Space 1999 Eagle Transporter Forum

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • We have updated the Terms and Conditions, you will be prompted to read and agree to these next time you are active on the forum.
SPONSORED BY

Thunderbirds Elevator car

badsimmonds

Alphans
Its been a few months since I finished my shado mobile and since then I've debated what to do next. Like most people I have a list of projects as long as my arm and couldn't decide. After seeing someones UNCL Elevator Car I thought thats it. I was originally going to build a studio scale version but as I was having trouble scourcing certain parts I ordered a UNCL kit from Comet Miniatures, unfortunately they were out of stock but the kit was due to be updated so after a few weeks wait it arrived.
I prefer scratch building but I'd heard so much about UNCL kits I thought I'd give it a shot.
The finished kit would be about 11 inches long. I'd never built a resin kit before so was keen to see what it was like. As soon as it arrived I laid all the packets out and decided straight away I would change a couple of things.
The first was the solid resin wheels which I changed for rubber 'air wheels' from a r/c aircraft website, the same wheels albeit a different size I used for my Thunderbirds Desert Jeep. The wheels are hollow and have a bit of give in them which looks a bit better. The other change was the four rams which I used aluminium tubes.
I sanded all the ends of the castings till they were flat, then dried fitted some of the pieces. I decided to cut off the two intakes on either side of the front section simply because they would be easier to paint later on.
Super glue and resin casting go together like fish & chips and you must make sure everything is exactly in the correct position during glueing. I found this out the hard way as one piece moved and was fixed in the wrong place, I quickly forced them apart with a screwdriver.
The thing about a kit like this is you appear to makes great leaps of construction simply by fixing 2 or 3 pieces together and hey you have an almost complete section.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3622.JPG
    DSCN3622.JPG
    166 KB · Views: 49
  • DSCN3634.JPG
    DSCN3634.JPG
    98.9 KB · Views: 49
  • DSCN3632.JPG
    DSCN3632.JPG
    93.5 KB · Views: 26
  • DSCN3631.JPG
    DSCN3631.JPG
    110 KB · Views: 31
  • DSCN3625.JPG
    DSCN3625.JPG
    118.3 KB · Views: 27
  • DSCN3624.JPG
    DSCN3624.JPG
    102 KB · Views: 29
  • DSCN3623.jpg
    DSCN3623.jpg
    63.8 KB · Views: 40

badsimmonds

Alphans
The instructions for this kit are fairly simple and consist mainly of small pictures with some nominal directions. The elevator car was only in one episode and details of the original are a bit sketchy in certain areas so I believe there is a lot of artistic license with this model. I only know of two models and they are both different. But to be honest I'm not too worried as the kit looks fairly like the tv model.
After more parts are glued together the car really starts to get there. Its always amazing how different a model looks after it gets its first primer coat, it draws it together into one part. The resin parts all need sanding and some bubbles are filled and sanded. There are only a few imperfections and to be honest not a lot of prep work is needed to be done.
The kits comes complete will ALL parts needed but in the end I used some spare brass rod for the roll cage.
I decided to change the way the wheels are fitted by simply having a rod drilled through the chassis to support all 12 wheels, though I did utilise the 'suspension' parts. This is an upgraded kit so I believe some parts which were resin are now white metal. As you can see I've fitted some of the metal parts and also roughly fitted some of the wheels to see if everything fits together.
I also got as far as spraying the final colour which is Ford Carnival Red. I know some people might have a different view on colours but I'm happy. Once it gets dirtied down it will look completely differnet.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3652.JPG
    DSCN3652.JPG
    124.4 KB · Views: 49
  • DSCN3647.JPG
    DSCN3647.JPG
    88.3 KB · Views: 40
  • DSCN3645.JPG
    DSCN3645.JPG
    88.2 KB · Views: 22
  • DSCN3643.JPG
    DSCN3643.JPG
    157.1 KB · Views: 61
  • DSCN3641.JPG
    DSCN3641.JPG
    119.3 KB · Views: 26
  • DSCN3638.JPG
    DSCN3638.JPG
    96.2 KB · Views: 25

