This next build is a commissioned build of the Moebius 1/35 scale Jupiter 2 from the TV show “Lost in Space” The client supplied the kit and all the accessories he would like added to the kit. The TV show ran from 1965 to 1968 and was produced by Irwin Allen. The premise of the show was the Robinson family set out look for other planets for space colonization. The ship was knocked off course and they were lost in space.
There is a stack of accessory items that were supplied by the client. The first add-on id the Moebius Light Kit, this is a kit sold by the kit maker Moebius to illuminate the interior and provide the engine and external lights. The second add-on I will be using is the Starling sound board, this provides the sounds of the ships engine spinning up and running for about 20 seconds. A remote control system to operate the lights and sounds via a 4-button remote control is supplied by Tenacontrols. The next two add-ons are a full set of decals from TSDS and Green Strawberry’s 1/35 resin figures of the Robinson family. These figures will be placed in the cryo tubes that suspended the crew for the long journey into space. I will also be adding some other details to improve the appearance of the final kit.
I started with the cleanup of the resin figures. The figures needed to be removed from the casting base and then I needed to clean up the areas between the legs and between the arms and body. The lower part of the ship was the next area I worked on. First the light kit has you drill a hole in a side wall of the landing gear bays to place a large LED. The actual lights portrayed in the show are on the topside of these bays. There are three lights that they have you paint two of them and drill out the third. These drilled out holes according to the light kit are for the power connector, interior light switch, and engine light control. Since the switch functions will be done remotely and I will be relocating the power connector. With that in mind I drilled out all three lights in all the bays and inserted a clear dome. Instead of one large LED sticking out of the wall I will be using three small LED’s to replicate what was seen in the show.
Next I started working on the landing gear and entry stairs. The first problem I encountered is the kit molding is not the best. The stairs thickness is not even. The second issue is the side rails have many mold marks and when dry fitted to the stairs the bottom platform has lots of gaps. I started off sanding the top of each stair to make them an even thickness and then filling the gaps and mold marks with putty. I also did a check on the light kit which was recommended with the instructions. All the lights work fine. I also tested the remote controller and the sound board. I need to plan out how to hook the lights, sound, and controller board together. Since the three separate card use different voltages I will need to design a power divider board to accommodate them.
The second week of the Jupiter 2 has been spent on preparing the lower section of the spacecraft. I continued with the landing gear which also has stairs to enter the ship. The molds for the stairs appear to be slightly warped. Each step had a varying thickness. I used 400 grit sanding sticks to level off each step on all three stairs. The stair rails also required a lot of sanding to fit as well. Once I had everything sanded, shaped and fitting well I used putty on the seams then sprayed them with the aluminum base coat.
While the landing gear was drying I then turned to painting the figures. I used chrome for the outfits and silver for the shoes and small gloves. The color photos I used for reference showed the pilot and Dad with large gloves and the rest of the family had silver gloves that looked like latex gloves. I then painted the faces with eyes closed and hair. Finally I used Vallejo transparent red for the uniform piping.
Moving back to the ship I looked over reference photos from the TV show and noticed the fusion engine covers looked flat white. The kit has a clear panel and the LED’s from the light kit do not line up with the openings. I used so .010” styrene sheets and made covers to replace the clear part. This looks much more like the TV show effects. The client wanted the fusion cover with the extended panels instead of the bottom without panels. The kit does give you both styles of fusion panels. I dry fitted the landing gear which requires some twisting and flexing to get them into the bays. I looked over how the landing gear bays and landing gear need to be assembled as the instructions are vague on the order of assembly. It looks like the landing gear needs to be installed, then the entry doors, which I painted and detailed, and finally the side walls of the bays. Before I assemble them I installed the nine LED’s using acrylic gel for the bays. Once cured, I will finish detailing the landing gear and then install them all. I need to start preparing the lower section with the lights as many of the LED’s in the light kit need to be places on the floor panel. I also need to see how the sound board and the remote control board fit inside as well.
