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Round2/MPC 22" Eagle 2 Laboratory Eagle and Booster Pack COMPLETE!!!!


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This year's new Space:1999 release from Round2/MPC is the one I've been waiting for since the cargo eagle 3 years ago, namely the Laboratory Pod Eagle. As an added extra, they've also released the booster pack that was attached to the spine as well. This model completes the trilogy of main types of Eagle and I've been eager to see it for some time! By sheer coincidence, the kits arrived from the USA on the same day that I finished my previous build of the studio scale SHADO Mobile, so without wasting any more time, I decided to get on with it!

 

Here are the new kits on the day they arrived - you can see that the Cthulhu lads are excited to see them!

 

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The boxes are crammed full of plastic, its a tight squeeze, particularly in the Eagle box! What is interesting about this kit is that it is a replica of the second 44" Eagle Transporter that was built for the series, so has some slightly different detailing, particularly on the leg pods. These are much more like those seen on the old Airfix/MPC kit from the 70s, in particular you'll see the ribbed part from the 1:24 scale Gemini kit on the leg pods. On the original Eagle transporter these were present on the passenger pod above the doors.

 

So onto the sprue shots, first off the main parts for the Labroatory pod and the common parts for the leg pods, walkways and command module

 

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Next are the variosu parts for the spine, walkway cages and walkway shelves

 

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Note that there appears to be a short shot on the piece in the bottom left.

 

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This piece is attached to the front walkway and the lugs slot into holes in the rear of the command module. I'm in two minds whether I'll bother getting this replace or make my own. I tend to modify this piece anyway to allow electrical connectors to the lighting in the cockpit anyway - yes I will be lighting this model again :)

 

Finally from the Eagle box, there are the engine bells and landing feet supports that are the same as previous kits plus a couple of new sprues that contain new pilot figures and the modified engine framing. The decal sheet is similar to the earlier kits, containing copies of the Letraset architectural symbols that were plastered all over the finished model to add character. Round2 did announce they will re-release the additional weathering decal set at some point in the near future. I won't worry about that as I'm happy to waste ridiculous amounts of masking tape airbrushing the various panel colours and weathering :)

 

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The instructions are a single double sided fold out sheet

 

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Next is the content of the Booster pack box. This is a much smaller kit, but a welcome addition

 

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I think this is interesting as these parts have obviously been adapted from a tank kit when this was originally built.

 

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and here is the other side of the instruction sheet

 

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I'm going to begin the build with the booster pack, so watch this space (1999)...

Edited by Kallisti
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Loads of bits. I agree about the tank parts. Did I see a tiger tank engine deck on one of the side panels?

It will be interesting to see a close up of the 'letraset' decals too. I think they used toilet symbols?

BTW, is it greebles or greeblies? I prefer the latter but it may be incorrect. Whichever, I've stuck some onto my X wing build!

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The new 14" (1:72 scale) Eagle has apparently sold well so its entirely possible that a cargo and lab one will come down the line.

 

Yes the Letraset decals have all sorts of archetectural symbols on them, sinks, doors, toilets, baths

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Glad you have you along :) 

Actual building started yesterday and this is the progress so far. Assembly is quite straightforward without any major faults. The main body goes together reasonably well, but does need some filler in places. Lots of lovely detail!

 

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The bits of on the top are where the sprue gates attached - I didn't do a great job of cutting them properly without stressing the underlying plastic!

 

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The side 'bottles' have a tricky to sand joint that requires some careful sanding to make sure it is flush. They will need checking at the primer stage

 

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Other bits, again the joint will need checking once primer is on - the joins for the smartie shapes are around the outer edge and there was a little bit of play in the joint so will need a bit of sanding I reckon.

 

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The engine bells. I love the way Round2 mould these so that you don't get a 'vertical' joint, but instead the joint insaround the circumference, just above of the ribbed area, brilliant! These will be painted with Alclad as I'm not prepared to spend silly money on the Aluminium engine bells which cost as much if not more as the whole kit again!

