I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for featuring my Polar Lights Jupiter 2 model on his site. With his help and support I learned a great deal about modeling and was able to build a kit that I can be proud to display. Thanks Steve and this Wonderfest 1999 Bronze Award is as much yours as it is mine. Couldn’t have done it without you!
Here is the fusion core light effects circuit. I spliced the circuit boards of two 10 light strings of craft lights together so they scroll in sequence. The wires run through an added hole in the lower deck floor and then through 10 holes drilled into the lower hull. Each light is held onto the fusion core detail with hot glue. Detailed pictures of this did not turn out and I had the fusion core and lower floor glued in place before they returned. Also seen in this shot is the astrogator antenna.
Here is the finished fusion core. This detail looks very good as is so I chose not to add Ron’s fins. As warned, each lens had to be masked off prior to painting. This was a time consuming task but the results were very good. There are usually four lights on at a time and they are a bit too slow but consider this, the kit does not come with any light effects so anything you add will only enhance its appearance.
Here I altered the astrogator to allow the upper disk to be raised into the upper bubble of the ship. This was carefully done with a small saw blade that fits into a standard X-Acto knife handle.
For the astrogator cylinder, I used a small antenna from an old cordless phone. The antenna us routed through the hole in the center of the upper deck and then through a hole in the lower deck floor to stabilize it.
The finished effect. This can be seen in the Lost in Space episodes “The Reluctant Stowaway” and “The Hungry Sea”.
Here is the foot pad modification. An X-Acto saw blade was used to cut small slots in the foot pad for the addition of the rib details. Each rib was one piece of thin plastic that was carefully cut and glued onto the pad and then filed down to the correct size. This was another time consuming modification but adds a great deal to the appearance of the model. Again, the landing leg details are very accurate and I chose not to rebuild the pads and struts.
Here is the lower hull with the landing bay sections removed. This was carefully done with an X-Acto knife and saw. I left 1/4″ of material around the mounting hole intact to attach the landing leg.
To get the basic mold line of the lower hull, use detail #32 or #33 lower level support walls from the J2 kit. The landing bay wall section you cut will have to be slightly modified to extend past the lower deck floor line. You will know what I mean when you start cutting the new sections. Also, the height of the new section will have to be trimmed down to prevent it from interfering with the upper deck floor.
After cutting and trial fitting the landing bay side wall, I drilled five 1/4″ holes on 1/2″ centers. I then glued a doubler that had been painted “Gunship Grey” (use a color of your choice) to the back. This not only gives the bay wall added strength, it gives a nice bulkhead appearance.
Here is a completed landing bay as seen from the interior of the lower deck (no room for staterooms). The bay sidewalls were glued in place so that they are flush with the lower hulls outer moldline but the doublers are not. The bay walls may need to be carefully filed flush to match the lower hull. I considered using the upper deck floor as the top sections of the each bay, but since it is not a complete circle, I would have had to splice in sheet plastic.
Now that the landing bays are complete and in place, the struts on the landing legs must be extended. This was done with sections of 1/8″ aluminum tube. A 12″ length was only 40 cents at the local hobby shop. The tube fit very nicely over the pin at the top of the strut.
Finally, the finished landing bay! The only thing that remains is to paint the strut extension to match. This modification took the better part of two days to make but I am very glad that I decided to do it. Leaving the kit as is would have been fine, but she is starting to look like our old Jupiter 2!
Go to part 2