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Old 13-01-2006, 11:58 AM   #41
shrugger
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Just carefully twist off the VTOL's you'll see screws underneath
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Old 13-01-2006, 12:01 PM   #42
tak5haka
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Nice one, thanks! That goes a long way to giving me some confidence to get started.
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Old 13-01-2006, 09:59 PM   #43
tak5haka
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Okay ... I've got as far as stripping down the superstructure and removing the walkways. My main problem now is how do I dismantle the landing gear and engine assembly? I just can't figure it out ...

*EDIT*
Okay, I've got my head around the landing gear - just prise open the pods thingys ...

*EDIT 2*
Typically, 2 came free no problem ... two are stuck fast ...
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Old 14-01-2006, 04:00 AM   #44
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Hey guys,

Here's what I do.

There are several steps to taking a Product Enterprise 12" Eagle apart.

First, the Command module.

All the screws on the PE are small phillips type. The CM is held together with a single screw which is located under the bottom sensor dish. This dish is glued in and I could not remove this dish on any of the PE's I've dis-assembled without damaging this dish. The first dish was practically destroyed in the removal process. Since then, the least damaging technique is to drill a small hole directly through the center of the bottom dish just big enough to slip a small flat screwdriver through and remove the screw. I use a small flat screwdriver because I have way smaller flat screwdrivers than the smallest phillips I own and a small flat will grip and remove the small phillips screws with no problem through a smaller hole than I would need for a phillips screwdriver. Once the bottom has been removed from the CM, you can drive the dish out fairly easily by using a small pin punch through the screw hole (actually using the screw) from the inside of the CM. For me, I wasn't very concerned about damaging the sensor dish, because I made more authentic resin versions as replacements for all four dishes, but for those who will want to use the original dishes, drilling a small hole through the bottom dish will allow for a small disc of styrene to replace the raised portion of the bottom dish where you drilled the hole which will make the hole virtually invisible once the dish is replaced and re-painted. Now that the CM is off, remove the mounting ring from the forward cage.

The forward and rear cage sections are a little different, so the forward one first.

All the seams and glue joints on the PE seem to have been painted before the model was glued together. This makes most of the joins come apart fairly clean and easy. You will probably get a few paint chips here and there, but if you put it back together exactly the way you take it apart, all these chips and such will re-align right back where they were and you won't see them at all. If you plan to re-paint the entire model, they won't matter anyway. I use an X-acto type flat edge chisel type blade inserted between the parts to break the bonds. If this isn't enough, I insert a small flat screwdriver and reposition the blade along a seam until the parts pop off. The first thing to taking the cage sections apart is the removal of the VTOL's. I don't simply twist them off. I have better luck by first pushing them side to side in all directions a few times to break the glue before I twist them. This works best for me and usually allows me to remove them with the attachment point fully intact upon removal. Once the VTOL's are off, there is a single screw which will need to be removed. With this screw out, the lower part of the cage can be pryed loose from the upper part of the cage and the seam for this is located towards the bottom of the cage work. Simply inserting the chisel blade into these seams and applying a little pressure works everytime for me. With the upper and lower cages seperated, there are four cage section tubes (two for each cage section) which will be loose. These can be removed and placed aside. With the lower part of the cage removed, you will see three screws. The one in the center holds the two halves of the walkway together and the ones on the right and left of the walkway holds the spine to the walkway. With all three screws removed, the bottom half of the walkway can then be removed which will reveal two more screws. These two screws hold the landing pod/CM metal support in place. Once this support is removed, there is one more screw which holds the upper walkway section to the top half of the cage work. There is a small section of cage work on the upper half of the walkway which will have to be removed before the upper walkway can be seperated from the upper cage, but once that's done, the forward cage will be completely apart.

Now, for the rear cage.

The actual cage work is taken apart exactly as the forward cage. The difference is in the removal of the engine assembly. First, there is a screw located in the center of the engine bell cluster (if you look from the rear toward the front of the Eagle directly in the center of the four main engine bells) holding the engine assembly to the center pipe section. Remove this screw and pry the engine ring loose from the rear cage just as you did for the CM once it was removed. The entire engine assembly except for the center pole will now remove. You will be left with only the center pole for the engines still attached to the walkway and the rear cage comes apart exacly the same way the forward cage did.

Now, the landing pods.

