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The associated article appeared in the September, 1992 issue of Scale Modeler Magazine, and represented my first genuine scratch building project. Many of the peripheral references are relevant to that time frame, and, as such, should be considered only in historical context (pre-Polar Lights, etc.). My hope and expectation is that some of the principles and techniques that I discussed in this feature will still be applicable to any number of new and diverse modeling projects today. Some of these techniques may actually seem a bit archaic in the current era of many more hobbyists now having joined the scratch building fold. But the bottom line must always be the faithfulness of the end result to the original subject, regardless of whatever creative methodologies may have contributed to the cause. One of my most successful poster projects, in fact, “There were Giants on Display in 1966,” was based on this build 25 years after its completion. I should also mention that this version of the feature contains several photos that have never been seen before. Click the portal to enter...
-Ron Gross, August, 2017.
This article appeared in the January, 1993 issue of Scale Modeler Magazine, and as such, should also be considered in a primarily historical context. The model build actually goes back as far as 1987, marking the 30th anniversary of construction, as we now approach the 25th anniversary of the published report.
At that time, there was comparatively little information available on the Robot, including readily available blueprint plans. The drawings that did exist seemed to correspond more closely to the secondary long-shot prop than the articulated costume, or "Hero" Robot. Looking back, I now realize that my own modest attempt to remedy that situation was primarily an exercise in reconciling the two versions, as my drawings contain certain characteristics of each. In any event, I found them to be accurate enough to serve as a guide toward my quest in modifying the renowned Masudaya "YM-3" Robot figure into the most faithful representation possible in that era.
The lighting circuit was essentially a variation the same one I utilized for my Jupiter 2 scratch build nearly a full decade later. Today there are more sophisticated builds of the Robot, thanks to the fine efforts of Moebius Models and a myriad of after-market lighting options. But I'm proud to say that my model was likely the first of this general breed, and stood essentially alone for decades after its completion. Add to that the fact that it was also the recipient of a very special and much appreciated endorsement, which is revealed within the article.
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-Ron Gross, September, 2017.
The related article is a reprint of a two-part feature that appeared in the September and November, 1997 issues of Scale Modeler Magazine. As such, many of the references should be considered in historical context. For example, I doubt if I would use the term "definitive" today in light of the vast amount of technical information that has become available regarding the Jupiter 2 in recent years. As such, there are a few details about my scratch build that I might handle a little differently if I were undergoing the project in the present day. That said, however, a direct overlay of the profile for the highly acclaimed Moebius Jupiter 2 model did confirm that the hull contours for the respective designs were a virtually perfect match. That revelation is something of which I’m quite proud, considering the limited resources that were available in 1997. I should also note that all Jupiter 2 renderings in my poster projects to date have been based exclusively on photos of this model.
The era surrounding 1997 held a special significance in many ways. LOST IN SPACE was being celebrated for its fictional time setting, and for the release of the (somewhat) related motion picture. Jonathan was still alive, and making frequent personal appearances along with the rest of the surviving cast. The internet was young, and I was lucky enough to have been contacted by my good friend Ken ("Dack") Parker to feature my Jupiter 2 scratch build on his pioneering LOST IN SPACE web site known as "Priplanus." That exposure along with the magazine articles would capture the attention of a new model kit company called Polar Lights, and I would soon be asked to participate in their forthcoming Jupiter 2 model kit release. Ironically, we finalized the terms of our agreement for both box art and consulting services on October 16, 1997, a date of no small significance to fans of LOST IN SPACE.
Needless to say, the opportunity to be involved in the project for “the kit that Aurora forgot" turned out to be a life long dream come true. But aside from my personal victory, there was also a quiet feeling that the 1997-1998 time frame represented the reward that all of LOST IN SPACE fandom had been waiting for. In fact, there seemed to be an understanding that this was OUR time, and that there would never be anything quite like it again. Simply put, you just had to "be there" to appreciate the sum of so many once-in-a-lifetime events unfolding before our eyes. Hopefully the following article, as we now celebrate the 20th anniversary of its original publication, will serve to rekindle some of that magical atmosphere. Click the portal to enter…
-Ron Gross, August, 2017.
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