|I got a partially finished set of landing gear from Chris Trice (see picture). All the difficult bits which had to be turned on a lathe, or machined, were already done. The rest would be quite straightforward, with the basic tools I have.
|Holes were drilled in the corners of the brass plate for the 1/8” tube. I cut some brass box section to keep the H shaped piece the correct distance from the plate, then clamped it in place. The ends of the tubes were crimped and bent to the correct angle, then soldered in place. The H shaped piece was silver soldered together, so I didn’t have to worry about it coming apart when soldering the rest of the gear with ordinary tin lead alloy.
|Next I had to cut down the small solid bit of brass that the channel bolts to. This was then soldered in place.
|The feet were made from brass plate, strip and channel. The channel is the same as used on my eagle 1, but this time I got a friend of mine to reduce the wall thickness on his milling machine. The feet were clamped and soldered together. I found the best way of cleaning up the solder was with a very sharp wood chisel, and then wet and dry paper.
|To connect the feet to the steel legs, I soldered T sections from 3/16” tube. These were attached to the feet with threaded rod and nuts. I rounded the nuts off with a file. The T sections were then glued into the steel legs with epoxy, and the rest of the landing gear bolted together.
The footpads were made from 6mm acrylic. I found the best way of working with this was to first rub the surface down with fine wet and dry, so that it was easier to see any marking out.
I cut the basic shape using a carpenters tenon saw. The four corner pieces were cut out with a hacksaw. To make the 45-degree angles, I used a grinding bit in my drill. This removed most of the material, I then finished off all the edges with various files.
|The footpads on the original eagle 1 were ¼” thick and then replaced with 5/16” pads for season 2. I decided to make mine ¼”. In the picture opposite you can see that the pads on my first eagle are too thin, even for season 1, they are in fact only 3/16” thick.
|The “toes” on the original models were vinyl stickers from a Sasco Year Planner. I made mine from thin styrene sheet, superglued in place.
|The number of toes changed after season 1, as well as the thickness of the footpads. The pictures opposite show what the original feet of eagle 1 should look like and feet of eagle 2. I made mine in the style of eagle 2, not only the number of toes, but also the angle and length of the brass strips.
|For the attitude thrusters, I stuck together two 10mm acrylic cubes. These were covered with various thickness styrene sheet to get the correct size. Holes were then drilled to accept the aluminium nozzles.
The original idea was to use resin side pods, which I got from Jim Small. As you can see from the pictures, they are very well cast and have all the eagle 1 detail.
This time I wanted to make eagle 2. So rather than take all the detail off the resin pods, I decided to go with machined chemiwood ones from Paul Gray . My thanks to Paul for getting these and other 44” eagle bits made.
I got two sets of pods from Paul. One set had a hole and recess at the bottom to accept landing gear Paul is having made. The other set had plane bottoms with no holes.
|I already had hardwood prongs for connecting the side pods to the frame. These were not exactly the same size as the Trice/Prud’homme drawings, which is what the chemiwood pods were made from. Plastic card was superglued to the prongs to make them a tight fit, and then they were glued into the recesses. Car body filler was used to fill in the remaining gap.
|Using a pillar drill I made an 11mm hole to accept the landing gear. The gear went in, but it was a very tight fit. I thought I might have a problem getting it out if it got stuck. Therefore, I increased the hole to 11.5mm and wrapped masking tape around the gear until it was a tight push fit.
|I steel locating pin was used to attach the attitude thrusters. These will only be permanently glued in place after the pods are detailed and painted.
|I cut the panels from 30 thou. styrene sheet, and fixed them to the pods using superglue gel. I marked the panels on the pods in pencil and applied the glue to the pod and spread it with a piece of plastic card. I used “slow zap” superglue, which sets slower than normal superglue, but you still have to be quick in positioning the panels. The back of the Gemini kit parts were filled with car body filler, to make it easier to glue them in place.
|For the cross behind the attitude thrusters I used some thin styrene sheet I had available (12 thou. I think). The thruster nozzles I had were the same shape as that of eagle 1. So I decided to make the cross look more like eagle 1's, and have an even space around the edges.
|I used some more 12 thou. sheet on the bottom of the pods, and superglued it in place.
|I tried to cast the Airfix Saturn five and 1/24th scale Revell Gemini parts I needed. The Saturn five bits came out alright, but I couldn’t get the detail on the Gemini parts. So I gave up and got another Gemini kit from ebay and used the original parts.