The lower part of the landing pods are plastic and are held to the top metal section by two pins on the plastic part glued into locater holes on the metal upper section. These can be tough. It usually works pretty well for me if I tap the bottom plastic part solidly on all four sides with a rubber handled screwdriver and then pry at the point where the plastic bottom meets the metal leg extensions that extend into the walkways. I tap around the plastic/metal seam first because the seam is glued as well as the locator pins mentioned earlier. They come apart pretty well using this method, but one or two of these pins have always broken on mine, but, have always broken inside the metal holes they are inserted into so I have always been able to use them again. Even if they break flush with the metal part, when you re-glue the bottom on around the seam later, it will be strong enough as to not cause a problem. Drill the metal locator holes out on all pods, even if these plastic pins don't break. This will allow for easier assembly when you put them back together as the old glue in these holes (and any leftover plastic) can cause things not to line up or close properly. Once the bottom has been removed from the landing pods, I remove the landing feet. The landing shaft is a solid metal chromed shaft press fitted into the lower plastic pod section on one end and the landing feet on the other. I remove the landing feet with a slight twisting and heavy pulling action because the press fit requires a good pull to get off. Be careful here with the twisting or you will break off the hinge section of the landing gear, so twist only slightly as you pull. Now, I remove the small four point section of the landing gear attached to the lower plastic section of the pod. The four attachment points extend through the lower pod section. I use a small pin punch to drive the four small attachment points, a small amount at a time, out of the lower pod section. Any other way I try to remove these small plastic pieces results in breakage to one of the small attachment points, so go slow here, these are fragile. With the small leg parts removed, you can now remove the shaft from the pod section. The shafts can be removed with pliers and twisting/pulling. The last remaining part of the leg assembly will be the hinge piece attached to the shaft and the shaft will have to be driven out of this piece too. The easiest way I've found to do this is using a vice. I insert the shaft into the jaws of the vice and tighten the vice till it's almost tight on the shaft and then tap the shaft out of the plastic landing gear piece.

Engine dis-assembly.

To remove the main bells, there is a single screw located behind the baffle of each bell where the bell mounts to the engine assembly. Trying to remove the baffle to get to the screw will damage the bells because the baffle is glued in pretty well. Drill a small hole (just as you did for the sensor on the CM) in the center of each baffle and take out the screw with a small flat screwdriver. With the bell removed, the baffle can be driven out from the screw hole where the bell attached. The only other problematic part of the engine dis-assembly is where the mounting ring (at the rear cage) attaches to each of the four bottles of the engine assembly. These are glued pretty well also and the attachment tabs on the ring extend through the locator holes on the bottles fairly deep. Just like the bottom VTOL's, I rock these from side to side several times before trying to twist or pull and then using a combination of twisting, rocking and pulling.....slowly.....these usually come off with no problems either.

The passenger pod.

Again, the VTOL's will need to be removed. There is a screw located under each bell that will allow the bottom to be removed. Once removed, you will see the screws for the landing feet and the latching assemblies that hold the pods to the Eagle.

I'll explain more as anyone has questions, but this should explain enough as a start. I hope this helps.

Here's the links to the pictures posted on the other forum mentioned earlier for convenience:

Tear Down
Command Module Modifications
Spine Fix
Modified Engine and New Stripes
Modified Landing Gear
Finished Gear
Completed and Compared to a "Box Stock" PE 12"
More Completed Pictures

Rob.
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Old 14-01-2006, 08:22 AM   #45
tak5haka
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That is absolutely spot on! Thanks very much, most appreciated!
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Old 14-01-2006, 08:33 AM   #46
Rdrunner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle-1
I'll explain more as anyone has questions, but this should explain enough as a start. I hope this helps. Rob.

That is very helpful, Thank you, Rob

My only question for you is the landing gear rod, did you use another
longer rod??? and what length did you use, cause my landing gear does not spring up or down like what your reference photos describe


Ken
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Old 14-01-2006, 12:32 PM   #47
doon
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Thanks Rob
This is great stuff, well described! I hope you won't mind some questions if I get caught up I'm approaching this with great trepidation.
Thanks again
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Old 14-01-2006, 10:16 PM   #48
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You're all welcome guys. Anytime.

