Continuing my UFO theme in the build up to SHADO Con , here’s the SKYDIVER kit from Bandai.
I’ve had this for quite a while, and when I originally got it someone had already started to make a pig’s ear of assembling it. Thankfully, they hadn’t gone too far so the first thing I had to do was carefully take it apart and re-assemble it so it looked a bit more presentable ready for painting.
Like many Japanese kits it’s a cross between a nicely detailed model kit and a gimmicky toy. It was also released as a straightforward toy in light blue plastic, possibly prior to becoming a kit, and possibly around 1971. The date for the kit release is unclear to me, although what appears to be a date, 1985 can be seen on the instructions’.
The remarkably accurate looking hull has two large wheels underneath and contains a wind up motor with a separate key. A balancing smaller third wheel is toward the front.
The detachable Sky 1 has a couple of spring loaded missiles on each side, and runs on a single middle wheel fixed under the fuselage and supported by two fixed stabilises on the exhausts.
The Diver part of the kit would have originally had a pair of shafts set on a cam fixed to the large drive wheels with a flame effect protruding out of each of the rear engine exhausts. Those were missing from my kit, not that I’d have probably fitted them.
I did briefly consider altering it to do away with the wheels, but decided to keep its unique look as that was how it was originally intended.
The overall look of the hull is pretty good, however the position of the cockpit windows on SKY 1 are slightly different to what we’re used to, and give a bird-like look. I quite like it.
It’s a relatively easy kit to build. Painting is a little fiddly, especially around the rear exhausts. The overall colour is Ford Oyster Gold, then I used black, white and various silvers. The water slide decals help enhance the detail, although as there’s a few contours and raised detail on the hull it’s best to use a decal softener.