Space:1999 1/48 Eagle

Finally, I have Round2’s 1/48 Scale Space:1999 Eagle in my hands! I did miss the boat when it first came out and this is my second chance! To cut a long story short, I got this from Mr. Yep Hua Low of Hobby HQ after a no-show by a customer.

The Eagle, for me, was one of my dream spacecrafts and the design has stood the test of time. When I was a kid, the 12″ Dinky toy (now lost) was awesomely big . After becoming an Engineer, I realised that there was a model kit from the show. I also realised that it was still using the original Airfix mold from the 70’s. Although it was much cheaper than any Product Enterprise die-casts at that time, it still needed a lot of work which was a little too much for my sub-standard modeling skills. And to make it as accurate as possible was high on the impossible list.

So, having the massive 1/48 box in my hands relived a lot of my childhood dreams.

However, with many Alpha Fans building or stockpiling theirs, I do not see the point of building mine to make it as screen accurate as possible in terms of builds or painting since I still am quite bad on both fronts. What I am going to do is, to build the Eagle as if this is one of the few units which was still on Earth when the Moon broke away. It’s old, reliable, and still in service even decades later, but with some up to date upgrades, namely the lighting and strobes, to bring it to the modern aviation World.

Although the box is big, it’s still manageable. Since I do not have the ‘International Standard of Internet Measure’ Unit (A Coke can) with me, a AA size battery will have to do.
There is undoubtedly, a lot of details one can put in there, but the main question would be, how accurate do you want it to be? In the show, the continuity issue lies on how the Pilots were seated in the cockpit and seen from the outside. Ha ha ha.
This is the measurement of the famous Warp Eagle Lift as taken from Forum, courtesy of member Moonbuggy

So, for the 22″ Eagle, Maybe I’ll have to multiply the measurements by a factor of 1.8333? I am looking at the possible measurements of 24″ by maybe, 10″. Yeah, that is big.

Big enough to build a coffee table around it.
This is the measurement of the famous Warp Eagle Lift as taken from Forum, courtesy of member Moonbuggy

Seriously, the issue is, how to I get a 5mm wooden platform for this, and which will not sag after years? To fabricate this in metal is even more costly as I did not have Shop lessons when I was in school.

One problem with large size models kits is that the plastic tends to warp. And the Eagle is no exception. Here are the floor and partial ceiling for the Eagle’s Passenger Pod which is nearly 20cm long.

Oh, look! This is a 2016 model! So, this model which I got from Mr. Low is quite fresh. Ha ha.
Despite the flash and all, this model has very big runners and so, you have to be very careful when removing the parts.
Putting the whole Passenger Pod together is not easy as it is like erecting up four walls with minimal supports. So what I did was to start with the three walls (the fourth is to be glued later since I need to work on the interiors). I first glued their corners with Tamiya thin cement and set the Pod on a flat surface. Once it felt solid, I started to add more cement.

With the three walls ready, I began to work on the warped floor by first gluing one side of it’s edge to one end of the Pod. Slowly, as it dries, I then move on to the middle of the floor and then with the other edge.

I also repeated the same method with the ceiling as it is also warped (arrows). Because of the angle of the windowed part, I rested it on the slope of the walls. See the yellow masking tape? It is to prevent the thing cement from reaching to the module’s walls below. Once the edge is cemented solid, it moved it to a smaller surface where I can press on the ceiling to ‘straighten it’ before finishing on the other end.
For the interior of the Passenger Pod, I am using Alex Jackson‘s (aka Century Casting) interior parts which is fantastic. With some usual tlc and hot water/air, I got the resin parts aligned. What I loved about his casting is that there are absolutely minimal bubbles or none at all.
Just a view of the interior from the ceiling but this would be hard to see once the black windows are installed.
This is the view on the other end. The resin parts were a good fit and would not look weird unless you’re really itchy and want to look for flaws.
When I lifted the Passenger Pod, I was surprised that it was so heavy. Using a kitchen scale, the whole module weighed about 320gms!
Now I am starting to worry as the resin parts have given the model an additional potential weight of 170gms excluding the electronics I am going to install later.. So, maybe Century Castings could switch over Smooth-ons resin which is feather light.
After soaking and scrubbing the resin pieces, it was time to look at them more closely. The casting was OK, with minimal bubbles and can easily be filled with some putty. I used Tamiya White Putty at first but because I was kinda impatient, I migrated to Perfect Plastic Putty within a very short time.

