For all those looking for really pure Science Fiction stuff, and I am talking about those nifty art work you find with all those heavy Science Fiction Novels in a bookstore, and not referring to those Mechas from Japan, the offering for scale model kits of this genre are unfortunately very limited. The reason stems from the fact that not many people are willing to foray into making kits out of these, and not many know how. That may change real soon.
Meet FichtenFoo, illustrator, modeler and model kit maker (GK) extraordinaire. The first time I got to know about this scale modeler was when he was promoting a very unique kit. And it was through this kit that I began to notice his skills and talents. I checked out his blog and was pleasantly surprised with his designs. It was as if he was bringing back the Science Fiction era of the 1950s - 80s forward past the millennium, an era I can relate with growing up in anticipation of seeing rocket ships gracing our city skyscrapers and travelling to Mars. The more I followed his WIPs (Work In Progress) forum threads, the more impressed I was with him. This man has eyes for details and is able to bring them to life, making them look... well, practical, yet surreal. Even his military builds has a mixture of elements from World War II hardware meets Battletech, elegant machines that subtly hints of their deadliness.
His work with Michael Fichtenmayer on the Fantastical Fish-Shaped Submersible shows a dramatic evolution that combines fantasy with science fiction, bringing what that was only a dream into an actual model kit. A combination of resin parts and photoetch sets, this kit is truly uniquely equal to ... none. Well, it is unique. It is also eye catching, and more importantly, it tinkers with your mind. It sorts of bring people back to their youth and make them reminiscence what they knew about Science Fiction then.
Of course the problem with young people nowadays, with the advent of CGIs, vessels and vehicles portrayed in the movies today become more complicated, fast and complex. The trend now of course is to produce intimidating looking crafts that speaks of convenience, mobility, power, and more power. That's the beauty about Science Fiction in the early years, they spoke a different tune, one of exploration, to travel into the unknown and learn. Something FichtenFoo clearly brought about with his offerings.
First thought - its something out of a Jules Vernes' novels. You can see the submersible itself is not designed as a weapon, but something to explore the mysteries of the ocean. From the pictures, you can see countless rivets decorated on the submersible surface and a workable fins propelling the submersible forward. You can even see a detailed "engine" powering the submersible at the rear end.
There are two Photoetch sets made to compliment this kit, the first is included with the kit for its fins and other decorative ornament on the submersible, and includes those dials for the crew compartment.
The second helps with the decorative diorama to bring the submersible to life. Yup, I'm talking about corals, fishes and crustaceans.
And when completed, you get a uniquely designed submersible that seems to grace by a wreck under the sea.