 

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I found that the side bottles fit better if you drill a 2.5mm hole at this point to allow the pipe to fit into it, otherwise the pipe doesn't' allow the bottle to seat fully in the curved fittings. Turns out there is a note in the instructions to do this before assembling the bottle - I suppose actually reading the instructions would be useful sometimes!

 

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Underside and you can see what I meant abont drilling the holes for the pipes in the bottles. Now its primer time!!!! Windy outside but the shed is snug. oout came the Tamiya light grey fine primer...

 

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I realised it would have probably been easier if I'd left the side bottles off at this stage... oh well too late!

 

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Alclad gloss black base for the engine bells. I don't believe in buying expensive aluminium bells when I can paint them perfectly well. This is the first stage, getting a nice smooth gloss black shiny coat. This will be dry and cured within 24-48 hours. Only then will I use the metallic paint on it.

 

Thats all for this bit of the build today, once the grey primer is fully cured tomorrow, I'll be checking the joints. I may start to build the Eagle now!

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Well, that was fast. And looks pretty painless too. I really must try that gloss black before metallic trick.

Oh, greeblie alert. The top tanks, was that a torpedo on the sides? :laugh:

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Yup looks like a torpedo to me! I've never rally looked at the Booster pack before in detail and the greeblie hunt on this would be quite interesting I reckon!

 

However, there is more to this build as of yesterday, since while the primer was curing on the booster pack, I decided to make a start on the Eagle. The first job is the spine. This requires quite a bit of clean up as there are mould lines along every spar that need to be scraped and sanded. Then the two sides need joining. I do this upside down. This is my fourth Eagle so I've got this down pat now without too much hassle.

 

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Here the two halves of the beak have been glued together and the joint sanded. The is is a tricky job in between the surface panels and you often see models that haven't been properly sanded.

 

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Here is my solution to a couple of problems, firstly the short shot piece that is the bracket for the command module joining to the front walkway. If you remember what it originally looked like in a previous photo, I cut it in half to make a complete lower section, with two half tabs.

 

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You can see this easier when the piece is turned over. This will allow the command module to slot onto the front walkway. I will also add some pins to allow the power for the LEDs to be transmitted to the cockpit

 

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This is how it looks on the walkway, and you can see how I am going about the second problem, namely where the hell do I put the battery! You see here in pencil the outline of the panel I'm going to remove to allow the battery to be fitted,

 

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Inside the walkway I've temporarily slotted the leg pod supports in to give an idea of the space available. I've also cut away most of the support slots that they slotted into. I've then put in a couple of supports...

 

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So that you can see how the battery will be fitted and how much space there is. Test fitting with the roof on and there is enough space. The trick will be with the wiring, making sure its robust enough to allow the battery to be taken out and reinserted with no difficulty.

 

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As a comparison, this is the Eagle I build 3 years ago and you can see how little of this fitting you can see

 

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Its more visible from above but it should be easy to disguise this.

 

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And this is how the battery compartment will be accessible. All my Eagles are built so that the command module can detach. This allows them to be transportable in the original box they came in as kits! The fit on the pins around the frame is snug enough to not need glue.

 

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The spine assembly has been completed. The rest of the horizontal spars have been cleaned up and clued in place. This will be left alone now for a day or so to make sure the glue is fully set. I'll probably add some filler to the joints int he middle of the two side panels.

 

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From past esperience, I've taken to painting the cockpit rear wall in white primer and then with Tamiya X-2 Gloss white to get the door done properly. Once the paint is fully cured, it will get masked and the rest of the wall will get pained, buff, orange, black and yellow

 

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More to come later today I reckon - this is so much easier to build than the SHADO Mobile :D

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17 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Oh, greeblie alert. The top tanks, was that a torpedo on the sides? :laugh:

Hmmm - not so sure: I think they look like the two halves of the fire extinguisher carried by German WW2 armour.

