Space: 1999 had the most advanced model work of its day, and became a benchmark for later special effects. Here I have tried to catalogue the principal models and describe some background to them. This is not a comprehensive list of all the models used, but I attempt to cover all the major craft featured.
Some models, such as Moonbase Alpha, the launch pads, and all model sets and landscapes, were built by Brian Johnson's crew at Bray: Terry Reed, Cyril Forster, and Ron Burton. However, most of the featured models were built externally, usually by Martin Bower. The company Space Models also contributed several models (they also built many of the props and sets, from commlocks to communications posts and computer panels). They were designed by Johnson or Bower (the designs were sketches or plasticine models rather than accurate blueprints). Major influences were clearly 2001: A Space Odyssey (the Eagles, the moon base, and craft inspired by 2001's Discovery such as the Alpha Child pursuit ship and the Archanon ship [in The Mark of Archanon]), and also earlier Gerry Anderson series (Thunderbirds and UFO).
Also notable was the use of colour. In the early 1970s, colour televisions had only recently overtaken black and white. Earth models used the whites and greys that have become the standard in science fiction. Alien ships used colour imaginatively to create a striking impression. Among the most colourful: in yellow, the Deltan battleship [The Last Enemy] and Taybor's gun [The Taybor]; in blue, the Kaldorian ship [Earthbound] and the Dorcon probe [The Dorcons]; in green, Jarak's ship [Alpha Child], the Satazius [The Last Enemy], the derelict ship in Space Warp and the Croton ship [Dorzak]; in red, the Sidon ships [Voyager's Return] and Taybor's ship [The Taybor]; and The Immunity Syndrome glider in red and orange.
Several models would be built in two or more scales, for distant shots and for closeups. Examples include the Eagles (in four scales); Kaldorian ship, Jarak's ship, Hawk (in three scales); Gwent, the Ultra Probe, Mentor's Psychon ship, and The Immunity Syndrome glider (in two scales). More angular models were made from Perspex, and rounded shapes carved from wood and then perhaps cast in fibreglass. Detailing of the models used commercial plastic shapes from the specialist company EMA and parts from construction kits, especially those available in two sizes such as the Revell Gemini capsule and Tamiya tank kits which could be used on both model scales.
Most of the models survived the series and were displayed in the Space: 1999 exhibition in Blackpool from 1977 until 1981. A few models were not on display. The S.S. Daria [from Mission of the Darians] had been turned into Space Station Delta for Into Infinity. The large Gwent [from The Infernal Machine] no longer existed. The Phoenix, Voyager, Satazius, Ultra Probe command module, small Jarak's ship, and small Gwent were kept by Martin Bower and sold privately. Although a few models disappeared from Blackpool (notably Moonbase Alpha), the majority of the models were then displayed in the Alton Towers amusement park until 1989. When the collection was bought privately by Phil Rae in 1991, many of the models were in a poor state of repair. Some had disappeared, perhaps destroyed. Arra's shuttle and the Sidon ship are both lost; the large Ultra Probe, Superswift, Dorcon ship, and Alpha Child pursuit ship are badly damaged. Although now in the hands of various private collectors and model makers, it is occasionally possible to see some of the models publicly. A small but excellent exhibition was held in Wolverhampton in 1993, and several models have appeared at Fanderson conventions since.
There are several excellent reference books for the models. The Fanderson Design File Volume 2, edited by Ian Boyce, reproduces original designs by Johnson and Bower and is available from the Fanderson fan club. There are also original designs and photos taken during construction in Martin Bower's articles for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models issues 12 and 13 (1996). Also see articles on "kitbashing" by Martin Bower in Model Mart for August 1989, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models issue 3 (1994). For photographic reference, the early Starlog magazine was good: see issues 29 and 40 especially. The Tokuma Shoten "A Complete Visual Guidebook of Gerry Anderson's Space Odyssey Space: 1999" (1981) is an amazing reference source. It has 48 colour pages and 74 black and white pages, although the photos are rather small. The ITC SF Mecha Graffiti Supervisual Special No. 4 (1985) has 12 pages with some unusual and very interesting photos. The best source, containing an awesome collection of high quality, often unique, photos, is the 1993 hardback "Thunderbirds" published by Asahi Sonorama, with 26 colour and eight black and white pages.
