Review by Tom Stead
Type: injection molded plastic
Manufacturer: Polar Lights Models Origin: U.S.A.
Appearance: Injected tan plastic, injected chrome plastic clear styrene parts and base, single sheet instructions, loosely packaged in a heat sealed plastic bag in a cardboard box with no decals.
A star whose presence, on the silver screen and TV, was undeniable. A star who had in his arms many a leading lady. A star whose influence, dry wit and distinctive voice transcends the years. Of course I’m speaking of Robby the Robot. After his debut in “Forbidden Planet”, he went on to star in at least four other films before moving into television with appearances on the Twilight Zone and Lost in Space. Arguably the top star in the Robot Hall of Fame (along with the Robotrix, Gort, R2D2 and C3PO) he has been brought back to us by Polar Lights.
1) Legs, arms and body are all in halves. Likewise hands and feet. Note that there are two types of hands, one for the Forbidden Planet Robby and one for the Lost In Space Robotoid. Build and assemble all these parts. You’ll need to do a lot of sanding of all parts since this is both an old kit and one with lots of complex curves. This is due to the multiple “beach ball” type joints and the fine corrugations. The arm body joints require a lot of filling and sanding. Add the appropriate chest plate (F.P. or L. in S.) and the body is finished. Put plenty of weight in the legs for stability. Paint the body and add chest plate colors & details later.
2) The head is an entire kit onto itself. Lots of detail painting with clear and chrome parts. Also a few small problems. The vertical voice tubes come in different lengths. The two longer ones go on the outside positions. The clear “mouth” has some visible sink marks and the pin connections are very visible. I suppose a vacuform replacement would be best, but I prefer out of the box as much as possible. Lastly the “transducers” on both sides of the head are molded as two pieces. This is necessary considering the shape but it leaves a seam that’s almost impossible to correct. I dipped all my clear parts in Future” floor polish for protection and clarity.
3) Final assembly is concerned with the chrome parts and details (including the faceplate).
4) A base is included with mounting pins (keyed, no less!) for Robby. Paint it with a sci-fi attitude. Painting and decaling: The painting directions are rather misleading, especially as regards the head. Overall, the body, legs, arms and headpiece are black. I added a thin coat of Tamiya Clear Blue to provide highlights without distraction. The faceplate is listed as silver, but repeated viewings of Forbidden Planet reveal it to be a dark gray. I used Testors Panzer Gray here. Otherwise I followed the painting directions as given. The chrome “weapons neutralizers” have blue tips, Testors French Blue looks good. The transducer fins, located below the transducers aware silver, but I used steel and a heavy wash of Tamiya Clear Smoke to accentuate the depth between the fins. No decals are provided or needed.
A relatively easy to build kit. There are a few fit problems, but nothing major considering the age of this kit. The Robotoid version would make a nice counterpoint to Polar Lights Lost in Space Robot. This was a fun kit and gave me the dual pleasure of completing it in timely fashion and the greater pleasure of watching “Forbidden Planet” numerous times. I can highly recommend this kit as an intro to Sci-Fi modeling.