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Author Topic: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights  (Read 299 times)

Offline trekriffic

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Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« on: October 18, 2017, 07:49:58 pm »
I bought this model soon after it's re-release in 2002 and it's been sitting up high on my garage shelf ever since begging me to build her.  But first I needed to buy some accessory resin parts, aftermarket decals, and an engine grill/rear wall flasher kit to really jazz her up and make her look her very best.
So... anyway... I finally got all the add on stuff and worked up the gumption to start working on her some weeks ago but I held off posting any pica until I had enough photos to make it interesting for you guys. 
So, having taken over 40 photos now, I figure it's time to begin my build log of the 2002 Polar Lights Spindrift spaceship which was a re-release of the old 1968 Aurora Models kit.
But first, a quick synopsis of the show from Wikpedia...

"Set fifteen years in the future, in the year 1983, the series tells the tale of the crew and passengers of a sub-orbital transport ship named Spindrift. In the pilot episode, the Spindrift is en route from Los Angeles to London, on an ultra fast sub-orbital flight. Just beyond Earth's boundary with space, the Spindrift encounters a magnetic space storm, and is dragged through a space warp to a mysterious planet where everything is twelve times larger than on Earth, whose inhabitants the Earthlings nickname "the Giants." The Spindrift crash-lands, and the damage renders it inoperable."

Here's the trailer from 1968:

https://youtu.be/aDuNvZw8Gr4

This link takes you to a fan video offering a guided tour of the "real" Spindrift which is stored in a top-secret, high-security storage facility:

http://www.iann.net/giants/media/spindrift_tour/

The tour is a lot of fun. Notice that the interior of the Spindrift is much larger than the exterior would seem to allow for; the same "TARDIS" effect seen in other Irwin Allen productions, like the Jupiter 2 in "Lost in Space", or the Seaview in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea".

Anyway, enough about the show, time for the model...

First off, the box cover. Very nice. Polar Lights used the same box art as the original Aurora kit. Dig that cool "Land of the Giants" logo:

Box Art by trekriffic, on Flickr

Kit parts. Two bags of white and light green plastic parts and one bag of clear parts. The Aurora kit had orange parts in place of the white.

Kit Parts by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next up, the dome. I bought this more accurate vac-formed teardrop shaped dome for the upper hull some years ago. It was included as part of an accessory parts kit that also included a resin rear passenger cabin wall and engine intake and exhaust grills:

Dome by trekriffic, on Flickr

This accessory kit featured drilled out holes for lighting the grills along with transparent red and blue styrene sheet panels. There is quite a bit of flash to clean up but overall I'm quite pleased with these parts:

Aftermarket Engine Grills by trekriffic, on Flickr

Decals! Love-em! JT Graphics sold these accessory decals in 2002 concurrent with the release of the model kit:

Aftermarket Decals by trekriffic, on Flickr

Closeup of some of the cockpit console and door operating panels:

Decal Sheet Detail by trekriffic, on Flickr

Wall and Control Panel Decals:

Decal Details by trekriffic, on Flickr

Instruction sheet-page 1. The instruction sheet is very detailed and even includes steps for making the cockpit steering yokes from scratch using sprue pieces from the kit:

Decal Instruction Sheet - Page 1 by trekriffic, on Flickr

Page 2. More instructions on how to modify the kit cockpit walls to accommodate the instrument panel decals:

Decal Instruction Sheet - Page 2 by trekriffic, on Flickr

Time to start the modifications...

The round opening on top would need to be modified to accept the aftermarket teardrop shaped dome:

Forward Top Hull Section by trekriffic, on Flickr

More to come!




« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 10:27:08 am by trekriffic »
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline MSgtUSAFRet

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Re: Spindrfit by Polar Lights
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 07:13:13 am »
Hey, Trekriffic!

This reminds me of the ship from Fantastic Voyage. The organic look of it as well as the dorsal fin! Gotta love the 60's concept of fins! :)

So, are you going to light it, too? Are you gonna detail it up with a paint scheme? Or are you gonna do a OOB type situation?

Just curious. You seem to always take a good model and making it a thing of beauty!

I'll be watching and following along!

Steve
"As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up... and never surrender."

Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrfit by Polar Lights
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:33:37 am »
So, are you going to light it, too? Are you gonna detail it up with a paint scheme? Or are you gonna do a OOB type situation?

Steve

Yes. The engines grills will glow red and fade up and down. The dome on top will also be lit. The rest of the interior will be lit with warm white LEDs. Still pondering whether or not to light any of the cockpit consoles.
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrfit by Polar Lights
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 10:53:11 am »
Moving right alongl...

