1/144 Stargazer Models 2001 Discovery

Gallery Article by Graham Symmonds on Nov 3 2011

 

This is the Stargazer Models Discovery from 2001: A Space Odyssey one of my favourite fictional spacecraft.  The model is available from Starship Modeler (http://www.starshipmodeler.biz/shop/index.cfm).

Stargazer Models did an excellent job on this kit.  The model is a real work of art very nicely designed and cast, and very well thought out from a construction perspective.  I chose to attempt something Ive never done before lighting a model, which slowed my glacial pace of model building down to geologic timescales as I tried to figure out how to do it.  In the end, I decided on lightsheet from Miller Engineering (http://www.microstru.com/Experimenter-Kits.html) and a 5 mm LED lighting a cored out pod with fibre optic cable run through for the headlamps.

 

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The lighting required a fair bit of surgery on the resin bits, but in the end it came together relatively easily.  My soldering skills certainly need some work and I was completely paranoid about having the system just short out on me!

The cables for the lighting are cored below the main 1/8 steel support rod and make a right angle down through one of the collars and are passed through the brass support tubes.  The light sheet requires a separate power supply which required sending two types of voltage to the command sphere.  One 4.5V DC for the LED and then a lead from the lightsheet power supply.  Luckily there is enough room behind the Pod Deck to house the wires, connectors and resistor (for the LED).  The wires are fed underneath the base to a Radio Shack housing to hold the power supply and connected to the wall transformer.

From a construction perspective the hardest thing is aligning the spine components I used a small alignment jig with 11/16th runners to help out, and decided to use a slightly larger copper sleeve to build the components on and then slide them onto the steel rod.  Its still hard to maintain the correct alignment and I can see where the spine bits are off slightly. From a distance you cannot tell.

For painting I used a primer coat followed by flat white.  Then with six different grays, I masked some panels off on the command sphere.  Then dulled everything down with a thinned light grey, followed by Paynes grey oil wash.  Overall the effect is pretty good, although in some areas it is a bit dark.  Plus in reality I could have likely used only two or three grays rather than six you really cannot tell the shade differences.

I had a great time working on this I love the subject and the casting is really first rate.  Its large though - 30 inches long plus a bit for the extended pod!  Oh well, we dont use the dining room table anyway!

Graham Symmonds

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Photos and text by Graham Symmonds