badsimmonds

Alphans
As I said earlier I decided to replace the four resin 'rams' with metal tubes simply because I wanted to have a little bit of scratch building with this kit.
I utilised the 'hinge' resin part which connects the rams to the main body and filed it down until it fitted into the thickest part of the metal ram.
With all four rams fitted I think they look more realistic than plastic sprayed silver. To fit them to the main body I drilled a hole through the white metal base and fitted a cut down panel pin with a touch of super glue to stop them falling out. Using this method the rams can move up or down and will make it a lot easier to fit the landing pad onto the rams later.
I cut a segment from the top of each ram so it would fit onto the landing pad.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3662.jpg
    DSCN3662.jpg
    90.4 KB · Views: 25
  • DSCN3665.JPG
    DSCN3665.JPG
    186.6 KB · Views: 33
  • DSCN3670.jpg
    DSCN3670.jpg
    73.2 KB · Views: 28
  • DSCN3677.jpg
    DSCN3677.jpg
    80.4 KB · Views: 57

badsimmonds

Alphans
After dry fitting the wheels it was time to fit them properly. I utilised some of the parts supplied with the addition of a brass rod going straight through the main body. In one photo you can see everything thats needed for one set of wheels.
The rubber tyres are from rcworld.co.uk and are called 'airwheels' which are meant for model aircraft, they come in all sizes and are pretty good.
I also placed the 'landing pad' into position so see if everything fits ok.
The advantage of using hollow metal tubes is apparent when fitting the landing pad as the rams act like real ones and slide into each other making it much easier to fit.
I also decided to screw (and glue) the main central ram as it is a weak point,
the screw head is underneath the model and is unseen.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3695.JPG
    DSCN3695.JPG
    183 KB · Views: 60
  • DSCN3690.jpg
    DSCN3690.jpg
    69.2 KB · Views: 37
  • DSCN3687.JPG
    DSCN3687.JPG
    172.7 KB · Views: 29
  • DSCN3684.jpg
    DSCN3684.jpg
    89.7 KB · Views: 20
  • DSCN3680.jpg
    DSCN3680.jpg
    116.7 KB · Views: 27

badsimmonds

Alphans
The front arm which connects the front and rear sections broke off a couple of times during handling so I decided to drill and screw this part from underneath to give it extra strength as it can have a bit of stress on it when moving the model around.
I cut, bent and sprayed the brass rod and glued the cage round the 'thing' underneath the landing pad. I believe they used a tiger joe motor on the 'real' ones.
The detail round the edge of the pad which is scaled down 'girder bridge' parts was cleaned up and sprayed with Ford Daytona Yellow because Martin Bower used this colour as well.
You can see the added axles for the wheels on the upside down shot of the model.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3699.JPG
    DSCN3699.JPG
    161.3 KB · Views: 21
  • DSCN3701.jpg
    DSCN3701.jpg
    59.7 KB · Views: 36
  • DSCN3704.jpg
    DSCN3704.jpg
    75.3 KB · Views: 42
  • DSCN3708.jpg
    DSCN3708.jpg
    80.4 KB · Views: 27
  • DSCN3710.jpg
    DSCN3710.jpg
    73 KB · Views: 54

badsimmonds

Alphans
When I first started this model I cut of the two air vents on either side of the control cabin to make it easier to paint them well I sprayed them silver and then glued them back into position giving a much cleaner paint finish than trying to do it in situ.
I've started to fix the white metal details on the model, I decided not to paint them but just cleaned them up. I prefer blemished models as it makes them much more realistic and adds to the dirty effect I like to achieve.
I also fitted the three rubber hydraulic hoses than join the two bodies together, there are two solid hoses supplied which I presumed were to help in keeping the bodies together. As I had plenty of flexible hose I used it on all three. There was however a problem with this model and that was the two halfs were only really kept together by the one hooked arm which slots into the front body. Knowing my luck I'd pick it up and end up dropping part of it so I decided to add a metal strip under the two bodies which was screwed in place and of course painted. You can see it in one of the photos, I can now pick up the entire model without fear of it falling apart and my addition is not that obvious !!!
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3722.jpg
    DSCN3722.jpg
    77 KB · Views: 55
  • DSCN3732.jpg
    DSCN3732.jpg
    57.4 KB · Views: 47
  • DSCN3720.jpg
    DSCN3720.jpg
    64.9 KB · Views: 37
  • DSCN3716.jpg
    DSCN3716.jpg
    73.3 KB · Views: 31
  • DSCN3715.JPG
    DSCN3715.JPG
    139.9 KB · Views: 18