The model of the Moon was 120cm diameter, with an electric motor in the stand. A barrel shaped moon also existed, which provided a rolling horizon seen in Breakaway and other episodes. This was 230cm wide and 90cm diameter.
The design is extremely similar to the Clavius moonbase in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The base itself was 3.5m diameter (see the publicity photos of Brian Johnson standing in front of it holding the Meta Probe). It was suspended from the studio roof by chains and raised out of the way when not filming. It was made by the studio modellers from plywood and Perspex clad in plasticard, pieces from the Revell 1/24th scale Gemini kit and sticky paper labels (from Sasco year planners, intended for office walls). The lunar surface was Plaster of Paris; the lunar hills in the background were photographic cut-outs used on many lunar scenes. Windows were simulated with back projection material which reflected the studio lights. By 1995 the lunar surface had been discarded, with the travel tubes and launch pads (which could not be separated from the base). The buildings on their own were recognisable but in poor condition. They are in the process of being restored.
An article on the Moonbase model appears in Sci-Fi & Fantasy Modeller volume 22, July 2011, p85-92 and volume 23, Oct 2011, p93-98, by Bernie Walsh.
Several quite different launch pads can be seen in the series. The largest and most detailed had a hydraulic platform to raise and lower the 112cm Eagle. Two smaller pads, for the 56cm Eagle, were used, with differing detailing. A cross-shaped pad appeared in several episodes: The Exiles, Brian the Brain and The AB Chrysalis. The launch pads on the Moonbase model were crudely vacuum formed.
The travel tube car was about 28cm in diameter. Only the end section remains.
There were at least four different scales (apart from the full-sized moon buggy, which was of course a real amphibious vehicle called the Amphicat, also to be seen in the Banana Splits series). A publicity photo from 1973 shows Brian Johnson and Nick Allder holding three of the models, each with two astronaut figures.
The MTU, as it was originally named, was designed by Brian Johnson, Chris Foss and Ron Burton. It was obviously influenced by the 2001 moon bus, although with a more insect-like appearance (Johnson cites a grasshopper as inspiration) and skeletal framework. The original designs were short and squat, but it elongated considerably before the first model was built. Original plans can be seen in the Fanderson Design File Volume 2.
The original 112cm/ 44inch Eagle took two months to build. It was built by Arthur "Wag" Evans of Space Models, with model makers Gary Dickens, David Seymour and John Phillips. Photos of the model when first built can be seen in the 1991 magazine Century 21, issue 6. They were delivered to the studio in pristine white primer, and were "dirtied down" by Terry Reed. The original paint job can be seen in the first ten episodes and publicity photos of the Eagle on the launch pad (see for instance the cover of the Tokuma Shoten book). Note in particular the Moonbase Alpha insignia has a figure of 8 orbit around the Moon and Earth, not present later. The second configuration can be seen best in the publicity photos of the Eagle flying past the Earth (for instance, Tokuma Shoten, p. 26). The model was repainted again for Year 2, at the same time as the rear engines were reworked to fire freon jets. The main mounting point was in the rear (a rod could be inserted in the centre of the four rocket nozzles). Alternatively the model could be lifted on wires attached to the front and aft of the top framework. For construction details, I recommend David Sisson's excellent article about building an exact replica in the British magazine Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models (issue 4, 1994) and in Science Fiction Modeller, Issue 19. David also wrote an illustrated description of the restoration of the original model on the Small Art Works website.
A second 112cm/ 44inch Eagle first appeared in The Last Sunset (built by Space Models). Although the nose cone was cast from the first (in fibreglass, instead of perspex), the moulding exaggerated slight asymmetries, notably that the lower part of the cone was flatter (it was then mounted upside down on the Eagle, so the upper portion is flattened). Also the "eyes" are not aligned (the plan and profile shots in the Tim Heald "The Making of Space: 1999" book show this clearly).
A third 112cm/ 44inch Eagle, built by Derek Freeborn Associates, first appeared in The Exiles. The third model built more solidly to withstand crash scenes and was frequently restored (it was badly damaged in the Space Warp hangar crash scene). The rear engines were not fitted for gas jets, although the engine configuration is nearly identical to the second Eagle (for the second series all three engine sections were reworked to more closely resemble each other). After the exhibitions, the model was owned by Brian Johnson for a while, before passing to Andy Hopkinson and then Jason Joiner. At end 2008 the model was bought by Canadian Darren Peters for approximately £20,000.