There is not much work on these parts except to fill in the holes and also to prepare them for lighting. I masked off the rectangle shelves as they are meant to be lit. For the corridor shelves, where the Spacesuits are hung, they would be fitted with some small SMD LEDs. Do note that this copy was the earliest from Alex of Century Castings and so, some parts were cast in black resin.

I wanted to light it, so i have to options:
The first is to cut out the holes and then cover it up with some thin stryene sheets. Or, thin the walls slightly and use brighter LEDs to shine through the black resin. I chose the latter as this was the less risky path for me,

Although the thick walls were natural light blockers, I had to grind a little at the back. The front shelves were about 1.5mm thick and I need them to be thin enough for some of the lights to come through. I can go back to the first choice, which is to grind through and replace with some translucent piece, the shelves would be too deep inside and my lungs filled with resin dust.

Using Mr. Surfacer 1000, I primed the resin pieces. Maybe I am too impatient but there were some defects which when I scraped it off, paint chunks and/or primer came off which I needed to respray after that. So, I need to treat them as fragile from now on since I did not have any resin primer.

But yea, the primer showed a lot of flaws I needed repair. And so, out came the filler and sandpaper
There is a noticeable gap where the resin seats face the wall and so I used some thin plastic strip to block it off. You would need to measure first before getting the right strip because:

– The resin wall would be sitting on it
– The two plastic tabs near the ceiling would stop the resin walls from going to high up
– The seats (after you have trimmed off some excess resin), needs to be in the right gap.
– You need to place both seats and also the middle walkway before you measure the strip’s position

In this picture, I glued the strip first, then cut off the excess since it would hinder the ‘door’ part of the resin wall too.
Finally, this is how the interior looks once the resin parts are placed together. Took me quite a long time to figure it out since some parts did not ‘dry-fit’ well.

The only instructions were the label on the box, which was fine for me. Except that I am not too familiar with Space:1999. I know the spacecrafts when I see one but I would be able to tell which Season it was from, or which unit, etc.
Finally, I think I am ready to move on to the painting stage that is, as soon as I can do something about these with some putty…
Colouring the seats are a nightmare since the only reference photos were from Internet. So what I did was:

– Base Color: Mr. Color #41 Brown with 10% Gaia Notes #014 Natural Brown
– Shadows: Mr Color #41 Brown with 5% Mr. Color #137 Tire Black
– Edges: The usual Tamiya Panel Line Dark Brown

Well, the outcome looked OK to me but could be better.
When I started to look for the painting guides, the Box said the brownish colour was Light Tan. looking at the EAGLE CONSTRUCTION GUIDEBOOK from the Group Space:1999 Props and Ships, it was given as TS-46 Light Sand. Others sites referred to it as Humbrol 168 RAF Hemp and um, Milky Coffee.

With the shops closed, I have no idea what colour these are, and so I slowly mixed Mr. Color #41 Brown into Mr. Color #313 Yellow FS33531 until I got what was essentially Milky Coffee.

This new mix would go into the Passenger Pod and also, the cockpit. Do note that I needed to spray at least two layers before I can actually see the colour coming out. Maybe I could use another layer once the Passenger Pod is completed.

