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Kallisti

New 22" Round 2/MPC Cargo Eagle Transporter

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Last Wednesday I went to the local ParcelFarce depot to pick up my pre-order shipment from HobbyLinc. In total it cost me (including postage and HMRC ransom demand) £4 less that a well known UK SF model retailer wants for it and I've already got it instead of having to wait until August!

 

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As usual the box is fully of plastic and the new parts are very obvious

 

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New sets of decals in addition to the originals

 

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and for the build I am about to start, this will be the base for it...

 

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I couldn't wait and started building it last night :) Watch this Space (1999)

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Suitable refreshments and comfortable viewing chair ordered in.

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So As I said, I started work on it last night, the first thing I did was start planning the way the model will be displayed. Since this version has the winch option, it would be good to display it deployed with a nuclear waste canister in transit. Therefore it needs to be shown flying - this poses a familiar problem: how to support it?

 

The idea I've come up with will, needless to say if you know my modelling style, involve cotton wool :) This will give you an idea of where I'm going with the concept...

 

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The supports will need to be longer but this pins down the location - I used my existing model to work out where the vertical thrust engines would be and this is where the support pillars will connect with the model - they will also act as conduits for the power to the lights... yes I'll be lighting it again :D

 

So the first part of the build was to put together one of the nuclear waste canisters to see how deep I need the base to be able to build the silo into it

 

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Oh dear, look like I'll have to double the thickness! Next, the two part spine has been stuck together to give it plenty of time to set hard. The only complaint I have with this kit is the mould lines on most of the framework pieces - I've spent the last 2 months sanding bloody mould lines from the 1914 Dennis Fire Engine so I've pretty much had enough bloody sanding!!! :)

 

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Next the main cargo pallet was assembled - this is the central component of the build so it needs to be done right...

 

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Once that was secure the upper framework could be added, again with more bloody sanding of the bloody frames!!! ;)

 

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The winch sits int he middle of this comes as multiple pieces that go together with a little bit of fiddling

 

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However the central joint is a bit manky and needs filler - there is a central piece to be added (see second pic) which covers the joint down the centreline but the sides need filling

 

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Looking at the winch, there is a hemispherical blob in the top left that looks like it would be a perfect candidate for replacement with a flashing LED... I'm regretting assembling the winch now as it would have been easier to do that surgery before assembly... oh well, live and learn!

 

So thats as far as I've got so far - haven't really started on the Eagle itself yet and I've yet to decided how much lighting I'll put in it: keep it simple and just light the cockpit or do the same as my second build last year which won and Telford with landing lights and flashing nav lights or go further...

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Sounds like a good excuse to watch Breakaway - just for research purposes of course.

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Not a chance, as much as I love the Eagle Transporter I can't bear to watch the TV series anymore - the writing and particularly the acting is so poor I can't bear to watch! I loved this show in the 70s but I was 15 at the time with less developed critical faculties than my modern "cynical old bu**er" self nowadays! I know its blasphemous to criticise anything Gerry Anderson but Space:1999 really was rubbish :)

 

UFO on the other hand is still an excellent series, well acted, intelligently scripted and with stand-out special effects.

Edited by Kallisti

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18 hours ago, Kallisti said:

Not a chance, as much as I love the Eagle Transporter I can't bear to watch the TV series anymore - the writing and particularly the acting is so poor I can't bear to watch! I loved this show in the 70s but I was 15 at the time with less developed critical faculties than my modern "cynical old bu**er" self nowadays! I know its blasphemous to criticise anything Gerry Anderson but Space:1999 really was rubbish :)

 

UFO on the other hand is still an excellent series, well acted, intelligently scripted and with stand-out special effects.

 

I couldn't put it better myself, my sentiments too.

 

Thomo

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I was 15/16 when Space 1999 debuted on the ITV network and I remember being dissapointed back then as I had grown up with GA series through the '60s. I recall my dad describing  it at the time as a poor mans Star Trek, in hindsight I agree with him and I'm not overly keen on Star Trek either!

 

I bought the Blu Rays to see if they would rekindle my view on Space 1999. I got halfway through the 1st episode before it reafirmed my original view and the rest still remain unwatched, yes I know what a waste of money.

 

GA's zenith was UFO and after the Protectors he should perhaps not have returned to sci-fi and ploughed another furrow.

 

Thomo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid

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I enjoyed it as a kid. Bought the Blue Ray when it was released and then enjoyed cringing at some of the acting/dialogue/costumes etc. Never dampened my enthusiasm for the models, have loved the Eagle design ever since, to the extent that instead of trying to accurize the Airfix kit I chose to design, print and etch new parts to build a '72nd' scale ship. Insodoing I found all of the design flaws associated with the original concept but that didn't dapen my enthusiasm. Can't wait to get my version of the above kit. Only wish they would they would drop the scale a bit so I could fit more on the shelf :) 

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Getting on with it now... Starting on the beak, I've glued the windows on and masked the transparent bits. The two halves have been glued together and will be left until tomorrow to dry and then the joint be sanded

 

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On the inside, for the lower windows which will be painted over, I used the usual plastic cement, but for the upper windows which will be transparent I use white PVA glue instead as this doesn't risk 'fogging' the windows with solvent.

