Space 1999: Eagle
Round 2’s Space: 1999 Eagle
The Eagle from Space: 1999 continues to be one of the most beloved ship designs among sci-fi fans and modelers. As many of us know, the only mass produced model of the ship was the MPC kit which was first available when the series was on TV. Through out the years, there have been a few different releases of the kit, most recently a couple of years ago by Round 2. The last release came with upgraded decals and markings to help with its shortcomings. A nice effort from Round2 but the kit still remained an inaccurate representation. The only chance a fan had of getting an accurate model was to buy expensive garage kits which no doubt look fantastic but was unreachable for the average model builder.
Well, I can confidently say that the 99’er fans have had their wishes granted. Round2 has released a very impressive model kit of the Eagle. The anticipation in the sci-fi model community for this release almost rivals that of the 1/350 Enterprise back in 2014. The model measures 22” in length and as the box touts, is made up of over 300 parts. Although some purist will still argue there are inaccuracies, and no doubt there are, this to me is a very accurate replica. I have no doubt this will be a big seller for Round 2.
Building the kit
My goal here was to create a replica of the medical version which sports the red striping and to light the cockpit. I began my build with the cockpit by first scratch building a way to hold a 3mm LED in place for the lighting. This was done by simply taking a piece of styrene plastic and drilling a hole to accommodate the light. The piece was attached from the ceiling in between the 2 windows. The light was tinted with Tamiya’s clear yellow and I also used a clear piece of styrene to act as a diffuser. This was done by sanding the clear styrene. Diffusion can also be done by sanding the LED itself.
I moved on to constructing the spine and side cages for the front and back sections. This was then followed by constructing the landing gear pods and the gear themselves. The pods were straight forward and I used reference photos to create surface paneling with pastels. The kit contains springs for the landing gear creating the effect seen on the show. I was advised by other modelers to replace the springs with ones having smaller wire diameters. I bought some off Ebay for less than $10 and they were .357mm wire thickness. The springs were cut to the same height as those contained in the kit then fitted on the top stems of the each landing gear.
The engines were next and the caging around the tanks was a little bit of a challenge to hold together during construction. Doable for sure but take your time. The main engine bells were painted with Polished Aluminum paint by Alclad and I was extremely happy with the results. There are 2 accessory kits available by Round 2 which replace the plastic engine bells, side thrusters, and sensory dishes with alternatives made of aluminum. The ultimate fan will want to do so but both kits combined run $130+ . So if that’s just not an option for you an $8.00 bottle of Alclad and your trusty airbrush can give you more than satisfactory results.
The passenger pod was the last major piece and construction was very straight forward. I decided to make the passenger pod non-removable and used the screws provided to secure it into position. I did this because it allowed me to make the pod the place where the battery holder would be. Magnets were attached to the floor and side walls of the passenger pod giving one easy access for battery replacement. The red stripes were a challenge to paint and if I were to do this again I would definitely get a hold of the new painting mask set from Aztek Dummy. The strips are cut for exactly the measurements you need and they do a great job to prevent paint bleeding.
Overall the I am very satisfied with this kit. I certainly give kudos to all those passionate enough to put forth the tremendous effort it took to make the model come to market. A lot is involved with doing so and many of us are very thankful to those who made this happen. And yes no doubt people can find some inaccuracies with it, but the kit is a far cry from the MPC model. As the box says, it measures 22” in length, 1/48 scale and it makes an impressive display. I’d highly recommend this kit to anyone who wants an Eagle of their own to help reminisce about this 1970’s sci-fi show.