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Fantastic Plastic Space Station V from 2001: A Space Odyssey


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This is a model of the classic "Space Station V" from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey:

Space_station_v.jpg

 

The kit is the resin and photoetch steel kit from Fantastic Plastic:

SSVBoxArt-500.jpg

 

"Variable scale" means that three different sizes of Orion space clipper are provided. Of these, only the smallest seems to be a reasonable match for the movie's docking sequence:

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I decided early on that I wanted to include the Orion spacecraft, but didn't like the idea of having it attached by its nose to a long stick connected to the station. Eventually I used some transparent rod and modelled the Orion departing from the station, in the manner of Bob McCall's movie poster, which at least provides some sort of visual explanation for why there might be a mysterious trail linking the spacecraft to the station.

2001-poster.jpg

Apart from that, very minimal scratch building was involved. There are rectangular plates on the outer rim (visible in the movie still above) which aren't included in the kit. I added these using sheet styrene--as well as being "realistic", they neatly cover the joins in the resin rim parts, which featured some rather ugly pour stubs (especially in the partial ring).

I removed and discarded some poorly moulded and damaged "outrigger" strips on the kit spokes, and replaced them with brass strip.

I printed my own decal sheet to detail the blank interiors of the docking ports, as well as to produce a selection of greeblies to add a few features in emulation of the movie model.

 

The kit required a lot of work to adjust the shape of the resin rim parts, to fill small holes, and to fix poorly moulded detail (some very unsightly grooves) on the partial ring sections. I could have spent three times longer on that, but eventually got to the "good enough" point at which I just wanted to get on with the build.

It was a pretty demanding build--certainly the hardest I've attempted. The build log is here:

Paint is Tamiya. I mixed up my own shades of pale grey and red-brown to try to get something close to the movie appearance. (I really don't like Fantastic Plastic's garish red-and-white box art.) I used LifeColor Liquid Pigment washes, and sealed it all with Humbrol acrylic varnish.

 

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space-station-17.jpg

 

 

I also attempted some images on a black "space" background, with variable success:

space-station-10.jpg

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space-station-4.jpg

space-station-3.jpg

 

Finally, here it is poised on Marco Scheloske's lovely stand, which really makes all the difference to displaying this model:

space-station-11.jpg

space-station-12.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Excellent finish with this one. :worthy:... It was a great build to follow and well worth it. It would be a great photo if you know how to use photo-shop. I wonder if you could take a photo of the finished build and superimpose it over stars or the earth in the background.

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23 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Excellent finish with this one. :worthy:... It was a great build to follow and well worth it. It would be a great photo if you know how to use photo-shop. I wonder if you could take a photo of the finished build and superimpose it over stars or the earth in the background.

Thanks. I've been toying around with superimposing the station on a starfield with the Earth off to one side. But it's such a complicated object, full of holes, that it's tricky to extract from its orginal background. If I come up with anything I'll post it here.

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3 hours ago, Richard Baker said:

I really love the way that turned out!- looks like a much larger model with the subtle paint job you gave it.

Thanks. That was really what turned me off the red-and-white scheme on the box art. I've seen a couple of these kits finished in that sort of bright scheme, and it makes them look unconvincing and small, to my eye at least.

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I'll add to the congratulations.  The only problem for me is that I start to think about a couple of the old Airfix Orions in the stash and what I would have to do to make a diorama with a suitably sized space station. Hmmm.

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8 hours ago, Eric Mc said:

That looks good.

 

In the film, we only ever see the Orion approach the space station.

ah, but a close approach, I seem to remember. :)

 

I suppose one of the things that modellers keep in mind initially is where the model / diorama would be displayed and for me, as I am thinking about this, it does fit into an educational and public outreach observatory.  The completed diorama could be placed on the grounds with other astronomical images and artefacts.  (Obviously protection for the models is going to be the topic of a future thread. ;)  )

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Yes - you see it as it moves in towards the space station although we never see an actual docking. The only image of it departing the station is from the promotional art work (by Robert McCall).

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