Growing up in the early/mid 1970s, I had several favorite TV shows. The wonder of cable had just begun to really get into homes in my area, so I had a steady diet of The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, Gilligan’s Island, The Addams Family, and quite a few others after school each day. Some days they held my attention, but quite often a baseball game, climbing trees, jumping on a friend’s trampoline, or simply riding my bike around the neighborhood took precedence.
But there was one show that always, always, always received my full attention.
If you’re not familiar with the show, Ultraman was about a team of monster fighting heroes called the “Science Patrol” in the English dub. They had cool jets and spaceships, and whenever a monster reared its ugly head, the Science Patrol was there to… well… basically point at it a lot and shoot rockets that did little harm. 🙂
Except Shin Hayata. (Played by Susumu Kurobe.) He had this thing called the “Beta Capsule” that he’d hold up and push the trigger, and he’d turn into… Ultraman! (Played by Satoshi Furuya.) And of course Ultraman could defeat the monsters every time. (After some karate chops, and wrestling moves, and a few cool flying dropkicks, all of which apparently weren’t supposed to be tried on my friends… who knew? :D)
The final move was some form of laser ray or disc or similar, shooting from his hands, and the monster would then fall over and appropriately kick for a few seconds before dying.
I loved it. Every minute of it.
Part of what I loved was that I knew that the show had loads of models. Jets, rockets, tanks, buildings… even as a youngster I knew it was just dudes in monster suits fighting among models. But that tie in to my own model building made it very relatable.
But as I grew older, other things took precedence, and eventually I put aside Ultraman and models and all of those things.
A few years after getting back into model building as an adult, I happened to bump into the Ultraman collection on DVD as I perused a large South American river. All the original episodes, both the dubbed version, and the sub-titled originals. (Which I find more entertaining actually…) As I watched each episode, fondly recalling my childhood love for this show, the two watt bulb that is my brain went on, and the thought “do they make Ultraman models?” popped in. After a brief foray to the interwebs, and I found they most certainly did. And shortly after gaining that knowledge, I had an Ultraman Jet VTOL on its way to me! (And at a reasonable price too- $35 on Ebay!)
The kit is typical Hasegawa quality- very nicely molded parts with very sharp, precise pane lines. The parts count is not too high, with a very logical breakdown. The detail is good, especially the surface detail. In fact, I think the surface detail on the model kit is better than the filming original had!
Interior detailing is adequate, in my opinion, for what will be actually seen when complete. I think the key will be getting the various colors nailed down, as the Jet VTOL’s interior colors were quite distinct. My plan of research is to watch more Ultraman. 🙂
The very colorful decal sheet provides options for four of the Jet VTOLs featured on the show: side markings SIII, 117, 118, and 119. Each had slightly different marking details. I will be building SIII of course, as that is the one that I always associate with the show. The very colorful red markings are supplied as decals. However, I have not decided if I want to use those, or attempt to mask them. While masking would look better, the patterns are not simple pinstripes, so some thought will be needed for that.
I’ve also not decided if I want to build this as a “studio” model, or treat it as a real subject, with more realistic coloring and weathering. Currently, I’m leaning towards the latter approach, as it just seems a bit more fun.
All in all, the kit looks very nice, and I am quite looking forward to getting started.
And the 10 year old in me is absolutely astounded that I will be building an Ultraman Jet VTOL!