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Making the PE23 Eagle accurate. "Modifications"


Let's use this thread to collect together the views and experiences of anyone modifying the model to make it more accurate.

The first thing that struck me was that the passenger pod windows are too small. They've gotta go. Since the frame around them is raised it means either Dremelling them out completely and inserting a new piece or laying a new plate on top. Obviously a new plate on top would reduce the height of the recess. There is no raised frame on the original so at least the height wouldn't be further reduced. For those not confident with masking and painting, you could use black decal film for the windows. The windows should be rectangular with the corners snipped off at 45 degrees, or not at all, depending on which pod you're modelling.


There were big gaps between the spine and the cages on my eagle. This gave the spine a very bad curve. I had to fix this and get rid of those stupid brackets.
I inserted the end of a steel rule in the gaps and twisted. The spine came away much easier than I expected. There are some holes in the cages and corresponding locating lugs on the spine, but these broke easily. The brackets came away quit easily to.
I will make some proper brackets out of aluminium sheet and glue them to the cages. I will then fix the spine to these with small pins.
Even though the spine now fits nice and tight to the cages, it is still not straight. This is because the front cage section tilts up slightly as it is fixed to the main pod. There is no easy way around this apart from taking the bottom off the main pod to remove the front section. I like the paint job on the passenger pod and I don’t want to ruin it, so I may live with the slight curve.

The engine assembly was tilted up slightly. I therefore cut through the top and bottom supports and forced a bit of plastic in the top joint to get it to the angle I want.

I also intend to drill out the attitude jets and re-fix them at the correct angle.

I have a set of aluminium bells I got for my RU 23” eagle. I’m not sure if I will use them on this model, it depends on how the other mods turn out.

Well there’s definitely more work on this thing than I thought there would be. :worry:


Commander Ret.
Thanks, J - nice one. :)

As you've probably read elsewhere, I'm leaving mine as is, apart from the CM (now fixed). It had the same 'angle' problem as your engine cluster. :(
Got my 23 PE. It's on the surgery table. CM off, engine cluster off, all bells off. Spine off. No dammages so far. :D Next step front and rear cage section, then cut off the SP from the walkways with new construction of the prongs, making doors on the walkway parts and passenger pod, so the pod will be removable. I have an idea how to do it without the need of a brass spine. For that I will need iron and very strong magnets. Will post pics an explanations later on. I'm mad to start with this big modification. :nuts:The eagle looks good anyway without modifications.
:furious: , :cry: The material is BRITTLE. I broke off a part of the passenger pod, but it's a clean crack and can be superglued without remaining traces. Well, it's the price for the modification I guess. Will have to repaint the passenger pod anyway. Further comments later. Have to write it offline. Too much explanations.
First I took off the spine (very easy) and then the bells. That was no problem. On the spine I will change the brackets. The Passenger pod bells are glued in place and have a peg. I first tried to twist off the VTOL bells with a srew driver, but it didn’t work. So I drilled out the bells with a 4 mm drill bit. So the peg was then weak and I could then free the bells from the pod base. The bells are made of two pieces. To take away the big VTOL walkway bells was more difficult. I also drilled a 4 mm hole not knowing that the bells didn’t have a normal peg but a rectangular plug and were heavaly glued in between the walkway frame (see bell pics). So it needed some strong help with a flat srewdriver again and a good gentle hand to get them off. There was so much glue under it that the paint went off from the frame too. But all the bells came off without problems and without dammage. I will use them in other projects.

To loosen the engine cluster was easy too with the help of a flat srewdriver. Twisting and take it off dammaged the very small pins in the frame. They were stongly glued in place and were very subtile, so they didn’t resist to the pressure. The central tube of the engine cluster is srewed to the rear walkway. So You have to loosen the srew first before You start to remove the engine cluster from the rear walkway. Here also no problems with taking off the engine cluster and the rear main bells (srews).

And now the mess:

Before I started to separate the passenger pod I made two sounding holes at the place were the screws should be. But when looked inside I new that I had no chance to find the screws or free them. The whole part were the srews should have been located, was completely epoxied with an amout of about 1,5 – 2 golf balls of epoxy. So I had no chance to start to find or free the connection between pod and walkway. Taking off the bottom plate was not possible too. So I checked the space between the cage frame and the pod. There was just enough space to insert a small blade of a metal saw without anything else. I then started to saw the connection between cage and pod carefully by hand. I succeeded without causing dammages to the cage nor the pod. The pod front and rear was ok but not usable (see pics). So I had to go on and dremel and drill out the connection remains on both sides and make place for two new fronts. The problem was the tremendous amount of epoxy behind the fronts. So I had to drill and dremel out a lot of material (see pics). Then while drilling out material, the accident happened. The vibrations caused a crack and a part of the pod went off. But the crack was clean and so I could fix it. After a new paint job nobody will see anything. What You see in the pics is the result after having removed all eopxy behind the fronts, the connection and the part of the front which must be rebuilt. It looks “terrifying”, but is not a problem at all. I will now make new fronts and put them at the right place and then close everything with polyester putty and sand smooth. After that the pod will look new again, but will need a paint job.