This third week of the Jupiter 2 is the start of assembling and detailing of the interior. First I finished the lower section and landing gear. With all the gear completed and installed I mounted the LED’s and did a light check. The landing gear bay lighting effect looks identical to one of the very few reference photos and much better than having just one large LED sticking out the side wall.
Moving onto the interior I started with the main console. The light kit has two green and one yellow LED that mount under the console to illuminate the radar screens. I first masked and painted the backside flat black to aid in blocking any light showing where it isn’t suppose to. The kit has decals for the radar screens. The only issue is the green radar screen decals are smaller than the screen on the panel. The center yellow screen is properly sized. I scanned the green screens into my computer and resized them to fill the side radar screens. The radar decals were then applied to the backside of the panels. Using the instructions and a few reference photos I painted the panels, switches, knobs on the panels and displays. The light kit LED’s were mounted to the deck and I dry fit the console onto it for the light check. The LED’s illuminated the radar screens perfectly. Next I started to build up the seats for the main console. I started by drilling out the holes in the seat frames and painting the seats. The next console has a large monitor. The extra decal set has different images that can be applied to the monitor screen. The client picked one of them. I cut open the monitor screen on the console and then using thin styrene sheet I made a new monitor screen. This was done so that the monitor can be illuminated with an extra LED. One thing to note is the Moebius light kit LED boards do have open sections so additional LED’s can be added to the kit. Continuing to work on the interior and then will begin the installation of all the electronics.
The fourth week of the Jupiter 2 I am still working on the interior. The main deck was painted, all of the walls have been painted, and I am still working on the various consoles that adorn the panels. It is slow going on detail painting them. There are a few of them that required modification as well for the light kit. On the computer panel there is a red LED that sits above the sphere in the center. The left panel is a bay of circuits that is illuminated by an LED behind it. I did some testing and the LED does not illuminate the panel evenly. I placed a thin sheet of thin styrene behind the panel and now the illumination is evenly diffused to cover the entire panel.
The next sets of panels are the three panels that sit behind the freezing tubes. The client purchased the Fedoratron photo etch set that adds the panel inserts as well as the floor grates for the elevator and freezing tubes. The inserts to the panels fit on top of the kit clear parts perfectly and look great. The rear parts of the panels are clear parts and per the instructions need to be painted with a thin coat of white. This is due to these will be illuminated with blue LED’s. I also looked at the ceiling which requires modification for the light kit as well. One thing is there are a lot of mold marks which need to be filled. While looking over the reference photos there is a flush mounted light in the hallway to the upper exit door. The kit part has this molded in and the light kit has you drill a hole for the LED. Since it can be seen thru the side window I am going to cut out the area and make a flush light with the LED behind it. I still have center assembly to build and the freezing tubes to build. Once these are done I can finally start installing the light kit. The placement of the LED’s requires a lot of the interior to be assembled so that the LED’s can be mounted to their respective areas and the wiring can be routed to avoid being seen.
As I finish the fifth week of the Jupiter 2 project I have completed all the interior sections. There are a couple of things to note. The lighted tubes near the freezing tubes are clear rods. However there are a couple of air bubbles inside each one. The next is the range decal that goes on the astro-controller is very thick and does not fit very well when being placed into the clear dome. The decal ended up getting damaged so I made my own using thin film decal sheet. This laid down better and did not get damaged when inserting the assembly into the dome.
For the interior bulkheads I covered them with some thin white sheet styrene to mimic the views in the TV show. I then assembled the freezing tubes. The clear base was left off and the photo etch grates were installed. I also painted the inside of the top with chrome paint. This reflects a little light back down and gives some very good shadow lines and highlights on the figures.
Starting with the lower section I sprayed flat black over the landing bays to aid in preventing and internal lights from shining thru the plastic. Since I replaced the clear fusion engine piece with thin styrene I decided to use the clear piece to seal the fusion lights from shining elsewhere. I painted the inside with chrome paint to reflect and extra light back down and the outside flat black to block and light towards the interior. Once the fusion core light board was mounted the cover was then installed. I now need to sort out the bundle of wires and LED’s to start mounting the LED’s that go into the floor.
