The Catacombs Catacombs Model Gallery
Pilot Ship

Pilot ship

Thanks to Simon Rhodes.

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The pilot ship appears in Bringers Of Wonder. It is a small ship that appears out of the top of the Superswift and takes a crew of 3 back to Earth. Pilot ships are actually small fast boats which take local pilots to ships to navigate them in and out of harbours. Perhaps the aliens are distorting the minds of the Alphans so they have forgotten this definition.

The ship has large round fuel tanks, tripod legs and a long probe in the front.

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The model was made by Martin Bower from transparent perspex sheet. The legs are machined brass, the feet Airfix 1/32 scale Multipose soldier bases and a 1/24th scale Harrier part. The little engines on the bottom of the "balls" are turned aluminium as is the big underside engine, possibly an Eagle thruster.

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Pilot ship

The model is notable for using kit parts from the Airfix Eagle, with the top of an Eagle leg pod on the underside.

Pilot ship

At the rear are three Airfix Saturn V rockets (part number 12, the number visible inside the top engine bell). At the base of the rockets, attached to the bulkhead, are the underside boosters from the Airfix Eagle.

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There are two screws to fly the model on wires. These are above the top rear engine and over the cockpit window. These can be seen on screen and are original. There are also two positions to fly the model from a blacked-off stand. One is obvious on the starboard side never seen on screen. The other is on the underside and disguised in the centre hole of the round Harrier part (same piece used on the feet), in front of the Airfix Eagle leg pod.

The model was displayed at the Blackpool exhibitions, at periods hanging from the ceiling by a wire. Evidently at one or more times it fell and had to be repaired. Both "balls" have been re-glued on, there is epoxy glue around the front leg and a section of the underside, and some of the joints in the perspex sheeting have been split open.

Pilot ship

The nose probe was broken in three places, and repaired by wrapping it in thick old tape. The tape was removed, unfortunately removed bits of the orange and black paint, which were retouched. The silver stripe, which appears black on screen, was intact. The broken pieces of probe were drilled with a very fine burr, then a thin metal rod was inserted and the whole thing re-glued back together.

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Copyright Martin Willey. Photos copyright Simon Rhodes.