The three are readily distinguishable by the panel detailing on their leg pods. In particular, note the upper outward facing sloping face of the pod, decorated on Eagle 1 by a round Saturn V part, on Eagle 2 by a square Gemini part, and on Eagle 3 by concentric rings. The Airfix Eagle 1 and Geoffrey Mandel Starlog blueprints are based on Eagle 2; the Tokuma Shoten blueprints are of Eagle 3.
There were two 56cm/ 22inch Eagles, again with distinctive panelling. The first model, originally made by Space Models at the same time as the first 44inch Eagle, was sold for £8500 in a 2001 auction (the lot included a cargo pod, nuclear waste canister and Collision Course mine). The second was built in 1975 by Martin Bower, but only appears in publicity photos and on the Clapperboard documentary. The command module was a fibreglass casting of the Space Models 22 inch Eagle.
Some duplicate command modules were made. One, cast from the first 44inch Eagle command module, was built with a damaged side panel and used in The Missing Link. At least three 22inch-scale command modules were made, cast from clear acrylic possibly from the original vacuum pattern of the Space Models model- they lack the side dishes and were never painted or used on screen. One sold on ebay for US$ 1000 in September 2009, another sold for £720 in February 2010.
The 28cm/ 11inch Eagle was used for long shots and the Eagle versus Satazius publicity shots (the close-ups of the Eagle show the very basic detailing). It appears docked to the Daria in Mission of the Darians and the Ultra Probe in Dragon's Domain. The first model at this scale was built by Space Models. It is now owned by David Hirsch. The second was quickly and crudely made by Terry Reed at the studio for a shot in Dragon's Domain.
A large top section of an Eagle (framework and pod) was built. It was 58cm long by 30cm high. It was used for close ups of the laser turret (featured in The AB Chrysalis, Seance Spectre and Devil's Planet) and the scene lowering an astronaut in a harness in The Bringers of Wonder part 2. A highly detailed leg section was built for a scene of the spaceship graveyard in The Metamorph.
Cut out Eagles, based on photographs of the early 112cm and 56cm Eagle (before Alpha insignia was added), can be seen in several episodes, some more obviously than others. The Eagle hangar scenes in Breakaway and Earthbound are quite good, although the publicity photos of the Kaldorian ship reveal the cut outs rather badly. Cut outs can also be seen in The Full Circle, Guardian of Piri and War Games (in the last, being blown up).
There were six distinctive types of pod, four of them appearing in Breakaway:
Scenes of Eagles exchanging pods were rare: Dragon's Domain, Testament of Arkadia. The nose cone was only separated twice: in Missing Link (a special "damaged" nose cone was made, with aluminium foil and exposed pipework) and Dragon's Domain.
Different types of docking tubes were seen in Earthbound and Guardian of Piri. A movable arm section was used as a grab in The Exiles and as a refuelling arm in Space Warp and The Rules of Luton.
The relatively crude Meta Probe was seen only briefly, and is one of the models that disappeared completely. It was about 30cm long.
The Space Dock is a huge model, at least 2m long, designed to look like salvaged rocket shells. It was reused in Dragon's Domain. It was restored by Ed Miarecki and exhibited at the 1982 "SpaceCon V" convention in Massachusetts. After that it entered the collection of Greg Jein
The hub in the centre of Nuclear Disposal Area 2 was designed and built by Mike Trim, who did an original design for the Eagles when the series was still a second series of UFO. A Nuclear Disposal Area 2 waste cap appears on the S.S. Daria model in Mission of the Darians. The beacon towers in Nuclear Disposal Area 1 were painted red to reappear as the gravity towers in Black Sun, and as the antenna on the Altares in the Into Infinity film. The towers were about 8cm tall, although a 20cm tall model appeared in close-ups in Black Sun.
The Kaldorian ship was designed by Brian Johnson and built by Space Models in two scales. The SFX crew called it the "humming top." The large model has appeared at several conventions in England, but lost it's feet shortly before being sold in an ebay auction in September 2009 for £2,052.
