Space 1999 © ITC Entertainment Group Limited. 1975 and 2017. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved.
Production Diary - Eagle 1
Reference and research is the key.
It was important before any construction of the tooling model began that we first pulled together as much existing visual reference as possible as well as assign a team of respected experts and model makers to the project. Being huge fans of Space: 1999, there was already nearly 40 years of personally accumulated reference and 'memorabilia' retained at our studio in London. Hundreds of detailed photographs of original models and props were sourced and kindly loaned from private collections and a remarkable amount of surviving reference material was discovered in the film archive facility of Canal UK at Pinewood Studios while we were researching a 'Carry On' project back in 2006.
Mike Reccia, publisher of Sci Fi and Fantasy Modeller and renowned 'Eagleologist', was invited to cast a critical eye over proceedings and to provide detailed comments and reviews as the build of the tooling model progresses.
It is well documented that during the filming of both seasons 1 and 2 of Space: 1999 it was an ongoing process of repairing, repainting and modifying the original Eagle miniatures. Due to models being built by different companies during production, variations occurred in detailing, decal design and paint finish, the result being no two Eagle Models were the same.
We decided very early on in the project that our STUDIO SCALE EAGLE 1 was to represent the original 'hero model' as seen in the early episodes of season 1.
As our Studio Replica will feature a displayable interior, it was decided to create a more accurate Command Module interior and authentic pilot figures.
The interior is constructed in sections. Original Gemini pilot figures are used as the basis for the newly realised versions. (Note: small Eagle logo on pilot left arm WILL NOT feature in production as this is unique to Season 2 spacesuits.)
3D CAD files and CNC Machining seemed to be the way to go for the main sections of the Eagle with fine details added by hand later.
Computer generated files allowed for the ease of refining shapes and scale to ensure accuracy prior to machining – aspects that would have been difficult to address once the model 'existed'.
CNC machining of the Pod end sections in action. A second will be machined and small panel details will be added in Perspex by hand.
The newly machined side and end details fit together exactly. Only minor surface finishing is required. The small 'hand panel' to the right of the door will be reversed in the computer prior to machining so that it is in the correct position on the second CNC part. Ribbed side detail and kit bashed parts will be added later by a model maker.
All engine bells and side thrusters will be turned aluminium as per the original studio models. Seen here are the first hand turned samples being prepared as master patterns for production. The tooling pattern for the main engine bell rear inset is being test fitted for correct depth.
The four leg pods masters are constructed in Perspex.
Leg and feet assembly are prepared and test fitted.
On the feet it was decided to go with the Season One 5 x 5 'toe' configuration rather than the Season Two 5 x 6. For full authenticity, and often overlooked, our replicas include the separate 'Cross plate' that attaches to the underside of each leg pod.
Coupling points for Beak to main frame are created.
Inner cage walkways are built and detailed utilising ORIGINAL (like rocking horse s…!) tank parts.
Test assemblies of the inner cage 'shelves' utilising original kit parts and EMA parts still (thankfully!) available today.
Due to damage during filming, and into Season two of the show, the rear engine pipework was significantly modified and simplified on later studio models. Our replicas will feature the more complex and aesthetically pleasing pipework of the hero models constructed for the start of Season One.
Underside pod thrusters are hand turned in aluminium as they will be in production and test fitted.
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