The Pan-Am Space Clipper, which briefly appeared in the early scenes of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, has always been my favorite spacecraft.  There is something about its elegant lines that speaks to me. 

Long ago, when I was a teenager, I built a scale model of the Clipper which likely met its end in a garbage can when I packed up my life at seventeen and joined the Armed Forces.  Over the years, I’ve often wondered whether I would ever come across another example.  Then, a few weeks ago, as I was wandering through my local hobby store, there it was — a reissue of the Space Clipper by kit maker Moebius in 1:160 scale, bigger and better made than the original.  I grabbed a box without looking at the price tag.

Last week, I finally began building it but found the decal sheet didn’t include the famous Pan-Am logo, likely for trademark reasons.  And that gave me an idea.  In my latest novel, Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night, a shuttle built on Lyonesse makes a few appearances, and the Pan-Am Clipper was a perfect match for what I had in my imagination.  Since I’m equipped to produce decals, I re-purposed the model as the Republic of Lyonesse Phoenix Clipper “City of Lannion” (tail number DFS-003) built by Hecht Aerospace and operated by the Lyonesse Defense Force.

I’m not entirely happy with the outcome, because I had a few self-inflicted spray-painting issues and then problematic decals, mostly those that came with the kit.  But the resulting model still looks decent enough to fire the imagination.  You be the judge.  I might buy another one and take more precautions.  We’ll see.  It’s not a particularly expensive or hard to build kit.

As for Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night, I’m 80% done, but with so many distractions right now, progress is far from brilliant, though I still expect a May publication date.

Stay healthy, fellow humans.