This is the 5.5 week of the Jupiter 2. After ten days of an unscheduled break for a minor medical issue I am finally able to get back to the bench! The “.5” (half week) notation is because I have only had a couple of days of work on it. I started with installing the deck LED’s. I am using the acrylic gel medium to hold them in place. For the freezing tubes the instructions tell you to glue the wires down with the LED bent upwards. I did not like how they just hang there so I used some thin styrene sheets and mounted the LED’s to them then attached to the bottom side of the deck. With the LED’s mounted I then checked out the sound card. The sound out of the speaker is a little muffled and since the saucer will be sealed I decided to make a speaker grill. Instead of drilling holes like I have seen on other builds I decided to cut slits on the cargo doors. The doors have ribs already so I just sawed them open. Once cleaned and repainted they will be very hard to see but allow the sound to project out.
Next I purchased a small dual relay board. These relays will be controlled by the remote control board to turn on the light kit and turn on the sound card from the remote. I mounted the speaker by using two styrene square rods then mounted the relay board in front of it. I then removed the batter board from the sound card and ran the power to a mono jack. The battery pack was then mounted to a mono plug. This will allow the battery pack top remain out of the ship and allow batteries to be changed in the future. I plan on making a battery box to look like a storage container that may have been used aboard the ship. Next I need to sort out which LED’s go to which walls and then mount the LED boards to the bottom. I can then start installing the previously completed interior pieces.
This past week the Jupiter 2 was fully assembled and completed! With all the electronics mounted I assembled the interior walls and details. This went together very well and quicker than I estimated. Installing the ceiling was a little tricky as the instructions recommend not gluing the support walls until the ceiling is in place. This was actually a nice note in the instructions. It did take some adjustments to get the walls lined up and into the ceiling slots. Once the ceiling was set I then glued all the supporting wall attachment points. I then installed all the ceiling and wall LED’s and then tucked the wires down.
I cleaned up the hull, primed it, and painted the silver exterior. For the battery case I used some sheet styrene and made a case. I added some photo etch handles and a hoist ring on the top. The box was painted aluminum and then I made decals calling it the “Fusion Core Emergency Recharge Unit” with some radiation and two man lift warning signs. I completed the hull by adding the windshield and the radar bubble on top. The client wants the ship sealed so I began the process of gluing the upper hull to the lower hull. Due to size, a slight warp in both halves, and a tight fit due to all the wiring this was a very tedious process. I had to slowly glue the halves at about 2” at a time. Due to the contour of the hull I could not use clamps so I held the halves together, glued the seam, I then held the section until the glue cured. A little final clean up on the seams and the Jupiter 2 was finished. I hooked up the power for the lights and the battery box for the sound board and performed a final check of the lights and sound.
Check out the video below of the final operation of the electronic features.
This project was an interesting change from doing military aircraft. Moebius did a decent job with the kit instructions. They even have little helpful notes to aid in assembly. The only thing I would change on the instructions would be to organize the painting instructions better. Some of the minor assemblies painting notes are scattered within the assembly instructions. Some of the parts required some clean up due to mold marks. The kit decals had two issues. The green radar screens were smaller than the area where they go and the astro-contol station gauge ring decal was thick and cracked easily. Since the assembly fits inside a clear dome the thicker decal was hard to get in correctly. I ended up making my own which made it a lot easier to assemble. The Moebius light kit was ok. I changed the landing bays lighting and made mounts for some of the LED’s as the instructions wants to mount them by their wires and “floating” the LED into position. For the accessories, The Tenacontrols remote control board works very well and is easy to wire up with the enclosed instructions. The Starling sound board works well. It would be nice if they could add a power supply input so that you can use a different source beside the batteries. Using a different power source changes the input impedance which changes the timing of the sound causing the cycle to reset way too early. The resin figures of the Robison family were excellent. Clean up was easy and the figure details were great. I did not use the extra decals. The colors used on the decals seemed off and the resolution of the print was too low for what I prefer. Many of the panels looked much better painting them. Overall it was an interesting build and not as complicated as I first thought. I hope you all have enjoyed this project. Thank you for following along. Happy modeling!
Final presentation video showing lights and sound: