Space:1999 "Commlock" (Before the new MPC kit came along)

Built from a wretched resin kit, this turned out to be practically a scratch build.

Sometimes it’s easier to build something from scratch than from a kit. This is an example….. (scroll down for the story).

Some years ago, a customer asked me to build a Commlock for him from a fairly common but very crude “Century Castings” resin kit. Just recently, Round 2, a model kit company based in Indiana has released a top-notch and highly accurate styrene kit which is now easy to find, and I also had a hand in developing it. But when I was asked to build THIS one, that MPC kit did not exist.

When the kit arrived I was faced with a tremendous number of air bubbles, mismatched parts that didn’t line up right and a host of other problems, the worst of which was the viewscreen which did not look in the least like it should have…..

I quickly realized the kit was unbuildable if I was to achieve the quality of work that the customer desired, so I realized I had to pretty much start from scratch.
I sanded all the buttons and details off and cut the blocks apart too so I had now just the basic shape to go by. And even that was off. Thanks to scans and measurements I had acquired of the actual film-used working “hero” prop, I was able to sand down and add material to the blocks to match the correct dimensions.

I had Mike Reader make me some aluminum parts for the end “antenna” thingy and the belt clip. Then I primed the whole thing to examine for flaws.

I had to make the viewscreen completely from scratch as the original was useless.

The main body was sprayed with medium gray and the buttons and dials and details and things were all made from sheet styrene and glued in place. Custom decals and stickers were made from scratch for those areas as well to complete the model. The result you see in the photos above.

So, sometimes it just goes to show that if you can build something from scratch, it can be better than buying a kit.

Thanks for reading!

Jim.