Space:1999 1/72 R2 Eagle

Finally, I got my Space:1999 Eagle Transporter from Hobby HQ. Mr. Yep Hua Low mentioned I was very lucky as he only ordered two for reserving customers but somehow, three came and now, the supplier is out of stock!

I am really going to get this Eagle built this time despite me having bought one in the 90’s and lost it somewhere. My plan is to show what happened to Moonbase Alpha 15 years on and so, this Eagle would have a lot of weathering, maintenance problems and also, some up to date modifications. This will be the second part of my diorama build of the ‘Outpost 54’ series. The first was the Laser Tank which is already completed.

Eagle 001
So, this will be the second time I bought an Eagle, which is to replace the one I ‘lost’ somewhere during my termite attack and eventual move to another house. Because the LAT GB (Land, Air, Transport) is due next year March, I need to get this done as quickly as possible so that there won’t be any ‘last minute’ rush for projects by potential clients, etc.
Eagle 002
There are three bags when you open the box.
Eagle 003
Cage Door panels and Engine parts, the cages, the Command Module.
At the bottom is the bottom panel for the passenger pod and also the thingy for the engine bells.
Eagle 004
The next are four identical parts for the four engine bells and also, the landing thingy (Shows how much I know about Space:1999). However, if you look closely, the engine bells do not have those round plate thingy.
Eagle 005
The last bag, which holds the Eagle’s spine and also, the remaining parts of the passenger pod.
Eagle 006
OK, so I did not get a signed autograph. But the decal looks cool!
Eagle 007
If you look at the lower half of the Round2’s box, you will notice some details of the beautifully painted Eagle highlighting which decal goes where. That, my friends, was the work of Jim Small of who does great commissions on many Space:1999 models. Do give him a call if you want some professionally made Eagles.
Eagle 008
OK, this is a 1/150 figure against the Command Module. Yeah, it is small and if you followed what the box said was to be 1/72, imagine the figure two times larger trying to fit inside there. So, I am basing this as 1/100. The original mold, which came from Airfix in the 70’s was reused many time. On the Internet, it was touted to be 1/96 instead.
Eagle 009: The Descend into insanity
Since its a Saturday and Hobby HQ tonight does not have a late session, I decided to start work at home. These panels are the easiest and it warmed up my appetite to start on the Eagle.

I am using only my Tamiya hand drill, a blunt scalpel and an acrylic scriber for the whole of this. How I wished there are other tools, maybe a razor saw or one of those Tamiya sharp saw thingy or even some PE ones…. 🙁
Eagle 010: Drilling out the cages
I hate the cages but it also the highlight of the whole model. I have spent about 24 solid hours to deal with the four parts and to be honest, it would be easier to just build the cages from scratch. Then again, I am not that itchy…

I really need to learn which putty is best to cover up scratches too.
Eagle 011
24 hours later… Yeah, I still need to do the bottom parts but well, you know, my hands are tired and I do not dare to use any rotary tools for this kind of operations.
Eagle 012: What the…?
Yeah, I was working on the last night and I just realised that the upper part of the Command Module which I so carefully drill out, was the bottom part. @%#^$&

Actually, the two halves of the command modules are the same but my mind was too tired to acknowledge this as I launched into an erroneous ‘automatic recovery’ mode. So, maybe I’ll covert the bottom holes for atmospheric- intakes or something
Eagle 013
Using the rotary drill, I managed to remove the panels under the cage. Its not easy as it looks because I over-cut too much plastic. This means I would need a lot of Aves apoxie to get everything repaired.
Eagle 014: The Laser Tank ver.C
Remember the Laser Tank that I did earlier? This is how it will sit inside the Eagle Transporter. I would need to make a new platform for the Tank as the base of the Passenger Pod is too short. This is because the upper two pieces of the pod’s walls makes up the thickness, leaving a gap of about 0.8mm on each side. And yes, I am making the tank facing away from the Command Module so that I can make some kind of access tunnel into the rear of the tank.
Eagle 015
These are some of the greeblies I got from last night’s Hobby HQ Late Night session, thanks to Ben, who let us have all the greeblies we ever wanted from his box.

Edit: The Late Ben who passed away in early 2017

On the right, though, are stuff which might be useful for other kit-bash projects. But in the mean time, the ones on the cutting mat are what I will be using.
Eagle 016: 1/4 Watt resistors for Engines
I have spent the whole weekend doing the Eagle’s Engines and also the walkway. Here is the shot where I am working on the engines. I should have glued the resistors before the four rods and not the other way round. In the end, I wasted about an hour trying to get the resistors in place since everything was glued up.

Although I have test fit the whole assembly many times, it was when I started to put the four angle rods did I notice the misalignment. So, this means you have to measure the rods carefully before cutting as they’re not all of the same length. top and bottom-wise.
Eagle 017
This evening, I had a wonderful time arranging and gluing all the greeblies onto the walkway. I know that it is not possible to recreate an exact walkway with the current rush (plus $$$) so I just did the best that I can…

Now, I have to really get this painted and weathered before finalising the cages since once they’re inside, painting them would be messy.
Eagle 018
I know I am horrible when it comes to making detailed small parts. So, what I did was to *ahem* source for some images on the Internet, and resize them as much as I can. Here, for this door, I shrunk and stretched it to match the Round2 Models model although it’s not that accurate. Once I have stuck it with PVA glue and a coat of Krylon Fusion goes over it, (hopefully) it should look convincing. Ah, if only the shop’s copier machines can print on pla-sheets instead of the 230gsm Art-card….

