Monday, June 23, 2008

Then Voyager

During my trip to Red Bank, NJ, a few weeks ago, I managed to find the new Voyager model kit from Moebius Models. Not to be confused with the Star Trek series, this Voyager is the vehicle used in the animated version of Fantastic Voyage. As you may recall, the Fantastic Voyage motion picture used a miniaturized submarine called the Proteus to travel through the veins and arteries of the human body. For the animated spin-off, the crew needed a more versatile means of transport which could take them anywhere their tiny hearts desired, hence the snazzy aircraft. You can watch a full episode from the series here.

As a kid, I loved both the movie and the TV series and always wanted model versions of both the Proteus and the Voyager. Unfortunately, unless I'm mistaken, no one ever made any. I did find a resin model of the Proteus online a few years ago, but when it arrived at my house, some of the brittle resin parts had already broken and it just seemed to heavy and fragile for me to build without some major cursing. It's still unassembled. Recently, however, this new plastic kit of the Voyager was released, and I'm thrilled to report that the kit is a wonderful rendering of the flying machine.

Immediately, I was excited to discover that the ship's interior is recreated in exact detail including all four crew members: Commander Johnathan Kidd, Pilot Busby Birdwell, Indian Mystic Dr. Guru, and resident hot babe Erica Lane. I had a lot of fun painting those tiny figures, right down to Kidd's eye patch and Birdwell's spectacles. I was worried that all my painstaking efforts would disappear once the kit was assembled, but the front windshield and overhead dome provide ample portholes through which to see the interior.

The outer body is relatively paint free since the ship on the series was plain white. I decided to paint the motor intakes a bronze color to make them appear more realistic and provide a pop of color to the front. For the back, I painted an orange glow effect inside each of the exhaust ports. Otherwise, I stayed true to the basic white look from the animated series.

In keeping with Moebius's attempt to mimic the Aurora model kits of old, the air craft comes with a stand which holds the Voyager aloft in a flying position. The stand even has the obligatory decal of the vehicle's logo. Every time I built one of these Aurora-esque models, I get a twinge of excitement like I'm 8 years old all over again. Moebius provides assembly instructions that look just like the old Aurora instruction sheets. The box art, while still trying to look Aurora, is a bit low rent with a spray painted styrofoam ball with nails stuck in it hanging in the background like some crude atomic particle or something. Oh well, the kit is still nice.

I've enjoyed just staring at this new model. I keep dreaming of how much fun it would've been to have this kit when I was young. What adventures we would've had... until I accidentally smashed it against a wall or dropped it down a stairwell.

1 comment:

Jerry Davis said...

This was great. I was browsing the Moebius Models web site marveling at how many of the TV shows I remembered growing up with. All except for The Voyager model. I thought, "What the heck is The Voyager. I don't remember that at all." Did a Google image search and found your story on the first page. In never saw the animated TV show but I loved the "Fantastic Voyage". Good work on the model and thanks for the explanation. Now I know something I didn't know before.