Polar Lights Jupiter 2 (1965) from Lost in Space - Rework


Sr Member
I built the original Polar Lights Jupiter 2 kit back about 20 years ago but was never completely satisfied with it.
At the time, I was just getting back into model building after a long layoff and did not have the expertise
I have now to make the model better than it was so this was pretty much a straight from the box build.
I did actually buy a set of aftermarket decals for the interior back then but I never got around to applying them, that is, until now.
The photos that follow detail my attempt at turning this somewhat inaccurate sow of a kit into a silk purse or something close to that.
Initially I was intending to just apply the decals but, as the decals required me to scratch build certain items anyway,
I decided to go all in and modify other areas not related to the decals as well.
Things like the pilot seats, the computer wall, etc. that were either woefully inaccurate or lacking in detail.

So here we go. Now if I seem to get lost or go off course, don't worry, there's no Doctor Smith here to sabotage my return...

First I laid out the separate elements of the model on my workbench - the upper saucer hull, upper deck, and lower deck and saucer:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Components by Steve J, on Flickr

Not sure where I got these decals but I know they were made by a fella named Jim James back in 1998.
The decals are cross-referenced to the individual Polar Lights kit part numbers; fortunately, I still had the original kit instructions to help me with decal placement:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Aftermarket Decals by Steve J, on Flickr

First decals were applied to the lower deck auxiliary control console.
The decals will go a long way to improving this model.
Polar Lights really missed the boat by not including ANY decals with this kit:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Auxiliary Control Console Decals by Steve J, on Flickr

Veered a tad off course and decided to modify the height of the upper dome.
Ron Gross is considered an authority on the Jupiter 2 studio model and he helped design this kit.
One thing he recommended when doing his own buildup of this model was to reduce the height of the upper saucer dome by 15%:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Sanding Down Upper Dome by Steve J, on Flickr

More to come...


Sr Member
The kit came with nothing included for installation under the upper dome.
I couldn’t find much of anything showing this missing apparatus which can be seen spinning under the dome during takeoffs and landings when the ship is standing on its landing gear.
Fortunately, a fellow modeler on Hobby Talk provided me with some photos of his own build showing me what was missing.
Here I have scratched what is commonly referred to as the “V spinner”:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- V Spinner for Upper Dome by Steve J, on Flickr

I used Figure 2 for reference when scratching the pilots seats. Decals 6 and 7 will be added to the sides of the seat frames to represent holes, Decal 8 is for the lower aux control seat which is slightly different from the two seats on the upper flight deck:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Decal Instruction Details by Steve J, on Flickr

The horrible bench seats had to be sliced off the upper flight deck using saws and a scribing tool.
Polar Lights wanted them molded on to reduce the kit’s parts count rather than provide separate, more accurate seats.
I wish they had just left the seats off entirely which would have saved us modelers the trouble of having to remove them ourselves:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Bench Seat Removal by Steve J, on Flickr

Using photos I googled of aftermarket produced pilot seats I cut out some pieces from thin styrene sheet to make my own seats from scratch:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Pilot Seat Side Panel by Steve J, on Flickr

Each seat is made up of 24 pieces of styrene plastic:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Scratch Built Pilot Seats by Steve J, on Flickr

After spraying with Krylon Gloss Black I hand brushed the seat frames with Testors Aluminum.
Once this dries I will apply the black “hole” decals to the sides:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- New Pilot Seats Painted by Steve J, on Flickr

Stand by for next installment...


Sr Member
Greetings Lost in Space fans! Here's today's update.

Flight deck mods...

The rectangular computer consoles had to be cut off the main flight console for reshaping.
They will also be sprayed a silverish grey color before reattachment.
The white styrene sheet was cut to cover up the holes left in the console.
Also, the area of the floor where I cut off the seats got some additional sanding:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Removal of Flight Consoles by Steve J, on Flickr

The consoles had a slant on the backside that needed to be filled in since the consoles are squarish in cross section.
They also sit on a base running along the backside that leaves an undercut in front facing the pilots.
So I flipped the part over and made the bottom the top and covered the hole (from cutting them off the main console) with styrene sheet.
They still need to be puttied and sanded before primer and paint:

51408900741_0c5403274e_z.jpg [/url
][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mjQ48B]Jupiter 2 - Rework- Cockpit Computer Consoles
by Steve J, on Flickr

Jupiter 2 - Rework- Upper Deck Floor Color

I decided to airbrush the entire upper floor rather than try to repaint just the cockpit area as I did not have any MM Dark Tan in my paint drawer and the custom mix I brushed on previously just did not match. The closest I came was a mix of Testors flat white and light brown. The hardest part was masking off all the walls and tubes before spraying. Turned out to be a pretty close match to the 20 year old paint color and the floor looks much better now. The light tan disc to the right will be laid in the center of the deck:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Upper Deck Floor Color by Steve J, on Flickr

The center circle painted Testors Light Tan is laid in the center of the upper deck after the dark tan/brown paint has dried:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Upper Deck Floor Repaint by Steve J, on Flickr

Working on the staterooms...

