Airfix 1/72 Angel Interceptor
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons:
This was a TV show I grew up with and I loved it. It was the first Supermarionation project by Jerry and Sylvia Anderson after the success of their series of marionettes like SuperCar, Fireball XL-5, Joe 90, Thunderbirds. The next logical step for the Andersons to perfect their shows after Captain Scarlet was to use real actors! And thus they followed with UFO first and then Space 1999 (another couple of shows I followed every week). Returning to Captain Scarlet there were lots of special effects, action, combats and powerful planes and cars. All the right condiments for kids.
For those who have not seen this British show here there is a brief description: When in 2068 the human mission to Mars led by Captain Black from Spectrum organization they found the planet inhabited. Though the Mysterons (or Martians) were peaceful their attempt to look in detail to the humans was misinterpreted by Black as an hostile act and he proceeded to blast away the Mysteron city…only to see it reconstructed as by magic in front of his very eyes. This unprovoked attacked prompted the Mysterons to seek revenge by destroying the human organization. To achieve this they would infiltrate the human society and defenses by killing specific key people and then replacing them with copies under Mysteron control…which were reconstructed with the same swiftness as they had reconstructed their own city in Mars. Captain Black becomes the key Mysteron agent.
Their first attack on Planet Earth targeted Captain Scarlet whose Mysteron replica was eventually killed and resurrected by Spectrum, thus now becoming indestructible and a key asset for planet Earth. Each one of the members of Spectrum were identified by a colour (from Colonel White to Lieutenant Green and with different Captains like Blue (Scarlet’s team mate), Brown, Ochre, etc).
Besides their special vehicles and planes for Captains Scarlet and Blue there was also Cloud Base. This was a floating plane carrier from where Colonel White directed the fight against the different Mysterons schemes. Cloud Base was also home for the Angels interceptors, piloted by 5 different female fighter pilots: Harmony, Rhapsody, Symphony, Melody and Destiny. They would take off and land from this “plane carrier”. For them to access their fighters they would strap themselves to their seats that then would be elevated to the open undersides of the planes thus the bottom of the seat becoming the bottom of the plane…and then take off!
I have always wanted to have a kit that would represent another key series from my childhood (the first being my Speed Racer Mach 5 kit. Captain Scarlet lasted only one season (1967/68) but for me it was fantastic.
This Airfix kit was issued probably 30 years ago and has just been re issued a couple of years ago by Hornby. Originally the kit was a snap kit so there are large guides to attach the parts together and the gaps are horrendous. Typical of several generations ago the panel lines are all raised. The decal sheet is great with excellent density, register and colours (i.e. golden Spectrum logos). There is a pilot supplied…but it is not a girl!
There were two things to deal with first: converting the male pilot into one of the Angels and re-scribing all the panel lines. So let’s talk about the Angel first:
First step was to model the Angel “boobies” using Tamiya putty. Not too marked but evident enough. After this modification was done the following part was to add the communication indicators placed on the shoulders. For this I used little strips of round plastic. Then I started to paint the Angel. First the face using ModelMaster Acryl Skin colour. Then all the uniform, helmet, boots in white. The different golden bands (boots, wrists, belt, neck) were painted in Gold (Humbrol). The helmet of the Angels has clear sides thru which the hair of the pilot can be seen. Having decided to build Destiny this clear part was represented by painting her hair on the helmet and her long hair coming out under the helmet and running over her shoulders. The clear section was given a coat of Future (to replicate the Plexiglas) and a red dot followed in the middle of the forehead area of the helmet as there is a Spectrum roundel/logo painted there. The last details were the very narrow black sunglasses and the red crossed seatbelts made with masking tape painted with ModelMaster Acryl Red. With this the Angel was ready.
The seat is not correct in terms of shape. It lacks the tall headrest
present in the Angel Interceptor. This was scratch built (forming a U with
strips of plastic and rounding the internal edges using Putty and sandpaper) and
painted in red with the rest of the seat being given a hand of aluminum.
Using DYNO tape all the raised panel lines were rescribed (some of these are already fading away in the kit due to the age of the mold).
There is a decal for the instrument panel which proved to be too large for the plastic piece to which it needs to be attached. So once it was glued I trimmed the excess of decal. The rockets located inside the nose beside the cockpit were painted in white with a black background. The large air intake received a coat of black with silver drybrushing highlighting the grid.
With these internal parts ready (pilot and seat, rockets, instrument panel and air intake) and all panel lines rescribed I was finally able to close the fuselage halves. Being a snap kit the gaps are, as mentioned above, horrible. There was a need of large amounts of putty to erase these gaps.
But worse was to come…the gaps of the wings to fuselage attachment were not gaps…they were trenches! After cutting the inserts and guides, opening up the slots and lots of careful dryfitting and alignment I succeeded in achieving something decent but far from perfect. To correct this I had to use copious amounts of Tamiya Putty (i.e. wing to fuselage underside union, air intake to fuselage) and spent several days sanding and filling with putty. The top union of wings/fuselage was not bad and with white acrylic base and a damp cloth I was able to fix it with no problem.
The next area was the nose tip which was attached and having a couple of winglets that had a large gap and also required putty and sanding. With this end finished I moved to the tail area and attached the horizontal surfaces….I should buy shares of Tamiya Putty…more sanding and filling… I attached the nose landing skid.
After giving the kit a nice wash with mild detergent and checking for errors in the sanding (as the putty also had now to be rescribed to replace the panel lines lost in the process) I attached the canopy that went on with little fuss (just a little bit of sanding) and finally(!) I was able to proceed with the painting of the Interceptor.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The rocket launchers, the canopy and the air intakes were carefully masked with Tamiya tape. The canopy frames were painted in black and masked. To check for imperfections and give the kit a nice base I painted the kit with light grey. No defects worth mentioning were found so I was able to move to the main colour: ModelMaster Acryl gloss white. The border of the air intake and the tip of the landing skids were masked and painted in gloss red. The antiglare area in front of the windshield was painted in black and now the kit was ready for the decals. The canopy frames were painted in black and then silver. The air intakes in the tail area were painted with a brush using black paint.
As mentioned above these are very well printed and there was no saving in quality of inks by Airfix. They are beautiful. I first started with the stencils. Plenty of them! I was not aware that the Interceptors had so many! I finalized with the very large black A under the wings and the 6 fantastic Spectrum roundels.
Once the decals were dry I sealed them with a light coat of Future. The exhaust was painted in aluminum with the internal part receiving black paint. Fit was not good at all with the plug being too large and requiring a considerable amount of trimming. With this the Angel Interceptor was finished.
A nice small kit that represents the Angel Interceptor very well. Being a toy or snap kit it requires lots of work to properly bring it to life. But after several weeks I prevailed and now my Captain Scarlet’s Angel Interceptor is sitting in my display shelves alongside the other great icon from my childhood: Speed Racer’s Mach 5.
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