I don’t know exactly what material was used. It looks like a kind of urethan resin (?) from the color, but it is brittle (greetings from the WARP kits) and heavy.

Warning: I stongly do not recommend to separate the pod if You can’t do it by unscrewing the connection screws. In the worst case You could have a total loss of the passenger pod. And I fear that all connections are plastered with masses of Epoxy. The next time I would leave it as it is. Due to the fragile material and my repaired pod I will not alternate the window section of the pod as I wished to do before. See the thickness of the pod walls.

The separation of the front side pods had to be made the same way with the hand metal saw blade. After taking off the frame I could have a look at the walkway. On the eagle You don’t notice, but the PE walkway is not square and has distorsions and is far from being perfect as it should be. It makes no sense to me to add doors here. It has to be done new from scratch (acrylic) or I will use a walkway from another RU 23 kit I have which is much better than the PE walkway. Taking off the the frame dammaged the upper and bottom frame (very sticky glue and the all pins broke off removing the frame (and I was gentle). But this parts can be redone easily.

Seeing this situation it makes no sense to remove the side pods from the rear section, because I would have to change the rear walkway too. On the rear section I will sand flat the surface of the walkway and only add the door.

The CM could be separated very easily, because the srews were under the VTOL bells with no epoxy on them. So it was done in no time.


I started dismatling it for modifications and so I must finish it now. But I do not recommend to follow me in this case. The eagle looks also good streight out of the box. And extended modifications are hard to do and need a lot of work and nerves. I would change the bells, change the spine brackets and add light for the cockpit and eventually modify the engine cluster, not more. I also tried to remove the landing gear, but it is glued it very strong and I don’t want to take further risks.

So for my part I will now finish the pod, make a new front walkway and add prongs to the front side pods. I will also modify the CM section (light and cut the connection hold to the walkway on the back and make a new door and modify the connection CM – front walkway. This will keep me busy for a while. I will add further pics as process evolves.

PS: I hope I made not too many errors in orthography and grammar


OUCH :oops:

I'm so glad that someone else is taking these steps before I do...I may have to rethink my plans for this model in light of what I am seeing here.

Things I DO want to address are:

1) Replacement aluminium engine bells.

2) Correcting the attitude thrusters so they're not angled outwards.

3) Correcting the pod windows / frames somehow.

4) Try to get the model to sit lower on its landing gear (i.e. softer springs) - but this may not be possible if the landing gear cannot be removed.

5) Repainting in the correct colours.

6) Re-decalling the logos and markings.

7) Repainting / detailing the cockpit in the correct colours.

I'm hoping to be able to carry out most if not all of the list above, but am wary of dismantling too far and causing damage...

Has anyone tried repainting over the existing paint yet ? Any problems, or will it require stripping before a repaint ?

w8cmp said:
3) Correcting the pod windows / frames somehow.


If You want to make new correct windows remove them like this: Take a small new and sharp drill bit and drill one hole close to the other along the window frame and then make bigger holes in the center and work carefully to the outside. You will have to file and sand a lot. But I would in this case not use a dremel milling head to avoid vibrations.

Question: How wide must the red stripes be on a 23" rescue pod?


skyfullofstars said:
Question: How wide must the red stripes be on a 23" rescue pod?

I believe (and please guys correct me if I am wrong) that the white / red stripes on the passenger pod are all exactly the same width.

So for 5 red stripes, and 4 white areas between them, you divide the total length of the pod by 9 and that's your width...



I've just received the PE23 Rescue Eagle (no pics, sorry). I want to redo the red stripes coz a/ the are as inaccurate as they are on the PE12 and b/ whoever put them on was a cowboy. Can anyone recommend what's the most accurate paint colour out there to replace them with ?


I believe the general concensus for the red colour was Humbrol Gloss Bright Red enamel (no. 19)...though I lightened it up a bit on my PE 12" as I personally preferred a slightly lighter shade.



Well I took the plunge today - I've sat and looked at my 23" Eagle for long enough now, and it drives me mad with the inaccurate colour scheme and pod windows etc - so today it has been dismantled :shock:

In about an hour, with the help of the excellent guidance from others on this forum, I managed to:

1 ) Remove the spine
2 ) Remove the rear engines
3 ) Remove the VTOL engines from the corridor sections
4 ) Lever the floor off the pod
5 ) Unscrew and chisel out the pod / corridor attachments and separate the pod from front and rear sections
6 ) Remove the frameworks from around the corridors
7 ) Remove the CM from the front section
8 ) Remove the engine assembly from the rear section

It's now in a broken down state so I can clean it up, correct, respray & detail & reassemble to my satisfaction.