 

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I build the spine upside down as its easier to get flat and slot the lower spars in. Its a tricky thing to build but the 'H' pieces sort out the alignment very well.

 

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Other spars added

 

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Finally I turn it over and slot the smaller upper spars in. The spine will now be left for at least a day to dry so it becomes nice and strong.

 

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This is the frame that supports the beak and the brackets that attach to the beak. I've never been happy about the 'bands' that are moulded into these pieces - they never fully match up when glued so I sand them off, and at the same time remove the mould lines and ejector pin marks that mar the parts.

 

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I then glue the brackets onto the frame and once they are dry, I use some 1.5mm x 0.25mm plastic strip (I have TONS of this waiting to build bar-armour AFVs!) to replace the sanded off 'bands'. I use the beak rear panel to help align the brackets properly.

 

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Finally in this update, I've started working on the landing gear pods, building the lower parts in preparation for adding lights and wiring. I'm going to add landing lights and flashing nav lights just like I did in the #2 build last year, but this time round I may add some more...

 

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Update from the last couple of days...

 

The base is starting to take shape, since the diorama accessory set won't be available until later in the year I'm going to have to scratch build the nuclear waste silo cover. 

 

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Then with the help of @Gorby and advice from @tank152 I was able to cut a paper template to make the cone that sits atop the nuclear waste silo

 

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I can't go much further than this at the moment until new supplies of plastic card arrive, hopefully soon. The aim is to make it look like this:

 

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In the meantime other sub-assembiles have been built such as the engines - 3rd time this was easy as anything - made all the mistakes in the first two builds

 

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Initial paint for the cockpit. After 2 builds I know just how much is viisble in the windows so not wasting too much effort on painting many details.

 

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Pilots have been given their first coat of orange, Again I know now how much detail is visible in the windows so won't waste a lot of effort trying to make these look perfect. They are scaled down versions of the 1:24 scale Gemini pilots which were not great models int he first place!

 

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However, removing the seams on the beak is a VERY important job and worth spending time and effort on!

 

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Walkway 'shelves' assembled and drying ready for some serious sanding work later.

 

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Initial walkway assembly with filler drying to eliminate the visible seams. The inner sleeves that hold the pod legs have been cut away to allow access for the LED wires.

 

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This evening was spent sanding the filler and drilling holes in the walkways in preparation for the supports

 

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I used the thruster bells as the templates for the drilling. The path of the supports once inside is very close to the walls, so much so that I've had to sand channels into the walls to allow the supports to enter without ending up at an angle. One of the supports in each walkway will have an electrical connector on the end and a matching socket for it to plug into. I discovered this evening that I don't have enough of these or if I do I can't find them :(

 

The hole in the thruster bells are 9.5mm which is what I originally designed the supports to be but this is too big for the walkways themseves, so I've had to drop down to 7.9mm tubes instead so the holes in the walkways are 8mm diam.

 

The rear wall of the cockpit got a dirt wash this evening - I'll take a photo of it later and post. in addition, the rear wall of the beak and its matching walkway bracket had the holes drilled/sanded to take the electrical connectors for the LED(s) in the cockpit.

 

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These are initially held in with superglue, but once the wires are soldered on, both internal ends will be sealed with milliput to give the plug and socket strength. I've also been sorting the LEDs I want to use, red, blue and green flashers, bright white for landing lights and a red one for the cockpit. Will also need an orange flasher for the top of the nuclear silo - thankfully I bought a large assortment of coloured flashers last year that should have something appropriate to use. Need to decide exactly where the batteries will go in the base and where the switch will be...

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This is definitely the "cool Eagle", I liked the whole winching scene. Nice to get a lesson on building the kit from an expert too, I'd love to do one in the future.

 

BTW I was removing mould lines from a four part extending fire engine ladder a while ago and found scraping with the back of a scalpel was quite effecting and reduced the amount of sanding needed. Still need to deal with the swarf though.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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very interesting work there Andrew - you need to treat yourself to a new cutting mat soon. This will end up a brilliant sci-fi diorama

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18 hours ago, Gimme Shelter said:

you need to treat yourself to a new cutting mat soon.

 

That is a cutting mat with history and character! 

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You almost temped me to buy the kit from HobbyLinc... I miss the old days with cheap surface shipping from the US.

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2 whole lovely days of weekendness on the horizon for plenty of Eagleness development. Looking forward to seeing your updates, but then we are rather spoiled as the finished article will travel the country with our club in the end...

