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My Moonbase 3 Buggy

badsimmonds

Alphans
I hope this is the right place to post this build.
Anyway a lot of you may wondering why on earth am I building this vehicle as its not exactly an exciting design. Well although by todays standards the production values are low I still have a lot of affection for this series and the buggy in general. I think the buggy would have looked better if it wasn't so high and more like a Humvee shape.
This is the second non Anderson project in recent months as I wanted a change. I decided to start with the wheels as I thought they would be the most difficult parts to build. This model will be about 12" long roughly. The wheels were made from half an acrylic sphere and some plastic drain pipe. I didn't do anything to the acrylic dome but I did cut a section of pipe and glued it just inside the dome. Once dry I filled it with some resin to cover the join and make it stronger for the axle later on.
To get the ridges I used some lengths of Plastruct strips and glued them on making sure they over lapped the end as I would sand them down later to get a nice even finish. One down three more to do.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
For those who don't know what the finished item will be like here are a couple of photos of the original, I did say it wasn't exciting!
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Just a quick update. As you can see the four wheels are now complete, I originally thought they would be difficult to do but it was the opposite. I don't know about other builders but when I start a project I have no idea how I will proceed or even if it will work out.

I must mention Sigspace who started me off on this project as I was fortunate to get some plans of this vehicle from him which have been of tremendous help, many thanks.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
With the wheels completed its time to start the main body. I'll be building this in two sections - the first is the bottom half which includes the chassis and then the top half for the crew.
I'm trying to use whatever materials I have in the garage so the build may seem a bit untidy but as the inside won't be seen it doesn't matter as fibre glass hides a multitude of mistakes.

I used some thick plywood for the main part which will have a central section and the two end angled bits which will support the chassis. I started off badly as my first attempt had to be scrapped as I forgot the sloping side doors are recessed into the bottom section so I had to start again. It didn't take long to glue various bits together to form the shape, I'm not bothered how bad it looks as it will be covered in fibreglass to strengthen and hide all the joins.
The one down side of using wood/mdf is the weight which is creeping up but I think it will be ok.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Time for another update.
The basic shape of the chassis section is complete with the addition of a couple of layers of fibreglass to hide the joins. This was followed by filler and sanding until it was smooth. The angled sections for each end had the same treatment - fibreglass & filler' I used the usual parcel tape and filler method to make them fit perfectly against the angled chassis part. This can take a couple of attempts as there is usually a bit of damaged filler after sanding.
A coat of primer shows up the defects which means more sand and fill.
The one thing you have to watch when using tape and filler although the filler generally doesn't stick to the tape if you use too much filler it can be quite hard to separate them when dry.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
I decided to work on the wheel mounts next as I was curious to see how it would look with the wheels attached.
I first bent some brass round a tube that would accept the axle I was going to use, I needed two pieces to complete the support for two wheels. I then drilled some holes and screwed the brass into the angular section on the model. It didn't look very neat but its going to be hidden under some details. I repeated this for the other two wheels.
Next I drilled holes completely through all four wheels for the axle which in this case was approx 5mm diameter. I then cut some plastic rod to the required length and fitted them through the brass parts. The metal axle was cut to length and pushed through the plastic rod and with some washers and a couple of fancy nuts secured them in place.
The screw heads were hidden with some plastic bits & pieces I had lying around then a quick spray of primer to blend everything in. Later on I might fit a cover over the nuts as they need to be a bit bigger.
Even though the underside will never be seen I added some plastic ribs using Plastruct to give the impression of strengthening ribs.
 