Bear in mind that for the LEDs I would be using, could be quite dim and so, I need these pieces to be as lightly coloured as possible in just case they soak up all the lights and do not reflect back. Matt paint does that.
I think the paint needs a little red but then again, in my experience, it is not good to experiment at this late stage of painting. And yes, I have limited amount of that paint mixed and any changes now would mean repainting everything.

I just hope I have enough for the whole of the Passenger Pod right up to the ceiling

Do note that I might have to detail up the back wall as well. Did you spot the error in this picture?

Yeah, I got the seat facing the wrong way round. So now, I have to redo the plastic strips. Sigh.
Now it’s time to deal with the lighting for the Passenger Pod. To me, this is the easiest part of all, except… I’m feeling a little disheartened due to my current status and also well, being lazy.

Inside the Pod itself, the only lighting I can do would be the storage shelve pieces. I am not going to do any lighting on the seating area as the gap between the resin panels and the plastic wall is too thin. I would have to thin the resin piece considerably to allow for lighting and since I am not good with this kind of modification, I will leave it alone.

However, this would give Alex Jackson some ideas if Century Castings would like to modify their pieces for lighting.

Anyway, lets begin. The first thing that needs to be done would be to prepare six 0805 White SMD LEDs for the six corridor shelves. I am not sure if I can recreate some Spacesuits to hang in there…

Soldering SMD LEDs are very simple and if you do it often enough, it’s like normal soldering. The secret lies in using Solder Flux and 3M double-sided tapes.
Once the corridor LEDs are done, you’ll need to drill some holes for the wires. If the drill bits are thin enough (Less than 0.8mm), the wires would sort of friction fit and wedge itself so you would not need to use any glue to hold the LEDS in place. Don’t worry much about the LED’s alignment just as long as you put them in the middle and close to the wall. These SMD LEDs do not have any lens and so, their light radiation will not affect the final result. I’ll show you later in the slides.
I do not want to do any custom circuit board (Since when would anyone want a lighting kit for this anyway?) and so, the quickest would be to use stripboards. Do not be afraid of this circuit as it’s a very simple design. I am just soldering it this way (due to the board’s limitation) to save space. Yes, a custom PCB would solve all this space problems but not right now. Oh, why am I soldering them this way? Because I can.

This is a very simple parallel circuit with the three 10mm LEDs controlled by a set of 68 ohms resistors while the 0805 SMDs were given 150 ohms instead.
Note the 10mm LEDs are White DIFFUSED and not clear lens as I do not want any hotspots behind the panels here. It would make aligning the LEDs much more difficult and also, the lights have a different effect

Don’t forget to use heat-shrinks y’all!

I have tested some Aves Apoxie to the resin and it’s taking too long to set and stick to the resin. So, for the boards, I am using the ol’ hot-melt glue instead, which would work so long as I do not bring this model to the Sahara Desert.

Once that is done, I used Aves to secure the pla-plates to the resin (an in 24 hours, I hope they stick). If I can help it, I would not want to use any super-glue to the resins. They’re practically useless and if this model happen to go to different places with different humidity, the glue would fail.

If this is successful, I will blank off the side pla-plate with either some aluminum sticker, primer or even Krylon Fusion Black.
Remember I talked about the 0805 SMD LEDs earlier about not having lens? Well, they’re wide angle and as long as they’re in the middle, they would look good. But if the actual shelves in the TV Series used spotlights, then I need to change the LED and even from far, one would be able to see the LED. Unless I scrape off a lot of resin in there, which I do not want to.

I was surprised with the pattern it developed. Originally, I wanted to increase the resistance to make them dimmer but well, this looks OK to me. Just look at the light patterns on the floor, which was created by the six SMD LEDs on the shelves.
Light test. So far, the corridors look good. I am now worried because I do not know how to sculpt six Spacesuits to hang in there…

Well, almost done and hopefully, I can start on the ceiling lighting soon.
Here is the lighting schematics for the Eagle Passenger Pod. Do note that this is ONE HALF of the circuit meant for ONE side of the Shelves. You will need to make TWO and the ceiling lighting is not included here.