A template for modifying the top forward hull section was made from Tamiya tape using the vacuum formed dome as a guide:

Template by trekriffic, on Flickr

My dremel made quick work of this:

Plastic Removal by trekriffic, on Flickr

After slicing the teardrop dome away from its flange I sanded the edge using a piece of 600 grit sandpaper:

Sanding the Dome by trekriffic, on Flickr

The modified opening fits the new dome almost perfectly:

Dome Test Fit by trekriffic, on Flickr

An oval piece was trimmed from an old frypan splatter screen I had in my stash. This will go under the upper dome.:

Mesh Screen for Upper Hull Dome by trekriffic, on Flickr

The screen was glued into the upper hull using Plastic Surgery CA glue:

Dome with Screen by trekriffic, on Flickr

I mixed Tamiya white and transparent orange acrylic to paint the inside surface of the upper dome. Holding the dome upside down I poured the paint in and swirled it around the inside of the dome tilting it from front to back and side to side until I had achieved good coverage. Then I poured the remaining paint out, wicking any drips hanging off the rim of the dome with a paper towel. This process was repeated a couple of times until I was satisfied I had no thin spots in the coating:

Painting the Inside of the Dome by trekriffic, on Flickr

Bulkhead walls, seats, and forward instrument panel. All these parts will be heavily modified before painting and decaling:

Bulkhead Walls, Seats, and Forward Instrument Panel by trekriffic, on Flickr

Floor, cabin walls, and crew figures. The crew figures are oversized for the scale of the ship. I calculated the crew were close to 1/62 scale while the Spindrift itself works out to somewhere between 1/72 and 1/76 scale:

Floor, Cabin Walls, and Crew Figures by trekriffic, on Flickr

Puttying the grooves. The incised lines were meant to serve as a painting guide but with the hull decals I had they were rendered superfluous so I filled them in with Perfect Plastic Putty. The decal instructions told me to do so as well:

Puttying the Upper Forward Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

Sanding. After the initial sanding was done I could see I will need to repeat the filling and sanding process several times:

Sanding Upper Forward Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

Mounting a brass tube in the bow for my scratch-built forward antenna to slide into meant adding some reinforcement to hold it in place. I used Tamiya epoxy putty for this purpose. You can also see the molded in oval shapes to either side which I would use as guides for the bow headlight openings:

Tamiya Putty in Bow of Lower Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

Bow instrument probe or antenna mount. I drilled out the kit part and extended it a tad using brass tube before gluing it into the lower bow. The tube was then puttied using AVES and sanded to smoothness:

Bow Instrument Probe or Antenna Mount by trekriffic, on Flickr

Image of studio model doohicky. We were never told what the exact purpose was for this extended probe/antenna during the series but it almost seems to be intended for use as a towing arm. Note the loop at the tip - possibly to be used for hooking onto?:

Studio Model Probe or Antenna by trekriffic, on Flickr

Using styrene sheet and this carbon steel rod coated with white vinyl cladding I made my own bow probe/antenna arm:

Bow Probe (or Antenna) Scratch Build by trekriffic, on Flickr

I was even able to use a piece of styrene tubing to make the loop at the tip of the probe:

Tip of Probe by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next up... making the passenger seats...

Spindrift Set 02 6-26-4 by trekriffic, on Flickr

Spindrift Set 04 6-26-4 by trekriffic, on Flickr

Spindrift Set 05 6-26-4 by trekriffic, on Flickr



« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 06:24:03 pm by trekriffic »
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrfit by Polar Lights
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 11:17:46 am »
Passenger seat mods...

Using brass wire and Evergreen styrene strip I started in with mods to acurize the passenger seats:

Passenger Seat Mods by trekriffic, on Flickr

It only took me about 2-1/2 hours to complete the first passenger seat. The new base replaces the molded on base molded into the passenger cabin floor which I had to remove:

Chair on Base by trekriffic, on Flickr

Five chairs in progress. The lower half of the seat was too short so it was extended using Evergreen strip. The upper backrest was too tall and needed to be shortened before adding a piece of round Evergreen rod for the headrest:

Five Chairs in Progress by trekriffic, on Flickr

Brass frame. Brass rod had to be bent precisely to shape using some fine tipped needle nose pliers:

New Seat with Brass Frame by trekriffic, on Flickr

The armrest support brackets were bent to shape and glued to the underside using CA glue:

Passenger Seat Armrest Brackets by trekriffic, on Flickr

Two down, four to go. I got each chair down to about an hour to finish with practice:

Two Down and Four To Go. by trekriffic, on Flickr

Jumping around... got this in the mail last week from Ralph at Tenacontrols:

