SpaceShip 2/White Knight Carrier

A review of the Fantastic Plastic 1/144 scale kit

By Jeff Goldader

I treated myself to a model for Christmas this year: the SpaceShip2 with White Knight carrier aircraft from Fantastic Plastic. The kit was $75, plus $9 shipping by USPS Priority Mail.

First, the service was terrific; I ordered the kit on Nov. 23, and it came in the mail on Nov. 28, even though this week included the Thanksgiving holiday. The box containing the kit was well-packed inside a USPS Priority Mail box.

Opening the SS2/WK box revealed packing peanuts, instructions, and plastic bags containing the model. The WK wings are a single long piece that runs the length of the box.

The castings appear to be free of pinholes; there is a lot of flash, but it is thin and will be easily trimmed with a hobby knife. The castings were clean, with the exception of a tacky residue with what seems like black fuzz on the SS2 fuselage. Fine scribed details, such as the windows, are visible. Scott Lowther did a great job mastering the kit, which was cast by Masterpiece Models.

One thing that struck me is how tiny the craft are in 1/144 scale! The fuselage of SS2 is barely 10 cm long, and the WK fuselages are about 16 cm (tip of vertical stabilizer to nose); the wings, however, span almost 30 cm.

The detailed landing gear are cast in resin, and I am concerned that the extremely thin nose wheel struts might not be able to bear the weight of the vehicle over time. I will probably work out some sort of mount that can support the craft, though I hate to drill into SS2 to do it. Perhaps I will drill small holes into the gear bays in the WK fuselages and stick very small brass rods or map pins into each bay to bear the weight. I will pin the main components into place before gluing, though I'm toying with the idea of making SS2 separable by mounting tiny rare-earth magnets into the top of SS2 and its cradle.

The instruction sheet is good, with clear directions and images of the model for each step. A painting guide is included, though there are no decals. Virgin aftermarket decals for aircraft are doubtless available, though I will probably try to make my own decals.

Overall, this looks to be an excellent kit, a worthy representation of these revolutionary vehicles in a scale that's suitable for display alongside the many other 1/144 spacecraft out there.