Perhaps my next kitbash (1/72 Churchill from Lifeforce)

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JMChladek

Sr Member
Well, seeing as how I did a 1/72 Moonraker shuttle stack from the Monogram kit as something of a tribute to Derek Meddings, I've been thinking about what to do for my next SF movie inspired shuttle model. A few years ago, I started work on doing a 1/200 model of the Halley's Comet space probe Winston Churchill from the horror film "Lifeforce". My ultimate goal with that one was to display it with the solar array wings fully unfurled. I never finished it, although the model is still sitting in storage and I could resume work on it when I am in the mood.

Churchill1.jpg


Churchill2.jpg


Churchill3.jpg


But last night I got to thinking that I've got a few 1/72 Revell shuttle orbiter kits in my collection. As such, I have the bits I need to do a Churchill (with the cargo doors closed of course) in 1/72 scale. For references I've got plenty of screen caps and the old Cinefex magazine issue which talks about the film. I understand Grant McCune was one of the model makers on this project (the effects were done by Apogee) as such, this model might make the perfect shuttle tribute to his modeling genius.

Anybody have any other decent references on the Churchill shuttle though? I've probably got all the references I'm ever going to find, but it is always nice to find more. I think scratchbuilding the NERVA rocket engine is going to perhaps be the biggest challenge. I may go about adding the extended flight deck interior if I keep the lift off overhead panel theme of this shuttle model (or light the interior).
 

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Nwerke

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yeah, you must do it. I've got a re-kitted Revell 1/72 orbiter in my stash which will end up as this ship, or maybe Atlantis on the final mission. Love this ship though, it really looked like they put some thought into the design. Stretched cargo bay and cabin for extra living area and (life support?) payload, requiring canard wings...big solar array and NERVA engine...you could almost build this thing in real life as a plausible 2-3 launch interplanetary/asteroid mission.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
Good points. This is indeed why I've been fascinated by the design. Just remember that it will take TWO orbiters to make a Churchill as it is longer than a standard shuttle. For the canards, I'll likely use 1/144 or 1/200 wings, heavily cut down and modified of course. For the 1/200 model, I chopped down a set of wings from a 1/288 Academy shuttle.

A lot of thought indeed went into Churchill for the limited time it spent on screen. The only element that didn't seem to quite ring true was the idea of having giant solar wings unfurled WHILE the NERVA was burning. It seemed better to have either the wings opened or the NERVA burning, but not both at the same time. It also seemed to have just a bit too many crewmembers on board (but they ended up as red shirts anyway).

It looked to me like the ship was intended to go from launch to probe flight as the bay on the bottom was called the "tug bay" presumably so the NERVA could be taken out and strapped to the bottom of the ship for its cruise out of orbit. Of course, I imagine that would only be for the first mission as I don't see the crew bringing the NERVA back in after its use due to the radiation danger. So maybe stick it in a parking orbit for the next time you decide to get out of LEO. ;)

I admit I have been tempted to slap a Churchill on an ET and SRBs, but since we never saw that in the film, the flight configuration will do nicely. I'll save my next big stack SF project for when I work up the nerve to scratchbuild an X-71 super shuttle from Armageddon.
 

Nwerke

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh curse you, my wallet will hate you forever. That's done it. A Revell 1/72 Churchill on the Revellogram ET and boosters. I must build it.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
Well, look at the bright side. At least if you get the Monogram stack, you can use bits from the Monogram orbiter to stretch the Revell orbiter into the Churchill. It will be tougher to do that, but not impossible (unless some of the shapes are a bit too different in spots, such as the payload bay). ;)

I was pondering it since I DO have the plastic laying around to try it. But, I've got too little space to display another shuttle stack as it is. :D
 

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