Alien Equipment-341.15B

Pegasus Hobbies #9100 Area 51 UFO AE-341.15B Model Kit

Copyright © 2009 Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Page One


Awards & Honors

If you've visited my webpages with any frequency, you'll realize I suffer from the dreaded modeler's AMS disease. Somewhere along the way, I contracted this malady and over the years have forgotten just how much modeling can be when you just open up a kit box and dive into it - with no intentions to change, modify, "fix" or correct any details to somehow make it "better" than what you just bought. This year, I vowed to give OOB modeling more than just a token try - and I got really lucky in selecting this model kit. It is just plain fun to build and very inexpensive. Huge kudos to Pegasus Hobbies for producing such a cool subject to model.

Inside the large kit box, you get separately bagged clear parts and 14 principal kit parts cast in soft, grey plastic. My kit had no ejector pin marks to contend with in visible areas, no warping or flashing present. If you rushed, you could probably assemble this kit in five minutes.

There are no decals - totally leaving it up to your imagination on how to finish it. The Instruction Sheet is simple, exploded-view diagrams demonstrating how to put the kit together. Most experienced modelers will simply blow past this and dive into the kit - like I did.

You get an option for landed or in-flight configurations with a nice choice of Landing Gear Doors. The Landing Gear Legs themselves called for the most effort in cleanup, with some slight mold slip affecting three out of four of them to address. It really didn't take a long period of time to sand true.

The Landing Gear are beefy and rugged, securely and tightly fitting into their sockets on the lower hull. The kit easily can support more than its own weight, and ensuring all the pads touch the display surface properly is no challenge.

The seven clear, neon green-type "windows" and "dome" just snap into place on molded-in pegs on the underside of the upper hull - leaving no gaps to worry about, and a clean outer appearance. I only filled around the upper inside edges with a 50/50 mix of White Glue and Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black of the "windows" as a light blocker.

The two hull halves are smoothly cast with deeply engraved and simple details - but I think appropriate for the subject. The kit will call for some masking later on if you follow the suggested finishing scheme - but this is simple to do with Tamiya Masking Tape. My kit had some sinkholes on the upper hull where the heavy locating pins are cast. I filled them with Squadron Green Putty and wet sanded the area(s) smooth before painting.

Building & Finishing - the 1:72 scale miniature comes to life with a simple addition in lighting. The interior is huge - perfect for setting up a lighting kit. What I did was as simple as I could come up with, and inexpensive as well.

The tight fit between the upper and lower hulls allows you to take it apart, and squeeze it back together again, if you enlarge the female locating pins cast into the upper hull. My favorite cheap lighting kits come from Darice Inc., typically I get these at my local Hobby Shop or Michael's Craft Stores.

This kit is #1100-68, and is a x3 AA-Battery powered set of 10 steady burning, clear, super bright LED's. My local retail was $4.99 for the set. They are advertised for a 30-hour battery life - much more than I need for my usual practice. You can turn them on before a contest display, and let them go for the duration of the event.

I have powered-up photos and unpowered photos at the left. I think the little bit of internal lighting gives the miniature a little extra life. The green clear parts are unaltered, but you could frost their interiors with a blast of Dullcote to further reduce their transparency. I thought they were perfect as they come.

Even with the Darice Lighting Kit inside, there is quite a bit of extra room left over for a modeler wanting to add some visual interest like a control room and 1:72 scale EBE's (Extra-Terrestrial Biological Entities) inside - or perhaps US Military Personnel.

I painted the interiors of the hull halves Tamiya Acrylic XF-1 Flat Black, before adding the "window" and "dome" inserts. I went ahead and light-blocked the edges of the "windows" too before proceeding, along the upper edges.

I mixed up a 50/50 custom color using Tamiya Acrylic XF-16 Flat Aluminum with XF-1 Flat Black to give me a type of oxidized aluminum finish.

Then, I followed Pegasus Hobbies' suggested finishing instructions and masked off the three upper hull sections with Tamiya Masking Tape. I didn't, however, paint these sections, instead choosing to take a small amount of SNJ Model Products' Aluminum Polishing Powder and rubbed it into the Tamiya paint finish. This gives a slightly contrasting panel finish - without going way overboard. With my soft cloth buffer that I used on these panels, I went over random sections of both hull halves to arrive at the finish shown at left.

The little red triangle (Trilateral) marking is trimmed from red decal sheet, and placed into position.

I airbrushed random streaks and "burns" with a diluted (50%) mixture of Tamiya X-19 Smoke. I added depth to the panel lines with a wash of MiG Productions #P220 Dark Wash, and then increased the shadows in certain corners with applications of Bragdon Enterprises #F65 Soot Pigments. As this finish comes out a bit satiny after using MiG Productions' Wash, I went back over these sections, and other random areas with Polly Scale #F404106 Flat acrylic paint. The resulting finish is durable and can be handled.

References & Acknowledgements - there are none! Who the heck has reference material on this subject? I wish I could boast that I did, but I think that would take away from how cool it finishes up. I could make up something, but I don't think that would make the model kit anymore interesting than it already is. It sells itself once you peek into the kit box.

I went out to get a couple more of them to try out different scheme and lighting ideas for the future when I finished this one.

I really like the stance and profile of the Pegasus Hobbies model kit. It just looks "right", and sort of purposeful. What appears to be an egress/ingress Hatch is located on the lower hull - but you don't get the option to pose it open. That would probably goad the modeler into crafting an interior, wouldn't it? The irised main hatch on the bottom of the lower hull is an intriguing feature too - perhaps a point for bringing up reluctant cattle and humanoids on the fly?

There are no decals provided in the kit, as I mentioned above, but I decided to add some interest in my miniature by trimming out a simple red triangle (rumored to be on all-black aircraft frequenting situations where UFO activity has been or is in the process of unfolding) to place on my ship. I claim no knowledge further of the significance of the red triangle - you decide if it represents an Alien Government, or a Terrestrial one. I think this kit would look good in several schemes, and with an option for "red-neon" windows and dome it would be great.

Even if you only have a passing fancy in UFO's, I'd recommend you not pass this kit up. It is a very good one for indulging one's fantasies, or getting introduced to how good a UFO model kit could be.

All content Copyright © 1998 - 2020 Jim Lewis,,,, and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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