Wild House Models' 1/24 MEC S70-B Stasis Pod
When it comes to Science-Fiction, there are numerous stories, art, concepts, and designs created all over the world. Yet when it comes to the Science-Fiction model kit market, very few of these artworks, stories, concepts, and designs are made into actual scale model kits. Actually, the wargaming miniatures market has more products based on art and story designs than the Garage Kit market.
Wild House Models of the United Kingdom lends a new angle to the Science-Fiction resin scale model kit market with their 1/24 MEC S70-B Stasis Pod in that it’s different. Not a figure, or a weapon, or a vehicle, the stasis hibernation chamber pod falls into a category that gets recognized in the Sci-Fi genera in both movies and stories, and yet there are few, if any, stasis pod model kits on the market today. Wild House Model’s MEC S70-B Stasis Pod is a vertical chamber that stands on its own base and accommodates one individual. Unlike in the movies, the S70-B does not lie on the floor horizontally, or is fastened to a wall. The clear canopy glass has two arms that swing it up and open, similar to a Lamborghini door. From the looks of it, the S70-B appears to be a fancy model, complete with all the gadgets, plumbing, and hardware necessary to function. It just looks high-tech and expensive.
My kit arrived in a cardboard box stuffed with Styrofoam peanuts. The white resin parts come in sealable clear plastic baggies nestled throughout the Styrofoam whereas the two walls of the stasis pod were wrapped in bubblewrap and tape.
The kit consists of around 37 parts:
• Small Power Cables (X6)
• Stasis Pod Cap
• Main Stasis Pod Walls (left and right)
• Cyro Generator Illumination Grid (clear plastic)
• Six Stasis Pod Generator Pods
• Two Atmospheric Vents
• Stasis Chamber Base
• Environmental Control Unit Box and Power Unit Box
• Upper and lower Light Housing (clear plastic)
• Four Chemical Pipe Studs
• Two Main Stasis Pod Door Arms (left and right)
• Upper and lower handrail
• Stasis Door Glass Panel (clear plastic)
• Stasis door frame
• 2mm diameter flexible hose
• Decal sheet
• Color Instructions sheet
• Resin Assembly Guide sheet
• LED instructions (optional purchase)
• LED circuit boards, sensors, and wiring (optional purchase)
My review sample included the optional LED Lighting Set which could be purchased separately.
The resin is a matt white resin that appears smooth, strong, solid, and light. The walls of the stasis pod have a nice thickness and come across as the best cast parts of the kit as my pieces were devoid of warping, runs, bubbles, and pinholes. The diamond plate at the bottom has nice crisp lumps with no resin runs or misalignment. The pod walls’ curves are nice and smooth and symmetrical to the opposite half. I testfitted the two walls and the pin-to-hole connectors align well, but I did not push the pieces in all the way for fear that the snap-fit would prevent the two halves from being separated again.
The other large part, the stasis chamber base, also has nice quality casting with nice smooth curves to form its oval shape. I too could detect no runs, warps, bubbles, or pinholes here. The protrusions appeared proportional, evenly-spaced, and symmetrical to each other.
For some of the smaller pieces, namely the pipes, handrails, vents, studs, and fittings, I found minor seam lines, small pour blocks, and flash that required sanding. One would definitely have to take care in sanding down these seam lines and flash as the thin pipes and curved railings appear very delicate and might not be able to handle the stresses of a hard scrubbing and sanding. The stasis pod basically consists of two halves with a top and bottom plate and all the pipes and fittings connected to the exterior; therefore, the seam lines and flash would need to be removed or else they will show on the exterior accessories. The good thing is that duplicate pipes and fittings appear symmetrical to each other and that I found no mold shift or gouges in the resin.
The clear parts appear smooth and thick enough to take some handling without breaking. The stasis door glass panel comes as one piece, curved and shaped to fit. There is a pour block at the bottom of the glass panel that needs to be cut and sanded off. I testfitted the clear panel to the pod’s door frame and the fit seems accurate once the clear panel’s pour block is cut away.
The interior does have some detail in the form of six arced panels, Field Generator Pads. No figure is included to insert inside the chamber although Wild House Models did inform me that a 1/24 figure may be a future product.
