Lost in Space 1998- AMT Jupiter 2 kit (With Lighting)


Active Member
This is a repost of a completed build from another Forum I posted in but figured you guys would appreciate it here on RPF.

I have had this kit a number of years and it was started and some parts primed, but otherwise its basically a new build. I remember going to see this movie in cinemas when I was 11 and it blew me away, the ship becoming a favorite of mine, although the movie does not age well at all and is quite ridiculous when I watched it recently as an adult.

The Kit
Sadly I never took pictures of the kit before I started, though there are sources online to see pictures of the sprues. Moulding is decent, with lovely details particularly the hex heat tile patterns underneath. There is a small bridge interior with limited detail, though the model does have options to swap the clear window for a blast shield for those not interested in the interior. There is a stand included in the kit along with waterslide decals that have yellowed quite a bit, it remains to be seen if these will be usable. There is also a large clear part for the hyperdrive on the underside of the ship, I imagine this was intended to be lit up but there never seemed to be anywhere for lights to be placed as there was no hole in the bottom of the hull for light to shine out, I would need to fix that..

I began by grabbing as many clean stills from the DVD as possible, the actual model used in the movie is quite nice, with many modelmaking techniques used on Star Trek ships on display here, namely the aztec style patterns between matte and satin panel finishes. I decided to give this kit full lighting as there is plenty of room inside for fiber optics and LEDs, also the model is quite plain without them. I also found a studio model listing on Propstore which will also inform the weathering on the model
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The Build
My starting point after being abandoned for many years was planning the lighting of the kit, the main task being the hyperdrive.

I cut out the large disk of plastic in the hull, leaving a lip for the clear plastic to sit on, and I also cutout the center of the disk to re-attach to the clear part. I intend on masking small sections of the clear part before painting so I can reveal them later for light to shine through.

I decided I needed a central light source for the drive, ideally a hemisphere or ellipsoid with a central LED so I quickly modelled one up in 3D for a quick 3D print.
I then glued in some tin foil on the inside to reflect all the light from the LED, basically like a torch.




Test fit seems to work!

Next step is fiber optics..
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The model comes with a small bridge section to be seen through the windows, so I added some tiny figures I got online that fit perfectly in the seats, though I do not believe the model is 1/200 scale, probably 1/350, but hey, the fit in the seats so I'm not going to complain.
A simple paintjob of silver to indicate their cryo suits

I added two lights to the bridge, a warm white that will be underneath the control panels and then a cool blue one to give some rim lighting to the figures once its all closed up in the model.


You can see here the extent of the lighting and fiber optics, they are all 9v pre-wired LEDs so I can simply connect them all to a 9V battery that will sit in the base to light them.


Windows of the cockpit masked and ready to be painted

The kit comes with a decent stand but I am adding a wooden base for extra weight and extra space to house the battery pack, I may also reinforce the flight arm with a brass rod for extra stability.

Assembled the upper and lower hull together, only to have to crack it open again on afterwards because the main hyperdrive dish bulb had blown, I had to open the hull again and replace it, luckily the hull came apart easily without any serious damage.


next step was getting a metal basecoat down on all the machinery, lately I have really been enjoying Vallejo's metals, they are like a water based version of Alclad and the work the same way with a black shiny basecoat and then a low PSI airbrush of the metal color.




Once the metal was dry I masked it off with a combination of Blu tack and clever putty, a putty which is great for speedy masking but it sags and falls off the model after a couple hours, then airbrushed some Tamiya acrylics down for the grey coat (previously had been primed with rattle can grey primer)


You can see here the blu tack still masking the upper deck area.



next was carefully masking out the large panels for blue - ignore the Enterprise B instructions, thats another project I'm working on, I actually had the Jupiter's instructions on my phone in front of me for mapping out the masking area.


Once that was masked I went through all my paints and found a random Army Painter acrylic that was the perfect blue color so I thinned it out a lot with Vallejo thinners and then airbrushed the blue down in 3 very thin coats at very low air pressure so as not to have the paint run under the tape or overspray the masking.


