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Moonbase Alpha

canveyjim

Alphans
ok guys i am getting lots of messages about about how much or little work to do on alpha, so i am going to ask you guys,
a, leave as is.
b, do just enough to stop it falling apart,
c, have a display stand build for what is left.
d, as above but with the missing bits made.
over to you .
 

Alpha149

Forum Supporter
I would go with d. Some purists will complain that even trying to fix it up will destroy the value. The argument is that the value will be zero if it is allowed to fall apart. Plus the value is whatever the seller and buyer determine it to be.
 
have it molded, resin coppy it and fix up the resin one for display put the original one away, repair what you can on it. you can sell some of the small molded buildings to recoup the cost of the rubber im sure some people here will buy coppys
 
i dont think you will destroy the value of the original by using original parts i think in fact it will hold the value for instance look at what was done to the original nostroma from aliens that is worth more in its repaird condition than the way it was found
 

MoonbaseAlpha

Chief Eagle Pilot
Hi Jim,

I'm the person who had Alpha before you, as you know...
I had exactly the same problem...
And after 16+ years I had still never decided what to do...
It just ended up, in a cupboard, gatherimg dust...
I looked at it one day and had a good think, am I going to do anything with this, or let it go to a good home and hopefully a lot of others could enjoy it.
Obviously, we know what happened, and I think I did the right thing.
I hope you enjoy it and everyone else in the comunity.

Whatever you decide, I hope you well,
and would be great to see it again in the future and see what you have done with it.

All the best,
Andy.
 

w8cmp

Alphans
Have it fully restored with parts replaced wherever possible. As long as a sympathetic and accurate restoration is done, it will only increase its value.

You'll also need to replicate the launch pads to make the model whole again.

If possible the whole thing should then be placed on a base such that it can be displayed, but some clever thought will need to be given to how this can be disassembled for transport. Perhaps make a modular base and just place the buildings on it for display, and remove them for storage. Perhaps some of the model railway specialists here can offer some assistance...
 

Steve Gerard

Alphans
d would be my choice, a complete Alpha again. :think:

Have it fully restored with parts replaced wherever possible. As long as a sympathetic and accurate restoration is done, it will only increase its value.

You'll also need to replicate the launch pads to make the model whole again.

If possible the whole thing should then be placed on a base such that it can be displayed, but some clever thought will need to be given to how this can be disassembled for transport. Perhaps make a modular base and just place the buildings on it for display, and remove them for storage. Perhaps some of the model railway specialists here can offer some assistance...
 
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healvis

Alphans
It's a tough decision you have to make Jim, First I think I would find out what kind of paint has been used on it. I assume the paint is original because all the reflective window tape appears not to have been moved. I would then systematically very carefully clean it with cotton buds and suitable cleaner. Document everything you do as you go along. I would maybe seek advice from Propstore as to how far you go in a restoration attempt. You have spent a lot of money on buying this piece of history so look after it and enjoy it in the way you think is best. I think Dave sisson would be a good person to talk to also. Thanks for not buying it and locking it away.:thumbup:
 
maybe propstore would do the repairs they are the best and they know what they are doing maybe they would do it just for the publisity
 

scatta

Alphans
consider the restored sections to the temples in egypt - something old can be enhanced with new parts without compromising the original.
When I saw the pictures of the Alpha model it hurt - like seeing a dog with a missing limb - no doubt in my mind of the way forward.
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Perhaps a new kitchen and a lovely conservatory....

Hi Guys,

The model is actually in great condition with very little damage and just a few missing parts. Andy did a great job of storing it carefully for us all to enjoy for many years to come.

I have had discussions with Jim and he has made it clear that he wants to exhibit the model. Preservation would seem to be the key here so I have suggested exactly the same as Chris Potter, restore the missing parts, stabilise the wobbly bits, build storage cases and a sectional display stand incorporating a lunar surface to stage it as close to it's screen appearance as possible and that's all it really needs.

I will be publishing more photos soon so I can illustrate exactly what needs to be done. I have suggested to Jim that I publish the work in progress here and he has agreed. Jim is a very caring collector he is also generous to a fault and wants to share as much as possible. I will follow the precedent he has set and do likewise so watch this space.

Cap'n
 

Eagle12

Alphans
Sounds like an excellent plan Cap'n and Canveyjim, especially posting the work in progress for those of us who will likely never see the model in person. There are many resources from members here to find all original missing kit parts, few as they may be, and bring her back to her full glory. There's such incredible detail it's a pity we didn't see more close-ups during the series.