The Murphy beds, desks, and pillows were scratched using sheet styrene, styrene rod, and chrome bare metal foil.
After the cabins are done, this rework project goes right into the toilet as I will work on the lavatory:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Staterooms by Steve J, on Flickr

A screen cap expanded to show the lavatory layout for my scratch built staterooms and lavatory:

51496931760_19ab3b0e54_z.jpg [/url
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2msBeFN]Jupiter 2 - Rework- Blueprint Lower Deck Detail
by Steve J, on Flickr

Suddenly, the Jupiter 2 takes a detour...

I scratched these static discharge tuber from clear acrylic rod and styrene tubing. These were painted Testors steel and will mount into holes drilled into the upper deck floor between each pair of stasis tubes:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Static Discharge Tubes by Steve J, on Flickr

Prior to painting I test fit the tubes into their holes between the stasis tubes. They will be glued into place using CA glue:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Static Discharge Tubes Test Fit by Steve J, on Flickr

Now back to the lower deck...

The center circle was cut from thin sheet styrene and will be airbrushed with Testors Flat Tan.
The entire lower deck floor will eventually be gloss coated:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Center Circle Cut and Test Fit by Steve J, on Flickr

More to come.


Sr Member
Jupiter 2 takes a hard jog to starboard to ... Magnets!?

I had decided awhile back to take the uppermost top piece of the upper hull and glue it to the lower upper hull ring; some might call it the middle ring between the top and bottom parts of the hull. Then I decided I may want to show this ship in flight mode; hopefully, I can think of a way to use rare earth magnets to use the landing gear without having to permanently attach the landing struts. Either way, I wanted the upper and lower halves of the ship to stick together without gluing so I went ahead and positioned four magnets in the lower hull that stick to metal washers in the upper hull...

Careful measuring was needed to make sure the magnets and washers aligned and mated together properly:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Magnets and Washers by Steve J, on Flickr

Metal washers mate to the magnets in the lower hull. I used epoxy and CA glue to hold the parts together when making the posts:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- by Steve J, on Flickr

I used a total of four super strong magnets to hold the two saucer halves together:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Magnets Installed by Steve J, on Flickr

Whoa! we just made a loop the loop to... Main hatch outward facing.

Scratched the outward facing side of the main hatch on the upper deck. I used MM Intermediate Blue for the piece on the left and MM Medium Grey for the piece on the right:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Main Hatch Outward Facing Parts by Steve J, on Flickr

I glued the two pieces for the main hatch together using white glue. Turned out better than I thought it would:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Main Hatch Putward Facing Assembled by Steve J, on Flickr

Hold on we're back on course again! OK.

Here are some screen grabs of one fan's idea of the lavatory. I'll use these for reference when I make my own tiny lavatory and laundry room for my build. He seems to have followed the layout shown on the studio blueprint putting the toilet back in the left corner across from the electronic shower. The shower and toilet are separated from the laundry room by a folding privacy screen. There is a sink outside across from the electronic washing machine.

Anyway, here are the screen grabs...

Good view of the front of the automatic laundry machine next to the electronic shower:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Jupiter 2 Walkthrough Screen Cap by Steve J, on Flickr

The electronic shower:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Jupiter 2 Walkthrough Screen Cap by Steve J, on Flickr

The toilet:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Jupiter 2 Walkthrough Screen Cap by Steve J, on Flickr

The sink:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Jupiter 2 Walkthrough Screen Cap by Steve J, on Flickr

Next I'll post images of the lavatory. I think i got it pretty close to what you see in the screen grabs.


Sr Member
So into the loo we go...

