phillip1 Posted October 21, 2022 Share Posted October 21, 2022 Fellow Modelers, In 1951 the Paramount Pictures movie When Worlds Collide was released, and told the story of the coming destruction of Earth by a rogue star called Bellus and the desperate efforts to build a space ark to transport a small group of men and women to Bellus' single planet, Zyra. It is basically a modern re-telling of the biblical story of Noah building an ark before almost all of humanity is destroyed by a flood. I have always liked this movie even though much of the acting is really bad. My favorite part is the “Space Ark” spaceship design used to get the survivors off Earth. I believe it is one of the coolest rocket designs to come out of the 1950’s. Legendary movie artwork painter Chelsey Bonestell worked as an adviser on the film and created the Space Ark design. The movie was a commercial success and When Worlds Collide won an Honorary Academy Award for Special Effects at the 24th Academy Awards. In 2010 Pegasus Hobbies released a simple diorama kit that includes the Space Ark, a section of launch ramp and a vac-form landscape base (#9011). The ABS plastic kit has only 26 pieces and the detail is sparse but the spaceship and launch ramp are very accurately done. This kit has been in my stash for many years but I only recently decided to build it. This should be a short progress build since not many modifications are planned. Let’s get started… Image 001: The kit box with excellent artwork is shown. The scale is listed as 1/350, but based on an overall body length of 400ft. (less nose spike) presented in the movie and a model ship length of about 10.875” (less nose spike), I come up with it being approximately 1/441 scale. Images 002-004: All of the kit ABS plastic parts are shown still attached to their sprues. The needle nose spike (not shown) came in a tiny separate package and appears to be made out of evergreen styrene. Image 005: The Space Ark fuselage body parts were glued together first. After sanding out the seam line I filled in the panel lines. I felt the overall appearance of the ship was improved by removing these. Image 006: There were multiple tiny sink marks and imperfections on the fuselage. It was critical to sand away these imperfections since the topcoat paint was going to be aluminum paint, which has a tendency to highlight surface flaws. Image 007: All of the kit parts are shown after they have been sanded down and cleaned up. Image 008: The kit does not provide a good way to permanently attach the Space Ark to the ramp. All that is given is a small raised tab on the bottom of the fuselage showing where the fuselage is supposed to be located on the skid/cradle. Since my Space Ark will be permanently mounted to the ramp a small modification was made by removing the tab, drilling a couple of holes and shaping a piece of scrap sprue to act as a connecting rod between the fuselage and the skid cradle. Image 009: I will admit I do not like the needle spike that is supposed to go on the nose of the fuselage. It is the only aspect of the design that rubs me the wrong way. I took some artistic license and decided to leave it off the model. Instead, I glued a small diameter styrene piece to the tip of the nose, added a lot of slow-set superglue filler and sanded the nose to a sharp point. It is a small detail but for me it greatly improved the overall look of the ship. Images 010-011: The only awkwardness of the Space Ark assembly is joining the three-piece horizontal rear fin parts. It takes a good deal of superglue filler and careful sanding to make the connection points seamless. To make handling easier these parts were completely finished before being attached to the fuselage. Images 012-013: These two photos show the finished Space Ark. Although all the parts had a tight fit and the alignment was good, there was noticeable gaps where the wings and rear fins connected to the fuselage. To correct this 5-Minute Epoxy was applied and then wiped over with damp Q-tips to remove any excess outside the gaps. Once again this was an important step since the aluminum paint will magnify any gaps that are left. Until next time… Phillip1 18 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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