Things of beauty

I HAVE a confession to make – I am, and always have been, rubbish at making models.

No matter what my good intentions, no matter how determined I was, no matter how carefully I arranged the different pieces of the kit before I began, I would always end up with the same result.

That would be with my hands and clothes covered in Humbrol polystyrene cement and a finished product that would bear only a passing resemblance to the picture on the box.

Then, before I even started to paint it my frustration would get the better of me and I would throw it across the room, screaming ‘FUCK IT!!’ and scaring the cat.

Thankfully, not everyone was like that and one person who is much more gifted in the model making department than me (by a factor of … oooh … about infinity) is Howard Davies.

Howard works with me at the Liverpool Echo, but in his spare time he makes some fantastic models, some of which I will be sharing with you over the next few days, you lucky people!

Here’s the first one

How about that?!! The colossal Space Shuttle in its launch bay, and all just 10 inches tall. The Shuttle itself was made from a kit, but the rest of it is all Howard’s own work. It includes a square gutter which forms the frame of the bay, girder bridges from a model railway kit and the feet of an AT-AT walker (can you spot where?), as well as lights and fibre-optic cables.

On to number two.

Again the space shuttle is from a kit, albeit one that Howard gutted to fit all the interior detail such as the robot arm and the mirrored bay doors.

Once again though, he has crafted the space station from a variety of sources, my favourite being the solar panels, which are model railway fences wrapped in the silver foil from cigarette packets. Brilliant. The whole thing was then photoshopped onto a picture of the Earth. To complete the effect.

Here’s number three.

Just looking at this gives me the chills, because I loved everything about Space 1999 when I was a kid and owned a small fleet of Eagles, most of which ended up like the before picture above – battered and beaten, with bits hanging off.

The sheer amount of work that went into this is staggering. First Howard stripped the paint off the Dinky model, using paint stripper for the metal bits and a sander for the plastic. Then he re-painted the model and filled in any areas that required it.

But – and this is the really cool part – can you see the Moonbase Alpha decals? Howard actually made them in Photoshop, after downloading versions of them from the internet.

It’s that sort of painstaking attention to detail that would have seen me launch the Eagle into orbit with frustration, but the results are well worth it.

So, that’s the first three – I’ll be sharing the final three models – all Gerry Anderson standards – with you after the weekend.

I know, I spoil you, I really do!

3 thoughts on “Things of beauty

  • ed straker


    Brilliant models – clever chap that Howard.
    I could never understand why so many of the Dinky Gerry Anderson models were in the wrong colours, like the green Eagle here – I also had a blue Thunderbird 2 and a green SHADO mobile.
    Howard told me that, despite putting all that effort into making their models look so realistic, Dinky just used to paint them with whatever colour they had lying around!

  • Paul Bradshaw


    Incredible. Never liked Space 1999 though

  • the orange monkey


    Fuk me that’s impressive

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