MPC 1/48 Space: 1999 Eagle Transporter Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2016||Manufacturer||MPC/Round 2|
|Subject||Space: 1999 Eagle Transporter||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||0825||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$125.95|
I was attending my first major Star Trek convention in Washington DC in the early 1970s when a pair of British gentlemen came on stage and introduced a new science fiction concept that required a leap of faith up-front but promised some great viewing afterwards. According to these producers, the story is based upon a nuclear waste storage dump housed on the moon and managed by Moonbase Alpha. When an accident triggers a massive nuclear detonation, the resulting force pushes the moon out of orbit to become a wandering body while its inhabitants struggle to survive. Developed by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, who also created the animatronics-based Thunderbirds, UFO, and many other classics, Space:1999 was one of their first live-action series. The producers asked for a leap of faith knowing that such a massive detonation would have likely obliterated the moon (and the Earth).
The Eagle was one of the lunar utility vehicles which moved personnel and materials around the lunar surface and had fuel and power to reach lunar orbit and beyond. Imagine a CH-54 Tarhe (Skycrane) built for space operations. Like the CH-54, the Eagle can carry a variety of personnel pods or leave the pods behind to use its winch to hoist large cargo. This iconic vehicle has been a favorite of science fiction modelers for decades.
Three years ago, Round 2 Models (under the MPC brand) reissued the classic 1/72 Space: 1999 Eagle 1 Transporter kit and it was so popular that they also released the deluxe edition featuring a pod and booster pack seen in one episode of the series. That, in turn, led to the development of an all-new kit which was heavily researched, designed in CAD, and produced in 1/48 scale. The result is an impressive model which could be used in studio work if someone decided to reboot the series.
As you can imagine, a 1/48 scale Eagle is going to come in a large box and consist of many parts trees molded in either white, silver, or clear styrene (duplicate trees not shown). A set of metal springs are also included for the articulating landing gear. Among the features and options:
- Cockpit layout is similar to the 1/72 scale kit, pilots are mounted directly to the rear bulkhead since you can't much through the forward viewports
- Nose of the Eagle is optionally removable
- Tubular main spine is built-up from a number of parts
- Tubular pod frames are separate from the details inside
- Thruster and lift engine details inside pod frames
- Landing gear legs are spring-loaded
- Detailed main engine bay inside tubular frames
- Detailed pod exterior
- Main engine bells are molded top and bottom halves rather than left/right halves
- Lift engine bells are molded top and bottom halves rather than left/right halves
The kit includes a nice set of decals consisting of the anti-glare panels on the nose, thruster shields on the pod sides, and a variety of exterior stenciling.
model can be build straight out of the box, or can be enhanced with two optional detail sets: Deluxe Accessory Set and Small Metal Thruster Pack. Check these out (click on the links). You can also do some scratchbuilding and add some additional features into your Eagle. For example, the pod can be modified to leave one or both side hatches open, but you'll have to scratch-build the interior. You can also set the pod aside and scratchbuild a hoist pallet/winch or other utility modules that would mount to the Eagle.
When you open the box, you'll be amazed at how much model is inside. Built-up, the Eagle is going to be 22 inches long, but while you might wish for more detail in the cockpit or in the pod, MPC did a great job balancing detail with cost and not creating an even more expensive model for details that won't be seen after assembly.
Now that the two optional sets are released for this Eagle, it is time to have some fun!
I picked up my kit from CultTVman Hobbyshop.