A docking tube was shown for the Eagle. A different type appeared in Guardian of Piri and Collision Course.
Jarak's ship was built by Martin Bower in two scales: 145cm x 95cm and 71cm x 47cm. They took ten days to make and were made from hardboard steamed over a wooden frame. The curves were filled with P38 Isopon car filler and filed to shape with a large wood rasp. The model was then sprayed in cellulose primer filler and rubbed down several times until it was smooth. Detailing was provided by Plasticard, a few model kit pieces, buttons, garden wire and plastic sprue. The rear engines were wedding cake stands. The gun-like object in the front was the rear body from Revell's Gemini capsule kit (1/24 and 1/48 scale for the two models). Finally the model was painted in olive green, bronze and black and a working navigation light installed. The smaller version was sold at auction in December 1995 for £1700.
The pursuit ship was built and designed by Martin Bower in 1968, as a 16 year old. As a very early model built when he was still at school, the model was never intended to be for studio use, and bits fell off throughout filming- much to the amusement of the film crew. Despite its lack of robustness, the model was reused in significant roles in several other episodes. Bower reworked his original model, removing side rockets to make way for landing platforms (for Jarak's ships- their purpose is not shown in the episode, but is explained by his design drawings). The original design was even more obviously influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey in having inset view ports in the front bulb just like the Discovery. The long tubular neck was made from two cardboard tubes (from kitchen tin foil rolls) wrapped in 20 thou Plasticard and parts from the Airfix Superfortress kit, with lengths of wooden dowelling as pipes along each side. The laser beam dish was the saucer section from a Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise kit. The ball at the front was a child's rattle with a plant pot between the two hemispheres to lengthen it; it is joined to the neck with a cottage cheese cup. The rear jets were plastic mixing bowls. Surface detailing was made from kits (including 2001's moon bus), plastic sprue and even paper bendable milk straws. The whole model was 150cm long. It was later reused in War Games, The Last Enemy and Dragon's Domain, and the ball nose cone was seen in The Metamorph graveyard. In it's The Last Enemy colouring, the model appeared in an exhibition at the Selfridges department store in London, UK, during the Christmas 1975 season.
Bower discusses the creation of the model in detail in the magazine "Bowerhouse", issue 1 (August 2008) pp 4-13.
For the scenes where two Eagles dock together, the second Eagle was constructed from EMA tube, an existing passenger module and the right rear leg pod from the first Eagle. The shot is carefully framed so the viewer cannot see any more of the second Eagle, or the first Eagle's missing pod. Larger individual moon base buildings, for close ups of the base, appeared for the first time in this episode. They are approximately 1/72 scale (about the same as the large Eagle). Most are anonymous blocks, although the most recognisable are the Main Mission tower (72cm diameter, 60cm high), and the round Nuclear Waste Depot (built for Breakaway). The Eagle Laboratory pod first appears. It features boosters on the sides. Its appearance is a continuity error (Commander Koenig's Eagle lands on Alpha with this pod, although previously it had a standard pod).
The second 112cm Eagle model appears for the first time. This was also built by Space Models. The first 112cm Eagle model also had its first repaint.
The capsules were in two scales, 5cm and 10cm tall, plus 3-6cm antennae. They were either hung on a wire from the top, or, for more stable movement, the wire went through to the base so they could slide down (they were made from transparent perspex rod). from A 10cm one was sold on ebay in 2006 for $700. A 5cm version was sold in an ebay auction in February 2008 for £377, a second sold for £410 in October 2009, and two more in February 2010 for £527 ($826) and £517. In June 2013 a 5cm version was offered for £595.
The Voyager was designed by Brian Johnson and built by Martin Bower. It was 70cm tall with a freon gas jet simulating the Queller drive rocket. It was made using a complete plastic picnic set, three felt-tip pens, and Airfix lunar model parts. The model was sold at auction in 2003 for £4500.
The Sidon ship was designed and built by Bower and was 65cm long. This was one of several insect-like designs with segmented bodies, eyes and antennae (the others being the Eagle and other Earth technology ships such as the Hawk and Swift, as well as the Dorcon ship). The nose was cast from an Eagle nose cone without the eye sockets removed. Also used were two pressings of the Hawk underside, two Triumph Herald car tail light covers, a Caddymatic tea dispenser and a yoghurt pot for the rear jet. When it appeared at Blackpool it had a different attachment on the nose.
