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Old 04-07-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
pfleming@jbt.co.uk
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Default My 44" inch Eagle project

Dear all, after some months of watching builds, reading about problem-solving, the incredible ingenuity of the members and their love of the model-building craft, I’ve decided to take the plunge and start a thread. I’d always wanted a studio scale 44” Eagle, as a teenager watching Space 1999 in the seventies. Possessing neither the funds nor the know-how, it seemed it would never happen – then I discovered the Forum.

Bear with me: I don’t work know how to work in brass, and I have a small budget for my Eagle. Wooden dowelling for the cages and spine, plentiful materials like card, CD cases, household items and bits from other projects are the mainstay of the project. A couple of Forum members inspired me in particular (Mr Robertson, you know who you are) and late last year I thought, “well, why not?” Then Gerry Anderson passed away at Christmas.

If ever there was a catalyst for getting off my backside and doing it, now was the time. Before you look at the photos, please remember I’m working off a phone camera and I haven’t taken many photos till now. I’m over six months in, but making slow progress. This isn’t a studio replica – you’ll notice there are differences (the walkways and shelves in particular) and there are different curves on the CM. My Eagle is a test of my moderate skills, and an attempt to recreate the iconic Eagle second.

In my own mind, there’s a batch of six Eagles on Alpha, built by a different industrial consortium, which were lighter, cheaper but less powerful than the first batch of 28. Designed to work in close proximity to Alpha, with no need to “long-haul”, these were flown to Alpha mere months before Breakaway: however, under test these Eagles proved to be unreliable, costly to maintain and, in some cases, downright dangerous.

Halfway through a costly legal battle for compensation, the consortium went under, Commissioner Dixon lost his job because this was “one thumping dramatic failure” too many, and the Eagles were swiftly mothballed. Fast forward a number of years to Alpha’s urgent need for useable resources, coupled with a new method of producing a wide range ceramic parts using certain types of moondust (Bergman’s initial findings eventually coming to fruition with typical Carter enthusiasm). The slow and painstaking “retrofitting” and upgrading began.

One night, in the quiet hangar, Koenig could almost hear Victor’s voice in his head]…….”Well, John, it’s a slightly different Eagle……but an Eagle nevertheless. Never thought I’d see these fly again, but that’s Carter for you…"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Eagle CM Jan 2013.jpg (71.3 KB, 218 views)
File Type: jpg Eagle Progress 150613a.jpg (116.4 KB, 159 views)
File Type: jpg Eagle Progress 150613b.jpg (63.6 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg Eagle Tail Section 290613.jpg (187.9 KB, 206 views)
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
Darren Robertson
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Dear gods! What have I unleashed!!!???

That's looking great, Pat! I did post your pics on my thread as it was the only place I could think of but now you have your own thread with pics so I guess you sorted it out.
What did you use to make the 'gas bottles' ? This is totally a build after my own heart! ILOVE IT!

After all, the Mattel eagle isn't exactly accurate either is it? Nor is mine for that matter!

BTW, I also take my photos on a phone camera so you are in good company

Last edited by Darren Robertson; 04-07-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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Hi Darren, here's how I did it.....

6mm dowelling, to give a "spine" about 85mm long
2 card discs, 44mm diameter, in the middle of the spine, 38mm apart
Card skin wrapped round the discs to form the fattest part of the tank
Two card discs, glued near either end of the spine, about 12mm diameter
An inner ring at either side of the skin, which sticks out about 5mm
Using your own method with the CM ribs, a strip of card, cut into points (imagine a cardboard crown out of a Christmas cracker) glued to the inner ring
The points then all meet at the small card ring near either end of the spine, and are glued into place
Lots of wood filler!
Lots of sanding!
Wind another card skin round the middle section of the tank - this gives you the raised effect - apply cheap varnish and sand*
Sprue for the return valve pipes

Lightweight, strong and cheap

*all of the CM was papier mache, layer after layer, then varnished with an old half tin of varnish form years ago, then sanded, then varnished, repeated and then, after the last light sanding, a layer of sanding sealant was applied. Have you tried this stuff? It basically makes a sanded wood / papier mache surface incredibly smooth - it made it incredibly slippery to handle, but it took the Tamiya undercoat spray like a dream. I've yet to try it on other surfaces.

The reason for building the tank round the dowelling spine is that, once finished, the front end of the spine fits straight into the aft section collar. The back end of the spine goes into the same type of plastic bottle cap which you used for the Moonbuggy wheels. I'm currently fitting locator rings to these caps, which will slide onto the big cross on the tail section.

Hope this helps,

Pat
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:12 AM   #4
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That's so cool!
The only difference from my build (generally speaking) is that I will be fitting the screw thread form the corresponding bottle top to the tip of my engine bells so that they screw directly into the blue bottle tops that you have on the end of your set up in your photo.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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Default Spherical tanks - a lucky find

Spotted these in a charity shop - couldn't believe my luck. Had to "de-rattle" them and sand off the raised details, but now I've started to prime them they actually look OK. Won't be as fortunate as that again!

Patrick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG-20130707-00053.jpg (142.3 KB, 139 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130707-00055.jpg (71.6 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130710-00060.jpg (193.9 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130710-00061.jpg (191.2 KB, 112 views)
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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Looks good, i like the back story you came up with in your opening statement.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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Default Backdated backstory, but still fresh......

