The Catacombs The Conventions
SpaceCon V - 1982

SpaceCon V was held in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, in July/August 1982. It featured the only major display of original models seen in the US (dubbed "Space City USA"). The models were brought over by collector Phil Rae. Thanks to Gordon Moriguchi for the photos. Some of these photos are by David Hirsch. More images from Phil Cook.

Model maker Martin Bower (in blue shirt) with Phil Rae (in orange shirt). When Gerry Anderson set up the Space City exhibition in Blackpool, UK, Phil contributed his collection of Anderson annuals and comics; in return Anderson gave him the small Hawk, and later the 22 inch Eagle. In 1981 Phil helped set up the last year of Space City exhibition in Blackpool, UK, at the end of which he received the 44 inch Eagle. Phil worked as a model maker himself (on Alien) and restored many of the models. In 1989 he bought all the models remaining in the Alton Towers exhibition.

David Hirsch was a journalist on the science fiction magazine Starlog, and was one of the organisers of the US Space: 1999 conventions. His articles in Starlog brought the model maker Martin Bower to public attention. He also worked on the Super Space Theatre compilation movies for ITC.

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In the UK, Fanderson conventions have always had superb model displays, mostly thanks to Phil Rae; this was the only time US fans got to see so many models in person.

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Original artwork from various Gerry Anderson books, the ITC Super Space Theatre compilations, and costumes (including a Battlestar Galactica tunic).

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Original spacesuit, with red cross pack and Taybor limpet, and original Helena costume. The art on the walls are Stephen Corbett's blueprints of the Voyager model (Voyager's Return).

The original 44 inch Eagle made it's first and only trip to the US for this convention. It also has the original grab arm and Exiles capsule. Phil got the model the previous year, in return for helping with the Blackpool exhibition. The model had been damaged and repainted during the exhibitions, so Phil restored the model, painting it and adding the red stripes on the pod.

SpaceCon V - 1982

There were also two 22 inch Eagles on display. One is the Martin Bower 22 inch Eagle, used for some publicity photos but never filmed in the series. It is seen here with a winch pod; the pallet platform and waste can are original, but the winch mechanism is a replica by Phil Rae. Phil intentionally made the winch drums darker grey, as they were not original. Not realising the photos of this model show a partial replica, Product Enterprise in 2005 made their Eagle Freighter with a dark grey winch. The second 22 inch Eagle was made by Tom Hudson.

Also present was the 11 inch Eagle. The top spine boosters are a replica.

The smaller (16 inch) War Games Hawk. This is the first original model Phil Rae acquired (he got it from Gerry Anderson in return for some vintage TV21 comics and annuals which Anderson wanted to display).

SpaceCon V - 1982

The smaller (2.5ft) Ultra Probe and the Ultra Probe command module.

The UFO interceptors were shown. The big interceptor was another early model acquired by Phil Rae; it had been kept by Dinky Toys who produced their green toy version. Like the Eagle, the model had been damaged and Phil restored it.

SpaceCon V - 1982

The Space Dock, as seen in Breakaway, and revamped with a landing pad in Dragon's Domain. The model was restored by Ed Miarecki, and then owned by another model maker, Greg Jein; it is now in Belgium.

SpaceCon V - 1982

The smaller Altares from Into Infinity

SpaceCon V - 1982

There were a number of other small models. Among them: Travel Tube door, moonbuggy with Alphan figure, Dione's lifeboat (Last Enemy), Eagle nose cone (Missing Link), alien derelict (Metamorph), Last Sunset capsules, Collision Course mine, small Gwent (Infernal Machine).

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Page copyright Martin Willey