Eagle Transporter

How to rebuild the ordinary ERTL Eagle kit into a high quality replica of the studio miniature - full details of the base set coming shortly ....

The first job is to cut out the panels from the framwork - there are 4 of these, and the plastic is really thick - it took most of a week to get it tidied up to look like a convincing tubular framework - it's smaller than a matchbox!

The landing pad modules were awful - all four were identicle, which means that no matter how they are positioned, two will have the wrong detailing - so their detailing has to be moulded and cast, rubbed off and replaced.

I didn't want a plug to be visible on the model when it was on it's set - so I decided to run power into it through copper foot pads, running wires through the landing struts. Here are the copper pads, with soldered wires (single strand), ready to be threaded into the feet.

The end result.

Parts used to detail the engine - some parts from a tank, a ship, a troop carrier and straightened paperclips....

Because the frame has been cut out and made hollow, the internal gantry has to be constructed - or you could see through it! Inside the gantry (front and back, just a box for each, with a bit of surface detailing) the wires from the feet are just visible. These will run into the cockpit to power the led.

The finished article.

Close-up of the emgines. The blue colour is a pretty good match for my soldering iron - I thought it looked a bit too blue, but it's not - it's just right. Markings are just 0.5mm felt pen and sticky paper.

Nice shot of the cargo module.

Victory! Note the pilot in his seat, with instrument panels in the background - the space inside the cabin was about the size of a butterbean.

Here's the base - just a big sheet of styrene really. It's been drilled to take a ring of led's round the edge, but I'm not putting any more into this set, as it's already quite bulky. The copper contact pads that will connect to the feet on the Eagle can be clearly seen, and I've added a duplicate set in plastic for the back feet, so that the thing sits horizontally. I've just painted the whole base - I'll sand the copper pads up later.

To add a bit of texture, I masked off the top and sprayed with different shades of gray in three stages. Here's the last stage.

Spray from a distance, and the paint will dry partly on the way down, giving a super rough surface that's easily 'bruised' - weathers down just right over time!

Finnished, masking tape removed, led's pushed through, switches, power jack and variable resistors installed.....

Bingo - just right!

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