badsimmonds

Alphans
As this is a master elevator car I had to have a cockpit, the kit supplies either a solid resin casting or a clear vacform version. I decided to go for the vacform, I trimmed the excess and sanded the edges down then masked off the window area, primed it then sprayed the final colour. When I removed the masking tape it wasn't as good as I hoped but I knew I would have problems with this area as its so small and the curves are very tight. I cleaned it up the best I could but it is the one part that niggles me.
Another area I had trouble with was the decals, I'm afraid I made a complete hash of them, so much so I couldn't use them in the end. I looked around for suitable replacements and came up with something which I printed off and stuck onto black card. Some will say the letters are not correct but I'm happy.
Basically thats it for the construction side of things, the last thing was to dirty it up using an airbrush, I really like the dirt and muck that appears on the tv models, I believe a pristine model looks nice and neat but looks like a model. Please don't get me wrong its just a personal thing, I do admit I do have one or two items which are clean.
I've included some photos but I'll post the better ones later.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3723.JPG
    DSCN3723.JPG
    175.8 KB · Views: 16
  • DSCN3724.JPG
    DSCN3724.JPG
    147.7 KB · Views: 20
  • DSCN3730.JPG
    DSCN3730.JPG
    159.1 KB · Views: 19
  • DSCN3741.jpg
    DSCN3741.jpg
    69.6 KB · Views: 43

badsimmonds

Alphans
Here are the final finished photos, hope you like.
Thanks all for taking an interest.

ps
for the eagle eyed among you can you make out Virgil in the cockpit.
I took a screen grab from the tv, reduced it and printed it off. Its just a piece of paper glued in there, I don't normally bother about cockpits but decided to make the effort this time.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3757.JPG
    DSCN3757.JPG
    168.7 KB · Views: 70
  • DSCN3765.JPG
    DSCN3765.JPG
    158.7 KB · Views: 47
  • DSCN3762.JPG
    DSCN3762.JPG
    142 KB · Views: 27
  • DSCN3761.JPG
    DSCN3761.JPG
    151.6 KB · Views: 48
  • DSCN3756.JPG
    DSCN3756.JPG
    151 KB · Views: 45
  • DSCN3753.JPG
    DSCN3753.JPG
    132.3 KB · Views: 65
  • DSCN3758.JPG
    DSCN3758.JPG
    126.8 KB · Views: 36

JayCub

Alphans
To be honest i think you have done a fabulous job considering this is not the norm for yourself, it's the small details that you went out of your way to do that makes this an epic build.
a nice enjoyable build for the viewer.
 

TerraForm1

Alphans
I wouldn't have thought the method of inserting Virgil into the cockpit to be practical - But it looks brilliant! It really gives that extra layer of life to the finished build. Lovely work and thanks for sharing.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi there
This was a kit from UNCL and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone.
Alas it did not come with any blueprints and I don't know if any exist at all, perhaps someone else on this forum may be able to help.
Many thanks
 

tryptych

Alphans
Well thanks for replying anyway, your extensive photo collection has been a huge help as it's a nightmare trying to figure out exactly what is what from the original shows. That said, I have seen a number of models, both kits and scratch-built, and no two appear the same. I think designers just used their imaginations to fill in the gaps. :)
 

tryptych

Alphans
Hi there
This was a kit from UNCL and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone.
Alas it did not come with any blueprints and I don't know if any exist at all, perhaps someone else on this forum may be able to help.
Many thanks

Just to let you know, I've finished my CGI model, a lot of research holes filled by your extensive walk-through, so thanks! I have to say though, I think a lot of it is not kosher and guesswork has been used in many places.
The main error seems to be the linkage between tractor and trailer, as from what I can tell there is a horizontal pivot rod also linking the two so it bent as it came out of the pod and in the original the topmost universal joint wasn't actually connected. In reality this would mean you couldn't steer it left-right!
Anyway, pic here and more on my main post:
http://www.eagletransporter.com/forum/showthread.php?t=161948

All the best and thanks again

 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Very impressive, remarkable work.
I always liked the Elevator Cars, the way they move and bounce about, its a pity they were only in one episode.
Great stuff Tryptych
 

tryptych

Alphans
Thanks, me too. A couple of things I noticed watching the show in minute detail was that they actually have no suspension and the "hydraulic rams" don't work. The bounce is all down to the soft tyres. In my simulation though, I'm going to try to get real axle suspension and functioning rams. The other thing is I am virtually certain they only built one hero model. All the others are small scale. I think after they threw it off the road, blew it up and crushed it three times there probably wasn't a lot left of it to do another show.
 
Top