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Mike Maynard
52 articles

UFO's--Serious Business!

May 16, 2014 · in Aviation · · 5 · 2.4K

At least they were to a young modeler in 1958. The "Flying Saucer" was a big deal to me and was my first model I was allowed to build all by myself. Like many kids of the 1950's, I was a big fan of space "Sci-Fi" either in movies, TV, or books. When plastic models made their appearence in stores, anything that looked like a rocket or missile was purchased by me (and slapped together in a mere few hours). The Lindberg kit was released in 1954 and is regarded as the first plastic kit with a "space" theme. The disc shaped model contained few parts and was judged to be about 1:48 scale (based on the size of it's "saucer-man" pilot). It was molded in silver plastic and came with alien decals that I guess identified it's squadron or home base. Like so many space kits of that era it was long on imagination and short on individual parts. But whatever it's flaws, the UFO kit has the distinction of being the longest running space model, being sold by and more recently by Atlantic models. I purchased the Glencoe kit a few years back and wanted to "revisit" my youth in building the kit. As mentioned, there's not a lot to build so I added an interior, replaced the molded in "ray guns" with some parts from the scrap box and, as a nod to the movie "The THING", put a tail fin on my saucer. I painted it Tamiya silver and airbrushed some metallic green to give it a little other worldly greenish look. The saucer looked pretty empty in photos so I added another 1950's classic Revell jet to add some interest. It was a "seriously" fun build and, as the reporter warned his audience in the close of the "Thing" movie: "Watch the Skies"!

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

5 responses

  1. Love the B&W photos! It appears you're telling a story here, and it seems like the Starfire crew were luck to be on the ground in one piece! The plane looks pretty toasted!

  2. Mike,
    I love it. Brings back a lot of fond memories. I built one of these on a vacation to my aunts home. It was the only model my mother would allow me to build at the time. She said she didn't want me to get glue all over my Aunts furniture. I fooled her, I got glue on everything. I even think I got some on the model. I don't know when the kit came out but it seems to me I did the model in 1949 or 1950.

  3. Frank: Best I can remember is 51-52 for it.

    Mike: Looks like "you can go home again!" 🙂

  4. Mike, quite a story, and quite a creative build and photos. I remember very well that saucer model from days gone by. It goes beyond just the model(s), though, and like Josh says, it tells a story. The cloud backgrounds are very convincing. Did you use Photoshop? All around, I think you hit a home run on this one! Many thanks for posting.

  5. nice trip down memory brother built that f-94 and the scorpion and pogo about 1957 [you know back before we locked our doors}..we shared a bedroom...i was too young to build but he got my blood boiling for models

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