The movie poster for this film on which the kit is based.
It goes without saying that I am a huge Ray Harryhausen fan as the number of pages displaying his work on this site will attest. One of his lesser
efforts (IMHO) was the work he did on the 1964 film “First Men In The Moon” starring Edward Judd, Lionel Jeffries and Martha Hyer.
I hesitate to call this movie “science fiction” as it is often referred since most of its aspects reside more in the world of fantasy than science. One example of the fantastic elements would be the heroes strolling about on the Moon's
surface in deep sea diving suits without any gloves on which would render the suits (even if they did work) completely useless. Additionally, there are number of plot holes, the most glaring is the discovery of the British flag planted by Cavore in 1899 by
the “first” United Nation's moon landing literally meters from the plot's first touchdown!
But I digress. I purchased
this kit on eBay for a bit less than it sells for at Monsters In Motion. The kit is of fair quality in the resin casting and has about thirty parts, most of which are the railroad car bumpers that adorn the outside surface like the knobs on a Corona virus.
The interior is quite detailed although I found a number of voids in the 'wood' trim work. The instructions were poor quality prints that faded out here and there making the building & painting a lot harder than they had to be. Fortunately, I found a number
photographs of the completed kit on the Google machine which helped out quite a bit. I also have the DVD of this film that I used as a guide in determining the color palette of the sphere, both inside and out.
The first step was to wash all the parts with soap and warm water to get rid of any casting release agents followed by a coat of light gray primer. The primer coat is important
since this resin had very poor adhesion qualities with acrylic paint though solvent based enamels adhered just fine. I decided to paint the exterior first using a dark hammered bronze from a rattle can followed by a nice steel enamel from Model Master (out
of production unfortunately) for the superstructure. I had seen versions of this kit that had the main body panels in gold which is technically incorrect to the story. Once the two colors had dried, I came back with a full body wash of diluted black. This
helped kill the sheen of the metallic layers without losing the illusion that they were metal.
Next, I painted each rivet with
a dab of rusty wash to suggest age and wear and tear of the elements. If you watch the film, the sphere's exterior is quite filthy compared to the lush Victorian interior. Once dry, I sealed the whole thing with a couple layers of Dullcoat.