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Old 03-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #17
Eagle Pilot
JMChladek's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bellevue, NE
Posts: 729

Yes, all the Eagle kits are the same. The only thing different about the AMT/Ertl reissue is it was molded in gray plastic instead of white. They didn't even improve the decals (wish they would have used the Airfix artwork instead of the MPC artwork as while they were the wrong colour, at least Airfix had Alpha Moonbase logos you could read in the kit).

Personally, while the kit is very dated by today's standards, it still has some life left in it. When I built mine back in 1999-2001, I did it as a painting exercise to see how good I could do an out of the box Eagle. My results were actually pretty good:

Here I have it parked next to my Product Enterprise Lab Eagle.

You can find more photos here:

The build was essentially out of the box, although I drilled out the thruster ports and slammed some epoxy putty into the side scanner areas on the nose to cover up those seams. Otherwise, nothing else was modified. I just did a first class building job, taking care to deal with the seams. It took me a long time to finally finish the model as I first started building it back in 1988 and toyed with accurizing it. But in the end I decided to get it together. Glad I did too as it was a rather fun build and I could have finished it in a weekend (the painting on the pod would have taken longer though).

Other than paint, I experimented with using decals for the internal parts of the cage structures and a wash to simulate depth. The Alpha Moonbase logos I did new artwork for and I based the paintjob on how (then) Phil Rae's Eagle 1 studio model was painted at the time (hence the tape used for the cage structure). Most everything else was done with just paint and cut decal film though and I believe it turned out rather well. It certainly looks better than a couple of the small stand in models used for some distance shots (such as the small Eagle over the Ultra Probe). But of course, those studio models were not built to be scrutinized on a model contest table either.

Point being is don't discard it too quick. It may have its faults, but a decent modeling job can make it shine. Yes, the two Product Enterprise Eagles I own may look more accurate and I would love to build a more accurate Eagle. But I am still proud of how my original 1976 vintage Fundimensions Eagle turned out with the painting and decalling skills I put into it. I still chuckle at how my rescue pod turned out more accurate looking than the PE models (their red stripes are too narrow).

As for selling Eagle kits, the unbuilt ones do tend to command some high prices (even the AMT/Ertl ones). Built ones, not so much. The Eagle still has a bit of a demand among modelers, probably for nostalgia reasons. I still have at least three in my stash, including a trashed original with some bad glue globs on it. I'll be using parts from that one on my "Ultra cool" probe scratchbuild (not based on anything from the show or the "UFO 1999" parody, but inspired by it).

Last edited by JMChladek; 03-06-2011 at 08:48 PM.
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