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MPC Space: 1999 Eagle transport

Build review of the 1/72 scale sci-fi spacecraft kit and MPC’s aftermarket metal engine bell set

RELATED TOPICS: SCI-FI / FANTASY
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Following up its big 1/48 scale Space: 1999 Eagle transporter released in 2015, MPC has scaled the ship to 1/72 scale which makes it about 14 inches long. The kit includes a stand, optional compressed and extended landing gear to pose it on the ground or in flight, and markings for three spacecraft. I also used MPC’s aftermarket metal engine bell set. 

I followed the instructions and assembled the crew module followed by the fore and aft walkways, painting subassemblies as I went. 

In Step 7, make sure the short end of parts 14 and 15 are attached. I painted the tubular frames then glued them in place around the walkways, setting the parts aside to dry completely.

Next, I jumped to Step 21 to build the cargo/passenger pod and painted it orange with gray window surrounds to represent a VIP module. I noticed in the roof of the module and there are parts shown in place in the instructions but no part numbers. Checking photos and the parts trees revealed them to be Part 60. I painted them flat black and installed the parts along with the flying display piece for the stand.

I built and painted the long spine frame, then added the fore and aft connectors. Next, I attached the module with the supplied screws, which make for a secure connection but they are visible on the model. I filled the heads with superglue and painted the screw white to blend them with the model.

Backtracking to Step 11, I built the propulsion unit, cleaning up seams and painting the tanks, frames, and pipes before assembly. Fitting Part 37 around the fuel tanks proved tricky; I installed the combustion chambers (parts 38 and 39), then added the fuel pipe (Part 42).

Building the landing-leg modules presented no issues and I marked each one when finished to be clear about their locations. After painting, I added them and the propulsion unit.

While the kit’s plastic engine bells look good, the metal parts in the aftermarket set are terrific details with extremely thin edges. They replace the VTOL engines under the ship and module as well as the main propulsion units; plastic baffles detail the last. I painted the inside of each flat black and attached them to the model with JB Weld superglue.

MPC gives you three painting options for the Eagle: a plain white transport, a red-and-white striped rescue module, and the orange VIP transport I built. MPC gives you ample decals but the instructions were a bit vague as to placement. They include three options for the crew module windows: blacked out, crew in helmets, or crew without helmets. The decals wanted to stick quickly, so I added a few drops of water to the surface before sliding the marking from the backing paper. The antiglare panel decals left a gap that I touched up with flat black paint.

I spent 24 hours building MPC’s Eagle and recommend it to intermediate modelers and above looking to add one or more transports to their collection.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2020 issue.

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