For those who saw this as weird, yes, the door is upside down.
Eagle 018
I am glad we decided to have a day out at Mid-Valley today. Thanks to my youngest daughter, who spotted a shop, I got this nice little mobile phone sticker which is great for the Eagle greeblies. Since it was RM10 for three, each of us got one for ourselves. These pieces of plastics are stuck to a double sided film which you’re supposed to cut out the ‘shape’ for your phone. Me? I just pulled it out and swipe some Tamiya Thin Cement and it stuck like a charm!

Also, I got some Krylon Fusion Satin Grey for the plastics. Not sure what happened (yellow arrow) after spraying but I guess this is the effect when spraying during rain. Lots of small holes there too. But I’ll leave it as it is since this Eagle is going to be weathered…
Eagle 020
In light of recent events, I have mulled about stopping everything until a real Job comes along. My mind is not really thinking right now so I am going on automatic, which means there would be a lot of mistakes.

Such as what you see on the picture above. For the second walkway, I have actually forgot to glue in the four greeblies which is supposed to be some kind of catch for lifting hooks or something.

Also, this is my first time I am REALLY using AK Interative’s Engine OIl (AK 084) and MIG Productions’s Standard Rust Effects combined with Tamiya’s Grey Panel Line.

I first dabbed the Grey Panel line on to the surface of the walkways, and then let it dry. Then, using a wide brush, slightly damp with Windsor & Newton Artist’s White spirit, I started to draw the brush on a downward stroke. Once that is done, I used a little bit of the Engine Oil on the side walls and repeated the White Spirit brush method. As for the rust, I randomly dabbed them and when they’re dry, I quickly moist the brush with more White Spirit and quickly flicked at the rust spots.

Note one of the walkway is very heavily stained, which is to be place near the rear engines.
Eagle 021
As for the Engine assembly, I did the same but this time, I made sure the bottom of the engines are collecting the excess wash, as if it has been under heavy rain (I know, I know, there is no rain on the Moon).

The Bells are horrible because I was not paying much attention but in the end, I looked OK to me. Here is what I did:
1. Krylon Fusion Satin Grey,
2. Tamiya Fine Compound
3. Tamiya Finish Compound
4. Gaia Pure Black 002
5. Tamiya Fine Compound
6. Tamiya FInish Compound
7. Yile SM07 Silver

I should not have done the Krylon in the first place but go straight to gloss black. Also, because I was not good at spraying the silver, this was the effect that came out. Some areas were splotchy because I sprayed more to overcome the mistakes. But now, it kind of looks nice, as if it was weathered too. But I am NOT going to give it a clear coat since it made the test surfaces look like crap.

I know inside the Engine Bells, there are some discs and once I get them done, I can start to glue all the four bells to the Engine assembly.
Eagle 022
Cutting the circles to the correct height is impossible because the blade tends to angle off halfway through the cut. So, I took a piece of aluminum heatsink, bent it to fit the styrene tube and hoped for the best. Its not perfect but it improved slightly.

While the glue was drying, I decided to cut out one of the four 16mm circles to test fit into the engine and well, more or less, looks OK to me.
Eagle 023
And here is how it looked. Its a bit crude but then again, by spraying it flat black, I hope no one will notice it. Much.
Eagle 024
The baffles looks OK after a coat of Krylon Fusion Flat Black. But it could have been better if I used ParaGrafix Modeling Systems‘s PE set which is available for this model. Because the bell’s internal has some paints in there, I forcefully wedged the baffles in and applied the Tamiya Thin Cement. Boy, I have never seen the thin cement go round the edges so fast!

Gluing the bells to the Engine assembly is also another problem since cement will mar the silver coat on places which I do not want it to be. So, I just dabbed on the white structure and let it flow into the joints. Later on, I will try some chalk pastels on the insides of the bells and then fix it with Tamiya Enamel Flat Clear or something when the budget is there. I want to give it a burnt out look if I can with the Eagles using various quality of fuel, etc. But in the end, itw oudl jsut be black stuff…. 😛

Now, for those who are still following this, I am now doing this on my own time as there are other priorities since I would be out of Freelancing work on the 7th. I have withdrawn from the LAT Group Build as I do not need any extra pressure for what has happened over the weekend. Sorry, folks.
Eagle 025
Let’s take a break today and see how far I have gone. The Engines are complete and so are the walkways. I hate to say it but now, its really time to tackle the cage again, especially the smaller cross-bars which I have been putting it off. If I do not do this, I would never be able to complete the cage proper.

