Lake County SpacePort 

                                                                                       "Ad Astra per Formae"

Moebius Modeles "Discovery XD-1"

from 2001: A Space Odyssey

After building the Stargazer Models resin kit of the “Discovery” a few years ago, I was happy with the results, but still mystically drawn to the idea of a “mainstream” plastic modeling company finally coming out with a version of the great ship and to see how closely, or not, that version would play against the Stargazer. Lust like before, the only other “real” model of Discovery I knew of was the 66-inch long, $6000 pre-built model from Scott Hamilton’s Atomic City. But that model was “too much” for me on both counts – cost and size. 

Then early last year, I saw news that Moebius Models, which already had re-done the Aurora Plastic classic 2001 models of the Orion Space Clipper and the Moon Bus was setting up "rights" and molding test shots for a new Discovery model. I could not resist the temptation and ended up per-ordering a copy through the Hobbyshop.

On December 17, 2017, the product is now available for sale! About a week later, it arrived, and the work began immediately. 

As I did not originally think to write an article about the build-up, I did not start photo-documenting the construction until well into the process. However, I can state that the molding craftsmanship of the kit is up to typically-high Moebius standards. The instructions are quite well written and are easy to follow. I did, however, exercise some liberty in the order of construction. I’ll explain later...

I knew that the Moebius kit was not going to be as detailed internally, as the Stargazer kit was. The Stargazer model provided the full cockpit and “Anteroom” area parts, as well as the full Pod Bay, and even supplied three little resin EVA Pods. The custom J-Bot decals for the cockpit and Pod Bay interior surfaces were excellent and provided the impetus to complete the LED lighting of the interior, which we illustrated in the build article for the model.

That article is still available on Starship Modeler’s “2001/2010” genre site, as well as here on the 

For this Moebius kit, we decided to use the ParaGrafix add-on PE detail set for the Moebius kit that provided the Flight Deck and Emergency Airlock. We also knew going in that we would be using LED illumination for the Flight Deck, but had not initially decided to do "engine lighting." That came later.

Here are some photos of the finished model...

The finished Moebius Models 1/144 scale Discovery, in our Workshop, along with her Display Stand.

The Moebius model is 41 inches long and had molded detail at a level expected of Moebius products. The Support Pedestals are provided with the kit.

A close-up of the front of the Command Module sphere shows the exceptional detail molded into the model. While an "aztecing" pattern set is available from "Aztec For Dummies," I chose to go it alone, using standard taping methods and researched images from the motion picture. 

We recently needed to re-open the Discovery, due to malfunctions in the blue LEDs used to light the nuclear engine nozzles. As we would need to improve both access to, as well as wiring space within, the interior of the Propulsion Module and replace the main power wires running from front to back in the model's spine tube, we began a complete re-engineering of the engine illumination and decided to add a Pod Bay and EVA Pods to the Command Module during the work.

From here, the open Pod Bay Door and the "C" Pod can be seen.

The Green Strawberry EVA Pods and their Pod Bay Detail Kit were used to add these elements to the Command Module. The spare parts access tunnel, the emergency airlock tunnel, the Pod Bay Control Room and all of the HAL-based details are part of the Pod Bay's interior. We drilled four long oles into one of the Pods, in order to install 1.8 mm cool white LED "headlights." 

The replacement Aft Bulkhead, supporting the re-worked Engine Pods. Each one contains two 1.8 mm "flickering" blue LEDs, one for each engine "nozzles."

"Ignition...Full-thrust." The engine LEDs are switchable via wireless remote control. 

Now, part of our 2001 model collection, the Moebius Discovery stands proudly as the centerpiece of the display. 

This model is a special one, as 2018 was the 50th anniversary of the theatrical release of Kubrick's masterpiece.  Building this incredible model was a "Re-Discovery" of the film's power and beauty. 

The main build article, photos of the original construction, as well as the engine LED and Pod Bay re-work effort, are available on a Shutterfly Album Page, dedicated to the project. Just click on the link below to go there.