Masterpiece Models 1/6 Time Machine






Two large sheets


Scott Van Aken


Resin with all the goodies


It seems to me that some of the best movies ever done were in the 50's and early 1960s. At least in terms of sci-fi and fantasy. It is during this time that we get War of the Worlds, Forbidden Planet, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 2000 Leagues Beneath the Sea, and The Time Machine. These were mostly adaptations of early sci-fi books and were cutting edge in terms of special effects for the times. George Pal or the Disney Studios were able to provide very convincing effects that still hold up well when viewed. Best of all, these were shot in color and most vivid. Part of those special effects were the props that were used for the movies. These were some pretty impressive machines of all types, but the one that caught my fancy was the Time Machine.

This particular movie was released in 1960 and starred Rod Taylor as the inventor of the time machine. The machine itself was a typical Victorian design with of lots of scroll-work embellishments and a deeply cushioned and elaborate seat. No strictly geometric design, the machine is an elegant construct of curves and shapely surfaces. Undoubtedly the most visual part was the large 'time dish' at the back which operated in conjunction with the 'time generator' to which it was attached. The controls were not buttons or switches but lever operated with a handle that would make an old-time beer tap look plain!

It still captivates me to watch as the surroundings around the machine change with the passage of time. George Pal really knew how to make the best of the technology that was available to him as the special effects are seamlessly inserted into the movie to where you don't realize that they are there; the mark of a true master. I have not seen the most recent (2001) remake of this film, but I can't see how it could be much better than the older film of 40 years ago.



Finally, we have a model of the co-star of George Pal's Time Machine. The first thing you notice is that this kit comes in a big, heavy box. Well over 5 pounds of resin, decals and other parts are included in this one so you definitely are getting your money's worth in terms of the amount of resin. I can think of figure kits that cost more but don't give you as much. The overall quality of the resin is superb. I saw no air bubbles in any pieces and though there is some flash and mold seams that will have to be cleaned up, it is nothing more than the norm for a resin kit. Most parts come on resin casting blocks, but again, it is the norm with resin kits.

Other bits and pieces in the kit are some metal screws and some wire used in construction and there are several sheets of plastic to be used as well. The base comes pre-shaped so that is one area that you won't have to concern yourself regarding trying to form. As you can see by the ruler in the upper top of the image, this is going to make into a very large model when it is done.

There are two huge sheets of decals, mostly for the huge resin dish at the back of the time machine. These are all printed on a single carrier film so you'll have to cut out what is needed. Regular decal setting solutions should work quite well with them.

What probably makes this kit doable, is the depth of the instructions. First of all, there are excellent drawings of all aspects of the time machine to assist with construction. Though the bits are not specifically labeled in any of the instructions as you might expect from a plastic model kit, it is quite obvious what parts go where. In the case of where assembly is hidden, drawings are supplied for that particular step. Also included are full size templates for some parts that need to be made from the sheet styrene that is included. The instructions themselves are very complete and follow a logical sequence for constructing the time machine starting with the base. Each section has numbered steps that offer advice on correct parts placement as well as any areas you need to watch out for when building it. Probably the only thing missing is a detailed listing of what colors parts are to be painted. However, you are given a crisply printed full color sheet showing the completed kit from which to glean color information. You can also rent the movie to get color data as well or wing it and go with what you think the colors should be.



Overall this is the most impressive resin kit I have ever seen. It certainly is a subject that you won't see produced by the major plastic model companies, and is the type of subject that will be sure to stand out when displaying it. Considering the finished size of the model, its price is actually most reasonable. Masterpiece Models will provide any customer service you require so if you run into difficulty a quick phone call should take care of it. I might also take this opportunity to mention that readers of Modeling Madness who order this or any other Masterpiece Models kit will get a 10% discount if you mention where you saw it. Click on the banner ad for ordering information.

Review kit courtesy of

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