Crash Bandicoot on his Jet Board
Polar Lights, 1999
I'm showing my age when I admit to never having played this video game. In fact, I've never owned a Nintendo, or an Atari, although I enjoy the occasional shoot-em-up like Duke Nukem on the PC. Just don't put a joystick in my hand and expect me to know what to do with the thing.
Polar Lights might be knocking 'em dead with their reissues of the classic Aurora models, but let's face it: the average child of today don't know their Frankenstein from their Hunchback. Sure, we baby boomers are buying these retro-classics like crazy, but if plastic model building is to survive into another generation, then models with subjects familiar to kids of today will need to get out there in the stores. Polar Lights is to be commended for giving us this one, and at an unbelievable low price of under $10.00 at the local Toys R Us!
The model is a snap-fit (no glue required), although small arms will have some trouble pushing the parts together. I'd suggest for all but the smallest builder to cut off the tabs and use glue. This is especially important if you want to paint and putty him in stages for ease of assembly - just trim off the locking tabs so you can assemble, putty, and paint his big orange body before attaching to his pants, etc.
I did a solid cartoonish paint job on him, following the recommended colors in the instructions. Instead of decals, you are given a set of stickers that might be easier for young hands but don't work as well on rounded areas like his eyes. I cut out the colored part and sealed it down with several coats of gloss clear. I used bright white for his eyeballs, and off white for his shoes. A little darker orange inside his ears and around his stomach and a basic medium blue drybrush over dark blue on his pants were the only additional touches.
The base has some great detail to work with. I started with dark blue again, then layers of lighter blue, moving to some white for the foam at the tips of the breaking waves. The crate was missing the wood grain on the sides, so I just painted some in. The pipes on the motor have solid ends, I'd rather they were molded hollow, but I painted the ends flat black and it was fine. You could do more detailing, but it wouldn't really be noticed on this model; save that for something like a Deal's Wheels where it would really kick butt! The board was flat enough for the flame stickers, but the tips wanted to peel up so a tiny bit of superglue was slipped under and they'll stay put.
Overall, a fun and easy model to build, but for pre-teenage builders some adult help is definitely required.
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