Saturday, April 20, 2013

Premier Plastics & Knock-off Flash Gordon Space Ships – Pt 2 9" Hard Plastic Dart

Last week in Part 1 I detailed my thoughts regarding the line of what we now refer to as 'Flash Gordon Space Ships' made by Premier Plastics in the early 1950s. Only a couple of sets were actually given the Flash Gordon name, after which it was changed to 'Supersonic Aces' but collector's still refer to them by the space hero's name.

Premier only made two designs of Flash Gordon space ships that I have named The Dart and The Wide Body with each one being offered in three sizes; 3", 5", and 9" and each one produced in hard plastic and soft plastic in a variety of colors. I've decided to cover the 9" first as there appears to have been fewer variants, variants that in other sizes were probably the result of knock-offs. Today we'll look at the 9" hard plastic ship. All 9" hard plastic ships feature a tricycle landing gear arrangement with rolling wheels in struts just under the nose and engine nacelles. There are nine windows or ports behind the cockpit. This is not a constant among all sizes! I do not have very many 9" ships so am unprepared to say that this is constant among 9" ships. Also, there is no platform above the engine nacelles as seen on the 5" size. The platform was included as a means to pose plastic spacemen on them but the size of the spacemen precludes them from straddling the upper fuselage fin on this larger ship.

As I look at the photos I can't help but feel this is more of a transport ship or perhaps the equivalent of today's executive jet. With all those portholes it's hard to imagine this as a war fighting machine. Enjoy!

Perhaps not very discernible here, but the rivet lines are nice and orderly and relatively even. This isn't the case on all variants.

Notice how the nose is bent slightly to port. This will be important as we explore other variants.

The bent nose is more noticeable in this shot.

The number '2' underneath the fuselage.

In this photo, the Gearbox Toys Flash Gordon Space Car Discovery is posed next t the ship. It is nicely comparable in size and makes a good companion piece.