Tuesday 16 April 2024

Anderson Day 2024; Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle

So having discovered the problem with the missing canopies for the Airfix Angel jets, the week before Easter I decided to source a back-up option.  I've always loved the SPV (Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle), I had the Corgi toy in metallic blue with the working missile launcher in the nose.  I figured a road vehicle kit would be great, I could shoot some forced perspective pics whilst we were in Wales.

Ebay again, though alarm bells rang when I spotted it was yet another Imai kit.  Too late, I remembered I had an Imai kit as a child for the red Spectrum car, which I'd never managed to build (it had way too complicated a working suspension).

How's this for vintage retro?  Toys R Us, and whilst it's hard to make out, was this kit under a tenner?

The jam-packed contents of the box.

As part of Imai's mission to create over-complicated toy kits, this one had the half-useful feature of a working chassis... whilst not including an actual motor to make it go.

The wheels under construction, including the many-part, fiddly axles for the caterpillar tracks on the rear.

And just like that car kit way back in the 1990's, this beast had way too complicated a suspension with linked, posable wheels (but just the big wheels, which looked daft).

The plastic was a bit waxy, and the plug-in axle ends didn't properly hold the wheels.  The aged rubber of the tyres was quite stiff, and needed warming-up to get them to fit the axle hubs.

By contrast, the body was rather nice, a very nice moulding.  But, as with the Cloudbase model, it had somewhat unnecessary working features, with missile launchers.  The springs were too fiddly to fit, and anyway, they seemed to fit into the air-intakes which was logically a bit of an issue.

I wasn't too struck on the shade of paint used, so gave it all a waft of black undercoat...

...then sky blue.  An unfortunately very watery rattle can, but the only one I could find in the town we were in.  Stupid collapse of Wilkinsons, didn't realise how much I'd come to rely on them for providing model bits when doing shoots in Porthmadog.

And then the next problem.  The transfers... they might have been a decent job once, but given the age of them, they'd gone decidedly funny, and wouldn't separate from the backing paper.  I thought I'd try gluing them on as they were.

Which looked awful.  My attempt to remove it, did this predictably.  Shows what happens when you rush.  I tried again

I tried hand-painting SPV on it, but it looked awful.  I managed to salvage a few transfers by boiling them, but they were extremely fragile.  I ended up weathering the model (using drybrushing, and a wash of Nuln Oil as with the Angels) to try and hide some of the damage.  

Honestly, one of the most annoying kits I've built recently.  OK so partly my own fault rushing, and partly the age issues, but there were so many fiddly features.  Why did the caterpillar tracks need to be under tension, meaning they had to be super-glued?  Why didn't the axle-ends slot properly into place?  Why bother articulating the chassis at all?

Shooting the model proved more problematic, though that was largely down to the weather.

Illustrating a major problem; normally I'd bring a bit of fake road, more to scale, but space constraints in the car on the way to Wales meant that was impossible this time.  So that left me with trying to improvise.

Overall, it was an unhappy diversion that kept shedding parts whilst out on location, so I planned to do a location shoot with the Angel jets, with a studio shoot as a backup option, when I got home; of which more in the next post.


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