Sounds like Alpha will be back in full operations before we know it with the best crew possible. Thanks to everyone working on this project!

:clap::clap::clap:
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
More images....

Hi Guys,

I have just chatted with Jim and we have pretty much agreed on what needs to be done, so to kick things off and illustrate what I need to deal with, here are a few extra images taken during a photo shoot back in September when I first met Andy (Welcome to the forum BTW - Andy (MoonbaseAlpha) and photographed some of his collection.

For those that don't know, Andy is a professional model maker who worked on (amongst other things like Red Dwarf and Dr Who) Space Precinct with Bill Pearson. I will be publishing a full interview and looking at his work on Space Precinct in detail later. He has amazing stories to tell and is full of insights and anecdotes.

Alpha in detail:

Basic structure and dimensions.
These images show there is little in the way of shading or drawn detail on the model but there is extensive use of the Revell 1:24th Scale Gemini and 1:96th Scale Apollo Saturn V kits, there is also Lunar module in the same scale. Many of these parts will be very familiar to Eagle builders. Most of the rest of the detailing is in the form of plating cut from .8 mm Styrene sheeting into geometric shapes. Just like Eagle One the basic structure follows the Wood laminated with Acrylic (Plexiglas or Perspex) and ABS before being covered with kit detailing.

Made from wood


Moonbase Label


The wooden structure is 3/4" (19.05mm) hardwood blockboard, you can see it through the clear acrylic sheeting where panels are missing. This material is very stable because like plywood the small blocks of wood have their grains facing in tangent directions and is not usually subject to warping. All the woodwork in this model is totally flat with little in the way of displaced Acrylic. On all the upper horizontal surfaces the acrylic sheet is 1/8" thick (3.175mm) giving an average thickness of 7/8" (22.225mm) plus plating. There are also a huge amount of our old friend the Sasco Year planner imperial sized labels of several different types, they are everywhere. I am getting some especially cut with the imperial dimensions to keep complete accuracy and will also make these available to builders which should interest Eagle builders too.

Evidence of the Original Builders.
It is obvious that there were at least three different model makers (possibly more) working on various sections of the model, following the same plan no doubt but with differing styles. One is a detail artist with carefully arranged kit parts and minimal panel structure, one is a panel specialist with several layers stacked up to create the hedgehogs skin effect in beautiful complexity. The last is a tiler with a little of both of the other styles but heavier in the paper label department. During the next photo shoot I will try to capture the essence of each style as different buildings clearly fall into these categories.

If you look at the sizes and position of the transflex reflective material used for the windows they are very irregular in size shape and position. I am certain that they were applied after the model was delivered to the studio and already mounted to it's base board. It would explain why the are so random at times appearing off line and not as rank and file as you would expect. In the end it makes no difference because once photographed you never see these errors.

All the kit parts will be listed over the next few months and I am preparing a CAD dimensional blueprint and Hi-Res digipak to aid anyone researching this model, it will contain a complete photo map of images of all Alpha's surface details.



End panel from the Revell 1:96th Service Module


Gemini parts abound


From either of these kits:


There is a lot of Revell 1:24th Scale Gemini kit parts used in common with the Eagle:


Moonbase Computer panels:
After we had photographed Alpha and we were waiting for dusk to try to recreate the side lit shots Andy produced these computer panels, I was surprised to say the least, they are big and this is the first outing after 15 years of storage. Bit of a dusting, some tape replacement and ready to rock....


Enjoy.

Cap'n
 

canveyjim

Alphans
i just want to say that i want us all to enjoy alpha , i may be the guy that has it but its for everyone , as soon as its done i would like to arrange a meet , open to anyone from the site.
 

scatta

Alphans
Wow, breathless at this thread already (close to asthma attack!)

Bernie your devotion to Alpha is shining already!

Jim your generousity is outstanding!

"If we all share, we all get more!"
 

eagleles

Alphans
I agree with Chris and Bernie - have it restored fully and replace parts as needed.

And Jim, very generous of you to 'share' it with everyone :D
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Wow, breathless at this thread already (close to asthma attack!)

Bernie your devotion to Alpha is shining already!

Jim your generousity is outstanding!

"If we all share, we all get more!"

And that is the whole philosophy share, share, share. :yes:

You ain't seen nothing yet Paul :D

We discuss travel tubes tomorrow!

Cap'n
 
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