“Working with Resin Kits” Guide:
Wild House Models provides a comprehensive instruction guide on how to work with resin. On the front page, this foldout provides a list of the tools required: knife, saw, files, drill, snips, and sanding paper. The second page lists the materials needed: super glue, epoxy glue, dust mask, and filler. The third page has paragraphs about the preparation procedures such as washing the resin parts, removing mold lines, flash, and excess resin, and what to do with warped parts. The back page has “Assembly Guidance” that covers dryfitting and puttying, and “Priming Guidance” that advises using a matt car body primer before painting. This “How To” guide should be very helpful as the kit does have some mold lines and resin flash that need removing before assembly.
Wild House Models has provided a printed-in-color folded instruction sheet, one of the best and most beautiful graphical instructions I have ever seen provided by a Garage Kit manufacturer. Assembly of the stasis pod comes in 19 steps with nice clear perspective outlines of the parts and symbols depicting clear parts, where to glue and not to glue, where to paint, and where to apply decals. The instructions also include a technical background description of the stasis pod, engineering data specifications, line drawing parts layout, Special Thanks credits, and a summary of how to assemble the stasis pod and how to work with resin. This comprehensive attention to detailed information sets these instructions a cut above many others in the Garage Kit industry.
LED Lighting Set Instructions:
Wild House Models has included the optional (sold separately) LED Lighting Set in my review sample. The LED Lighting Set instructions come across as equally impressive. The instruction’s cover has a parts layout presented in outline form against a blue background. The LED parts are:
• LED Ring
• 3-way Cable and Magnetic Sensor Switch
• Light Blocker
• Main Controller Board and Adaptor Circuit
• 8-way Cable
• 2-way Cable and Bottom Light
• 2-way Cable and Top Light
• Magnetic ID Card
The coversheet has a few paragraphs telling the modeler to assemble and test the electronic components first before mounting into the model. The tools required for assembly are a small drill, mounting screws, and a craft knife.
The inside of the instructions tells the modeler to install the sensor body to the Pod Unit using epoxy glue as cyanoacrylate glue may craze (fog) the clear plastic. If the sensor body is installed wrong, the LED will still work but the reverse side of the ID card has to be used.
The Eight Step instructions have clear, uncluttered, and detailed line diagrams, some of the best I’ve seen in the Garage Kit industry, along with symbols of where to cut, glue, drill, screw, and install clear parts.
The back sheet advises that the LEDs must not be powered from a USB computer port as the data from the computer will interfere with the functioning of the LED unit. Wild House Models says use a 5V USB Wall Charger adapter that comes with your smartphone to power the LED unit.
The LED lighting sequence should be a spectacle to behold. Once activated, a red power indicator lights up on the Main Board followed by a rapid flash sequence from a green indicator as the upper and lower external lights of the Stasis Tube illuminate. Press the ID card against the right side of the Stasis Tube where the magnetic sensor is located and the interior of the tube will illuminate with a Purple light (Standby Mode). Pressing the ID card against the magnetic sensor again will cause the Stasis Tube to enter the “Stasis Generation Field” as the LEDs rotate with blue lights, increasing speed until there is a constant blue glow.
To trigger the “Emergency Phase,” press the ID card against the magnetic sensor again and the blue glow turns into a rapid series of red flashing lights and the external lights will start to blink erratically. A final touch of the ID card will return the lights to Purple “Standby Mode” again. By touching the ID card to the magnetic sensor on the side of the Stasis Tube, the modeler could cycle through all the lighting modes in sequence.
Wild House Models has produced a unique Science-Fiction kit that does not have any military ties. The 1/24 scale gives the Stasis Pod a good size of roughly 5.5 inches tall. The clear glass door means that a 1/24 figure could be inserted inside if the clear glass door frame is not glued shut. The LED Lighting Set adds a unique visual combination of colors, flashing sequences, and modes to the resin kit, making it look functional and at a stage of operation. The nicely-printed and clear instructions and Resin Guide should benefit modelers of all skills; however, due to the minor mold lines, flash, and LED Lighting Set, I recommend this kit for experienced modelers who have built resin kits before.
Special Thanks to Wild House Models for the review sample.
Some photos were taken from Wild House Models’ website and are used with permission.