 

 

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I'm sorry to say these will be the last photos for a while as I accidentally dropped my camera in the kitchen while taking some photos of my pipe bending activities and its broken the lens (well the focusing - there is a nasty grinding sound when I try to focus the lens and the autofocus just won't budge) so I'm afraid there wont be any more photos for a while until the replacement lens arrives :(

 

In the meantime I've done some work on using the back door of the walkway to allow access to the battery rather than cut a hole in the front. Sadly I didn't take any photos of the work to affix magnets and brackets to get this to work before the camera broke.This work did lead to the next problem which is getting the power from the battery in the front compartment to the rear to supply the lights in the rear leg pods. I didn't want to use the pod so that it could be removable so the obvious solution is to use a conduit in the spine. There were extra cables and things in the spine in various model so this isn't non-canon!

 

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Now the next issue is to install a bend in the end of the pipe to attach to the roof of the walkway as there is about a 5mm gap. To do this I inserted a pice of scrap sprue into the tube to prevent it collapsing and clamped it to this bending jig I've had in the toolbox for years and never used!

 

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All ready in the kitchen, boiling water in the pot on the stove, plastic tube clamped and pliers ready to bend the tube in the boiling water.

 

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he finished result once the inner sprue was extracted, not bad!

 

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At this point I dropped the camera :(  Needless to say I'a bit pi... upset at this event and my foot is hurting where the camera landed on it. Probably a good thing it hit my foot rather than the tile floor otherwise it might not just be the lens that needed replacing!

 

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The new camera lens arrived today so immediately catching up on the progress so far this week. Work on the cockpit, spine and booster pack! First off, he cockpit rear panel has been painted and the decal applied. Very pleased with how this looks!

 

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Pilots have been painted - these are different from previous kits in that they aren't in space suits

 

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Here is the end result of the connection of the command module to the front walkway. First I assembled the frame on the walkway and on the rear of the command module so that the alignment of the slots and tabs on the half panel would work. Once this was determined the half connector could be glued to the front walkway. 

 

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Once that was set, the pins part of the electrical connector (one that was left over from a previous build) was located in the slot of the front walkway. Some trimming was required, but once it was aligned straight and even it was glued and then some Magic Sculpt was added around it to secure it in place and then built up to make the rest of the tab panel.

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It was then possible to drill a hole in the back of the command module what would fit over the pins . This then allowed the socket portion to be located and more Magic Sculpt applied around it to secure it in the right place. This was put aside for a few hours to let the magic sculpt set.

 

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The fit is firm and precise and easy to remove and replace. From the side you can't see the problems caused by the short shot.

 

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With the walkway roof dry fitted and the cockpit rear wall glue din place, this looks pretty good I reckon!

 

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Now to show the progress on the spine. Here you see the two walkway roof pieces dry fitted with the conduit and its curved ends fitting into the holes drilled in each roof.

 

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Close up of the conduit meeting the roof at one end

 

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and the other...

 

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This means the rear walkway power pack has progressed. The final decision was to use the front door as the access panel

 

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So magnets were use to locate this in place. The two plastic strips inside hide other magnets to make the door fit well.

 

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Inside the walkway you can see where the switch has been added

 

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which sticks out underneath the model. More wiring will be required, but that is underway.

 

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Each leg pod has had holes drilled for the LEDs that will be added here... more wiring needed there too!

 

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In the meantime, a lot of progress has been made on the booster pack... in fact its finished!

 

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Ford Diamond White was used, decanted from the spray can and put through the airbrush.

 

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I didn't end up using the white stripe decals of the pipes in the middle, but hand painted the grey stripes instead.

 

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Engine bells look pretty good and they are NOT Aluminium :)

 

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Yup these are the plastic engine bells but with Alclad lacquer paint. The base coat is gloss black as was shown in an earlier photo, then a coat of Aluminium was applied over it all. Then chrome was sprayed lightly over the narrower cones to give them more of a sheen, then finally burnt metal was lightly dusted over the wide ends to give them a heat discoloured impression. Very pleased with the result!

 

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I'm back after five days away and your progress is very impressive. (So is the greeblie count! I think there's a LEM front piece near where the conduit fits)

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Oooh. Nice. I've still not built my first Eagle, but I now "need" one of these.

