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"When Worlds Collide" Space Ark

I have recently got my hands on the 1:350 scale Pegasus models Space Ark from the film "When Worlds Collide". To this I added the brass etch frame from ParaGrafix Model Systems.

The basic kit is a nice simple build, around 23 parts IIRC, (8 parts for the base, nameplate, and rails, with a whole 15 parts for the rocket) but does contain some discrepancies with the film.

The picture on the box is of the Ark taking off, but the rails should not be level at his time. The Ark leaves the roof of the launch and construction building horizontally, but the rails then slope downward into a valley before turning fairly sharply skyward for launch.

The way I got round this was to get the 'under construction' brass etch for this kit, and I will have to scratch-build the building underneath the rails. By the time I had figured this out, I had already started painting the base and the nameplate. No big deal, but I will probably end up keeping the nameplate and discarding the generic thermoformed base into which the 5 pylons slot.

I plan to produce a foamboard building into which the rails fit, with 1 or 2 of the pylons holding up the rails as they move away from the building.

I have also cut the brass etch framework for the unfinished skin from the rest and had it sellotaped around the hull of the Ark to try and bend it to the correct shape. I do not want to try annealing it as the ends are loose and prone to being caught, and if I bend them after annealing, they'd probably snap off.

Unfortunately this means that the brass is still rather springy, and it has not formed tight enough around the hull and will need further work.

The nameplate I had undercoated with Games Workshop "Chaos Black" undercoat, airbrushed it in their new silver drybrush colour, then airbrushed Tamiya translucent yellow, orange, and red, in circles getting wider with each colour change. I did this without allowing the Tamiya colours to dry before adding the next, starting with the yellow, finishing with the red. I think it looks Ok, but there is a fault in the 'E' of When.

I will be stripping this down in Powerspray, and re-doing it changing the GW silver for Alclad Chrome to see if that gives it a more metallic effect.

This has been given a quick coat of satin varnish for photography purposes.

Part painted base, I did more work getting different browns into the base before realising that most of this would be covered by the building and therefore working on a scratch-built base would be better.


Have you ever read the Book? I have seen the ads for this model and one thing has stopped me from buying one. As that is NOT the real design that was used in the book.


Have you ever read the Book? I have seen the ads for this model and one thing has stopped me from buying one. As that is NOT the real design that was used in the book.
Yeah, but it's the one in the film, it's a completely different kettle of fish from the book (which I have read, by the way).
OK, not been able to work that fast on this, but here is what I have been able to get done over the weekend.

First I took the photocopies of the templates for the unfinished sections of the hull, and stuck them in position.

Then, using a steel etched saw blade for my scalpel, I carefully cut out the sections, working just inside the lines of the templates. This means that I can use a file to remove the final material as I continually check against the actual brass etch in each area. I need as tight a fit as possible as I intend on removing the extra thickness of the plastic from the inside once the etch is in place.

I can do this for the rearward etch pieces as they do not stop the two halves from being sepperated, allowing me to install them, paint the fuselage halves, install the internal bulkheads and tanks, then glue the two fuselage halves together. The forward brass etch is a single piece that straddles the join line and will require extra care to get the plastic thinned down before the framework is glued into place once the internals are fitted and the fuselage together.

Once the sections of hull had been removed, the interior has to be tidied up a bit. One of the sets of locating pins is removed with the rearward panels, another is cut in half at the forward end of the front section, and the one below this needs to be removed as it would impede the installation of the internal structure (Or be highly visible once finished, I'm not sure. The instructions tell you to remove it, so out it went!). Even with the loss of these 3 locating pins, the fit is superb. The central section is a little flexible, but that will be re-inforced once the internal bulkheads and tanks are in. A quick sand to tidy up the internal surface, and I am ready to progress again.

Since this, I have only had time to filler the wing and tail joins, as much as I can on the tail whilst still allowing the fuselage to split anyway.

And it was here that I was peasantly surprised. There is very little filler required. All the parts fit together well and having used Plastic Weld to glue the wings to each side of the fuselage, and the left tail both to the fuselage and the central tail section, the central tail to the lower support, and the right tail into the fuselage. I have left enough of the tail unglued to allow me to split the fuselage, whilst assembling as much as possible, and the fit was excellent. I recon about half a mm at most gap around the wing roots and tail roots. The worst join was the left/right tail to the central tail, and even then that was only in places.

Kudos to Pegasus for such a simple - under 25 pieces total - kit that would probably stand up to being 'snap-fit' together if you were building it as completed and ready for launch.

The PGMS brass etch is well thought out and includes everything to make the Ark 'under construction' - even down to the wheelchair having the large wheels at the front rather than the back, and that and the crew are going to be a doozy to paint in 1:350 scale!

The only work I will have to do with the PGMS kit is work a little on the platic tube supplied for use as the tanks. The brass bulkheads are sized to correctly fit the diameter the plastic tube should be, but manufacturing processes rarely work to the tolerances that the brass etch reaches, so one of my smaller diameter pipes, and all 4 of the larger ones, won't fit in the holes. The instructions inform you of this possibility, and suggest that you gently take a diamond file to the inside diameter of the brass etch.

I just know this will result in my cak-handedness leaving me with ovoid holes, so will take some very fine wet and dry and gently turning the offending pipes on it to try and remove the fraction of a thou that it will take to get them installed - especially once they are painted too!