|By Michale Dentzer - images & text © 2000|
Rumbling its way across the Lunar surface in defense of SHADO Moonbase, the mobile rocket launcher (a.k.a. Moon Defender) provided perimeter defense against ufos which might escape an assault from Moonbase interceptors. The tanks also served a role in seek-and-destroy missions should the alien craft land on the Lunar surface.
This scratch-built model in 1/100 scale measures 4 in. (9.5 cm) long. The wheel and track assemblies are from a 1/72 scale Soviet T-62 tank kit which is the closest looking one I could find to match the Tiger Joe toy wheel and track assemblies that were used to build the original studio model (as well as the more familiar SHADO Mobiles). I had to add some short lengths of styrene tubing to the center of each wheel to better match the film version.
The body is built from sheet styrene, and detailed from assorted tank parts from the above mentioned kit, and other bits from the parts box.
The rocket launcher itself is made from lengths of 1/8in.(3.2mm) Evergreen square tube and detailed with another dip into the parts box. The rear of the tank was the most challenging, not as a building problem, but because of a lack of reference. The original studio model no longer seems to exist, as far as my correspondences with several Gerry Anderson collectors revealed, and is evident on-screen in that the model was blown up during a battle sequence, which it evidently lost. So, the only references to be found, as far as I know, are from screen captured images from the show itself (thanks to Jim Small), none of which show the rear in any detail, mostly in deep shadow. Therefore, this section of the replica is completely speculative on my part.
A paint job with Testors Model Master flats in light, gull, medium and dark ghost grays; panel outlines and accents, as well as a good coating over the tracks, in pencil, and a light wash with Humbrol flat black diluted in alcohol to finish.
Clockwise, from right: Left rear, showing details of top of launcher; larger picture from front/left showing "greeblies" and revised roadwheels to good effect; two views of the "conjectural" rear of the vehicle; right side, left side and front views; and (top) two closeups showing the wealth of detail that Michel packed into just four inches!
This page copyright © 2000 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 28 March 2000.