Masking removed and the ship is looking good! few other panels to paint different blue hues and then its time for a clearcoat and some decals, I really hope the old decals hold up!
The following images show the ship looking much more glossy- this is after a gloss coat in prep for decals..

Looking at the few photos available of the studio model there are lots of additional blue color patches around the hull and around the docking ring, so I used some very thin acrylic paint and painted these areas by hand.

I also went around and hand painted extra metallic colors, these will be mostly hidden by weathering and the extra hull panels that cover the exposed machinery, but I like to ensure there is sufficent details under those hull panels.



The large dish seems to be mostly copper colors in the studio model but its hard to see accurately. I plan on gently scraping off sections of the paint to reveal the clear plastic below it, allowing the lighting to show through

Time for Decals

These decals are old and dirty, I was unsure how brittle they would be so I scanned them in for future reference.

The white lines have huge areas of clear decal that I knew would just increase the chances of airbubbles and silvering, so they had to be removed, good job I did too as they had a yellowish tint to them and it would have ruined the look.




The decals proved to be not brittle at all but actually quite rubbery- but I discovered that my usual use of Microset and Microsol had to be adjusted, the decals seemed to react badly to Microsol, wrinkling up badly and then drying with wrinkles, so I just stuck with Microset- it seemed to be enough to soften the decals.

You can see here the large clear areas I removed were quite yellowed.



After a few hours of applying Decals this is where the ship was. Some areas needed extra gloss application underneath as the glosscoat has areas of roughness still showing through, affecting the decal adhesion

Two absolutely baffling decal choices are the ones for the hexagon heat plated underside, there was no way these decals could be applied to such a rough surface, so I cutout the decals carefully from the paper while dry and used the shapes to trace onto some masking tape, then airbrushed the red and blue colors down instead.


The ship was given an overall wash of black oil paint


some small gold parts fell off randomly when doing the oil washes, I think the plastic is quite brittle these have since been glued back on.



Ive been testing the lighting on all the ship after the matte coat to seal in the weathering, the window masking was a bit disappointing, the primer paint didn't adhere very well to the clear window and a lot of paint peeled off the window vanes, I had to go in and carefully paint them back in with a brush, but as a result of the peeled paint there is a little bit of scrappy looking edges, I'll have to see if I can improve it.



Completed Beauty shots, scroll down for 'Space' lighting..

Here is the completed model- the wooden base (Beech) was given some chamfered edges with a router and then french polished. I also routed out a hole for the 9V battery case to sit into. The kit support was scrapped for a 3mm brass rod instead as it proved much more stable than the plastic kit support. The lighting does not show up as well in the bright photos, but scroll down to see them with proper space lighting..




I set up a black backdrop and single light source with a bounce card to try and emulate the look of how model ships were filmed before CGI. It was an enjoyable process, especially doing the ships lighting as separate passes to be composited in Photoshop later.






The underside has the warp drive dish, the model part is clear plastic so I painted the whole thing and then scraped off areas for the light to show through


One thing I am pleased with but is difficult to show on still camera is the modulation of the ships panels with different specular values. I hand painted some panels with a more satin gloss to highlight against the more matte finish of the ship



Thanks for reading! Sorry if there were too many images!

Somehow I totally missed this movie. I did enjoy the Netflix updated series so I may have to give this one a watch as well

At any rate, very impressive work
Awesome build, always love anything to do with the LIS film.
Cheers! I have the Robot too on the build list, its partially built in a box, I might finish it someday soon!

Somehow I totally missed this movie. I did enjoy the Netflix updated series so I may have to give this one a watch as well

At any rate, very impressive work
Its a movie that was very quickly forgotten about after it came out, it has some cool designs and effects but the story is not great

Nice and clean build.
Now, if only they made a version without gridlines!!:lol:
Thank you!!
I was very tempted to fill in the excess gridlines on the hull and quickly abandoned the idea because I wanted to finish the model this decade haha!

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