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boatshewsd2

Alphans
Been quite a while since seeing Moonbase 3, but I do recall it being quite a pleasant little series with its own story to tell. Nice to see it getting some love here! :)
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
This series had a charm and nostalgic feeling about it which I always liked. Its production values may not be high compared to todays but it was typical of the BBC at that time.
The same can be said of current Jane Austen productions filmed on location while I personally prefer the earlier studio bound ones which I always felt had a better look and feel and atmosphere but I'm probably the only one to think that.
To get back on track the model is further on than shown here and my biggest question now is should I have the roof light flash or not?
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Things have slowed up somewhat due to the cold/damp weather affecting my back as I mostly stand up when building.
Anyway with the bottom half more or less done its time to start the cabin section. I'm trying to build this model with whatever I have lying around apart from filler, paint and glue etc so the walls will be made from some laminated flooring. I'll use the underside of the flooring as its nice and smooth. Thankfully its a simple shape with flat straight panels, basically its just a box with some cut-outs. The top and bottom parts of this vehicle will be separate as I'll need access to the interior to replace the roof light battery and any repairs needed to the windscreen.
To give extra strength I cut out some MDF to fit inside and angled the edges for the sloping panels, I also cut out the centre of this panel for access, plus added another thick panel at the rear. Once I'd worked out the windows I just cut them out with a hand saw and a jigsaw.The corners of the windows are slightly curved so I decided to sort those before fitting and generally sanded the area nice and smooth with the help of some filler.
I used some 2 part epoxy for the joins and once dry I also added hot glue on the inside.
I put the wheels back on to see what it looked right but they will stay off during construction.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
With the side walls in place its time to add the front panels and roof.
Again I'm using some left over laminated flooring using 2 part epoxy and hot glue to fix them. The flooring is quite firm and good to work with, some floor panels have a 'plastic' base which is no use so I'm only using those that have a nice smooth mdf type base which saves a lot of sanding.
I glued some supports for the roof to sit on but before I fitted that in place I decided to cut away some of the thick rear bulkhead as I needed a thinner bulkhead so I could fit a switch. This thick bulkhead will be covered with an outer panel so it doesn't matter what it looks like.
After fitting the roof I started sanding all the edges round as I wanted to see what it looks like. I used p38 to smooth over the joins, later on I will fibre glass all the joins.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Just a quick update in between all the Christmas preparations. With all the walls and roof in place I rounded off all the corners using an electric sander as the laminate is quite hard. To strengthen all the joins I fibre glassed them using some woven fibre as its very flexible and ideal for the curves on this model. As usual I did two layers to make sure and once nice and dry I sanded and filled and sanded until everything was smooth. This was followed by a quick spray of primer to what defects need fixing.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi Colin

I'm not an organised person so when I start anything I just hope for the best and no one is more surprised than me if it actually works out. Though I have to admit there are times when it all goes pair shaped and I end up scrapping a model.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
After the fibreglass it was down to more sanding and filling to blend everything together. Looking at the few photos I have of this model I decided to add an angled piece of Perspex at the front and rear between the wheels as I had made those areas vertical which was wrong.
I also started on the 'box' just under the front window, this was made from some left over plywood which was covered in filler and sanded. As I want to have the top half of this model removable this box caused a problem as it fits snuggly onto the sloping front. As this would stop me lifting the top straight off because of the angle I decided to fit it permanently onto the top section. To make sure it had a strong fixing I used a couple of brass rods fitted in the box which would fit into the front wall. To get a nice fit I used the usual tape and filler method to achieve this.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Its now time to tidy up the bottom section where the door will be.
I left these areas untouched until the basic shape of the vehicle was complete so I could play around with the positioning.
I sanded down the sides to a flat surface then glued some plasticard on the bottom step area. Next I fixed some laminate flooring at the back at an angle and flush to match the top half of the body. For the side bits I either used more plasticard or some Perspex to create a flat surface which blends in with the door position.
I then sanded the edges flat and filled any gaps followed by more sanding. 'All' that's left to do with these areas is to create a curve at the bottom of each side.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
To complete the door area I needed to create curved corners in the step area.
The easiest way to achieve this was the tried and tested tape and filler method.
I know I keep mentioning this but it is so easy to achieve curves and make two sections fit perfectly together using this technique.
To make life easier I taped a piece of paper covered in parcel tape in each corner to keep any filler away from the back. This was followed by a dollop of filler in the corner then pressing a suitable sized pipe covered in tape into the corner. Just before it completely sets hard I remove the pipe and paper and you should end up with a nice smooth curve. All that's left to do is sand away the excess and give it a coat of primer.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
As I intended to build this model using only bits & bobs lying around in the garage the highly detailed rear end of this vehicle was going to be a problem.
I recognised some parts on the original 24" model so I had to use parts that looked similar but were really different if that makes sense.
The two domes on the right were large plastic buttons. Some of the larger pipework was 15mm copper joins along with some smaller plastic pipes. I did use a couple of parts from the Girder Bridge kit. The rest were a mixture of thick Perspex, Scalextric oil drums, Lego, foot bridge kit and brass rod.
The pipe near the roof has to take a spindle for the dish to rotate.
Its certainly not 100% accurate but near enough to be acceptable. I know some people might turn up their nose at it but I'm happy considering the extreme lack of info on this vehicle, even the BBC DVD model sequences are low quality 16mm which are hard to get details from. I did get some photos of the vehicle from various people which I'm most grateful.
 

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KevinD

Alphans
That is looking really good. Is it me or does it sometimes feel like a deserted city (a la Planet of the Apes) on this forum sometimes?
 

Andernut

Alphans
Looking good, very tidy workmanship. I am not familiar with this vehicle so it is interesting watching this unfold. In response to KevinD's comment, 'Yes, it has been quiet here lately, something I have noticed too. Due to the season perhaps?'
 
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