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MPC Model kits: 22” Space:1999 Eagle update #1

posted by JamieH 9:00 AM
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A month has blown by and I couldn’t let another week go by without posting. I figured the hot topic may still be the new Space:1999 Eagle kit we announced at Wonderfest. Like I did back in June, I’ve written several posts that will appear weekly. We have closed the thread for the survey. Thanks for all of the input. We’ll be tabulating everything and I’m sure I’ll post some kind of response to the tallies later on. And now, on to the Eagle…

Eagle blog 1

The kit is based on the ship as it appeared early in season 1. The model was redressed and details changed as filming went along. In some a few minor instances details have been simplified or compromised from how the miniature looked. The sub-assemblies of the kit will go together in much the same way as the original did.

Eagle blog 5

The kit will measure 21 5/8” long, which is exactly half the length of the 44” (it wasn’t quite that long) filming miniature that was used during filming of the show. The “true” length of the ship has always been a point of contention. Like the Galileo shuttle in Star Trek, it has the Tardis-effect of being bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Most glaring is the fact that the doors on the personnel pod aren’t to scale with the doors martin Landau stepped through. The case can be made that the ship was longer. We landed on this length for two reasons. 1) 1/24 scale modeling materials were used to create both this miniature as well as the surrounding environments such as the MBA interior shots of the Eagle hangar. So, if you want to scratch build the environment to match the show, going exactly ½ scale from that is ideal. 2) From the development budget standpoint, the kit parts would have outgrown the amount of tooling we had estimated. Even just a couple inches longer threw everything off and driven up the price of the tooling to the point we could not have managed it. In the end, we figured the market would accept a kit in the area of 2’ long that was properly detailed even if the scale stated on the box was to be ignored. In order to sidestep the debate, I generally refer to it as the 22” Eagle and only state the scale for the benefit of the parties that require us to assign a scale.

Eagle blog 2 Eagle blog 3 Eagle blog 4

The kit will come injected in two colors, white and gray along with clear windows. The white plastic is a match to the paint used on the miniature. The kit will feature spring-action landing gear with articulated elbow joints. At the show we gave a look at the interior of the command module with it being a flat wall with figures mounted to it in much the same way as the original had. We have since found the opportunity to improve on this though and now that flat wall will feature relief detail that matches the interior set pretty well. A dash and console would barely be visible so those aren’t included. Again anyone that wants to add interior features like that as a scratch-building exercise will find the room to do that. Some have remarked that they thought the use of a screw to hold the pod in place will be a bit of an eyesore even though the original looked that way. For the sake of the stability of the model, we do have other attachment points designed in that would hold the pod in place without the screw. For the purists that want a completely removable/swappable pod these attachment points have been designed for easy removal.

Eagle blog 6

Enjoy a few peeks inside the model. Next time I’ll talk more about the mockup.

Eagle blog 10Eagle blog 7Eagle blog 9Eagle blog 8



23 Responses to “MPC Model kits: 22” Space:1999 Eagle update #1”

  1. jimsam says:

    Jamie, this looks fantastic so far…can’t wait to buy one or two!

  2. mark Belsom says:

    Thanks for the update. This kit is going to be fantastic, I can’t wait to get one.

  3. Mach7 says:

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to this kit as much as the big TOS E!

    All the detail looks real nice. As for the scale, I don’t really care. I’ve heard
    compelling arguments on both sides. Keep it accurate to one of the filming models and I’ll be happy.

    Is it still on track for late this year? Same for the accessory set?

    Can you give us a preview of the decal sheet?

    Thanks again

    Mark

  4. Jerry Conner says:

    As you’ve no doubt noticed, no two of the models exactly match either. The important thing is you’ve used the most detailed of them as your starting point. In the case of interiors, I’m sure Paragraphics will step up on those.

    The great thing about doing the kit in approximate 1/48 scale is that there are so many detail items available for modern aircraft that can be adapted for diorama use.

