Friday, December 24, 2010

Kit Review: Space: 1999 Eagle 1 Transporter

I have wanted one of these since the late 70's, when I spotted one on a store shelf. I was about 10, on an allowance, short a few bucks...I got the Hawk fighter from the same show instead. I never saw another Eagle kit anywhere, other than an assembled one on display in a little toy & hobby shop in the mall.

I coveted that model until that store closed up, still hoping to find a kit, going by to "visit" it, studying details and then going home and trying to draw what I'd seen as a set of plans, the closest thing I had to having an Eagle.

Once I had internet access, I found a site detailing the restoration of one of the original 44" miniatures from the show. A bit more digging turned up a guy who made CGI models of the ships, which he put into vignettes of his own. I wasn't up for scratchbuilding one of my own, couldn't pick up a CGI model or put it on a shelf, and still didn't have an Eagle.

I finally found one at John's Models, a little shop north of town [I don't normally use real names in the Blog, but he deserves a nod for his shop; dude's got EVERYthing!]. I was originally going after the Revell 1:96 Saturn V kit.

But then I saw The Eagle.

New MPC/Fundimensions kit (1975). In box (a little sun-faded, no shrinkwrap). In bag. Instructions and decal sheet intact.

Sixty bucks. Six-zero. Ouch.

I knew it was a rare bird already, and I knew the mighty Saturn could wait a few more weeks. I took the $60 hit, then went looking on eBay to see whether I'd messed up. Nope! A new-in-box, in-bag kit (unassembled) was listed for about the same amount--but a new-in-box shrinkwrapped kit was running around $120.00! I'm afraid to assemble the thing, now. Opening the bag knocks the price down to $20 or so.

Everything's molded in white. There aren't many pieces, and the level of detail is disappointing, if typical for a mid-70's MPC kit. If you peek over at the 44" miniature you'll see an intricate space-frame forming the spine, forward and aft sections. The kit's got the trussed spine section, but only molded-in framing on the other two sections. The remainder of the ship is somewhat better, with basic geometric shapes instead of fine detail.

There's little molding flash on any of the parts and the plastic is of good quality (not soapy), but what detail there is isn't sharply defined. It's not an impressive "hero" version of the famous Eagle, but the 10-year-old me would have loved it. He just wouldn't have had the $60 in his allowance to get this one, either.

This one's staying on my shelf, in its expensive bag.


  1. As a huge Eagle fan, I sincerely hope that you will look for and be able to locate, one of the "Product Enterprise" Eagles on sale for a decent price somewhere. They are the same length as the MPC/Airfix model, but that's about all they have in common.

    When they were first released in 2003 they went for about $70.00 (U.S.) which might seem a bit dear, but considering they were pre-assembled, pre-painted, very accurately proportioned and detailed and damn near perfect, they were all well worth the price.

    They were released in several different flavors; transporter pod, winch equipped ( featured in "Breakaway" ), with medical/rescue livery ( featured in "Earthbound", "Collision Course", "Missing Link", "Space Brain", and a lot of publicity photos ) and most surprisingly the "V.I.P." pod ( orange sided... seen on-screen for a grand total of 10-20 seconds in "Breakaway" ).

    P.E. then outdid themselves by offering a more expensive limited edition gift set which included, not only the laboratory pod and spine booster pack ( as seen in "The Metamorph" ), but an in-scale moonbuggy and laser tank ( seen in "The Infernal Machine" ). Most of these variants are well worth getting ( although I passed on the "V.I.P." version, as it's simply the transporter with new paint job on the pod, as is the rescue version ).

    I'm telling you; get one of these "Product Enterprise" replicas, and you will probably never feel the urge to assemble that old MPC kit again. Just do what I did, and keep that old kit in the box as a collector's item!