It’s a very simple parallel circuit and I am using a low voltage system. The reason being is that the white LEDs only consume about 3.2 to 3.5 volts and if you use anything higher like 9 volts, you’re going to waste 2 volts heating up the resistor (assuming you’re putting two white LEDs in series, where 3.5v + 3.5v = 7.0v)

So, by using 3x ‘AAA’ or from a USB Mobile Phone charger, you can really use them to light up the Eagle.

Maybe one day, I will design the lighting circuit for this model as I see there is a lot of space in that size of that stripboard. I hope to not only include the Passenger Pod lighting but also to the Command Module, the landing gears and also the Nav/Strobe system. Think of this first Eagle as a learning prototype for me.
OK, here is where things got complicated. Because I am using a stripboard for a fast solution, I have to compromise with saving space. And I have to follows it’s limitation since the copper tracks are fixed and cannot be changed.

Do note that if you look at the board in the earlier slides, I am not using conventional soldering techniques. I can solder all components on one side and lift the 10mm to a 3mm gap but, nah. This is much more fun.

So, following the stripboard’s rules, I need to make two copper track breaks or else when I power it up, they are not going to light up. Furthermore, the LEDs are polarity sensitive and so, you need to make sure which leg is positive and which is negative for both 10mm and SMD LEDs.

For the 10mm LED, you can refer to page 24 of the Eagle Construction Guidebook courtesy of James Small of Small and downloadable at the Group Space:1999 Props and Ships, courtesy of Todd Morton

For the SMD LEDs, here is one example from a quick Google search:…/smd-led…

I have a problem and admittedly, this is the same problem that plaqued most 22″ Eagle modelers where the Command Module is concerned. If you were to build the model according to the 44″ model which this was based on, the whole CM would be empty save for two slightly Gemini Astronauts, stuck to the rear wall. But if you want to make the CM similar to what you saw in the TV series, the figures would be lower, to the point you can’t see it except the top of their heads. And don’t even start to think about how would their leg fit on the bottom half.

Not only that, you would need to construct the middle walkway and also, detail the side walls and the visible ceiling lights.

So, which one would you choose? Studio Model or TV Series. Yeah, that took me a few nights and so, I’ll just do something in between. But what James Small showed me on the console lighting was absolutely brilliant. (I’ll show you later why, its more to do with shadow cancellation)

Update: I could not find the chat he was telling about. Sorry, folks.
To be honest, the more I went over the assembly manual, the more paranoid I got where the model’s spine are concerned. Perhaps the plastic was designed to hold the weight of the whole model, and with the passenger module hanging on with a pair of screws just like the actual studio model. I was worried because with the Passenger Pod modifications, I have added an additional 170gms to it.

But Jim James Small assured me that it could take the load.

After aligning the pairs of halves of the main truss (parts #42 and #43), I set them aside for the cement to do its job. Then I glued the parts #46 at the bottom, making sure they are properly aligned and in the right orientation, you know, where the oval holes are pointing inwards. I used some masking tape to lock them into position as I felt the rubber-bands could be too strong. When the cement is completely dried, I can easily snap-lock the remaining horizontal bars #44 and #45 easily, starting from the ends and moving inwards. Oh, and I would need to partially drill a pair of holes at the ends of the spines just like the 44″ model.
Nothing to report here but for the rest of the week, it was filling ejector pin holes via Perfect Plastic Putty and scraping off mold lines with the scalpel. And for glued halves, I dropped the Tamiya Thin Cement generously and clamped them tight. This would naturally push the melted plastic out and seal the halves of the surface. When the melted globules hardens again, you just take a scalpel and scrape them off.

That was the theory part. The practical sessions were not exactly that enjoyable.
This is a WIP as it’s not a simple case of gluing everything up. Because I am going to light it, I need to make sure the landing modules are completed before sealing things up. Then I have to make sure the connecting modules are primed, painted and weathered before I install the cages and so on. This is going to be fun because I am treading the wiring from each of the landing modules through the Passenger Pod and all the way to the Command Module.

