50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 6

I started the S-IVB portion of the build by adding the PE personnel access door to the interstage.  The ullage motors had already been sanded to the shape desired.

Moving on to the S-IVB stage itself, I removed all the required molded in details.  This consisted of the APS units and a small area next to the POS I APS.  That was to be used for a piping cover that came in the kit.  The kit part is too long and too small.  It will be replaced by a resin part that is the proper size.  The kit was made with four molded in antennas in the upper skirt section.  Two of them had to be removed since they were not used for the manned flights.

I test fitted the RealSpace SLA/CSM resin part to the Mongram S-IVB.  I immediately noticed that there was a fit mismatch.  The SLA was too small compared to the Instrument Unit on the S-IVB.  I masked off the molded in stringers of the forward skirt and then used a sanding stick to sand the IU down to a smaller diameter that would match the SLA.

I’ve now got all the PE details attached and most of the resin bits.  The APS units are not attached yet since I’m not sure if I’m going to attach them now or wait until it is painted.  All the kit parts that I’m going to use have also been added.

It’s almost time to move on to the RealSpace SLA/CSM replacement parts.

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50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 5

Well the S-II is finished for now.  The remaining detail bits (mostly the LH2 feed lines) will be added after painting.  I did this to make masking the model easier.  Masking is my least favorite part of a build.  I’ve been known to leave a model sit for months while I stew over its masking.

The photo shows the S-II with the detail that I have added.  Namely the LH2 fill and drain port and the engine cutoff sensors.  All the PE has been attached.

Next I’ll be starting on the S-IVB stage with its interstage.

Cord Cutting 14 Months Later

Fourteen months ago we cancelled AT&T U-Verse.  We kept AT&T for internet access only.  We now use Vonage for our land line.  Yes, I know we could have dumped the landline too, but what can I say, we’re old and set in our ways.  We just can’t quite give up the landline yet.

We were originally paying $60 a month for SlingTV but since the Olympics ended, we dropped the Sports Extra package and we’re back to paying $50 a month.  Since we have an antenna in the attic, SlingTV works fine for us.  We get nearly all the channels we used to watch on cable.  SlingTV recently added some of the Discovery networks so now I get to see Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush.  Those were the main two series that I had to originally give up to cut the cord, now I have them back.  Yea!!

We started out using a Tablo 4-Tuner for our local TV.  The only channel that gave us trouble at first was KOTV.  It would sometimes drop out and become difficult to watch.  I’m convinced that it has to do with a combination of the frequency they transmit on and the fact that we are in a river valley and there are hills and trees between us and the tower.  About 10 months after cutting the cord KJRH started giving us problems.  It was not all the time, but seemed to happen mostly during primetime.  Since it came in clear for 10 months, I really think that someone near us is creating some RF interference with the frequency that KJRH transmits.  That made two of our most watch networks nearly unviewable, NBC and CBS.

I had to find a solution.  We tried a free trial of PSVue since they carry local channels and it worked fairly well, but to get some our favorite shows would require subscribing at a level that would cost a fair amount more that what we pay for SlingTV.  Other live TV streamers had similar problems for us.  We needed a solution for the antenna.

I had a spare PC that I had built a couple of years ago to use as a media center PC.  When Microsoft dropped support for Windows Media Center that was the end of that experiment.  Now that PC was going to get a new purpose.  I had heard about Plex so I downloaded the Plex Media Server and installed in on the PC.  I bought a Plex Pass so I could experiment with Live TV and DVR.  I then purchased a Haupauge WinTV HD Dual USB tuner to use with Plex.  Once the channel scan was finished, I tried to tune into KJRH.  Wow, it worked with a nice picture and no sign of interference.  Then I checked KOTV, again a picture that was watchable.  We are down to two tuners, but if it becomes a problem, I can drop in another WinTV USB tuner and we will be back to 4 tuners.

Now we can watch OTA TV via Plex on our Roku boxes.  Occasionally we get some pixelated bands across the screen when the signal gets bad, but most of the time it comes through just fine.  I am disappointed that we don’t use the Tablo anymore.  I really like their user interface.  But Plex works well and we are getting used to the interface.  Using Plex for live TV is easier now since the latest preview version has a traditional grid guide.

We have yet to come close to using up our 1 terabyte per month limit with our streaming.  We have two TV’s that we stream, although we mainly use just one.  We might get closer to the limit if we were not using our antenna as much as we do.  If we did get too close, I guess we could switch from AT&T to Toast for our internet access, they have the same speeds as AT&T for a bit less money and they have no limits.

Bottom line is we are still saving nearly $100 a month vs cable and can watch virtually everything we used to watch when we had cable.  If we ever give up the land line we will be saving $120 a month.  That may be an option to consider.  At this point, I’d never go back to cable.  We are not in any long term contracts.  We can change anything with our TV packages whenever we want, no contracts at all, just month to month.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 4

There is some new progress to report.  I’ve continued working on the S-II stage.  I also made a modification to the Monogram third stage interstage.  The ullage motors as molded are squared off on the forward facing part.  On the actual vehicle they were rounded off.  I masked off the areas that I didn’t want sanded, to protect the molded in stringers.  Then I used my sanding sticks and rounded off the motors to resemble the ones on the David Weeks drawings that I’m using as reference on this build.  You can see the process below.

I also noted that the molded in stringers on the S-II were too long on both the forward and aft skirts.  The Apollo 15 S-II stage had some raised insulation bands on the forward and aft skirts.  It seems that the molded stringers are too long by the width of the raised insulation bands.  So I masked off the section of stringers that needed to be modified into raised insulation and used some Tamya putty to fill in the stringers.  When it was dry, I sanded the area smooth.  I think it turned out pretty well.

