The Derelict from Lost in Space
John Robinson is adrift in space after his safety line snaps when he leaves the Jupiter 2 to make vital repairs to the ship. Maureen suits up and leaves the ship to rescue him, but both are trapped outside when a passing comet warps the hatch, preventing it from opening. At Will’s suggestion, they are able to cool down the hatch using a fire extinguisher, and the boy’s parents are able to reenter the ship. While trying to determine the ship’s position in space, Don picks up a signal from an approaching object.
It turns out to be an enormous alien spaceship. Smith, alone on the lower deck, is convinced the ship has been sent by the foreign power that employed him to sabotage the Jupiter 2 mission, but when he attempts to make radio contact, he picks up only feedback. The ship does not respond to any of the Robinsons’ attempt to make radio contact, but instead draws the Jupiter 2 inside it by some force the Robinsons are unable to overcome with the Jupiter 2’s rockets. [Source: Lost in Space Wikia]
When I received The Derelict model kit from Moebius Models, I was halfway the MPC 22” Eagle Transporter. I couldn’t resist to tear open that cellophane right away and take a look at what was inside that nicely printed box. I found a few large injection runners with both halves of the main ship hangar. There is a picture below where I’m holding that part in the studio, my hand can give a you an idea of the size if the Derelict model kit.
The Derelict is not really comprised of a lot of parts nor they are tiny bits to fiddle with. The model kit bears the simple design in construction as the prop model it represents. I can safely say that this whole kit can be tackled in a weekend. A stand is supplied with the model to display it either with the navigational sensor units open or closed. If you decide the later and wish to build it with the sensors closed, then there’s no need to assemble the interior hangar making this an even quicker to build model. The interior is comprised of printed heavy stock paper to represent the ‘Neuron Strands’ in which our heroes get involved with, but as usual, Dr. Smith is an expert at messing thing up. As can be seen on a picture below, I did use the printed floor as a template and made .020 styerene substitute. That’s because I took some artistic license and added a warm and a blue flickering LED. This particular episode was filmed in Black and White so should you decide to light the hangar, let you imagination run wild.
For the neuron strands, I pulled the cotton from a few cotton swabs and held them in place with double sided tape. That’s the tape you’ll find in the stationary section in the same dispenser as the clear, frosted/invisible tape used for your holiday gifts. Withe the same .020 styrene stock, I did make an extension for the supplied base. This gave me the needed room for the 9v battery that would feed both LED’s. The supplied steel rod to be used as a stand, was substituted by a 7/32” aluminum tube from K&S Metals. The overall fit is great with little to no gaps to fill plus don’t sweat it, painting the model will take care of any lines or imperfections on the joint lines. The mounting holes for the clear ‘Field Emiters’ (antennae) will have to be reopened after painting your model and if done correctly there won’t be need for glue. Whatever you do, handle these parts with care.
Painting The Derelict:
There is little to no documentation of the actual Derelic filming miniature and if someone out there has some reference to share, your kind gesture will not go uncredited.
Judging by the screen grabs from the episode itself and my occasional black and white film photography experience, the Derelict miniature seems to have been painted ‘silver’. Check this interesting article on colors on black and white film. Besides the base color, it is not hard to see that the Derelict has a textured finish to it. For this texture I considered using either textured paint from Krylon or Testors CrafteFX followed by a few coats of Krylon KSCS032 Chrome which tends to dry more as aluminum. I have used Krylon textured in the past but I changed my mind because Krylon’s as CraftFX will leave a very gritty surface on my model. Then I recalled having used Krylon HAMMERED Silver #3901 available at your local craft and mega stores. Rust-Oleum also have the hammered finish colors but if they don’t read ‘Fast Dry’ on their label, I tend to keep away from my models.
Should you decide to use Krylon’s Hammered Silver, you’ll have to break the painting technique you’ve been using with regular spray paint for years. Unlike the 12” to 16” distance from your surface, the hammered finish spray paint works better if painted as close as you can get in fast strokes. Paint in thick coats and don’t be afraid of having a little run. Due to the nature of this finish, the thick coats will slightly increment the hammered effect. My finished Derelict has 3 thick coats of paint 😉