This would also mean that the whole model will be ‘locked’ horizontally via a series of nuts and bolts. But look again at this connecting module. It has enough space inside to hold three AAA batteries or even a 9 volt. Because it was designed to hold landing modules together and not warp, the interior cannot be used. So, no walkway interior neither. Sadly, because of my lighting designs, I would have to put the power source outside the model.

And as you would have guessed, the Passenger Pod is now permanently attached.
OK, here is a mock up of the Eagle’s landing gear lighting. I would need to use a pair of White LEDs for each landing gear. Sorry for the blurriness of the images as its not easy to hold up the prototype with one hand and mobile phone with the other.

If I use a single LED, it would create shadows on the opposite side. Although it does look cool but that effect is not for this model.

If I use two LEDs, note that they sort of cancel out each other LED’s shadows.
And here is another challenge. The lighting would be controlled from this generic PCB which is small enough to hide inside the Command Module. The problem is that I am experiencing some complications with my microprocessor programmer. Everything worked fine until the programming stage where it failed. I have used another programmer and also another chip but its not helping neither.

Or, I can take a risk by getting a new PC with Windows10, and upgrade to a new programming software which would cost thousands. I have a backup circuit but this still won’t solve any problems if I have a new design idea..

Update: I replaced the SMD inductor which looked cracked and it worked OK after the second time.
I am going to install a pair of LEDs on each of the Eagle’s four landing gears. Sorry for the photos as they were taken while I was experimenting with the White square LEDs. Yeah, I just double-sided them onto the leg assembly. But do take note that these rectangular LEDs I am using is not the normal 2mmx5mmx7mm LEDs. Rather, they are the brighter 2mmx3mmx5mm version.

If you put only one LED, the leg would block the light and therefore, cast a shadow on the other side of the landing gear. Initially, I like this idea with the one LED mounted on the OUTSIDE of the landing gear module. The effect would mean that there are no lights in the middle of the Eagle but shadows. So imagine when I put a flashing white strobe in the middle of the corridor module, it would be very noticeable.

The lights from the two LEDs cancels out each other’s shadows and so, the you can see the landing gear perfectly.
There is a reason why I chose the rectangular LEDs; their resin lens would give a squarish light radiation pattern. If I used a round LED, the lens would create two spotlights intersecting with each other plus shadows, something which I do not want. OK, here is how I mounted the LEDs.

1. Using the landing gear assembly’s shape, I outlined it’s area. The space in between each opening is about 26~27mm but I just did a rough guess and marked at 13.3mm. Then I left a gap of about 1mm from the landing gear area and then scribed out the rectangular hole for the LED’s placement.

2. I then drilled out the middle of the LED placement and used a 1mm chisel to remove the excess plastic. Do not use a hammer as you can accidentally blunt the chisel. I just pushed it in and wobble the chisel left and right to create a deep cut. Please do not chisel outside the placement area because then you cannot make any further adjustments as the purpose is to friction fit the LED into the hole. The hole must be slightly smaller than the size of the LED
Since there are four landing gears, you would need about 10 LEDs. Not 8 but 10. Or you will need more if you use too much force.

