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Pegasus Hobbies 1/32 scale "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" aerial hunter-killer

Kit:9016 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$39.99
Manufacturer:
Pegasus Hobbies, 909-982-6507
Pros:
Good shapes; nice detail; movable engine pods; easy-to-read instructions; stand
Cons:
Fiddly construction; pebbly plastic complicates metallic finish
Comments:
Injection-molded, 73 parts
HK_Machine_box
HK_Machine_02
HK_Machine_03
HK_Machine_04
HK_Machine_05
HK_Machine_06

James Cameron’s 1991 science-fiction action epic “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” introduced cinema goers to the near extinction of the human race at the hands of machines. One of those machines, seen in the film’s “future war” sequences, was the aerial hunter-killer. Shiny HKs buzzed over the ruins of Los Angeles intent on eradicating John Connor’s fighters.

Although the vehicle’s on-screen time is only a few minutes, it has intrigued modelers for more than 20 years. As a confessed hardware geek, I regretted not getting Horizon’s vinyl kit of the vehicle when it was released in the early 1990s. So I was thrilled when Pegasus announced a kit.

Molded in heavy, medium gray plastic, the parts have sharp engraved detail. Minor mold seams need cleanup on some of the smaller parts, like the arms.

The instructions note that most of the kit’s plastic is ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and recommend using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, Testors Liquid Cement, or super glue.

Fit is OK. I ran into a small problem in the first step, because the locators inside the engine pods appear to be off on one side. I cut all of the pins off and aligned the pod halves by hand during gluing.

The four arms — I think they’re supposed to be landing gear — are next, and again the fit is OK.

Be sure you attach the gun correctly. It looks like it could be left movable, but the instructions don’t indicate that.

Large locators make the fit positive. Attaching the side-shelf panels (nos. B7 and B8) proved problematic; I removed the locators and sanded the sides to make them fit snug. The cheek panels — unnumbered in the instructions — go over other parts but balked before clicking in place. Leave the pod attachment sockets (No. A4) unglued so the engines rotate freely.

I left the spot and belly lights off until after painting. The engines, gun, and arms were painted separately.

I applied putty to many of the joins, especially the seams on the engines and around the “eyes” where the engine mounts meet the body. The plastic seemed to have pulled away from the edges during curing, leaving gaps. 

The hunter-killer should be shiny, but the plastic is a bit pebbly. I airbrushed Alclad II gray primer and microfiller and sanded to smooth it before spraying gloss black and Alclad II chrome. Testors Metalizer burnt metal in the exhaust areas provided a little variety.

I pushed the subassemblies into position and glued on the clear parts. 

I painted the base in shades of gray, then picked out the skulls on the ground with desert sand. Artist’s oil washes and dry-brushing added contrast and detail.

The finished hunter-killer matches the aerial weapon from the movie. It’s surprisingly small in 1/32 scale. I’d like to do one with lights and a more-detailed base.

Despite minor fit issues, Pegasus’ model goes together nicely. The finished model looks terrific.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2014 FineScale Modeler.

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