The Spindrift's engine grills would fade slowly up and down to signify the atomic reactor was fully charged. This board from Tenacontrols reproduces that effect and can power up to six red LEDs:

Tenacontrols Board for Engine Grills by trekriffic, on Flickr

Wiring diagram. The only connections I need to solder are the wires for the power supply and the the flashing LEDs:

Tenacontrols Wiring Diagram by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next I worked on the mounting point in the lower hull for the stand tube. Evergreen tubing was glued into a reinforcing plate made from .020 sheet styrene. AVES was then packet around the tubing for added strength:

Mounting Point in Lower Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

The aluminum stand tube fit snugly into the plastic tubing mounted in the lower hull.  The aluminum tube is hollow to allow for passage of wires from the base:

Stand Tube by trekriffic, on Flickr

DC power plug and jack. The K-sized DC power plug will attach to the bottom of the display arm where it plugs into the DC power jack located in the wooden base. The top of the display arm will be permanently attached to the lower hull of the ship:

DC Power Plug and Jack by trekriffic, on Flickr

Most of my work is done at a drafting table located to the left out of frame in this photo. I use this table to organize parts and set things aside to dry:

My Garage Work Table by trekriffic, on Flickr

Swerving back to the model...

I have some very tiny LEDs to mount in these openings for the bow lights:

Openings for Bow Headlights by trekriffic, on Flickr

Two tiny 1.8mm cool white LEDs will serve for the headlights in the bow:

1.8 MM LED by trekriffic, on Flickr

Last pic for now...

A can of Italian Red lacquer spray paint from Model Master for the exterior. Got this at Hobby Lobby with one of their 40% off coupons. This will go on over a coat of MM yellow lacquer:

Model Master Italian Red by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next up... work on the pilot seats and the steering yokes...









« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 06:29:23 pm by trekriffic »
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline Spencer

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Re: Spindrfit by Polar Lights
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 08:09:27 pm »
Nice that you're giving this ship the extra treatment.
I enjoy seeing other's scratch building ...

The show was before my time, but I remember SciFi doing a marathon when I was younger and liking it.
I remember the second season theme song the most, and now it's going to be in my head for the next few days!  ;D

Spencer

Offline karve

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 01:29:54 pm »
I absolutely LOVED that show when it was on ...yes I am old enough to have watched it when it was new ..  ::)

Since the vast majority of the time the ship was just sitting on the Giant ground it never really commanded the attention like the ships on the other scifi shows of the time that actually ...well, you know....flew.  ;D

However, from what I see you're really going to do it justice. It's going to look really cool with the lit engines and any interior detail you can do will be a bonus.
Question ... will the interior only be visible through the front window similar to the Jupiter 2, or will there be other ways to see? I know when I did my Jupiter 2 build I spent a lot of time on interior detail that can't be seen unless I take the top off ... something that I just don't want to do!

Looking good so far. Keep 'er going!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 01:36:59 pm by karve »
Kevin

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Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 06:28:36 pm »
Question ... will the interior only be visible through the front window similar to the Jupiter 2, or will there be other ways to see? I know when I did my Jupiter 2 build I spent a lot of time on interior detail that can't be seen unless I take the top off ... something that I just don't want to do!

Looking good so far. Keep 'er going!

Thanks  Karve. Yes, the interior will be visible thru the windshield and the two passenger cabin windows port and starboard; the hatch will also slide open so you can see the hallway. This assumes I don't make the top removable which I'm still debating. I'd want the top to sit nice and snug with no gaps before I'd go with the removable option. Maybe use some rare earth magnets. You see I don't want any light leaking out around the seam where it shouldn't. So there may need to be some trimming and filing to the height of the interior walls and bulkheads as well as some shimming along the forward window grills. We'll see.



Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrfit by Polar Lights
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 06:30:29 pm »
I remember the second season theme song the most, and now it's going to be in my head for the next few days!  ;D

Spencer

Yeah. I have lots of old sci-fi theme songs rattling around in my head too. I think this and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea drowns out most of the others.
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline Quarky

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 04:04:11 am »
Really impressed with the intricacy of your work - you must have the patience of an angel and the eyesight of an eagle!
"We're made of star stuff"

Carl Sagan


Jamie

Offline scottminium

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 07:22:48 pm »
very cool!  And echo the comments on details, quite nice.
"If there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from."

Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 06:55:59 pm »
Really impressed with the intricacy of your work - you must have the patience of an angel and the eyesight of an eagle!