With the rough shape, you’re more or less halfway there. Now apply some thin cement on the edges of the hole and quickly take one of the rectangular LEDs and slowly force it in while the plastic is still soft. Don’t worry as the LED’s clean resin lens would not be affected by the thin cement nor the plastic. You might have to repeat this two to three times. The LED will push the melted plastic into shape and creates a perfect fit.
OK, so this is how the two mounted rectangular LEDs would look on the underside of the landing gear.
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I used 68 ohm resistor for each LED and in this test, the two LEDs are connected in parallel to the 5 volt mobile phone charger.
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Light test. Don’t worry about the light leaks at this stage. Although the LEDs are bright, I might have to dim them further at a later stage. The crocodile clips have no other function than to hold the whole assembly at the right height while I take photos from the top.
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There are still some noticeable shadows but this is not going to be a problem. In fact, this makes the landing gear look much better.
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Another view of the LEDs in action. Looks good and I hope it would look even better when the model is lightblocked and fully painted.
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I used some ‘channels’ to give some detail to the LEDs. Originally I wanted them flush but then, they would look boring and I am hopeless in cutting out all eight exact square bezels for them.
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This is the part of the landing gear which will ‘move’ a lot, either during transport or by curious people and so, spraying it with the most metallic silver or chrome is not going to cut it. So I followed Kenneth Lee’s idea as shown in the Eagle Construction Guidebook, to use aluminum tubes. Luckily for me, Artfriend has one K&S #8103 left.
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However, I did not follow his steps completely. Instead, I used the aluminum tube as a kind of sheath or as a long-lasting silver paint however you want to call it.

The only problem is that the plastic stalk had an outer diameter of about 3.5mm while the inner diameter of the aluminum tube was about 3.1mm.

I used a scalpel and made about two to three passes of scraping until it almost fit. After that it was a matter of dropping some thin cement into the tube and twist it around so that the melted plastic would start to conform to the alluminum tube’s shape.
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And yeah, I cut about four pieces of 29mm aluminum tubes. And you need to burr both ends to fit into the plastic stalks since its a very tight fit. Any loose metal could become a cutter and scrape at the plastics.
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I also used Dale Thelander’s idea of reinforcing the internal piece of the landing gear. I cut about half-inch of some evergreen #516″ tubes, then used the reamer to clean the insides of the tube for better surface contact. This is because the contact surface of the plastic part it like a dome and so, it curves in.
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So now, I don’t have to worry much about that piece bending/break under load or accidents from stupid idiots. Just that I have to make sure the four walls needs to be glued very tightly.
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I am still worried with the ‘fragility’ of the model. Granted that the spine is able to withstand the additional weight, there is the concern that there might be other people (helping me to display the model when I am not able to be there) who might not know how to transport the model. And at the end of the day, I just do not want to repair broken wiring nor snapped off plastics after events.

The spine is there to hang the Passenger Pod between the walkway modules when placed on a flat surface. I think the spine is really stressed when the model is being lifted up, say, from either side of the spine, at an angle. It sort of flexed a bit which made the Passenger Pod almost fall out. I prefer it to be lifted up at a horizontal level and via the landing gear modules.

And so, I decided to use some m2.5 screws and bolts to hold the Passenger Pod to both walkway modules, making the whole Eagle locked as a single piece.

This was my initial idea until I went to the shops where their smallest washer was the m3, which was too big. This means that I could only use two out of four screws and nut as originally planned. I would need to glue the lower part of the passenger module to strengthen the lower area. If you plan to go ahead with this silly idea, do remember that you need to align the walkway module and the Passenger Pod properly before you start to measure the drilling holes. There must be enough clearance for the nut.

Why this plan went wrong was:
– The whole measurement depended on the walkway module’s space/gap between the door and the walkway walls.
– The doors cannot be used to hold the hexbolts as the resin part of the interior kit sits flush against it.

This is the result in the end. I could not add the lower pair of screws as there was no space for the nuts in the walkway module. There was barely any space for the nuts in the upper part too and I had to cut off a little of the door’s plastic side walls.
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Forget about putting the washers as shown to ‘balance’ the gap induced by the twin alignment dimples at the bottom. This will give you problems when you match the spine to both modules later. Yeah, the gap is about 0.5mm and when you do that, you have an additional gap of 1mm.