I also added some additional raised areas that were under the LH2 feed lines.  I used .005 inch styrene sheet stock cut to the proper dimensions.  I glued these on in the proper places and they matched up with my putty raised areas that I had already done. You can see them on the picture below.

I’ll add a bit of filler putty to blend them in with the raised band.  The next thing I did was to remove the remaining S-II resin parts from their pour plug.  These were the Engine Cutoff Sensors.  They are TINY!  It was quite a challenge to cut them off the pour plug without sending them across the table.  It wasn’t any easier smoothing the backside so it would lay down properly on the S-II.  All five turned out fine.

The last thing to report is the completion of adding the PE parts to the S-II.  These required removing some of the raised stringers.  They are now attached.

The next thing to do with the S-II is add a few of the resin parts.  I’ll wait to add the LH2 feed lines until it is painted.  If I did it now masking for paint would be a royal pain.  I’ll put on the LH2 fill and drain port and the engine cutoff sensors, but the rest will have to wait.

I’d like to get some primer on the parts that are ready, but winter just won’t give up.  The garage where I do my painting is just too cold.  Hopefully spring will show up soon.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 3

Since the last update I’ve added all the PE to the aft skirt. Now I need to add in the missing stringers on the fairings and fill the slot for the systems tunnel. I will be using the systems tunnel from the Monogram kit since it is longer and comes closest the proper length, therefore I need to fill the slot.

Below is a shot of one side with the PE and air scoops. You can also see the brass rod extending through the top of the skirt. I used some JB Weld to help hold it in place. The resin fins are from the New-Ware set and are just friction fitted to see how they look. I’ll wait to actually install them until it is painted.

One of the pictures is rotated 90 degrees to show one of the sides where the stringer had to be rescribed after removing the large hump.

There is also a view of the bottom with the brass heat shield in place. You can see the small amount of brass tube protruding that will be used to locate the center engine.

I’ve added the missing stringers to the the engine fairings. Below is a shot of the work in progress. They are .3mm styrene rod glued on with Plasti-zap CA. It doesn’t set quite as fast as thin CA, so I’ve got a few seconds to get them lined up properly. I used long strips to give me plenty of area to get my fat fingers in there to place them properly. After the CA sets then I can just snip them off with my X-acto. In the picture you can barely (on the right quadrant) see the that the depression for the systems tunnel is filled. I used some styrene sheet and then filler putty.

I’m using the Airfix interstage. The Monogram interstage has a taper that is too big for me to ignore. The Airfix part is more straight. I’ve also removed the four ulage motors and the extensions of the second stage detail that appear on the interstage. I’ve got some filling and rescribing to do on this part.  Plus a PE part needs to be added.

Below are also a couple of shots of the S-IC. It is mostly done. Just need to do some filling where the systems tunnel from the main body meets the aft skirt. I’ve added all the PE to the S-IC. Both the aft skirt and the main body are from the Airfix kit.

I’ve also started on the S-II stage. I’ll be using the Monogram part for this. Since I have to remove all the molded on details anyway, I thought I’d use the Monogram part since it does not have that huge hump at the seam line in the stringer sections. At this point I’ve removed all the molded on details. I will have to remove some of the molded on stringers on the forward and aft stringer sections. They are too long. Time to make some measurements.

I’ve also removed the resin parts from their pour plugs. I’m amazed that I didn’t break any of them while removing the plugs.

Pretty good progress so far.  Maybe I’ll make the July 20th deadline.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 2

More progress has been made on the Saturn V build.  I have removed all the raised detail from the aft skirt heat shield.  That all had to go in order to install the brass part from New-Ware.  The brass part is very nice and has much better detail that what was on the original piece.  After removing the raised detail I got to thinking about how I was going to mount the model on its wooden base.  I have used steel rod in the past and that works well.  All I have to do is figure out how to accommodate the rod in the base of the model.  I am using 1/8 in brass tubing and that will slide over the steel rod that is in the base.  I used some paper tubes and epoxy to cover the hole where the center engine will be mounted.  After epoxying the tubes in place and filling them with epoxy, I drilled an 1/8 in hole from the center engine through the tube and out the top of the aft skirt part.  I then used JB Weld and put the 1/8 in brass in the drilled hole and about 3/16 in out the bottom.  The extra out the bottom will aid in mounting the center engine.

After doing that I decided that having a 1/8 tube projecting from the heat shield would be a great way to mount all the engines.  You can see the 1/8 in plastic tubes that I epoxied in place for each engine.

The pictures show the rescribed ribbing where I sanded the hump down.  You can also see that I have started adding some of the photo etched (PE) details to the aft skirt.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 1

My New-Ware detail set came in, so I’m getting back to the Saturn V build.  The resin detail parts are very nice.  I’ll be using the batted F-1 engines that came with the New-Ware set.  As far as the aft skirt goes, I’ll be using the resin air scoops that are on the engine fairings.  I looked at using them as is and removing my sheet styrene additions, but I don’t like the way that they are modeled as recessed parts.  They were not recessed on vehicle, they were actually on the outside of the skirts. (Update: They actually were recessed, but they also had a raised section of scoop that is not on the New-Ware parts.)  So I cut the scoops out of the part and discarded the rest.  I will be using my styrene add-ons after all.  I will then attach the air scoops to my styrene additions.

The pictures show most of the resin parts and how nicely they are molded.  There is a fret of etched brass that has many more details on it.  I’ll post a picture of those soon.

The Airfix aft skirt has a very noticeable bump on the mold lines.  I really want to get rid of those, so I have sanded that section of the aft skirt flat, and I’ll try scribing new ribbing in those areas.  I really don’t want to sand off all the ribbing and try to replace it with styrene strips or scribing new ones all the way around the skirt.  We shall see how it goes.