Science vessel AKA old unfinished spaceship model


Sr Member
I last worked on this old model from the 1990's in September 2019.
I never liked the original front and at some stage I made a modification the front and didn't like that either so the project sat around neglected for decades.
In 2019 I hacked off the front end and started building a new one making a third version. Inevitably I didn't like that one any better and so the project lay dormant once again.

Below is the model with the third attempt at a command section in 2019.
Everything in grey primer dates from the mid 1990's.
See part 1 for the 2019 work done on this project and this historical introduction of the model as it originally was.



Just recently I had another idea of what to do with it, combining a cockpit from an amphibious vehicle kit I have had saved away for a future project.
Why I hadn't thought of using this kit cockpit for this project before I can't fathom.
I had been thinking about a project I could use the cockpit shape for and in a sudden flash of inspiration I thought of this old spaceship project.

First thing was to draw up some rough thumbnails to firm up the concept in my head.


The first concept was the middle and bottom sketches which show a flat panelled shape rather like a large sized Y-wing.
Given that the rest of the ship uses predominantly widened cylindrical forms I thought the front should echo this and so drew the top sketch.
This scribble consolidated the idea particularly as I already had a plastic shape in my stash that would fit the bill.

Below is the result still a work in progress.
The idea is that this is a science vessel liberally festooned with a multitude of sensors for planetary survey.


The sides of the command section are made from a plastic (acrylic) cocktail shaker as usual a charity shop find.
It was cut in half and separated by a 2mm styrene structure.


The black curved shape at the very front of the clear cocktail shaker is a knob from a kitchen timer also cut in half.
The cocktail shaker is lightly scribed with lines to aid in aligning panels still to come.



The new front end is attached to the 2019 mid section which I have started to detail.


The sensors are made from an assortment of kit parts and a number of bits from old transformer toys.
The front panel detailing has been completed.

The detailing on the under surface is mostly completed.




There is another sensor mounted underneath.


The mid section features the ubiquitous Panzer hull.
The red part is the case from a servo tester which I managed to fry with a faulty servo.

The cockpit well is removable until I complete the wiring for the interior lighting.
You can see the PVC tubing which acts as the spine that all the section are mounted on.
Each section is removable for ease of working. Eventually I will glue the whole lot together permanently.


I have made a start on the interior but need to get some 1/48 scale pilot figures in order to figure out the rest.
The original kit the cockpit is from was 1/35 scale but I am upping the relative size to 1/48 as I want it to be roomier inside.



So far I am happy with this the fourth iteration of the command section for this project.
It has a certain brutalist esthetic which I quite like.
There is a very good chance this is the final version and I will take this model through to completion.

Thanks for looking.

More soon...


Sr Member
The bridge does lend itself to a more angular design--like a big brother to the Y-Wing. It screams Sulaco on its sideto me. Then too...I can see it as a giant Klingon nacelle...


New Member
The bridge does lend itself to a more angular design--like a big brother to the Y-Wing. It screams Sulaco on its sideto me. Then too...I can see it as a giant Klingon nacelle...
Big brother to the in the rough sketch? Don't see that as much in the actual build...tapered wedge sides are lost (did like that drawing...saving it for inspiration). Sulaco association is beyond me...I don't see it. Klingon nacelle, I get that from the raised details on the flat parts at the end...thought, no one would say you used it exactly as is or direct rip off....not any more than Kansas WILK come after you for copyright infringement by using the hull.


Sr Member
I said sulaco from the antennae up front.

I suffer from greeble freeze, where one part makes me want a whole ship for it. Some can take a cup, which I think can only be a nozzle, and cut it up and glue it to the sides of something that doesn’t make sense, until finished. I wish I could duplicate and scale up or down greeble. Put a bin of parts down, and we all have different visions for it.


Sr Member
Sulaco is correct, that was exactly what I was going for in intent for the nose mounted antennae array rather than specific style.


Sr Member
Nice work so far! Certainly achieved your intention of channeling the Sulaco with that front end. That was my first thought looking through your progress documentation. I like where this is headed. Has a nostalgic feel to it


Sr Member
Now that the Merchant Vessel has been completed it is back to this model.

I obtained some more Hasegawa 1/48 deck crew figures.
A couple of the standing ones went into the Merchant Vessel project while I saved the seated figures for this project.
They were glued to some seats out of a 1/35 scale military vehicle kit. the seats were mounted on bases made from some styrene tube and some parts from my small round parts box.


The cockpit was wired up with LEDs and the detailing finished.
I then sprayed on some grey primer and when that was dry went over it with my usual heavily diluted Tamiya flat black poo juice, followed up by dry brushing with students white acrylic.



The figures were then glued into position and the lighting tested.



Most of the effort on the cockpit interior will be very hard to see once the cockpit exterior is affixed in place.
The clear windows from the donor kit produce quite a lot of optical distortion when attempting to look through them.

While on the subject of lighting I managed to retrofit some of the same LED cob lights I used on the Merchant Vessel project into the engines of this project.
When I started this model originally in the 1990's I made no provision for lighting or for that matter a model support.
I was worried that the acrylic tap handles used as the engine nozzles, might crack apart while drilling them and the acrylic cup they are glued to as the acrylic is very brittle.
Fortunately the drilling was successful and I then drilled a small hole down through the engine bells into the bulkhead they are attached to with a long series drill.
This allowed me to feed a wire down which could then be used to pull the wires from the engine lights down the full length of the rear hull.

I also added a hatch and docking ring to each side.

The rear end of the model is now structurally and surface details complete.
I added more kit parts, 0.5 mm styrene panels and solid single core wire piping.
In the following photos everything that is not primer grey has been recently added.
The front section from the yellow bit forward is yet to be permanently attached and is still removable to make working on it easier.

The next step for the back end will be to spray grey primer.







The front section surface paneling is the next task.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.