I have some fresh cans of Ford Diamond White, so I think it will be a fairly 'clean' season 1 version I go for.

I'm not going too try to get the landing gear pods off the corridor sections, or replace the springs in the gear, as they all seem fairly well attached and I don't want to tempt fate. Has anyone else successfully got those gear off the landing gear pods yet ?

Pod's now being rubbed down ready for some primer and topcoat this weekend - that's after I've done some corrections to the pod windows.

Hopefully within a few weeks she'll be back up and in her display case again. If it goes well, I might even see if I can display her at the convention...

Just got to get some replacement engine bells ordered now...hopefully I can get them before October so she looks good...



Well the pod windows have been corrected (after a fashion) by plating over them in very thin plasticard with windows of the correct shape. Now I know they're going to be 'outie' windows instead if 'innie' windows, but I gather the originals were a flat piece with the windows just masked up and painted (i.e. no relief) - so it won't look too bad.

Pod has been primed, rubbed down with wire wool and now topcoated in Ford Diamond White - and what an improvement...

The rest of the model has had decals removed with cellulose thinners (which also took off a lot of the weathering - much more so than with the 12" Eagles). All parts have been prepped and are about to be primed this evening. I've had to mask up the landing gear as I could not remove it. I also couldn't get the quad thrusters off the landing gear pods (without destroying them).

Looking at the parts, it strikes me how rough this model is. Most components are barely cleaned up, and the resin has bubbles and sink holes here and there - quite shoddy. It's strange that when the model was complete, I didn't notice a lot of the roughness...

Hopefully when she's reassembled with the correct paint and details she'll be an improvement on the original issue...

It sounds like she is coming long quite well! A big step considering the investment, and that it is only one of 1500. I am very much looking forward to seeing the finished result.

You are lucky to be able to just go out to a store and buy Ford Diamond White. Here I have to use a mix of Ford Wimbleton and Ford Performance white for do-it-your-self jobs. The mix matches pretty good to a framework I purchased already finished in the correct Ford Diamond white.

I am especially curious to see how the Command module will look. In this thread DX-SFX mentions the small white return to the edge of the inset and provides a picture:

Considering that from the pictures I've seen PE oversprayed PAST the edge of the inset, your bird will be quite visually enhanced in this area alone.


I'm just contemplating how to go about sorting the detail on the CM windows.

For painting, I removed the transparent windows which were simply glued to the inside of the CM, leaving a very pronounced frame visible.

Now to do the job properly, I'd have to re-glaze the top two windows with transparent panels flush with the frames, and similar with the bottom though these can be opaque.

This is going to really test my ability to make parts to an exact curved shape...could be interesting...and time consuming.

I got through 2 cans of primer and 2 cans of Ford Diamond White this weekend...gotta go and get some more supplies during the week to continue the project.



Right - we're on the road to completion with the PE 23".

Having stripped her down, the pod windows were modified, and the CM windows were also modified by filling the lower sections flush with the frames with sheet plasticard, and making new flush upper windows from transparent plasticard.

The job wasn't as bad as I thought it might be...once the basic shape was cut and fit, it was a case of making four the same as the CM is fairly well symmetrical.

I have also added the diagonal struts in the rear engine frame assembly which were conspicuous by their absence from the model.

Now she's all sprayed Ford Diamond White, and re-assembled for detailing, decalling and (very light) weathering. Some pics of today's state of play are shown below...

Things that still bug me are the engines and the quad thrusters.

Got to find a replacement for those 'angled out' thrusters. Didn't some of you find some 'ferrules' that fit the bill nicely ? Anyone know where I can get some ?


She is coming along very nice! The flush Command module windows must have been meticulous work but the result is fantastic. Even without the final paint this improvement, plus the correct sized passenger pod windows, makes a major improvement in your eagles overall look.

I'm looking forward to seeing the model when finished, especially how better masked anti-glare panels will change the appearance of the nose.

Your brave step may have started a trend for at least some of the other 1499 models out there!


Now an appeal...

Jim tells me he's no longer doing aluminium engine bells... :eek:

I'm now stuck for accurising the model as I intended.

Does anyone know of a source for having these made up (both the main engines and VTOL engines) ?

I know several people were talking about getting these made for 44" models, but anyone actually manage to get some made ? If so I'm hoping the 23" ones would also be possible...

Cheers and hopefully...



Here You go Chris These are some shots of the VTOL Bells for the Passenger Pod and Corridor Sections Rob M