 

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22 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I'm back after five days away and your progress is very impressive. (So is the greeblie count! I think there's a LEM front piece near where the conduit fits)

 

There are greeblies all over this thing, Airfix Saturn V kit LEm front and rear, engine bells in various places, Revell Gemini pieces, engine block pieces, Panther and Tiger top deck panels you name it. If I remember, I'll try to take some pics of the individual greeblies - the underside of the lab pod is covered in them! There were quite a few I recognised from the SHADO mobile, including the tanks that went on the top of the Mobile cab and several pieces that decorated the front of the cab!

4 hours ago, TonyG said:

Oooh. Nice. I've still not built my first Eagle, but I now "need" one of these.

 

 

Absolutely you do! :)

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Further updates of the build, starting with more new bits to build... I decided next to build the lab pod now, which is the biggest change to the model from other versions. It went together pretty easily but did need a bit of filler as you'll see later.

 

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Next onto the engine assembly. In previous kits this was quite a complex assembly, but there was a knack to it. However, this time the instructions have been modified to change the sequence and it was much easier! As usual, the 'balls' needed some sanding around the joints.

 

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Next is the 'bottles'. These are also different from previous versions, and I found them more difficult to sand as the joint is right next to the additonal piping. Attention needs to be paid to the instructions to get the right bottle in the right places to get the other pipes to join properly.

 

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So here it is assembled and looks pretty good. I've given it a coat or primer now so we'll see if anything needs work

 

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Engine bells assembled, ready for Alclad gloss primer.

 

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The LEDs in the leg pods have been soldered and wired up and the tops put on. The LEDs underneath have had masking fluid painted over them in preparation for painting.

 

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So here is the front walkway and I'm using it as a template to assembled the cages for attachment later. This is because the final assembly of this model will be very different from the instructions due to connecting the battery and LEDs. The glue is applied to the outer joints and only dry-fitted to the walkway frame.

 

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Once the glue has dried they are able to be detached from the walkway and are ready for priming and painting. When these are reattached, the joints will need to have the paint cleaned off.

 

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The lab pod post primer and it shows it needed filler around some joints.

 

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Walkway shelves assembled and sanded, these are the most tricky things to sand as there are lots of little segments to sand.

 

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Footpads have been assembled and I made the mistake of using some automotive putty to fill the gaps. This has a much more aggressive solvent that most model fillers so they needed much more careful sanding and in fact needed sanding in two stages - first to get the initial layers off, which is where this has got to, then leave it for 24 hours to let this uncovered putty cure to be able to do the final sanding.

 

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Edited by Kallisti
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Microsanding eh? Well it'll keep you off the streets. Lots of lovely detail in there and I'm looking forward to the lights going on.

To me, the Lab pod looks like an extended mobile home at Skeggy.

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Skeggy mobile home on the moon! Sounds like an excellent news headline from the Daily Star!

 

I had slipped a bit behind with my postings on here so that previous post was the first half of this week's progress, now for the second half... First off revisiting the landing feet which were left for the putty to cure for another day before being introduced to more sandpaper

 

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Much better!  All the main metallic parts have been primed with Alclad gloss black. These will be left for a couple of days to let the primer cure fully. If you don't the solvent in the primer reacts with the metallic paint that gets applied on top and doesn't look good.

 

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After sanding the filler back on the ends of the lab module (aka Skeggy Mobile Home, SMH from now on)  it got re-primed and looks much better, however closer inspection still showed some seams down the side at the bottom where the walls meet the floor. These need a bit more sanding and filling.

 

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Finally got round to do the lighting rig and wiring for the cockpit

 

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Then put the pilots in. I had to lower them and reduce the length of the tabs that connect to the back wall as to be honest I'd put the lights in the wrong place and it was too later to move them!

 

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However a quick test shows its all working okay. These LEDs are quite bright and when I put the nose cone on they shone through the plastic so I had to coat the inside of the nose with black paint to mask that. In fact there were several coats of black paint had to be applied with the last one being gloss black!

