Main Mission

A week and a half ago, I shared the model of the Starship Enterprise’s bridge that I built. It seems I’ve been in the mood to build science fictional command centers lately, because I also recently completed a model of Main Mission from Space: 1999. This was, in part, inspired by my enjoyment of Big Finish Productions’ audio version of the series, which in turn led me to re-watch the first season of the 1970’s television series.

As for the model itself, I discovered it when looking up videos that might help with some points of assembly on the Enterprise bridge model. Some videos that turned up in the suggested play list discussed the Space: 1999 Moonbase Alpha kit, which includes the show’s first season command center, Main Mission. As it turns out, I remember seeing an early version of the Moonbase Alpha kit from when I was a child. I also remember asking my parents to buy it for me. At the time, they turned me down. It was probably for the best. That was during the height of my slap kits together as fast as I could, without really caring about the quality of my work! I discovered MPC had released an update of the Moonbase Alpha kit in the not-too-distant past and they aren’t hard to find for decent prices on eBay, so I bought one.

MPC Moonbase Alpha Model Kit

As of this writing, I haven’t actually built the Moonbase itself. I may share that at a later time, but I have tackled the miniature of main mission. Like the Enterprise bridge, it’s not a perfectly accurate replica. Two problems stand out at first glance. First, there’s a spiral staircase in Main Mission. In the show, it was a simple staircase with landings. Second, Commander Koenig’s office is too short. In the show, he had a lower level with a conference table and several chairs. It was actually a rather spacious workspace. The biggest challenge of this model is that it’s rather small, so painting details and adding decals took some care and patience. Still, I managed it. Here’s a look in from the top.

Main Mission from above.

I rather like the details in the decals they included. The big screen is a very accurate version of what was shown on television. The globe in Commander Koenig’s office was another selling point for me. It was such a memorable prop, I was delighted they included it in the model, even if painting it was a challenge. The continents don’t really match up with anything on a real globe, but they do give the impression of the continents as they looked in the show.

Main Mission from the side

The second view shows a more oblique angle, so you can see the computer banks on the lower level. Again, these were good decals. It also made me realize how similar the main mission and command center sets were in Space: 1999 and the earlier series produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, UFO. As with my Enterprise bridge model, one of the most fun elements was painting and placing the people. I tried to imagine something of a story in progress. I have Commander Koenig and Dr. Helena Russell speaking in the commander’s office. Dr. Victor Bergman is running in to tell them something. We have Paul Morrow, Alan Carter, and Sandra Benes sitting at consoles. One challenge was whether to depict the televised Main Mission, or as I imagine it might be in the audio. On television, the computer officer is David Kano. We see a person that could be him standing by the computer. In the audio, David became a woman named Dashka Kano. I have a woman that could be her standing near one of the Main Mission doors.

Main Mission and the Enterprise Bridge

This final image serves two purposes. It shows the Main Mission model with its roof panels in place and it also shows the model compared to the Enterprise bridge model. As you can see, the Main Mission model is a much smaller scale. One of the reasons I decided to get this model is that the Enterprise bridge model was pretty plain on the outside, so sitting on the table, it’s not very attractive unless you look inside. The Main Mission model makes a nice compliment on the shelf.

At some point in the not-too-distant future I hope to build the actual Moonbase part of the kit, but for now, it’s time to get back to writing.

5 comments on “Main Mission

  1. rozepotpourri says:

    I want to wish you and your family a very Happy Easter!

  2. My model-building days were pretty short.

    For one thing, I got into it as a kid primarily because my best friend was doing it, a friend who then moved. So model building reminded me that my best friend was gone and I had nobody else who cared much about the hobby.

    For another, around the same time I worked on gluing a model in a small, closed, non-ventilated room. I got a really bad headache, the worst of my life, apparently from the glue. Then I learned some people sniffed it on purpose, and it could make you lose self-control and you could even die from it.

    Yes, I know model building can certainly be done safely. But those two experiences that happened relatively close together when I was a kid got me out of the modeling hobby. So I turned to other things. These included riding a bicycle down flights of stairs, petting wild animals, and carrying around a venomous spider on my bare hand. Those things I never had a problem with.

    (And no, I don’t recommend the bicycle/wild animal/spider things–they can be very dangerous. I was taught how to ride a bike that way, I was dealing with and helping raise animals since before I can even remember, and if it did bite the spider’s venom was pretty mild.)

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences, Alden.

      Indeed, working with model glue is one of the more challenging parts of the process. I still use regular model glue, but I always work in a well-ventilated area. As an adult, it’s a lot easier to keep my distance from the parts being glued. Also, I’ve learned not to limit myself to tubes of model glue. Depending on what I’m working with, I might use super glue or epoxy — both of which have advantages and disadvantages, but a big advantage to both is much less odor!

      Glad to hear you survived your other experiences as well!

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