IntroductionAny long-term followers of this blog may remember that I like to take a card modelling kit with me when I go on my summer holidays. It's light and self-contained, requires only a few tools and no paints at all - and I can afford to bin the results if anything goes wrong!
This year, I added several sheets printed out from Dave's "Cut and Fold" Card Creations site. These are all free-to-download kits and there are a great many interesting subjects; I'd encourage anyone with even a passing interest in paper modelling to browse this site! Anyway, I chose to build several of the iconic Spectrum vehicles from the Captain Scarlet TV show, to go along with my 28mm figures from Crooked Dice.
The SPCSpectrum Patrol Car is a basic light transport automobile. It's fast (insanely so, compared to the roads and motorways that we know now!) and can carry 4 people. A simple sports saloon from the future, as envisaged in the 1960s!
- Size: This paper model is 10.2cm long. By my reckoning, that works out at 1:53 scale (the TV original was nominally 5.4m long), which is a touch oversize for 28mm figures. Still, it's pretty close to my preferred 1:56.
- Issues: most of this kit is fairly straightforward and fitted well, though the central spine and fin is made from 3 very narrow parts that have to be laminated together. That's definitely the most tricky part!
The separate underbody does allow the wheels to be recessed, but makes it difficult to get them at the correct height. My model looks as if the suspension has broken and the body has sunken down!
Also note that as designed, the wheels in this kit are just a card disk, I've added treads to them from another model, thus making the construction greatly more robust and able to withstand handling.
- Overall: 4/5. An excellent model, with a few minor quibbles that can be worked around by an experienced modeller.
The MSVMaximum Security Vehicle. These are typically used as ultra-safe VIP transports; an MSV is supposedly proof against most weapons (up to and including a small nuclear bomb!) Again, the vehicle can carry 4 people and travel at up to 200mph.
- Size: In the TV show, an MSV is supposedly 7.3m long. My model is 11.3cm, thus making it 1:64th scale. That's really a touch small for 28mm figures. If I make another of these then I would scale it up by 15% or so.
- Issues: The central "cabin" has straight sides and a curved front: this proved quite tricky to glue flat to the lower bodywork. In addition, the other parts of the superstructure then needed some slight adjustment to make them fit correctly.
Again, the wheels were just card disks; I've added treads to them from another model.
Finally, the front "bumpers" were rather small and fiddly.
- Overall: 3.5/5. The subject matter is excellent, but the kit didn't go together quite as smoothly as I had hoped. It's still a pretty good kit, for all that!
The SPVSpectrum Pursuit Vehicle! These large armoured cars were stored in hideouts all over the world for use whenever a Spectrum agent required; they could be magicked out of a disused mine entrance, an old barn or similar location on demand.
The SPV had 10 wheels, alternating between large and small along each side. It also had an auxiliary track unit at the read which could be deployed on rough ground. It was armed, armoured - and the crew faced backwards and drove it via a TV screen. It's a SciFi geek dream!
- Size: this model is 11.5cm long. The original measures 7.6m, so the model's scale is 1:66th. Like the MSV, this is really a bit small for 28mm figures and I would recommend that it is scaled up by around 15%.
- Issues: for the most part, this kit fitted together really well. The white nose bumper was slightly awkward, though not as difficult as I had feared it might be. The only other parts worthy of comment are the side skirts, which have an awkward curve along the length of them. I think that if I make another of these models then I might add formers of balsa wood or similar to help the side skirts to keep their shape
- Overall: 4/5. Another iconic vehicle, most of which is a very easy build with just a couple of tricky areas.
Card models aren't to everyone's taste, but if you have the time and the ability then you can build as many of these excellent vehicles as you like, to any reasonable scale, for very little cost. If only Dave produced some Spectrum aircraft as well!
Now please excuse me: I have to go and finish building a 6-wheeled pink Rolls Royce...