Prowler,

Yes, I do make another shaft from solid aluminum rod. The length can be determined by having the rod inserted into a landing assembly till it bottoms out against the top metal part. You should have one of the four legged underside strut pieces in place when you stick the aluminum rod in place and then leave just enough room below the gear structure to mount the footpads back on. The white disc (in the pictures) is what the spring compresses against. I have the hole in the gear support slightly larger than the center hole in the white disc so that the shaft can't touch the side and possibly bind. The spring can't go throught the small hole in the disc and the disc can't go through the hole in the leg support but does have a little "wiggle" room so that the shaft always moves freely. With the shaft extended to "in flight" position, I insert a pin through the shaft inside the plastic pod part where the shaft extends through (around halfway) to hold the shaft in place and limit the movement at that point. At the top end of the shaft, the white disc keeps the spring on so the new aluminum shaft needs to extend just slightly above the white disc. Once you've gotten one shaft perfectly the way you want it, make three more matching shafts. When assembled, your gear needs to float about halfway between up and down. If your gear doesn't move properly, you need different springs.

Rob.
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Old 14-01-2006, 10:26 PM   #49
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Thank you, Rob

That would get me back on track, since I have been stuck at that point

Am I on the right path with Jbots decals, can't obtain any from him yet
till his site is restored, he must be going thru some rough time.

Thank you for your precious time


Ken
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Old 14-01-2006, 10:57 PM   #50
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That's wonderful, Rob. I was just planning to write about that myself, but you beat me to it, and did a better job than I would have done anyway.

I wish I had read that before I dismantled my first PE12 a few days ago, but I got through it without any serious damage to the eagle, luckily. It was scary, but also fun to find each step and new hidden screws. I broke two pins for the VTOLs, but that will not be visible once I glue them back on (anyhow, I'm hoping to replace them with Small's metal bells later).

I stopped dismantling at the cage level, because my goal right now is to repaint the companionways. I wish PE had gotten those right from the beginning, and saved me the trouble... If this comes out OK, there are five more waiting in line... (Yes, I have 6 of them, and laughed a lot when I read "signs that you may be a little too intertested in eagles" number 21 , that's me, spot on...)

Here's a picture of a minimum breakdown to free the companionways. On this particular eagle, the spine attachment to the cage was broken on delivery, but I found some discrete glue will do the job anyway.



I have now also taken apart the pod, and will paint it in VIP orange colour. Does anyone have any suggestions about that orange colour? Matt or gloss? Any Humbrol number?
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Old 14-01-2006, 11:03 PM   #51
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*
I just used a red undercoat oversprayed with matt tangerine.



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Old 15-01-2006, 12:27 AM   #52
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Not a problem at all guys.

It just takes me a little time to type all those words only using two fingers!!! It really looks like I'm trying to kill ants on my keyboard when I type........ .

Garuda, don't let my reply stop you! Add what you will. There are certainly many ways to do these modifications and we can always learn from each other.

I really can't wait to get my hands on one o' them 23" Eagles.

One of 'em, sooner or later, is doomed .

Rob.
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Old 15-01-2006, 05:53 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle-1
It just takes me a little time to type all those words only using two fingers!!! Rob.
Same here, but I have learn to type a little faster with it at my job. LOL!!!


Ken
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Old 15-01-2006, 11:35 AM   #54
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Ditto. Trish reckons I'm the fastest two finger typist she's seen. She touch types and can have a conversation while typing neither looking at the keyboard nor screen. How do they do that?
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Old 15-01-2006, 06:06 PM   #55
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I'm curious about one thing I don't think I've seen mentioned. Has anyone used any superglue solvent while dismantling a PE Eagle?

I only rarely use it myself, but always have a bottle available for those times when I've glued something that just has to come apart without breaking, and the part is too fragile to survive using a pair of pliers and elbow grease.

I get nervous every time I remove the pod from the PE Eagle, that spine seems a little on the fragile side. The idea of prying the spin off the superstructure without loosening the bonds seems awefully dangerous.
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Old 15-01-2006, 09:09 PM   #56
tak5haka
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Not tried that - I've just been sweating profusely as I do it and that seemed to weaken the glue ...
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Old 15-01-2006, 10:13 PM   #57
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On the basis that the 12" PE Eagles aren't put together with superglue, superglue solvent might actually melt the plastic that they're made from so I'd be very careful.
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Old 20-01-2006, 03:30 PM   #58
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Here is where I have got so far





Here is my second untouched Eagle
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Old 20-01-2006, 04:26 PM   #59
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Are those aluminum bells? They look rather nice
And the landing pods, do they just pry apart or screwed together?

-edit-
oOps I probly should have read all the way through Rob's post for the pods
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Old 20-01-2006, 06:47 PM   #60
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Would be nice to have aluminum bells, but I just
use some BMF like what Rob suggested. I also buffed
it out with some Brasso to remove adhesive and popped
out with an awesome shine

Ken
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