It looked OK in theory but when I put on the spine, needless to say, it’s better off without it. Instead, I used some very thin (and accurate) 0.5mm plastic strips in place of the washers and now (hopefully) it looked much better.
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And so, there you go, a solid Eagle, which for my case is absolutely necessary due to my lighting plans as the wires needs to go THROUGH the Passenger Pod.

If I were to follow the lighting of the original Eagle which only the Command Module was lit, I would not need to do this at all.
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OK, here are the lighting modifications for the Eagle’s landing modules. These will be the red/green lights attached to the upper and lower surfaces of each module. Unlike a plane where the lights from its wings can be seen in almost every direction, the landing modules are cubic blocks and so, I need lights to be visible from its upper and lower sides.

First I traced out 5mm squares, drilled a 1.8mm hole and then used a modified syringe tip to create four corner rivets. Once I am happy, I cut them out and glued it onto the module. Then I drilled out the hole in the plastic using that as template.

I am using those 1.8mm LEDs for this and will try light it with the lowest current possible. The natural dome of the LED would make them look more believable, like some big lens or cover. Because I do not have them in their natural red and green, these LEDs are white and will be given a clear coat of of red and green later on.
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I am using 8x White 1.8mm LEDs for the Red/Green Navigation Lights and with the scratchbuilt bezel, they were thick enough so that the LED’s lens look as if it is part of the upgrade. If I used a normal LED, say, a 3mm it would be too big. I never do like to put LEDs completely exposed as this would make the model look like a toy. Plus, I would need to make it look dim too.

The image shows how these Red/Green LEDs are to be placed on the landing pods. The front walkway would have a white strobe while the rear walkway would have a steady white light and both these LEDs would be located at the bottom. I might put a white strobe at the top of the rear walkway too.
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This is my first Black Surfacer and I got it for two reasons.

The first is to give the boosters a black coat before I add in the silver and the second, is to experiment with Black-basing painting techniques.
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For the silver, I used MODO MK-08 Super Real Silver. I guessed the boosters would be shinier if I gave it a coat of clear gloss before applying the silver but I kind like this version. One good thing about this paint is that I can handle it after it has dried. So, yeah, no Molotow for me.
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The theory to blackbasing technique is quite interesting. You prime the model in black, then you marble the surface with a very thinned version of the paint you want. And finally, with the same thinned paint, you give it a few layers.

Simple right? But here, you need to do very one important thing: Always take a step back, get away from the table for a few minutes and then come back again. This is to make sure that you will not ‘overdo’ the final coats. The reason I am doing this to my Eagle instead of solid whites is that this is one of the few Eagles left on Earth before the Breakaway. So, it is still in service but the paintwork is attacked by the harsh Sun.

1. Prime it with the Mr. Finishing Surfacer Black 1500
2. Thin the paint with thinner to about 20:80 or consistency of milk (or until my airbrush does not spit small particles) and do the marble effect. I sprayed about 1 inch away as I wanted small lines.
3. Run a few horizontal pass of the same thinned paint but from a distance of about a few inches away.
4. After the first three passes, move away from the table and take a break.
5. If the effect of what you want, you can stop there.

Blackbasing takes quite some time so, it is quite enjoyable/therapeutic. Plug in the headphones and play your favourite tunes.
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Instead of using hot-melt glues, this time I used some Aves Apoxie to keep the LEDs in place. The beam (left foreground) suddenly becomes very important when it comes to wiring. Take note of the four crevices designed into the beam.
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This is how I will tread the wires through from the Landing Pods to the Walkways. Although there are four LEDs in there, there will only be TWO pairs of wires coming out. Of course, the initial soldering will be done inside the Pods. This is how I prepare the access path for the wires. Before you begin, malre sure you remove the landing pods first.

1. Drill out a hole roughly about the location where the outermost crevice of the beam will be located. You can drill the holes nearer to the Command Module’s direction of towards the Passenger Pod. This is the front walkway module.

2. Now, insert the landing pod firmly and using the first hole, drill a mark, pull it out, separate the beam and drill the hole on the cover completely.