 

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The wiring for the front walkway has been completed and the front walkway attached to the spine. The tape in the picture is just holding it together for this test of the wiring. After this pic, the glue was applied. During this stage of the build I will be testing the wiring again and again. In my professional life I am a software developer so I know the need for testing, testing, testing at every stage to make sure things work as you build it up as it is easier to fix at this point that later!

 

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Now the rear wiring has been completed and the rear walkway attached to the spine so this is the ultimate test that ALL the wiring works! The battery is embedded in the rear walkway, the switch is underneath and was tested as well. All the leg pods were wired up to check all the connections are still working. RESULT!!

 

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Test fitting of the SMH now that the walkways are attached to the spine. its a tight fit, which is good!

 

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I've also modified the door on the rear walkway to give me something to grab hold of to open it up. This had to be made so it didn't stick out beyond the surrounds so it didn't interfere with the pod

 

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Today I did the Alclad painting of the engine bells so will post photos of that later, they are looking pretty good!!!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kallisti
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Painting has moved along and started getting serious :) First offm here are a load of the smaller parts painted up

 

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The thruster mounts - these needed quite a bit of sanding to remove the mold lines.

 

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The thruster bells. The ones held in blue tac are for the lab pod - they had a nice square attachment point at the end that means they can be painted while held in blue tac. The leg pod tursters just have a hole for the pin in the support so these were painted on the sprue. Later they'll be trimmed fitted and repainted

 

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Then they get joined to the mounts and set aside for now. The other thrusters will be added to the side of the lab pod once that is fully painted.

 

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Now the Halfords Ford Diamond White has been broken out, its time to get into ir in more depth. This time round I've decided to use it straight from the rattle can, although I have also decanted about 30ml into Tamiya paint bottles - you can see them in the first photo in this post!

 

This is the second attempt at painting the command module. First one ended with it being dropped on the floor and picking up huge amounts of fluff and stuff on the wet paint. This had to be stripped back using IPA and then repainted.

 

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Leg pods and engine assembly. The leg pods had a couple of rounds of painting and in between had quite bit of work filling and sanding gaps around the various joints.

 

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Cages hanging out to dry

 

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Walkways and spine. This had to be painted in several stages to allow it to be covered fully without having issues which how to support it! Gettign paint into the nooks and crannies was also a bit of a challenge, without overloading the paint in places.

 

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I've added some decal stripes and a spot of orange paint to the walkway shelves to give them a bit more interest.

 

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Next is the the results of the Alclad painting of the engine bells. Just to reiterate these are the plastic engine bells painted with Alclad metallic paints and NOT aluminium :)

 

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Main engine bells. These have an overall coat of Alclad Aluminium, then once dry after 24 hours or so, it got an overcoat of chrome on the upper areas to give the reflective sheen. I can actually see myself in the paint its so shiny! The camera flash doesn't really do them justice!

 

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The sensor dishes also got aluminium over gloss back and then chrome over the top

 

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The smaller engine bells just have aluminium paint. The insides will get dirtied up later.

 

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I'm really pleased with this effect that I tried originally on the booster pack

 

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The spine has had some decal stripes applied and the walkways have had a dark wash to bring out the details

 

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Next we move into the masking for panels - this is the really tedious stage which takes forever! Here I've used my emergency Eagle build from 2016 as a template.

 

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Here it is once the paint has dried and the masking is off... I fear the grey is a little too dark here!

 

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Now the pods have had their dark grey paint applied after masking. These took about 6 hours in total to mask

 

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Now its time for the blue/grey panels to be masked, Here the command module and one pod have been masked. This was as far as I'd got yesterday, I'll finish this masking today.

 

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This is the reason I'd had enough yesterday! The lab pod has been masked and painted. This will ONLY have a light grey paint coat applied as I'm not masking this bugger again! I spent a total of about 6 hours masking this yesterday... at least i had cricket on the radio to listen to while I did it!

 

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So today I will continue with the masking and get the second panel colour done. Wish me luck and patience!

 

 

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