Thanks a lot! These builds take time and patience for sure. Luckily my father trained me well by taking me on lots of fishing trips in my youth!
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline trekriffic

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 06:57:04 pm »
Been a few weeks since my last post so...  let's get caught up...

Worked on the steering yokes.

The JT Graphics decal instructions said to carve the two steering yokes out of sprue so that's what I did:

Steering Yoke In Progress by trekriffic, on Flickr

After final shaping with a very small dremel bit and jeweller's files I drilled a hole straight across to insert a piece of brass rod thru for the handles:

Drilling a Hole thru the Yoke by trekriffic, on Flickr

The brass rod handles were bent to the proper curvature after insertion into the yoke to form the handles. I even filed their tops at an angle like the ones seen on the show. A short length of brass rod was inserted thru a sguare piece of Evergreen rod glued to the underside of the yoke:

Finished Yoke by trekriffic, on Flickr

Finished yokes. I think I pretty much nailed the shape of these little guys:

Steering Yokes by trekriffic, on Flickr

Closeup of Finished Yokes by trekriffic, on Flickr

The brass rods I'm holding in my fingers will be trimmed before installation in the dashboard:

Steering Yokes Again by trekriffic, on Flickr

Jumping around...

The lower hull got a coat of matte black lacquer for light blocking followed by silver lacquer for light reflectance. :

Light Blocking Lower Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

Silver Spray Painitng by trekriffic, on Flickr

Modifications were made to the cockpit sidewalls and cabin walls...

The dremel made short work of removing the inaccurate kit control panel detailing from the cockpit side walls:

Mods to Cockpit Side Walls by trekriffic, on Flickr

Three sections of thin styrene sheet were cut and trimmed to fit the cockpit side walls per the JT Graphics decal instructions:

New Sidewall Control Panel by trekriffic, on Flickr

Cockpit walls primed. I also added pieces of styrene sheet to make the monitor screens more three dimensional:

Priming of Cockpit Sidewalls by trekriffic, on Flickr

Port Sidewall Primed by trekriffic, on Flickr

Buttons were removed from the panels above and to the right of the door opening on the cockpit rear wall. Also the triangular control panels (you can see one on the left) needed to be removed:

Mods to Cockpit Rear Wall by trekriffic, on Flickr

Rolling along...

I looked at lots of images of the passenger cabin to try and get the spacing correct for the seats. I think this is pretty close:

Passenger Seat Positioning in Cabin Floor by trekriffic, on Flickr

First coat of prirmer on aft upper hull and floor:

Primiing by trekriffic, on Flickr

I gave the floor a brush of European Dark Green. Afterward I went back and drilled out some more indentations where I had removed the molded chair bases to match the texture of the rest of the carpeting. The I gave the floor another coat of paint:

Interior Floor Painted by trekriffic, on Flickr

Whirling all about the garage...

The rear passenger cabin wall and engine intake and exhaust grills were primed, sprayed matte black, and sprayed with Tamiya Bare Metal Silver. The cabin facing side of the rear wall would later be painted white in preparation for the final coat of interior wall paint:

Resin Replacment Parts Primed and Painted by trekriffic, on Flickr

The passenger seats were primed before being sprayed with with Tamiya Matte Black lacquer:

Passenger Seat Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

I made a mix of Testors flat red and yellow enamel to paint the armrests and headrests. Still need to paint the silver chair frames and bases, and the black straps on the headrest and backs of the seats:

Painting the Seats by trekriffic, on Flickr

Lastly for now...

Dome redux. I removed the metal screen from the underside of the upper dome opening and replaced it with an oval piece of transparent red styrene sheet. I then packed AVES around it. The metal screen cast a cross-hatched pattern onto the inside of the dome when lit from underneath which I didn't like. Two 2mm red flat top wide angle LEDs will illuminate the dome. They will fit up and thru the holes in the thin oval Evergreen styrene sheet which I covered with adhesive backed aluminum foil to help reflect the light upward into the dome:

Dome Work by trekriffic, on Flickr

The finished dome. The inner surface of the dome was painted with Floquil flat base followed by Tamiya transparent orange and yellow acrylic paints mixed with Tamiya white acrylic.

Upper Dome Installed by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next up I'll discuss what I did for getting power into the ship and show you some really nice wood removal on the underside of the dispaly base. Fascinating stuff!
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline karve

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2017, 05:16:34 am »
Looking great Steve! I love the attention to detail.  ;)
Kevin

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us."
    Quote from Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot'  1994

Offline manu

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Re: Spindrift from Land of the Giants by Polar Lights
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 04:12:10 am »
I have nevere seen that show, but your detail work with the chairs is veryimperssive. Great work!

 




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