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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Adding the AModel Voyager

On occasion I’ll get focused on a particular model and tinker with it almost continuously while other examples in the queue languish. Such has been the case this week with the AModel kit of the Rutan Voyager.

Believe me, it’s not because the Voyager is a stellar kit. It is one of AModel’s earlier efforts, and has all that downside on full display. The detailing can only be described as “like a Russian tractor”, the kit was covered in brown mold release gunk, and the sprue attachment points practically required tactical nukes to remove them. Still, this is a truly unique shape in the sky, and one of the few Rutan designs to make it to plastic. So once I had decided to put it in the queue it got most of my attention.

And it requires a lot of attention. There is no cockpit, but since the canopy is really only large enough to put the pilot’s head up into that isn’t a problem. The fit is miserable, requiring putty on literally every seam on the model. Though – full disclosure – I am much more willing to put up with this with a company that is strenuously trying to produce models that have not been kitted in 1:72 before. And as I’ve said elsewhere, the difference in this kit and later AModel efforts is pretty stark. They have improved measurably, which I am inclined to support by purchasing their kits, even though there is some work involved. They have done other Rutan designs in their catalog (White Knight, SS1), and some attractive modern Russian trainers (like the Yak-130 and MiG-AT).

I took a snapshot of the basic assembly. Wings and tails are in place, and the winglets have just been added. Landing gear and props have not been attached. The paint scheme is delightfully simple (all white) so that is a plus as well. Some AModel decals have behaved a bit dodgily in the past, so I’ll be holding my breath when I get to that part of the process. It’s not like there are aftermarket decals for this oddball.

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