In my shapeways store, you’ll find this series of one piece, solid models are designed based upon the two classic 1980’s science fiction TV mini-series and the spinoff series. In preparing to make these figures, I found that the references to these space craft and vehicles were erratic and clearly inaccurate in most cases. I also found that depending on the particular TV scene I viewed, many details of the particular vessels were inconsistent. As such, I fully admit that I have taken a bit of poetic license in attempting to harmonize the various views of the ships as depicted in the TV series. I followed the modular design concept clearly visible in all the designs. In order to decide on the scale of the ships, I carefully compared the shuttles and fighters to the objects they were near in key scenes. By comparing the length of the ships to the known lengths of surrounding items (the classic Dodge Monaco police cruiser, for example) and the height to characters passing through the doors (shock troopers, for example), I determined reasonably accurate dimensions to use.
I designed the modular components and trial printed them repeatedly on my DaVinci 1.0 printer in ABS … working out the most critical design elements. After achieving stable images of the components, I began creating the ships as seen in the series. The first six models I created were uploaded and three were printed one or more times each. These models were very good, but I found a few improvements that should be made for commercial printing. All currently posted components are “version 2.0” – I have enhanced all the modules and re-built all the ships with the improved components.
Due to the great disparity in relative size of the mother ship, I have chosen to incorporate its design in the display stand options and not create a stand-alone version. Because the ships are solid, they would require a small hole to be drilled in the bottom in order to be mounted (permanent or removable) on the peg of the display base. I have taken the same approach with the classic logo.
While this description is consistent, the model name contains the scale. Most of the models have three versions:
- Landed: as seen landed on either the Earth or the mother ship with landing gear down and bay doors open (where applicable)
- In Flight: shown in both Earth’s blue sky and and the blackness of space, landing gear stowed and bay doors closed
- Door(s) Open: in the landed configuration with the access door or doors open
I am considering the size of the models vs. their printing cost and I may offer more “smaller” scales that would be less expensive. At this time, three of the core scales I have chosen to make available are:
- 1:87.1 HO Scale: obviously for potential use with other available HO scale model accessories
- 1:72 Aircraft Scale: this is a common scale for many Scifi models – such as the Space 1999 Eagle from AMT/ERTL
- 1:64 Matchbox Scale: a much larger basic size – it is the nominal “Hot Wheels” car scale and seemed like a logical choice for diorama construction of street scenes
While I may expand the series, the currently available models in my shapeways store are:
- Sky Fighter (or Skyfighter): the classic fighter plane design. A pilot module with a narrow door and stair are fnished out by an aft compartment of almost all windows where a single, rear facing gunner is seated.
- Squad Shuttle: the common workhorse size vehicle shown very frequently. This shuttle has the standard pilot and aft modules with three larger, functional modules adding the volume required for shock troopers, passengers, or cargo.
- Large Shuttle: shown less frequently, the large shuttle is a variant on the squad shuttle that adds more cargo and transport space by adding two more interior modules. The large shuttle design landed on the top of the UN building when first contact was made.
- Industrial Shuttle: the largest of the shuttles, this ship was shown infrequently. Most notably, this extra large shuttle that sported two large modules with doors landed at the chemical planted disgorged a seemingly endless stream of alien workers greeted by the local high school marching band playing.
- Tanker: an unusual ship that was seldom seen, the tanker sported the standard pilot and aft modules combined with two standard shuttle modules and a set of unique, narrow interior modules that supported the bulk tanks.