Model Kit: 1/8 Dalek
From: Doctor Who
Time to build: 40+ hours
Difficulty: major pita (pain in the ass) due to poor kit design
The Daleks are not Japanese. Doctor Who is not Japanese. This model kit was not made by a Japanese company. So why am I talking about it on this “all things Japanese” blog? First, because I am goddamn proud of this little mofo. Second, because it proves why Japanese model kits are the best in the world.
This kit was put out by Comet Miniatures in the 70s 90s (see comments). I am thankful to them for being the only company with Dalek model kits available. But that is all I am thankful for. This felt more like a homemade scratch kit. The instructional images are hand drawn and the instructions themselves don’t build confidence. For instance, when assembling the skirt, I ran across this line “Place a weight (e.g. a book) on top until dry.” Are you kidding me? Couldn’t you design this kit to, oh I don’t know, fit together on it’s own?
And that’s when I found myself longing for an obsessively well crafted Japanese model kit, a kit who’s pieces not only fit together perfectly, but have little guides and notches to insure that they are put together in exactly the right way. Oh, and instructions that don’t even need text because the images are that detailed and complete.
Instead I had to fashion my own solutions to the kit’s shortcomings – adding extra little pieces of plastic or figuring out a different way for pieces to connect. But in the end, it was well, well worth it. This dude is over 8″ tall and my colour scheme – matte black with glossy dark copper – is my own creation. I think it’s both modern and hearkens back to 70s style Daleks. And as long as you don’t look at it too closely, it could make almost anyone want to hide behind the couch.