Forbidden Planet Robbie the Robot

Published on
January 1, 2009
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Polar Lights - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

As a fan of 1950’s movies and SciFi in general, I consider Robbie to be the most famous robot of all time. I wanted one for the collection. I also wanted to do one from his 1st appearance, which was in the 1956 MGM picture "Forbidden Planet." When this kit was first issued by Polar Lights, I missed the boat. So I was on it when Round2 Models brought back this classic!

Inside the long Aurora-style box was approximately 50 parts including: a single part base, chrome sprue for the pieces and parts, clear parts for the voice area and head details, and several sprues of dark metallic gray parts. I started preparing to build by watching my copy of the movie and searching the Internet where I stumbled on this picture:

This is one of the original movie posters and shows Robbie in a more spread leg position and carrying what is supposed to be Altaira. Better yet, Steve Iverson of Culttvman had a 2-part conversion set which included new legs and the lady already in scale to the robot – perfect! I purchased the sets which included a one-piece set for the legs and Altaira, which comes in two pieces. Available from CultTVMan.

  • Jimmy Flintstone Robby Legs
    • MSRP: $14.95
  • Jimmy Flintstone Altaira
    • MSRP: $24.95

Construction of Robbie is straightforward on the large pieces. I suggest clamping tightly as there are some pretty good seams. Robbie was built in subassemblies, including the main body, head and legs. With the resin legs, you do a little seam work and they fit directly to the main body. There are options for the front control panel and hands. I built the entire "metallic color" parts and assembled together everything but the head parts and the clear. Due to the resin legs, I primed him with gray auto primer, fixed several spots, and then primed again. Next I base-coated him with a very dark charcoal gray and sealed him with gloss coat. I then used Alclad gunmetal and silver misted on him to give the metallic appearance. One more semi-gloss sealing and we are done with the big parts.

I detailed the head next and added the chrome parts with no problem. They are a little clunky and purists will want to add more, finer detail. I did have a problem here when I added the clear parts. Fit was loose and it took some fiddling for both the head and the voice plate. The voice plate settled well after some work, but the head never did fit well. But since I was building this model for myself, I got it to the okay stage and was happy.

The base is very well designed for the legs in the kit’s position. To get it to fit with the spread legs, I turned the base to the side, used Aves Apoxie Sculpt to build up on end, added some stones and drilled out holes to accept the kit. Bunches of grays, browns, washes and pastels gave me a suitable alien planet.

Finally, I completed Altaira. Casting for this was okay, but the arm required putty and one finger was missing. I looked at several build-ups on the net and most had her wearing a nice blue color. I wanted to duplicate the poster. I used KitBuilders flesh paints and based her in natural flesh, used a mixture of the base color and chocolate brown to shade dark and pale flesh for light and sealed. I used pastels to do the eye shadow and cheek blush and more shading and sealed again, Next, I painted the lips with Auto Red and then sealed yet again. I masked the flesh with Silly Putty and base-coated the outfit in Alclad pale gold, highlighted with several other metallic color. Finely I used Tamiya gold for some flake look, pulled off the mask and painted the hair with washes and dry brushes for a nice blond look and pinned her to Robbie’s hands.

I really had fun with this. Detailers will want to check out aftermarket products like lights and voice boxes, but the kit looks great OOB. I highly recommend this kit.

My thanks go to Suzi Klimek and Round2 Models for bringing this classic kit back, and for letting IPMS/USA review it.


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