Arra's shuttle was designed by Johnson (as a 15cm long plasticene model) and carved from solid Jelutong wood by Bower in ten days. The wings were plywood and decorated with kit parts from a Boeing Superfortress kit. The entire model was 120cm long.
The Alphan mines were also Bower models, built in two scales. The larger size were made from plastic picnic dishes bought from Woolworth's. The grab that holds the mine (in scale with the 112cm Eagle) was sold on ebay (with a Last Sunset probe) for US$960 in August 2009. A crude 14cm Eagle was built by Martin Bower for scenes where it is swallowed by Arra's shuttle.
The 96cm long Phoenix was built by Bower as a tribute to the spaceship under construction in the 1954 film When Worlds Collide. The clean lines are in contrast to the modular shapes of other Earth craft seen in the series. The internal girders were from the Faller Bridge kit and railway kits; the blockboard base used road parts from the Minic Motorway set turned upside down. The model is now in America and has been repainted.
Bower's pursuit ship from Alpha Child is reused. The Mark IX Hawks were designed by Johnson and built by Bower in three scales: 61cm, 30cm and 15cm. Extensive use of Saturn V parts was made. The jets under the large Hawk model were made from wedding cake pillars. The Hawks were originally off-white (as can be seen in publicity shots), but in the first footage they looked too much like the Eagles. Cyril Forster hand painted orange trim with acyrilic paint. The 30cm Hawk (in scale with the 56cm long Eagle) was offered for auction in 2001, but at £4500 it failed to reach the reserve price. Various planetary buildings were also seen, mostly fairly crude apart from the landing platform. Two of the buildings were built by Martin Bower, again using a Caddymatic Tea Dispenser.
The Satazius was 130cm and originally green. It was repainted yellow and publicity photographs were taken before it was decided to paint it green again for filming. It was designed to resemble the Sidewinder vehicle from the Thunderbirds episode Pit of Peril.
The original intention was to have both Bethan and Deltan ships identical, differing only in colour. As this would have been confusing on black and white televisions, the Alpha Child pursuit ship was redecorated as the Deltan ship in orange-yellow livery with a new nose section (which itself was to reappear in the Dragon's Domain and The Metamorph graveyards). The new nose was made from two plastic neon strip light covers decorated with the Airfix travelling crane parts (originally these were part of another model, not used in the series, as two arms of a lunar base).
The 20cm lifeboat featured parts from a hovercraft kit and a rocket made from an eggcup. The lifeboat was intended to be dropped from a hatch under the Satazius, hence the egg shape. The Deltan missiles are built with the capsules from The Last Sunset as a nose cone and salt cellars as the body. Other models include the Bethan missiles, and Bethan and Deltan missile launchers. The large scale hull sections were reused: the Bethan lifeboat platform is the Deltan gun platform, and the Deltan gun platform is also the underside of the Satazius.
Gwent was in 33cm and 16cm sizes and built by Martin Bower. Large sections were built for the Eagle and moon buggy lift. The large Gwent was made from a motorised aluminium tube built by Nick Allder, with hardboard steamed over by Bower. It was difficult to roll, and was broken by a frustrated Nick Allder after filming completed. The smaller Gwent was owned by David Hirsch, and later Greg Jein.
Bower built the three laser tanks on the chassis of Tamiya Chieftain tank kits (with electric motors to drive the tracks) and parts and decals from a Polaris submarine kit. They were 33cm x 15cm, and the guns were manoeuvrable. The one with the Eagle-like nose lost the rear entry hatch (from the 2001 moon bus) when Bower used it to make the travel tube for Into Infinity. The one with the bubble cockpit and sloping nose has had a new front section to the barrel attached after the original was broken at Alton Towers. The two Gwents and three tanks were built by Bower in 12 days.
The 4.3m S.S. Daria was built around a steel frame covered in plywood by Terry Reed and Ron Burton, with seven sections (mostly domes) by Martin Bower. A waste cap from Moonbase Alpha's Nuclear Disposal Area 2 appears on the top of the ship. The model no longer exists: parts of the Daria were reused for the Space Station Delta in Into Infinity. The top dome section (made by Bower from a Battling Tops child's game) also appeared as an outbuilding of Moonbase Alpha in Journey to Where and Seed of Destruction.