    I’d love to have a 1/48 Hawk to go with the Eagle, but in the meantime, have you approached Airfix about the molds for the 1/72 Hawk? It’s my understanding that there was a cross-usage agreement between MPC and Airfix where MPC provided the Eagle molds to Airfix, while Airfix reciprocated with the Hawk molds. Now, this may be another piece of industry apocrypha, but it might be worth a couple of e-mails to determine one way or the other. It would certainly explain why no one seems to be able to find the molds on this side of the pond.

    • JamieH says:

      The old Hawk tools were investigated and nothing turned up after a rather indepth search. We’ll keep the possibility of doing a new, more accurate one on the table to do someday.

      • Yorkie says:

        Thanks Jamie. If the molds can’t be found and you wish to have an old MPC/Airfix kit as a pattern for reverse-engineering a new mold then I have an unmade old Airfix kit that I would be happy to donate. Alternatively a brand new 1/72 kit would be awesome, as would a kit of the Ultraprobe Command Module. All the best from England.

  5. David says:

    As for the detailing inside the cockpit would it be possible to include a decal or a piece of paper with the correct details of the instrument panels so folks can scratch build them???

    • JamieH says:

      Since it can’t be seen without opening up the command module, I don’t think that responsibility should fall on us. We’ve got a lot of other stuff to supervise to ensure it all gets done right.

  6. Christopher M. says:

    I already have 2 Eagles on preorder and the level of detail these posts are showing makes want a third. I wish the Hawk would be the next project. A lovely, aggressive design, and the attention to detail shown from R2 would rock.

  7. RBeach says:

    Glad to hear things are moving along. Also, having a couple of well detailed “Gemini” figures can’t hurt!
    Cheers!

  8. Michael Scarola says:

    This new 22″ Eagle is an outstanding kit. It’s half the size of the 44″ studio model and it’s still studio scale to the 22″ studio models. How cool is that!

    There were a few models used on the show but the one that most Eagle fans love is the original 44″ studio model. Thanks for listening to the fans and basing this new kit on the original studio model.

    It seems Round 2 has hit another home run with this new Eagle!

  9. Todd Morton says:

    I’m looking forward to this kit. Thank you Jamie for the updates and including us in the making of this kit!

  10. Mike says:

    Nice update! Thank you for the background info.

    Also, this model is a dream for many of us. Accurate and affordable.

    Thank you for making this possible.

    -Mike

  11. Eric says:

    Wow this is absolutely amazing! I am very interested in purchasing such kit. Do u know when it will be available? Is the any way I can be put on an “alert list” when it is so? Do you have an idea of its cost? Do you accept reservations? 🙂 thx for answering me.

    • JamieH says:

      We are targeting before the end of the year. Possibly as soon as October, but that is a bit of a long shot. The true indicator will be the quality of the first batch of test shots. The fewer the problems with them, the quicker the kit will come out.

    • JamieH says:

      We hope to have it out by the end of this year. You can place a preorder with many retailers. It should retail in the $100 ballpark. Some have it for less.

  12. Alan Bailey says:

    Prob a silly suggestion, but can new moulds not be made by using an unmade Hawk as a mould for the mould so to speak lol I’m sure theirs reasons it can’t, just interested 🙂

    • JamieH says:

      We could use an old kit as a master for a new one, but the old kit wasn’t very accurate. If we were to invest tooling dollars into it, wouldn’t we be better off making it right?

  13. Daniel says:

    Looking forward to this kit. Had a couple of the old MPC kits when I was a teen, but these will be a welcome improvement over those. I’m guessing that your timetable for release is probably looking at close to the end of 2015 or into 2016. I hope my budget will allow me to snag one of these great looking kits.

  14. Lance Lehman says:

    I just found out about this kit and am so excited they are putting out a nice kit of the Eagle. The MPC kit was fine back in the day, but the mold was too simple. This is going to be awesome, and yes, I am buying one upon release. Thanks for the effort to put this forthcoming beauty out.

  15. Bagogas says:

    I’m looking forward to see what follows for lighting kits and detailing. Lighting this one should be quite easy compared to many models, and there is room for some creativity to have a hybrid battery powered vs. electrical source since it is limited. This has been on my wish list a lots of years…

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