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2001's EVA (extravehicular) pods were covered with a bunch of recessed dishes. Some of these dished areas - notably the ones on the “earmuffs” - were painted black and were obviously meant to be small rocket engines. But some were painted white and contained knurled silver tubes. These are often mistakenly identified as rocket thrusters as well.
The white dishes are actually supposed to be cameras, providing visual coverage of the pod for areas away from the window. Quite ingenious, though of course it was a futuristic design solution devised in the 1960s. Modern-day cameras would be tiny, equipped with wide-angle “fisheye” lenses, and wouldn’t be as large as the fluted metal tubes seen on the pod. The recessed dish idea is clever, since it’s intended to be a protective solution for the cameras, but of course would restrict the angle of view visible by each lens.
One of the cameras, interestingly enough, is at the tip of a projecting cone and not in a recessed dish. Why was this? Well, the cone is at the rear starboard side. So it seems likely that it was a solution for door clearance problems. A recessed dish would have protruded down into the area where the door rotates internally.
NOTE: if you bought my earlier camera cone model, and want to replace it now that I’ve made a full camera dish set, please contact me, using the Send Message feature, for discount information.
The Moebius EVA pod camera dishes
The camera dishes included in the Moebius 1:8 EVA pod kit are not very screen-accurate, unfortunately. They have the wrong proportions - the central cylinder is too wide, for one thing. Also, they lack detail. The movie set camera cylinders had fluted sides and dished tops. And, of course, they had lenses. This set replicates all the details I could make out in existing photographs.
Design for painting
The original movie set parts had white-painted dishes, with shiny metal interiors and knurled cylinders. The Moebius dishes are all one part, which makes this detail a bit fiddly to paint accurately.
I've broken up each dish into multiple pieces for ease of painting. It's then simple to glue the painted bits together. I would probably install the white pieces and paint the pod exterior in one go. Paint the rings and cylinders a metallic silver (they appear to be brushed metal in the photos), then install those bits at the end.
The replacement parts
There are several replacement pieces that make up this set. You'll need to separate the parts using a sprue cutter - the parts are sprued together to save you money.
2x bottom camera dishes
This pair of dishes fits in the recessed set of projections on the underside of the pod. They're slightly larger than the top ones. They also had two separate metal dishes, along with the cylindrical camera. I therefore made the interior details two parts, so you can paint them separately if you want to. The outer of the dishes sometimes appeared darker than the inner one, so you could use different types of metallic paint. Though it's possible that this was caused by the different angles of reflection of the two dishes, and they were actually made of the same material.
3x top camera dishes
The top sphere has three dished cameras. Note that the Moebius dish holes aren't all circular, and some require some very careful sanding or filing (sandpaper around a dowel rod, for example) to make them properly round. You'll almost certainly have to do some extra-careful puttying and filling of gaps. Don't overdo this, as putty inside the dish area will erase the scribed detail lines! Because the Moebius hull openings are different sizes I would probably number each dish and corresponding hole as you go.
1x top camera cone
One of the four top cameras is in a projecting cone. The Moebius cone is much too tall and narrow at the tip. This replacement more closely resembles the proportions of the original. It also has the knurled cylinder for the camera.
1x front panel dish
Finally in this collection, an optional part. The movie had a continuity error regarding the front camera. The pods in the bay had metal cylinders for front cameras (the one in the middle recess under the window).
However, the space scenes had black and red HAL camera eyes there instead.
The Moebius kit assumes you want to have a HAL camera eye. This is probably the more popular choice, as the murder scene memorably shows this glowing red lens clearly. But if you want to make the pods the way they looked in the bay, I have an optional dish and lens for you to install instead. Installation will require some careful trimming down of the interior of the Moebius dish. You want the replacement dish to sit snugly within the existing dish, so don't carve out the whole thing!
7x camera lenses
Each camera cylinder had a lens. I've made suitable domed lenses in the form of round-topped posts, though the Shapeways detail plastic is translucent and not transparent. You could thus paint the parts a sort of transparent black colour (eg clear “smoke” paint), then overlay them with a heavy layer of transparent varnish to make them look lenslike. The lenses are different heights to fit the different dishes.
You'll need to install these dishes carefully to avoid glue oozing out around the gaps. My recommendation is to dry-fit and adjust them until you have the fit absolutely perfect. Then examine the areas where the 3D print will touch the interior of the Moebius shell, and apply some 5 minute epoxy at that point. Just a little will do, all the way around the rim. Carefully position the dish, and tape it in place.
Make absolutely sure that it's perfectly aligned before letting the glue set. Then you can fill in any additional gaps with some more epoxy, thus strengthening the join without risking glue oozing everywhere. I'd definitely avoid liquid superglue for this reason!
I've made this set available in both print resolutions of "detail plastic." But, to be honest, it doesn't need the high-rez print. It's a lot more expensive and doesn't really give you much more detail for this particular product, except around the fluted cylinders. Stair stepping is slightly less evident, but that’s fairly easily filled and sanded.