Thank you Jeb. Strange how a programme made almost 40 years ago still holds such an appeal - watched "Breakaway" again at the weekend and it still, after decades, looks so good. Glad you liked the backstory.....

Patrick
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:27 AM   #8
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I just want to say that, my eagle build is on hold but I would really love you guys to support Pat in my absence. What an incredible build! Go, Pat! Go, Pat!!!!
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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Default Another step forward....

Dear all, another step forward yesterday: the attached photos show the latest progress. The first picture shows the leg pod struts and formers which slide into the walkway recesses. This loosely follows the construction methods of the originals, and certainly prolonged the walkway construction time. However, I'm glad I chose this method because it does simplify the process somewhat.

Thanks as always for the support and feedback - it does tend to spur me on. I think that anybody building an Eagle has to stop every so often, put together all of the bits they've created, and see what it all looks like. Honestly can't believe I've even got this far, but then a lot of that's down to the inspiration I get from other Forum members.

Patrick
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File Type: jpg IMG-20130712-00062.jpg (190.3 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130712-00065.jpg (190.2 KB, 117 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130712-00066.jpg (123.1 KB, 97 views)
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #10
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Clever build Pat! Nice substitution of parts to keep the costs down too, believe me, I've had to do the same with some of my other projects as well. But sometimes it's more satisfying to sit back and think "I built it, didn't buy it!"

Thanks for sharing, Mike
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Old 15-07-2013, 10:36 PM   #11
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Pat, like Darren has proved...you really can make an eagle from bits around the house. I take my hat off to both you guys ! It may not be 100% accurate but you accept that from the start and it's still going to look great ! The "average joe" would not be able to tell. Can't wait to see the progress !
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Old 15-07-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Mcleod View Post
Pat, like Darren has proved...you really can make an eagle from bits around the house. I take my hat off to both you guys ! It may not be 100% accurate but you accept that from the start and it's still going to look great ! The "average joe" would not be able to tell. Can't wait to see the progress !
What he said!
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Old 15-07-2013, 11:06 PM   #13
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Default Thank you, fellow Alphans

My goodness, I didn't realise just how far flung some of us are! Mike, Slate and Darren, thanks for getting in touch. Recently I re-read 21st Century Visions by the late Derek Meddings - he wrote that, especially in the early days, he constructed studio models using a lot of wood and card, so I guess I'm following in his footsteps a wee bit.

Can I just say at this stage that I have a lot of respect for all the builders who slave away with brass rod, fibreglass and authentic Gemini parts to produce such accurate models - photos are just breathtaking. And then there's the Warp, RU and AMT teams and a host of other scratchbuilders as well - beautiful results.

That's why your comments are most valued - I'm going my own way and hope I can, in some small way, hitch a lift with the master modelmakers.

Night all,

Patrick
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Old 15-07-2013, 11:44 PM   #14
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Slate, your comment reminded me of this:
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Old 18-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #15
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Default An update

Hi there Alphans, another quick update....

The photos show the method of springing the landing legs - they're pen tops, essentially a plastic spring which will compress by about 10mm. Please note that their only function will be to "damp" the Eagle settling down upon touchdown, and certainly won't make the craft spring back up thereafter. They're easy to fit to the shoulder pod formers, and the legs themselves can be glued in place very easily.

That's all for now, thanks to those who drop by, and kindest regards to all forum members.

Patrick
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File Type: jpg IMG-20130716-00073.jpg (197.3 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130716-00074.jpg (192.7 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130716-00076.jpg (195.0 KB, 32 views)
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Old 18-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #16
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Default On Eagles' Wings...

Yes, I liked that backstory too - speaks very much to the long-lived tradition of "tinkering" with what we've invented, trying to improve it. Certainly the Alphans would've needed to take that to another level - and did so! - once they were out on their own...

I would respectfully submit that the news of Mr Anderson's passing - great shock that it was - provided a catalyst to a great many of us out here, to double down on our own creative projects, whatever their shape. (I'm trying to, in my writing.) So, it goes on...
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Old 20-07-2013, 09:38 AM   #17
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Default Beginning to take shape....

Thanks boatshews2d - nice sentiments, glad you feel the same way.

It's been just over 7 months since I first cut out the structural formers for my CM, and last night I indulged myself. Actually starting to look like an Eagle now...

Hope you like the pictures, kindest regards,

Patrick
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Old 20-07-2013, 10:42 AM   #18
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Default Let's try that again.....

Let's try that again, but with the pictures this time...
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File Type: jpg IMG-20130720-00085.jpg (192.2 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130720-00084.jpg (196.0 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20130720-00079.jpg (196.1 KB, 90 views)
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Old 21-07-2013, 09:12 AM   #19
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Man it's coming along great Patrick, i can't wait to see how the spine comes out. I mean no more than the material you are using cost i might could build one the same way. I'm not sure i'm up to it talent wise but between Darren's excellent work and now your's i'm certainly inspired to try!

Last edited by jeb1138; 21-07-2013 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 21-07-2013, 01:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfleming@jbt.co.uk View Post
My goodness, I didn't realise just how far flung some of us are!
We may be scattered around the planet, but we are watching your build...

Keep those updates coming, it's so cool to see new engineering solutions to a familiar subject. It's looking really good!

Mike
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