Continuing my UFO theme in the build up to SHADO Con ,
here’s the SKYDIVER kit from Bandai.
I’ve had this for quite a while, and when I originally got
it someone had already started to make a pig’s ear of assembling it.
Thankfully, they hadn’t gone too far so the first thing I had to do was
carefully take it apart and re-assemble it so it looked a bit more presentable
ready for painting.
Like many Japanese kits it’s a cross between a nicely detailed
model kit and a gimmicky toy. It was also released as a straightforward toy in
light blue plastic, possibly prior to becoming a kit, and possibly around 1971.
The date for the kit release is unclear to me, although what appears to be a
date, 1985 can be seen on the instructions’.
The remarkably accurate looking hull has two large wheels
underneath and contains a wind up motor with a separate key. A balancing
smaller third wheel is toward the front.
The detachable Sky 1 has a couple of spring loaded missiles
on each side, and runs on a single middle wheel fixed under the fuselage and supported
by two fixed stabilises on the exhausts.
The Diver part of the kit would have originally had a pair
of shafts set on a cam fixed to the large drive wheels with a flame effect
protruding out of each of the rear engine exhausts.Those were missing from my kit, not that I’d
have probably fitted them.
I did briefly consider altering it to do away with the
wheels, but decided to keep its unique look as that was how it was originally
The overall look of the hull is pretty good, however the
position of the cockpit windows on SKY 1 are slightly different to what we’re
used to, and give a bird-like look.I
quite like it.
It’s a relatively easy kit to build.Painting is a little fiddly, especially
around the rear exhausts.The overall
colour is Ford Oyster Gold, then I used black, white and various silvers. The
water slide decals help enhance the detail, although as there’s a few contours
and raised detail on the hull it’s best to use a decal softener.