|KIT:||AMT Moon Base Alpha|
|NOTES:||Currently out of production|
“Now we're sitting on the biggest bomb man's ever made.”
Commander John Koenig
Gerry Anderson along with his ex-wife, Sylvia Anderson, made names for themselves with such great kid SF TV shows such as the the Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlett and Fireball XL-7. They were noted for their strong use of puppetry and model laden SFX shots.
In the late 60s, Gerry moved from kids puppet shows to live action SF with the series UFO (pronounced Brit style you-foh, not the American style U-F-O.) However, UFO did not prove to be a success as many TV types thought it was a kids show and were shocked when it dealt with violence, murder, the death of a child and, that old bugaboo, sex. Many stations put UFO on late night rather than ratings friendly prime time.
UFO became a cult show of sorts around the world despite the fact that it did not age well with the heavily made up purple wigged silver mini skirted women (who looked a lot like hot Oompah Loompah go go dancers), turbine engined cars (pre 73 oil crisis) and the post Apollo optimistic view we were going in space to stay (before reality and changes in attitude flushed that all away.)
Undaunted by failure and buoyed by the syndication success of Star Trek, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson attempted to do a sequel of UFO based on the moon. That didn’t work out so Gerry morphed it into what became Space 1999.
Space 1999 was not exactly a shining example of SF TV. It had a lot of elements that could have made it a great show (name actors such as Martin Landau and Barbara Bain-from Mission Impossible, great SFX as many of the SFX guys would later work on stuff like the Star Wars trilogy, no real competition as 1974 TV was a SF wasteland and a lot of buzz within SF fandom), but it’s writing was horrid to say the least. I can say this as one who saw it as a kid when it first came on TV and later bought the DVD box sets as an adult (I have a great weakness for bad British SF.)
The premise of the show was that nuclear waste dumps on the far side of the moon blasted the moon out of orbit and send it hurtling into deep space. Follow that? Famous SF author Issac Asimov reviewed the show and stated that the energy required to blast the moon out of orbit would have turned the Moon into dust and its inhabitants into so much red goo. If real science were applied then the series would have only been one episode long. To keep the show going, the moon violated numerous laws of physics and matter to allow the Alphans to walk at a comfortable one G and travel faster than light. The only way any adult could enjoy this show was to suspend all belief in the laws of the universe as we know it which might explain why my dad rolled his eyes and snorted often when he watched this show with his then five year old son.
The show is considered one of the worst SF TV shows of all time due to the bad plots, unemotional acting and poorly contrived skienze. It was bad, but I’ve seen a lot worse.
Despite it all, the show lasted some 2 years and later became a cult show. Space 1999 proved to be somewhat revolutionary as it was one of the first SF shows that got model makers involved at the beginning of the show’s release. The few models that were made were done by Fundimensions/MPC/AMT and Airfix. These are still around in one form or another today (rereleased in 1998 (?) and now found for ridiculous prices on eBay.) Among them, the Eagle (the primary spaceship of the show), a bizarre alien moon buggy that never appeared on the show, a combat spaceship called the Hawk that only appeared in one episode and this particular kit, the Moonbase itself.
It is an odd kit of sorts in that it tries to do too much with a model of the moon base and surrounding vacuformed terrain and throws in a model of the Command Centre off to the side.
It comes with two vacuformed pieces (landscape) and 86 styrene parts which make up the moon base itself and the Main Mission set from the TV show. The paint scheme is an awe inspiring combination of greys with the odd touch of silver and flat red.
The decals are for the launch pads and the control panels in Main Mission.
This was an odd kit from a rather odd show. It will certainly provide a change of pace from the usual.
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