I finished the lavatory following what I could make out from the blueprints. The floor of the lower deck will need some more work to get rid of the swirls and brushstrokes left by the gloss varnish:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Lavatory by Steve J, on Flickr

Nice view of the sink and toilet. The toilet has a red lid and black seat made of styrene tubing and a toilet paper roll dispenser:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Sink and Lavatory by Steve J, on Flickr

The clear shower enclosure is a tube made from an empty exacto blade package and has a small control panel scratched from styrene strip and rod with green, red, and blue buttons. A tiny soap dish is mounted next to it. Above is a showerhead. Of course there is also a floor drain:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Electronic Shower by Steve J, on Flickr

The sink has separate faucets with red and blue (hot and cold) "handles" which are small dots of paint dotted on with a sharpened toothpick. Above the sink is an orange-red lever for operating the stopper (I think). Above the sink is a mirror made from a piece of leftover tin photo-etch. A folding privacy screen separates the sink/laundry area from the toilet and shower:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Lavatory by Steve J, on Flickr

To finish the lavatory I had to make the folding accordion doors that it and the staterooms had. So I made four folding doors using some very narrow Evergreen U channel tubing:

51532183494_8c9e5ac73e_z.jpg [/url
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mvHUNj]Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Parts for Cabin and Lavatory Screens
by Steve J, on Flickr

I brush painted the screens with MM Light Gull Grey:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Stateroom Folding Screens by Steve J, on Flickr

The lower deck chair has some extra long armrests I scratched per the decal instructions:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Aux Conrol Chair by Steve J, on Flickr

Lower deck dining table with integrated stools...

Not bad work on these tiny stools:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Dining Table and Stools by Steve J, on Flickr

Carved to final shape using an exacto knife and files:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Dining Table Stools by Steve J, on Flickr

I glued the auxiliary control seat into place with epoxy. The lab, lavatory, and staterooms are done except for decals:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Cabins, Lavatory, Etc by Steve J, on Flickr

Next time...

Lower deck lab and upper deck computer wall.


Sr Member
Thanks Dave!

The Jupiter is straying off course. I must finish my computer wall inertial navigation system mods soon before we become… LOST IN SPACE!

OK, not really, but it felt so good to say it.

First , though, the laboratory…

The main back wall lab console was scratched along with a smaller console to the right. The lab counters were painted with a custom mixed green color:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Lower Deck Lab by Steve J, on Flickr

The 2 dimensional panel representing the 3D Inertial Navigation System was cut out and removed leaving an opening for construction of a niche to house new parts made from scratch. I used a metal craft store bead for the ball and a short length of aluminum tubing for the base. A backbone of piano wire will be epoxied after insertion into a hole in the center of the bead then thru a black styrene disc on the top of the base, then down thru the base to exit thru another hole in the floor of the niche:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Making Inertial Nav System Replacement Parts for Computer Wall Niche by Steve J, on Flickr

This computer wall has a lot going on but it’s coming along nicely:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Inertial Nav and Vector Tape Systems by Steve J, on Flickr

Still need to finish installing the walls in the Inertial Navigation System niche. One of the vector tape reels is done and looks good in this test fit. The reels will be painted an orange yellow color before being glued in place.
The compu-translator below the vector tapes is carved from a block of styrene and painted black, it will eventually be painted silver grey. It will get a decal with control gauges, buttons, and dials on its face later on:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Computer Wall Mods by Steve J, on Flickr

Looking down from behind the wall, above the inertial navigation dome and stanchions. The bumps on the top of the dome were made from very skinny styrene rod cut into thin slices and stuck to the dome using a pin and epoxy. Then I took a pointy toothpick and dotted them with silver enamel:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Inertial Navigation System by Steve J, on Flickr

Have a couple of decals to apply but otherwise this is ready to be glued back into the model:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Computer Wall Done by Steve J, on Flickr

The finished dining table:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Dining Table and Attached Chairs by Steve J, on Flickr

Next i modify the landing legs.


Sr Member
Any spaceship worth it's salt needs good landing legs...

Thin squarish Plastruct strips were trimmed to the necessary curvature then forced into the open slots before being brushed with liquid Testors glue:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Landing Gear Mod - Ribs by Steve J, on Flickr

Slots were sliced and sawed out for inserting styrene strips trimmed to form the characteristic ribs seen on the landing pads of the full size set model:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Landing Gear Mods- Slits for Ribs by Steve J, on Flickr

From left to right you can see the steps I took to accurize the landing pads:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Landing Gear Mods by Steve J, on Flickr

Lines were scribed into the pad, then a pedestal was built around the bottom of each pad, then slots were cut into the top and upper half, then thin styrene sheet was trimmed and fit into each slot to make the ribs. They'll be puttied and sanded and painted Metallic Aluminum same as the hull.

I made a styrene tube in the top of each landing leg for the rare earth magnet to be glued into with epoxy....


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Tray for Magnet by Steve J, on Flickr

I brushed some Mister Surfacer on the landing pad. The plastic “baseball bat” telescoping struts need to go:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Landing Pad Primed by Steve J, on Flickr

Here are the three legs with their magnets installed:


Jupiter 2 - Rework- Magnets Mounted to Legs by Steve J, on Flickr

My next task will be to remove the awful plastic kit "telescoping strut" from the top of each pad.
I will then make new struts using brass and aluminum tubing.

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