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Boyhood dream fulfilled

Uge-Bladet Skanderborg (Skanderborg weekly), 26 April 2023. Thank to Ekmar Brand.

Skanderborg is a town near Aarhus, 2nd city of Denmark; it includes the parish of Virring. Space: 1999 was shown as "Månebase Alpha" (Moonbase Alpha) in 1976-1977 (Space: 1999 in Denmark)

Skanderborg weekly, April 2023 Skanderborg weekly

Boyhead dream fulfilled: The Eagle has landed in Virring

Four years of work is coming to an end for Jan Wenneberg. The full scale model of the spacecraft Eagle from the TV series Moonbase Alpha is almost ready to land in the daycare father's garden in Virring.


The Eagle has landed. Almost four years of work on the full-scale model of the Eagle spacecraft from the TV series Moonbase Alpha is almost over. All that remains is the last layer of paint and the important decision about where to place it.

Jan Wenneberg, left, and Ekmar Brand, right. Photo: Jonas Vestfalen

When construction started in summer 2019, the man behind the construction, daycare father Jan Wenneberg from Virring, was only allowed by his wife Jane to use the garden as a landing pad if the seven and a half meter long and 750 kilo spaceship could also be used as a play ground for the daycare children.

Whether the Eagle will actually land among the perennials in Jan and Jane's garden is an open question. The many fans of the TV series Moonbase Alpha, who have followed Jan's work over the last few years, disagree. The series, which was shown on TV for two seasons from 1976, achieved cult status and was about a group of astronauts stranded in space 20 years into the future.

"Moonbase Alpha is a cherished memory from my childhood. Back in the 1970s, all Sci-Fi was just wildly exciting, and I was totally engrossed in that series. I collected bubble gum pictures and plastic models and even then built the spaceship in Lego. The highlight of the week was when it was shown late on Saturday evening. I was lost when series ended. Now, as an adult, I have found out that there are actually 48 episodes in the series and not just the 14 that DR (Denmark Radio) showed. If I had known then, I would have gone into a coma,' says the spaceship builder from Virring

Jan has built the spaceship over an aluminium frame welded together in his brother-in-law Kurt Nielsen's workshop and then covered with wooden sections. The spaceship's front alone took over a year to model and was painstakingly put together and sanded, wooden stick by wooden stick, until the shape was correct. The Eagle has ended up as an almost identical copy of the small toy model that was Jan's starting point.

Spot on

Photo: Jonas Vestfalen

The result was admired by the participants in last weekend's Sci-Fi-Con in Randers (15-16 April 2023), where the Eagle could be seen in public for the first time. Placed in the entrance area, the spacecraft from Virring was admired by the participants as one of the fair's main attractions. Among them German Ekmar Brand, who like Jan is part of Space: 1999's international fan-community.

"Ekmar visited me last year and drove 350 kilometres to see how far I had progressed with the building project when I had an open workshop. This time he drove 450 kilometres to see the finished version of the Eagle exhibited at the fair," says Jan.

And Ekmar Brand is not the only fan of Space: 1999 who is impressed. Brian Johnson, the man. who in his time created the original Eagle for the TV series, is similarly impressed. "It looks good to me," he wrote in the comment section for Jan's Facebook post.

"It's pretty special when the man who invented the spacecraft writes such a comment, so I take that as special praise. After all, he has seen a lot of replicas, but not in this scale. My model is spectacular because it is so large and at the same time true to the film template. He writes that he can see it is spot on," says a happy Jan Wenneberg, who at the same time was offered to exhibit the Eagle in Boston. An offer, however, he has declined.

"Then I can't watch it when I want to. If it's in our garden, then I can see it first thing when I open my eyes in the morning," he laughs.

3D model of Aarhus

So the Wenneberg family's garden is, much to the delight of the daycare children, the most likely long-term landing site for the spacecraft, even if the fan universe is dismayed that the Eagle is being left to the elements. Jan also has a dream that the Eagle can be seen from space, thus putting an end to the intergalactic boyhood dream. There are no more large construction projects in the pipeline in Virring - at least not in physical form.

"Oh no, I've been sweating to finish the Eagle. Now I have to pay off a big debt of gratitude to my brother-in-law Kurt. Without him, the project would never have become what it is today. And then I will probably also have to spend a lot of time on my wife as compensation for the four years when she has been neglected," he promises.

"But sometime in the future, I would like to build Aarhus in the year 1900 in a 3D model. Such a digital model is easier to get space for than spaceships."