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This evening was about digging out the soldering iron and starting on the electrics, particularly around the cockpit. First up was to solder the Surface-mount LEDs to the pins on the back of the cockpit and attach the rear bulkhead, then complete the painting of the pilots and attach them. Finally building a framework to support the LEDs...

 

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Testing the lights

 

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and with the lights off:

 

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Professionally, I'm a software engineer and over the years I've become accustomed to 'unit test' things as I go along and the electrics on this are the perfect case in point. Every stage gets a test by connecting the battery to make sure the connections are secure and the right way around! Here you can see the cockpit bracket glued to the walkway, now with wires soldered to the 2 pin connectors

 

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So of course they got unit tested again!

 

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Next the decals got added 

 

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and the inside of the beak got painted black to block light leakage through the white plastic. Once that is dried then the cockpit is all ready to be closed up.

 

Finally in this update, more soldering...

 

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These are the plugs and sockets that will be put into the walkways and support tubes to allow power to get up into the Eagle from the batteries hidden in the base. Sadly the 7.9 mm tubes still haven't arrived and I'm getting impatient :)

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Very busy weekend with some interesting progress. First off a new tool arrived in the post:

 

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This is a type of resin/glue that sets with the application of UV light! You get a sort of pen tool which has the glue liquid in one end and a UV LED int he other, seen here:

 

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I found it really useful for the LEDs in the bottom of the pods as you can see above. I'd originally tried it with CY but it would not set and I hate CY anyway, so used this instead - bloody marvellous! Here is what it looks like with 2 LEDs secured in it. In this case one is a flashing green and the other is bright white. This time I'm putting landing lights on all the leg pods and the rear ones will also have flashing red or green.

 

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Here is the rear port pod lit up with the camera on a long exposure

 

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Also arriving this weekend was the 7.9mm tube that I wanted to use for the supports for the Eagle. This meant I spent most of yesterday working on the base which now looks a bit more business-like:

 

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The supports are not yet glued in but I've drilled about 5mm into the wooden base to give them a secure foundation. Two of them have also had the power plug araldited to the tops and the wires for the power allowed to exit via holes at a level above the lower polystyrene layer but under the upper one. I've also built a box for the battery and added an on/off switch:

 

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This final pic for now shows the upper layer of polystyrene added with the panel surrounding the silo and lining the hole glued on, along with a scratch built structure that hides the battery. This was built using a chopped up Kinder Egg and the whole thing stays in place with some magnets buried in the polystyrene.  

 

I hit a bit of a brick wall yesterday however as I realised that connecting the power from the cargo pallet to the rear walkway would be a complete pain in the ar,,, neck and means the construction sequence will need to be short cut and that introduces all sorts of alignment risks. It would have mean that the rear walkway and the cargo pallet would have had to be stuck together before I can be 100% certain of the alignment :( However, driving back from work this evening an absolutely brilliant came to me which I am going to have a bash at this evening!

 

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coming on really well there Andrew - would that glue pen fluid work OK to attach fibre optics into drilled holes in resin or would the glue melt the fibre optic?

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Would need to test it but there doesn't seem to be any nasty stuff in the resin glue to react with the fibre 

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Busy couple of evenings sorting out the power solution I came up with on Monday!

 

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The wires come through holes drilled in the sides of the walkway and come to a 1.5mm socket, while on the cargo pallet the wires are supported inside 3mm plastic tube bored out a bit further than as supplied to allow the wires to pass through, then there is a 90 degree bend at the top to end in a pin which interfaces with the socket on the walkway.

 

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The 90 degree bend was the most tricky part of this whole thing and is a bit fragile. Here you see the filler used to fill the gaps in the bend. The vertical pipe is only glued at the base which gives it a bit of flex but also makes it fragile. It should be okay as this is really only needed for the initial construction. Once built they will remain joined together.

 

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Inside the walkway, the power socket and the bracing terminator have been added for the support tubes:

 

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and the walkway is supported thus:

 

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I've been testing the power supply all the way through these construction phases and the LEDs still work :)

 

Next job is the construction of the engine exhausts and final construction on the leg pods and then maybe we might look at some paint...

 

Edited by Kallisti

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Looking good so far, I do enjoy your builds. Can't wait to see the finished article. Super impressive as always.  

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Nice work.

Just wondering - does this boxing contains the parts for the normal pod as well? This was soemthing I wondered about when I got my initial release of the Eagle that the pod parts were spread all over the sprues rather than they make up a spure on their own.

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Not all of them, there are some small parts still hanging about on some of the spues such as the passenger pod feet and some underside details, but there are different sprues for the cargo pallet, winch and waste canisters. The company has said multiple times in response to whiners and whingers that they will NOT be releasing individual pod kits in the foreseeable future.

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