3. The object is to thread the wire through either one of the crevices.
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This is what the wiring would look like from either Walkway modules. Of course, there would be THREE pairs of wires coming out as I would be putting an additional LED at the bottom of the Walkway.
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And yeah, this is basically how I will thread the wires through the Passenger Pod, using the resin pieces of the Interior kit to hide them.
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Once I have soldered all the LEDs in the parallel fashion, its time to insert them into the walkway module.
I put some of the wiring behind the short tube so that it would not interfere with the landing gear stalks later on. I should have made the wires a little longer so that I can wrap around the tube. Anyway, thread all the four wires through the hole (arrow)

Now with the bar in place, slowly arrange the wires into the cavities. You know you have gotten it when the bar closes up easily.
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I used a little bit of masking tape to wrap all the wires together but left the longest out where it would be used as the leading wire. This is one trick I learned when we were pulling phone and network cabling through rooms.

Bend the leading wire a little and slowly push & twist until you see it pop out of the walkway’s exit hole. Gently pull the wire out while slowly sliding the whole landing pod assembly in and the rest of the wires will follow. You will start to feel some resistance and this is why you need to gently pull the wire while pushing the whole assembly in. I am using those very thin wires and you will know you have done it when:

1. There was some kind of click, or
2. You can see all four wires free from tangling inside the hole.

Do not force it as this would break the wire’s protective plastic sheath and can cause a short with the other wires. If you feel wire are going to twist and break, pull out the whole thing and try again, making sure the four wires are sort arranged in parallel.
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Once you have completed both sides, solder the correct pairs together. This is the rear walkway and so, you need to repeat this with the front walkway before calling it done.
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Taking a little time off and since it’s raining for most of the weekend, I decided to translate the WARP Eagle Lift kit into a Sketchup model just for fun. I am only interested in the platform’s measurement. For the underside and the Base, it would be something different. Plus, I always prefer the design that has a single hydraulic lift column.
Wow. It’s been three years since I last tackled this project! I have years ago, thanks to a friend, Frank Poncelet who created a simple flatten spacesuit for me. Pending budget, I am going to try cast these 3D printed models in actual resin.
These 3D resin printers print the objects upside down and uses UV light to cure/harden them. Here is where I have my doubts as even after the UV light bath, the model will still be bombarded with UV everyday. I know they are brittle and could crack one day.
These little suits are so light!
Personally, I am still on the fence on 3D printing. Sure it is another way of getting models but it is the material used which bothers me. The end result is to use UV light to cure them, much like the UV glue being use now, and a decade earlier, for windscreen crack repairs. Just like the CD when it came out. It was tough and almost scratch proof. But then it went to production and is a magnet for scratches.

So, just like 3D prints, it is still too early for the Joe Public. Sure it has solutions for the medical field, buildings, food, etc. Those are reliable and great but is still out of reach for the normal guy. For the time being, 3D printing is just for Hobbies. And for me, I would rather learn the software to produce the content and then email it to be printed.
Because it was printed upside down, I thought the print might fail. Then when I looked at the supports, it was strong enough. The other object for another project, which is a flat piece, actually failed when it should not since it was printed flat.
OK, so the 1/48 figure from Revell is about 2.7mm high while the suit is about 2.6mm. My mistake is that I did not ask for the suit to be scaled slightly smaller during printing. Yeah, I just realised that 3D software for printers can do this. In the future, the suit’s height would be about 2.4mm or thereabouts.
1 am sure Frank’s suits would look awesome once they are painted. But they do not look right. No, I am not talking about the size now, but more on the suits being to far out of the shelf. Yeah, I need to cut or trim the suit.
Here is another shot of the 3D printed suit resting on one of the shelves. If you look at any images on the Internet, the shelves should be deeper. Since not many viewers would be able to see the shelves from this angle, I can cut 1/3 of the suit away to maintain the illusion of deep shelves.