As you can see, the four landing pods are the most headache since the upper details needs to be properly ‘aligned’. The Jury’s still out on the placing the red/green LEDs on these pods and also a white strobe on the top of the walkway. And if I really have to do this, there is no way to hide the wiring unless I reconstruct the spine. Which, to be honest, is really beyond me and I am lazy to even do it… 😛
Eagle 026
My range of tools are growing and despite having the Trumpeter PE saws, John Vojtech’s SCR-02 scriber, another scriber, two scalpels and a blade, I find that only the used scalpel blades are capable of helping me with hollowing out the last area of the Eagle cages.

What I do is to use the back edge of the used blades and slowly draw them along the ‘X’ patterns until it forms a deep line and eventually the whole triangle falls off. Then, only then would I use the smaller scalpel blade to trim off the excess plastics. As the cage is now starting to be hollow, please be aware that when you scribe the triangles out, you cannot use any force on it. The ‘cylinders’ of the cage is not capable of absorbing any force and its not even a real cylinder but hollowed out half tubes.

What I did was to use my left hand to hold on to the socket where the shoulder pod connects and the third finger of my right hand as the ‘stopping’ force as seen on the picture on the left. This method would not stress on the hollowed out cage. But after a few triangles, my third finger is starting to ache…

Removing the triangle is a tedious process and I am limiting them to about three sets a day or so since I do not want to rush this as there were already two accidental gash on the tubes. Anyway, the picture on the right shows one partially completed cage. Once all the triangles are out, i will have to clean up the inside flashes before sealing the cage completely and adding the final tubes.
Eagle 027
Finally, with a Job, I can now calmly continue with the Eagle. It was very nerve wracking and an insecure three weeks for me. Also, the Eagle holds many memories for me and by hook or by crook, I want to complete it if I can.

But let’s continue.
Since it was more than two to four weeks since I have stopped, tonight was just my fingers trying to learn the steps again. To recap, the cages must be hollowed out as in the original model, it was just tubes. I used the back edge of a snapped scalpel blade and score the triangle until they are deep enough to be punched out. And that, is a lot of work spread within weeks since I need to be very careful with the blade. All I can say is, I am very thankful for the dullness of the blade. Finally, all four pieces are done and I can get on with the next step which is to smoothen the insides since there were a lot of leftover plastics from the gouging. Then, I will glue the whole cage shut before adding extra tubing.
Eagle 028
With the cage’s panels now completed, its time I give it a coat of grey primer. I am not too happy with the conditions of the cages as there were too many dings and cuts. I will need to find some time to try using putty to cover them.
Eagle 029
Using the rotary tool, I carefully removed the unnecessary plastic. Now, the cage is very fragile. I will soon start to play with putty and thinner to cover up all the cuts and dings.
26112014 Eagle 030

Happy New Year!
With some extra time, I quickly sanded off the details on the top of the Leg Pods. Then, after splitting some beads in half, I glued them onto the Leg Pods. Why did I do this?

This is because in most of the Eagle pictures out there, the alignment of the ‘dimples’ are very different and where the original molds (up to the current manufacturer) are concerned, each Eagle model kit has four identical Leg Pods sprues.

Also, see the Laser Tank on the right? I also gave it more details! You need to go to picture #31 for this.

Here is the page on how I did the Laser Tank
Eagle 031
I am actually having fun with gluing plastic parts to the carrier platform I made last month. On the left, are some basic shapes, which will soon be complemented with a docking room. As for the front, I have glued a part from an Academy Merkava III. My main aim for this Laser Tank platform is for the Eagle to lay it flat and the ramp lowers down.

Here is the page on how I did the Laser Tank
Eagle 032
I was thinking of doing some paneling on the leg pods today but then I realised I do not have any 0.2mm pla-plates. The one I had are either 0.1mm or 0.8mm.

So, its time to concentrate on the cockpit for today. Months ago, I took some images from the Internet, resized as best as I could and got them printed onto thick card. I am not going to use the dashboard as they’re wrongly scaled, which you can see on the background. Using white glue, I got the rear panel stuck onto the bottom of the cockpit plus some side walls which was glued to the upper half.

The flooring are a little bit tricky and I hope to correct them with some paint instead.
Eagle 033
Just a little light test with a 3mm warm white LED. I think this looks good but if you look at the whole cockpit, it needs to be light blocked before I can really seal the whole Eagle beak. But the paper printout looks quite convincing…. heh.

So, I’d really need to give it a nice coat or two of Krylon Fusion Flat Black.
Eagle 034
Using another copy of the paper background (my printout has a few in there), I Dremeled out a basic shape from a plastic teaspoon. This would be the Commnand Module’s back wall. But because the spoon’s curvature is great, I needed to make a rough hole in the middle, so that the module can still stick back to the cages comfortably. The hole also allows for wires into it as well.
Eagle 035
Thank’s to Bruce’s Scale Modeling Domain‘s idea, I start to slowly scrape the underside box of each Leg Pod with the back of a scalpel.

You need to do this slowly so that you will get a nice undercover shape out of it.
Eagle 036
Here is the photo of the first trial. The cut undercover is then glued to the inner side of the Leg Pod, which now serves as those, um, undercarriage things like you see in normal aircrafts. This is also the same assembly which will be use for the Leg Pads who will have wires running inside them.