I built three of these… One for myself and two for customers.
One of those customers was Karl Tate, who is also our company’s graphics manager and is extremely knowledgeable about the original Eagle filming miniatures. He prepared an extensive specifications document with lots of notes and diagrams for me to follow. He also drew all of the custom graphics, as we replaced most of the kit decals with custom dry transfers from All-Out Graphics in Canada.
We also recreated the complex line patterns on the side of the passenger pods with dry transfers, as masking and painting these lines would have been extremely tedious and would not have resulted in the clean/ sharp lines produced by the dry transfers. The fine penciled lines seen all over on the 44-inch models were recreated with a very sharp 8H pencil (on this model they have to represent half-scale pencil lines!)
The command module windows were done with microscope slide glass, as it has a much nicer “glint” than molded plastic, and if you get any paint on it, you can simply scrape it off with an x-acto knife! The window frames were made from 0.015″ thick plastic strip. The CM can be removed via an snap-electrical connector.
Karl recreated the cockpit interior and I printed it on heavy paper and plastic sheet. I also installed two orange LED’s that fire into the cockpit to eliminate everything nicely in-scale.
The extremely fragile plastic parts on the undersides of the landing pods were replaced with machined and soldered brass.
The landing pods, passenger pods, and walkways were all filled solid with resin for additional strength. Prior to pouring the resin, I installed one-inch disk magnets, so the passenger pods snap into place firmly, with no external hardware visible. With all of that resin filler, each model now weighs about five pounds, so a side benefit is that the spring-loaded landing gear compresses realistically under the heft of the model.
The engine bells were custom-machined as well, because the aftermarket replacement aluminum set was not quite accurate enough for us. The four sensor domes are also machined aluminum. The underside aluminum engine bells, RCS thrusters, and gear struts were supplied from the Round 2 after-market parts sets.
Each model took about 90 hours to make. (I always keep a log of my builds to track the time/cost.) Most of that time was spent scraping and sanding the truss molding seams. They were brutal!
Our goal was to create three, very-accurate 1/2 scale replicas of the 44″ Eagle filming miniatures. I think we were successful!
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