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Making the PE23 Eagle accurate. "Modifications"


Received my 23" scale main, VTOL & thruster engine bells from Rob M, and they're great. Minimal modification needed to fit them.

I had to bore out the engine mount rings on the model, and obtain some longer screws to fit them, but they're now mounted, with the baffles from the original engines glued in place.

The VTOL bells will be direct replacements without a problem - just had to fill the rectangular holes left when the originals were removed, and then mount some appropriately sized tube to act as a post to mount the bells on.

The original quad thruster bells were cut off with a razor saw, and holes drilled to mount the metal replacements at the correct angles. Once painting / detailing is complete they can be mounted too.

I'm just sorting out a problem with paint compatibility which means I shall have to strip the paint off the CM. I masked and painted the anti-glare panels, and the black paint reacted with the FDW already applied, causing crazing which was a major problem. I'm just letting it all dry before I rub down and re-paint or strip it completely and start again.

However I have some sensor dishes coming for this too, so I'll wait until I've finished drilling the CM to mount these before I try painting this again.

Landing gear has been detailed and painted panels added to the feet. Oh and I've filled the hollow undersides of the pads as I couldn't live with those hollows. Have got a good effect with the filler sinking slightly in places looking like the metal has been battered around with some heavy landings leaving the pad framework showing clearly. I'll accentuate that with some paint to get the desired effect.

No photos yet as I'm not ready to show it off as it is right now. But when I get a little further on with the modifications I'll post some pictures here.



Well I thought it was about time I put up some pics of my PE 23" progress so far...this is how she looks today.

A few things still to do, like detailing the spine and dulling down the 'chrome effect' engines a bit...but I personally feel she's an improvement over the model as issued.

Painting / detailing has been done with close reference to the hundreds of pics I took of the refurbished Eagle 1 (thank you Mark 42), and while the limitations of the PE 23" in terms of dimensional accuracy prevent it being spot on, it's as close as I can get...

See what you think...

The panel shades aren't quite so vibrant in reality - the camera seems to bring out the contrast a bit...

I'm been waiting for this one Chris :yes:

Outstanding work!

I love the meticulous accurate-to-Eagle-1 panels and markings. The flush flight deck windows, aluminum sensor dishes and properly masked black anti-glare panels really enhance the look of the nose. The correct angled side thrusters and aluminium bells look great too.

It's funny how Eagle 1's panels start to become as recognizable as a face after a while!

Very nice :)


Thanks for the kind comments guys...

In giving this model a makeover, you come to realise that almost every dimension is off in some way compared to the original, and it's effectively a lost cause trying to make the model 'accurate'. All you can do is make a representation of an Eagle and perhaps make it look a little more like one from the series.

In replacing the sensor dishes, drilling out the old ones and putting aluminium in there, you need dishes that are a fair bit bigger than they should be for this size of Eagle - compare these to the pics of Eagle 1 and you'll see what I mean. Not much you can do unless you're going to do some major filling work to make smaller dishes.

The landing gear pods are shaped far more rectangular (in plan) than they should be, and consequently the relief detail is all in the wrong place. Pods are also mirror images of themselves from side to side, where they were not on some faces on the original.

The framework & spine is completely wrong, CM shaped wrong and so on....

I decided quite early on that this would just be a repaint and addition of aluminium rather than a rework of the model. It remains what it is - a PE 23" collectable rather than a partial scratchbuild.

I'll save the scratchbuild work for my next project (after I get those grab arms out of the way) which will be the AB 44" (at last). This has got my appetite for detailing going, and I can't wait to translate what I have learned on this model to the larger scale...

Just got to finish this one off now and put her back in her case...have already added more stripes etc to the frames since I took the pics above and hope to have her finished this weekend. I'll take a set of pics in natural light to show the finished article when the weather allows...





Is it the 'tube sizing' on the framework that is wrong on the PE23...?

It still looks amazing... and until you mentioned the sensor dish sizes they looked fine too...

I still want one!


Right - with thanks to DX for assistance on a few details, and a little spare time between building grab arms etc, I've managed to get a little closer to completing my PE 23" modifications.

As mentioned before, I have left the basic model as-is without major surgery so some details are incorrect, but she's pretty well in a state where I am happy to put it back in to it's display case now.

Here's the latest pics:

Having completed the detailing on this one my work bench is looking bare and I'm feeling a little lost for an Eagle project. With my creative juices flowing, I have finally dug out my AB 44" model with a view to starting it again...

Wish me luck - I need it !



Forum Supporter
It looks very nice Chris, so its back to the display cabinet now then is it. Good luck with the AB model, and keep us all informed with your progress. :)


I dunno... I think it needs more weathering, so it looks like Thunderbird 2! :twisted: :p ;)


........................................................sorry Chris ...........just.......speechless................. :notworthy:


good thread-

I was a bit dismayed when I noticed my Eagle's spine is somewhat warped. Looking from the CM backward, you can see it sits at an angle. However, being the crap model maker I am, I aint gonna take it apart and try to fix- for me that'd be like throwing away a load of cash, and ending up with a pile of broken junk.

I guess I'll need to put up with it! :cry:


I can't believe I've only just found these pics of your PE Eagle!


Outstanding! Alot of work has gone into the detailing as I can relate to every decal and coloured panel that the pictures show!


Engine bells finish the job an absolute treat. :dance:


Respect due.




The difference is amazing. That's beautiful work. I too cannot understand why they didn't include the diagonal struts in the engine framework. I thought of trying to add them to the PE 12s I have, but it needs a complete rebuild. I love the blue panelling as on eagle 1.

First rate rebuild.


Thanks for the comments guys...she looks better in real life as it were as the photos seem to bring out the panel contrast too much, making it look darker than it is. I'll try to take some pics in natural light which may be better.

Jon - It's amazing how you come to know those individual panels on each section after studying the reference material for hours...just hope Mr Sisson got it all right on his refurb of Eagle 1 ;)

Looking forward to comparing her with other Eagles sometime...



Forum Supporter
exellent work, lam thinking of buying a 23'' and like you doing repaint etc... can you tell me is there something wrong with the ones for sale on ebay for £189??? as some are £280 upto £390 etc??? and . . .
how much are the aluminium booster bells for it and where do you buy them?.

btw l will put up my eagle pictures martin bower gave me of eagles and hawks and swifts from 1977 that he made and photographed soon;)
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exellent work, l am thinking of buying a 23'' and like you doing repaint etc... can you tell me is there something wrong with the ones for sale on ebay for £189??? as some are £280 upto £390 etc??? and

Not as far as I know... The original RRP was £400, but some people here have managed to buy them for more like £200. Go for it, and if the model is not as advertised, send it back...

how much are the aluminium booster bells for it and where do you buy them?

Mike Reader in Canada can supply all the aluminium replacement parts you need. They are made to order so can take a month or two. Costs depend on what you want, but as an example I've just ordered a full set for the Lab Pod Eagle for just under £100 including postage (this is ALL the bells including the little thrusters, as well as the sensor dishes on the CM).

btw l will put up my eagle pictures martin bower gave me of eagles and hawks and swifts from 1977 that he made and photographed soon;)

I'm sure we would ALL love to see those ! Please post them soon :yes: