1/144 Saturn I Block II SA-5 Build Update 9 (Final)

Saturn I Block II SA-5 is finally finished.

When I posted the last update I was at the stage where I needed to scratch build the S-I retrorockets.  I used a short section of 0.125 inch styrene rod about an inch longer than I needed.  I chucked that in my Dremel tool and used it like a lathe.  I used my #11 X-acto knife to shape the forward section of the retrorockets.  They have a rather odd shape.  It starts out like a cone and then has something like a button on the end.  Once I had the shape right I removed it from the Dremel and cut off the excess.  They were then painted white with the bottom black.  The below pictures show the before and after.

Now that I had them completed I needed to get my decals printed.  I ended up printing three sets.  I felt like I needed extras in case I screwed something up and to give me some extra white decals in case I needed to double them up to cover the black.  Here is one of the sets.

One of the decal sets.

After I printed that one I realized that I did not print enough of the blowout covers for the interstage.  There are eight blowout covers not four.  So the next set I printed I had extras.  I also found out that my decal paper is getting old and sometimes the thermal ink doesn’t stick as is should.  Time for an order of new paper from Tango Papa.  I was able to get enough good decals with the paper I had so work can continue.

Before installing the retrorockets or the S-I engine nozzles, I decided to apply the decals.  It is a bit simpler to put on the decals without the retrorockets.  The trickiest part of applying the decals was the S-IV and the interstage.  All those details made getting the decals on an interesting task.  I found the best way was to cut the decals into sections that would go between any protrusions.  The checkerboard decal also required a few careful snips to fit around the hydrogen vent pipe standoffs.  The black/white stripe decals that went at the base of the S-IV also required cutting into sections.  It took a few hours to get them on in decent shape.  I did have to do a bit of touch up with black paint in a few places.  Also the curved decals that went around the S-IV upper interstage confirmed my cone calculations were correct.  They went on smoothly and look quite nice.  Once all the decals were put on I installed the S-I retrorockets and gave it a coat of clear.  When that had dried I then sprayed on a clear flat.  Here are some photos of the completed decals.

After the decals went on I installed the engine nozzles.  The inside of the bells were painted with Tamiya smoke.

Base of SA-5 showing engines.

Here is a view of my Saturn I family.  The only one I need to add is SA-10 the last S-I Block II.  That will give me a model of each significantly different version.

SA-1 on the left and SA-5 on the right.

Now I guess it is time to get back to the Millennium Falcon and start weathering it.  I’ve put if off long enough.

Thanks for looking.


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