The large hull section to which the Eagle docks had been used as the interior of the Collision Course shuttle.
The Space Dock from Breakaway reappears. Martin Bower had 3 weeks to create 8 original models- three scales of Ultra Probe, the dragon ship and four derelicts (only two are clearly seen in the episode). There were three Ultra Probe models: a 81cm model seen with the Space Dock and dragon ship, a 163cm model for closeups and, in the largest scale, a 48cm Ultra Probe command module. The design of the command module clamps to the main body was inspired by the 1973 film Silent Running (and were going to spill glittering dust just like the dome ejection scenes in that film). Note the Ultra Probe insignia involves two Star Trek Star Fleet arcs. Extensive use of a Panzer kit was made for detailing. The large Ultra Probe model was repainted, quite crudely, after the series; and after Alton Towers it was in very poor shape, needing extensive work (one of the engine bells and the radio dish were missing). The dragon ship is 102cm long and to scale with the small Ultra Probe.
The graveyard includes the following ships:
Bower built the two scales of Mentor's Psychon ship, 122cm and 66cm. The larger model was built around the tank of a vacuum cleaner. The graveyard includes the following ships:
The Eagles now have freon gas jets in their rear engines (as well as their vertical rockets used in launching and landing). Some shots of the Eagle hangar show part of a lunar tank (from The Infernal Machine) and the nose cone of the large Ultra Probe (from Dragon's Domain) as set decoration (they are not visible on screen). The new Moonbase Alpha laser battery appears. Also note the outbuildings nearby: one is the Breakaway roundhouse, another is the Altares probe (also seen in the planet graveyard). The laser batteries also appear in The Exiles, Seed of Destruction, The Beta Cloud, The Bringers of Wonder, and The Dorcons. Note the revolving radar scanner on a moon base building seen as the Eagle rises into space.
The cryogenic capsules were 7cm long. The Golos skyscrapers are seen very briefly. A multi-level Alphan building built by Martin Bower is seen. It appears again in The AB Chrysalis (a clip from The Exiles actually), Journey to Where, Space Warp and Seed of Destruction. The model was seen being sold as part of a fund-raising campaign by the children's TV series Blue Peter in 1979.
Texas City and the other metrocomplexes were built by Ron Burton and Martin Bower using a huge quantity of tank kits, Saturn V kits (there are dozens of the tiny Apollo Lunar Module), and disco lights. They were built to be seen from only one side, so they appear half-finished. The largest are 80cm diameter and 90cm tall; others were 70cm tall/ 38cm diameter, 45cm tall/ 56cm diameter. Most of the plastic domes and disco lights disappeared before the Blackpool exhibition. Some are in poor shape, having had various pieces broken or fallen off. Although never intended to stand up to close scrutiny, they still look good from a distance.
A 72cm dome from the S.S. Daria appears as a Moonbase Alpha outbuilding. It also appears in a later library shot of an Eagle on a launch pad in Space Warp, New Adam New Eve, Seance Spectre and Seed of Destruction.
The S.S. Emporium was built by Space Models and is 70cm tall and 52cm diameter. It is built to be seen from one side only; the opposite side is open to allow access to the mechanism. This is one of the few models built with working parts: lights and opening doors (only three actually open). It is in three sections: the base (although the legs look as though they retract, they are fixed), the central section, and the top cone. Although the door mechanisms need repair, the model is in good condition.
The impressively detailed Taybor's gun was built by Martin Bower, hence the radically different design (inspired by the science fiction paintings of Chris Foss). It is 55cm diameter with the swivelling turret and adjustable barrel 104cm long. It was made from Perspex shapes fitted together like a jigsaw.
The remote controlled moon buggy appears (a clip of it from The Taybor is reused in The Exiles). This is the largest of the moon buggy models, and the most accurate. Unfortunately the rubber astronauts wobble when it moves. Although the rubber is starting to show its age, this model is still in very good condition. It is about 51 x 34 x 40 cm. At auction in December 1995 it reached £2500, but was resold at auction in June 1996.
