By John Lester - images & text © 2015
^ Plastic parts
^ Resin Parts (booster)
^ Resin lab pod parts
The Fundimensions/MPC Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999 was first released way back in 1976, and has only been re-issued a couple times since (in 1999, by MPC's successor AMT/ERTL and then in 2013 by their successor, Round 2). As originally kitted, the model had no interior, either for the command pod or the passenger pod, and quite a bit of the exterior detail was simplified. Still, it was not a bad kit for the time and built up into a reasonable replica of the show's workhorse vehicle.
Round 2's 2013 reissue included a new, more extensive decal sheet with stencils and lots of markings to give the illusion of detail (for instance, decals for the cockpit windows that show a slice of the lighted cabin). Otherwise, it contained the same plastic as the original release, 40 some years previous.
Round 2 have a habit of adding and correcting detail on their re-issues, and this latest incarnation of the venerable Eagle gets a nice makeover with a new lab pod, spine booster assembly and an additional decal sheet. It builds up to represent the vehicle seen in the "Metamorph" episode. Similar resin upgrades were available in years past, but this is the first time they have come with the "base" kit.
What You Get
The Deluxe Edition Eagle kit contains all the plastic parts from the original, base kit, with the addition of the aforementioned resin parts and decal sheet. The base model is comprised of the following sub-assemblies, spread across bags containing seven sprues (and a couple loose parts):
Resin parts are contained in two bags, one for the larger lab pod parts and one with all the smaller parts, divided into little pockets that make fining the various bits a lot easier.
The molds seem to have held up pretty well over the years. I found no flash and only minimal mold seam lines on the parts. I did not see any really troublesome ejector pin marks. The white resin parts, cast from patterns made by noted Space: 1999 model expert Jim Small, are pretty near flawless. I did not find any pits, bubbles or other flaws and again, mold seam lines are pretty minor. There are no big casting plugs and clean-up prior to assembly should be a matter of a few swipes with a sanding stick. I still have a couple of garage kit "spine booster" sets I bought the last time the kit was issued, and I have to say these new ones are clearly better, certainly as far as casting quality is concerned.
A large, fold-out pictorial assembly guide with 15 construction steps is included. The resin parts are clearly identified in a parts guide and on the new assembly steps. There are no painting or decal placement guides; you'll need to refer to the box art for that information.
Two silk-screened, waterslide decal sheets round out the package. One contains all the details and markings from the 2013 re-issue. The other, smaller sheet has markings for the dorsal ("spine") booster, lab pod and the black panels for the pod's thrusters.
My experience with the basic kit is that it goes together with a minimum of fuss. Parts fit is acceptable, and you could have the model completed in a weekend - if you build it straight from the box. The resin parts should be similarly straightforward - at least it seems that way to me after taping them together.
However, those interested in a more "accurate" - or at least, more "detailed" - replica have a lot of work to do. The engine/tankage assembly is quite simplified, as are the engineering/service modules (the assemblies fore and aft of the central lab or passenger pod) and the main landing gear. Also, the main engine bells are missing interior baffle detail. Fortunately, there are a number of articles on just how to correct all those issues here on Starship Modeler:
There are also a couple of detail sets available to enhance the kit (as well as the standard issue):
It's good to see this classic kit available again - and even better to see it with the resin upgrades. Even at the $60.00 USD MSRP (you can get it most places for less than that), it's a bargain - I paid more than that for the kit plus similar garage kit resin detail sets 15 years ago. If the subject interests you, I highly recommend picking up one of these Deluxe Edition Eagles - especially since it's a limited issue, and who knows if Round2 will offer it again?
Many thanks to my own wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 6000+ readers a day? Contact us!