Eagle 4 & Rescue Pod, Moonbase Alpha, 1999.
MPC / Round 2 1/72 .
The iconic Eagle Transporter was a key feature of the 1980s Gerry Anderson Sci-
Eagles were capable of travelling in space but also of descending to a planet’s surface and returning. A removable and exchangeable cargo pod could be used to carry passengers, cargo, act as a rescue / medical pod plus many speciality modules used for particular missions. A winch in the centre section could be used to move heavy loads (nuclear waste, other Eagles etc) and later on in the series, the Eagles were fitted with laser weapons for self defence.
Although many aspects of the Eagle’s design are poorly defined e.g. interior filmed spaces larger than the exterior and propulsion seems to pose a particular problem (where is all the fuel?), the Eagle was at least an attempt to portray a realistic future space “utility” vessel. Its design was so recognisable that it is reputed that George Lucas changed the original design of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon at the last moment, to differentiate it from the Eagle.
Building the MPM Eagle Transporter Kit:
Several kits of the Eagle have appeared over the years, including an Airfix issue of the earlier Fundimensions kit (apparently about 1/96 scale) that was also issued by MPC and AMT / ERTL.
This MPC / Round 2 kit is much larger (and more expensive), with 185 parts.
Released in 2019 and measuring at least 14 inches / 36 cm in length when completed, it is claimed as 1/72 scale, although I still think it is a bit small, most noticeably when looking at the cargo pod doors.
Nevertheless, the kit is beautifully moulded in a slightly rough white/ivory plastic, with very precise fit of almost all parts. I used a small amount of filler on the nose section side seams, but otherwise it almost clicked together.
Instructions are good, although some assemblies (e.g. the engines) could do with a few more diagram views. A very large and comprehensive decal sheet is provided, but unfortunately only the diagrams on the back and sides of the box give instructions for decal placement and these only cover the main decals (about 25% of the sheet!), Leaving a lot of options for the modeller.
Alternative extended landing gear legs are provided if you wish to display the kit in flight (e.g. using the excellent metal poled display base). A wide range of after market parts are available for this kit, including metal engine bells, cockpit interior, alternative cargo pods and figures.
When finished the kit does look very impressive. It’s not cheap, but thoroughly recommended for Space 1999 fans!
A little bit of fun brings the model to life. This and all the other “space” shots on this page were taken on my phone camera in front of my darkened TV screen in a room with the lights off, with either the reflection of the camera light, or a photoshopped moon added in the background !