The 96cm Swift is probably one of the best designs of the series, but was actually designed by Ron Burton as a shuttle craft for the Into Infinity series. It shares the inset eyes and cone-like command module of other Earth technology ships such as the Eagle, Meta Probe, Mark IX Hawk, Infernal Machine tank, Ultra Probe, and the later Superswift. The Swift was built by Martin Bower, although the top tanks were added by the studio (they are actually freon gas canisters to feed the landing jets). The sprung legs have suffered some minor damage (and have been repaired with large unsightly blobs of glue), but otherwise the model is in excellent condition. It was sold at auction in December 1995 for £8800. A leg section and miniature Brian was also built for the scene when the robot is ejected into space.
Side boosters were seen attached to the 44" Eagle. Only two were made (for the side facing camera; it was pointless creating the pair for the other side). The engine bell was taken from the Death's Other Dominion Phoenix model. One was sold on an ebay auction in 2004 for £481.
The 1.5m domes on the planet moon were built by Bower from Plexiglas, but when he tried to get them out of his workshop he found they were too big to get out the door, so he had to remove his door frame. They were later redressed as the nuclear waste domes in The Bringers of Wonder.
The refuelling arm (also seen in Space Warp) is the grab arm from The Exiles with a 2.5 inch red tank. The tank was sold in an internet auction in 2006 for £255.
The Archanon cruiser is 215cm long, and was built by Bower between Year One and Year Two. Again, the design is obviously inspired by the Discovery in 2001. The original nose section was not in good condition when last seen.
The scout cruiser Menon is of course the Archanon cruiser redressed. The main section is now central, a new nose section (designed to look detachable) is added, and the whole ship is repainted a greenish colour. One of the pods on the side of the main section (to which the 56cm Eagle docks) has been lost.
The 90cm diameter nuclear waste domes were recycled from the domes in The AB Chrysalis. Look for the bits from the Airfix Saturn V rocket kit serving as side buildings. Smaller models of the domes were also made for long shots.
The 160cm Superswift is another superb design, and took Bower three weeks to build. The model has sadly been very battered and many parts have been ripped from it. It is undergoing extensive rebuilding.
The Superswift's pilot ship is another Bower model, 24cm long. The studio added Airfix Saturn V rocket nozzles to the end. The top of an Airfix Eagle leg pod is fixed to the bottom of the ship, but cannot be seen on screen. The model is currently in good condition although the front antenna has broken off and it tends to collapse on its legs.
The real alien ship was built by Bower with projecting panels inspired by the alien craft in the series UFO. The ship was a late addition to the script, and Bower had just one day to create a rather crude model with only one side detailed.
The 145cm tall Croton ship is an unusual design by Johnson, green and made up of tubular shapes, constructed by Bower.
Unusual buildings were built by Martin Bower for the planet, featuring leg pods from the Airfix Eagle model (many of these have been broken off the model as it is today). One 112cm tall tower was made from a swing-bin. Another, 84cm tall, features three towers one made with a slide projector carousel. A third building, a landing platform, was 72cm tall.
The reentry glider is another Bower model. There were two versions. The 40cm model was seen on the top of the 56cm Eagle; the 85cm version had landing skids and was made of 6mm thick Perspex to withstand the crash-landing. It is painted in five shades of red and dirtied with soot; the burnt red colour scheme was inspired by the lunar module from the series UFO. It is decorated with intricate panel lines and bits of text too small to read with the naked eye ("Danger, Explosive Bolts", "Nitrogen", "Warning: Asbestos", "Jet Vents"). There is only one astronaut inside the cockpit. The port wing has been broken and the model was repaired for Blackpool with blacking masking tape. This has now been removed to restore the glider to its original configuration.
The Dorcon ship is 160cm long and 58cm wide. It is another insect-like design. The domes were decorated with jam jar labels; the undersides of the domes were made with slide projector carousels split in two. A teasmaid provided parts for the front and end sections. It is now in a very poor state of repair. The front section and two of the top domes are missing, and the engine section is badly damaged.
The 52cm x 32cm Dorcon probe was made in two days by Bower- a neat, sinister design.
Moonbase Alpha uses two types of laser cannon. A Bethan missile launcher from The Last Enemy is seen, and a new Bower model, made with another slide projector carousel as a base, the barrel made from two dragster kits and parts from a John Player Special racing car kit, and a top section made with the hull from a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea flying sub kit.