversial UFO incidents ever.

History provided by your editor via Wikipedia

  The kit is pretty basic with fewer than thirty light gray plastic parts, including the five crew figures and the three piece display stand.  Another seven parts I found redundant, but I'm not an engineer..
  The front of the instruction sheet is a reprint of the July 8, 1947 Roswell Daily Record newspaper.  The inside cover has history of UFO's/ coverup/ referance books, web sights, and an invite to the UFO museum in Roswell.
 The instructions offer three ways to build the kit.
Simple: Glue the shell together, paint, and decal
Intermediate:  Finish all the parts into the spacecraft.
Complete: As above with crew.

  I built the third option.  The first step is the crew compartment cover.  This is a big old window for a 1/48 kit.  It's a smoke colored window, though, and very nice.  There are three clear bubble fairings that glue into the three ovals along the top of the canopy.  I couldn't feacher how I could glue clear to clear without it looking yucky, so I colored the ovals with a felt tip, one each in red, black and green.  There are four decals that apply to the forward end.  These went on well.
  The next step are the other four redundant pieces, the sensor transparances that mount inside the nose sensor bay.  I put them in there, but a smoke gray clear flat glued to a gray plastic flat seems a bit fiddley to me.
  The fin halves are glued together, then to the fuselage top.  A technical note in the instructions says that witnesses stated the craft had a living sea creature quality.  That being true, the fins need to be well blended into the fuselage top.  I am completely confident that gap filling can be accomplished in final painting. Never worked yet, though.  More filler needed here.
  The crew was painted so as to show a nice tan.  Their suits are specified as flat gray, while the interior was to be metallic silver.  I thought silver inside would be too much, so left both in the silver gray of the kit plastic, except for the part listed as the reactor, which I painted flat black.
  The cockpit tub crew compartment mounts to bosses inside the lower fuselage half, then the upper half is fit.  When this assembly is cured, the two canopies are added.  These all fit together well, with the exception of the bottom edge of what must be the crew hatch to fuselage.  Some white glew, window maker or filler should be used here.

  I painted the exterior silver, but didn't note what exactly.  From the finish, it was probably an acrylic aluminum.  Another note says that when found the bottom of the craft was a light blue.  As it cooled, it turned a dark manganese brown, so I guess any color between would do.
  The tip of the stick on the display stand is too long and touches the bottom of the cockpit tub, making the thing a "spinner".  I cut enough off the end of the stick to make the thing solid.

  This was a pretty easy build with no built in SNAFU's, so it would be a good gift for a young'un just starting to show interest in modeling, space or both.

Joe Bairn

May 2009 

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page