Saturday, March 26, 2011

U.F.O. (Leif Ericson)

Here are some images of AMT's 1/1500 scale U.F.O (Leif Ericson).

To be young again. Remember this kit? Originally called the Lief Ericson then re released in the mid seventies as the U.F.O. and now happily re released again by A.M.T. as the U.F.O. Yuri Gagarin Originally designed by Matt Jeffries ( the one who designed the T.O.S. Enterprise) for I believe Star trek but it was never used.

From Fantastic Plastic"
Following the success of its first batch of Star Trek model kits, AMT decided to launch its own series of original sci-fi models under the moniker "Strategic Space Command." The galactic cruiser "Leif Ericson" was the first in what AMT hoped would be a whole catalog of proprietary sci-fi kits, and even hired Star Trek Art Director Matt Jeffries to do this premiere design. (Jeffries had a particular affinity for submarine-like conning towers, a feature he incorporated into both the Leif Ericson and the DY-100 sleeper ship "Botany Bay" from the ST:TOS first season episode "Space Seed.")

Unlike Star Trek's ships, the Leif Ericson was not equipped with transporters, instead using an insect-like landing craft to shuttle personnel to and from planetary surfaces. This shuttle was stowed in a large hanger bay situated amidships.

The original Leif Ericson kit came equipped with both clear and chrome parts as well as an internal lighting kit. Unfortunately, the kit was a commercial failure for AMT, one that scuttled the company's plans for any more models in its "Strategic Space Command" line.

The kit was re-released in 1976 as the glow-in-the-dark "Interplanetary UFO Mystery Ship." That kit lacked the clear and chrome pieces from the original Leif Ericson, including the landing craft's chrome landing legs!


William said...

Actually, I DON'T remember this kit! I must have been too busy playing with my Major Matt Mason stuff to notice it when it came out. But I intend to keep an eye out for it now that I know about it!

Or maybe there was a particularly good episode of "UFO" on TV and I couldn't be pried away from it...

Warren Zoell said...

LOL!! This kit even comes with an inane story about ghost pirates taking over the ship.