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Leif Ericson AMT ship

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Leif Ericson AMT ship
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, July 25, 2020 1:34 AM

Years ago, as a kid, there was this kit that sort of looked like it belonged to the Star Trek line of AMT kits in a similar box and similar logo. I never did get it because it wasn't a "real" Star Fleet ship.

I picked one up a couple years ago at a local close out store. Another grab at a long lost opportunity. I opened the kit and was kind of disappointed at what was inside. Yeah, was I expecting a Fine Molds kit?

I set it aside and recently, I saw a photo etch set for it, so I bought it. It was a few times more than the kit was worth, and I'm probably throwing good money after bad.

I guess it'll be a walk down memory lane, but one that never happened.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 7:19 AM

Round2 rereleased the kit again a few years ago with LEDs replacing the original light bulbs for the engines. Did you get that one, or an older kit? The 'ghost ship' UFO version is not too hard to find, either. Some history - 

http://frank.bol.ucla.edu/le.html

http://projectrho.com/SSC/index.html

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, July 25, 2020 8:00 AM

Rob Gronovius
Years ago, as a kid, there was this kit that sort of looked like it belonged to the Star Trek line of AMT kits in a similar box and similar logo. I never did get it because it wasn't a "real" Star Fleet ship.

It was designed by Matt Jefferies, designer of the TOS Enterprise as well. Supposed to be the first of a 'Strategic Space Command' series by AMT to cash in on the science fiction market stoked by interest in Trek, but sales were lackluster and there were no other entries.

It's a fun kit. I did it back in the '70s when it was released as the glow-in-the-dark "UFO Mystery Ship," and when Round 2 re-released it, I decided to pay a bit of homage to Matt Jefferies and the model's Trek DNA by doing it up as a pre-TOS early-Federation exploration vessel named after...who else???:

BTW, I also used the (expensive) little PE set; it was a nice addition.

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 11:20 AM

I built that kit when I first came out.  It also had a record that came in the kit that was mounted on cardboard.  I still have it around here somewhere and eventually transferred it on to a C.D.  I eventually bought another some time ago but decided to make some changes. The first was to drop the forward shield and the second was to not include the shuttle.  The idea was to give it the look of a much larger ship, roughly the size of a Battlestar and give it different engines and multi layered launch bays on the sides.  I still haven't added any markings for it and might pick up another one for a different design along the same lines.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 2:38 PM

A good little ship! You should enjoy building it, as long as you can get past the '60s era fit.

 

I built the original issue back in the '70s. 

 

I built a few of the UFO mystery ships in my time. 

 

When R2 re released the UFO (2009?) I buit and lit it as the Leif. 

I used aftermarket decals, and resin engine inserts.

 

 

 

I'm guessing yours is the R2/AMT Leif kit from around 2011ish?

I have that one in the stash. R2 put in the original stand and, as posted, swapped the grain-o-wheat bulbs to LEDs. 

 

I'm guessing you have the Paragrafix PE set?

There used to be a resin upgrade kit also. I have it from decades ago, so I'm not sure if it

is still available.

 

It builds into a nice ship, it is also the inspiration for the I.S.S MacArthur from the novel "The Mote in Gods Eye"

 

Please post build photos! I would love to follow your build!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, July 25, 2020 6:29 PM

First of all, it is awesome to see all of your builds. Each one is similar, but unique, like sister ships in the fleet.

The box art is dated 2009 Round2, so roughly 11 years old. It is molded in glow in the dark plastic with a slight green tint to the otherwise off white color. The bottom of the box has a sheet of artwork that was glued in one spot.

It does not include the engine parts that were recreated for the 2011 version. There is an elaborate decal sheet that includes shark mouth decals (two options) and some lame pirate markings that are supposed to represent what happened to the ship when it was captured by space pirates.

There is a three page story about the mystery UFO ship. It seems kind of lame as well.

Yes, the photo etch set is by Paragrafix.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 7:33 PM

You have the 1st R2 UFO mystery ship version. 

 

The Original UFO Mystery ship was AMT's attempt to make a few $$$ on the Leif Ericsson molds.

They ditched the lights, simplified the kit, and split the "neck" so it could fit in the small square box. 

When R2 purchesed AMT they got the UFO modified molds, they did a run and then backdated them to the original Leif Ericsson configuration, with the missing engines original triangular stand, and LEDs.

 

It can be built into a nice L.E., but you need a set of decals and engines. 

 

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 8:04 PM

I found these photo's I took of the R2 UFO Mystery ship kit next to the R2 Leif.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, July 25, 2020 8:23 PM

Yes, I know which version I have, which is why it was $10 at a closeout store while the "reverse tooled" original version kit runs $30 or more with the engines and other missing pieces.

I don't plan on making it into the Leif Ericson. I do want to use one of the two shark mouth decals though. My version does not include original markings, but I might also use the faded version markings.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Sunday, July 26, 2020 7:37 AM

Ah, Sorry.

 

Please do post build photo's! 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, July 31, 2020 9:50 AM

Rob: I'd love to see what you do with her. 

Greg & Mach71: I love those!!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Friday, August 7, 2020 3:43 PM

While digging through my stash today looking for something else, I found this resin/decal set to convert the UFO mystery ship into the ISS Macarthur. 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, August 7, 2020 4:24 PM

mach71

While digging through my stash today looking for something else, I found this resin/decal set to convert the UFO mystery ship into the ISS Macarthur. 

 

 

From "The Mote In God’s Eye" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Should be a cool project!

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, August 7, 2020 7:06 PM

Never heard of it, but it looks great! I didn't realize it had all this stuff for it.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Saturday, August 8, 2020 6:53 PM

Oh wow that's cool! I picked up the kit years ago with the intentions to build the MacArthur. Did you find the set on Ebay or where can I find one?

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Saturday, August 8, 2020 7:16 PM

I got it back in 2005 from someone on the StarShip Modeler boards. Back when I was a member there. Cozmo was his screen name. He might still be active.

 

The back photo has the web site on it, I'm guessing its not active anymore. 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, August 10, 2020 11:36 AM

Thanks Mach71! 

Being a garage kit it probably isn't available any more. I'll check Ebay every now and then to see if one pops up. Thanks for posting this, half the battle is knowing what's out there! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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