50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 12

I got the silver painted on the bottom of the S-IC.  It turned out pretty well. I’ve now started applying the decals to the S-IC.  Once again, some very tiny detailed decals.  The first photo below is a close up of applying one of the forward skirt vent decals over the vent warning decal.  You can get a feel for how small some of these decals are here.  I’m zoomed in pretty tight, even the toothpick looks rough at this level of zoom.  I’ve completed the S-IC decals. Here is a look at some of the details.

I’ll be putting on a clear coat to protect the decals, then dull coat to take the shine off.  Once that is finished I’ll attach the F-1’s and final assembly will be complete.  All that will remain is to put it on the stand I’ve made.

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50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 11

Time for another update. It is getting closer to the end for this project. I have to keep my excitement level in check so I don’t make any stupid mistakes in a rush to finish.

First here is a look at the S-IC and S-II with the black paint applied. Turned out well, just a few minor touch ups to be made. The very busy area near the systems tunnel was where I was apprehensive about the masking, but I like the way it turned out.

The engine fairings were hard to get into a proper curve. I was surprised that I didn’t have any seepage on the holddowns that are at the boundary between the black and white.  The busy area of the interstage was tough to mask but it looks like it did its job.

Here is the bottom of the S-IC where I have started masking for the sliver that will cover the bottoms of the engine fairings. The flexible Tamiya tape is at the bottom of the masking area. It makes masking curved areas a little easier. It is harder to get it to conform to the details but if I’m careful it should work fine. The base has been masked. The inside of the fairings needs to be silver as well.

Now all I have to do is wait for the weather to cooperate. The rain this week has been crazy. Waking up at 5:30 am to the sound of the tornado sirens going off is not the way I like to start the day. At least we are not about to be flooded like some of the folks to the north of us.

I applied the decals to the S-II stage. Not many to apply but they sure add to the the visual of the stage.

After studying a bunch of S-IVB photos I picked a color for some of the antennas on the IU. I went with Testors Model Master Jet Exhaust.  Now it is done and ready for a clear coat to protect the decals from the dullcoat.

I applied Bare Metal Foil to the SM.  It is not a perfect application but I think I’ll keep it.  I also started applying more of the tiny decals.  I didn’t apply all that were provided.  If I had gone microscopic and added more detail to the SM then I would have applied all the decals.  The CM-SM umbilical cover is not foiled.  That was brush painted with Testors Model Master Chrome Enamel, which turned out to be a good match for the Bare Metal Foil.  I don’t know exactly what shade the foil is.  It is from a sheet I bought about 15 years ago and it was not labeled as to a specific shade.  It does appear to be a close match to what they now call Matte Aluminum.  The Q-Ball area at the top of the rocket is painted with Testors Model Master Steel enamel.

Now the spacecraft section, S-IVB and S-II are ready for clearcoat to protect the decals.

More to come…

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 10

I got encouraged by the way the paint on the S-IVB turned out, so I started applying decals.

I started by applying some decals to the S-IVB.  They are from the Space Model Systems 1/144 Ultimate Saturn V decal set, available from CultTVman.  They include A LOT of decals.  Here I’ve applied the ones that go on the S-IVB.  They are really tiny and hard for my fat fingers to work with, but with patience they go on nicely and look great.  You can barely see the “-Y” decal on the IU.  If you look closely you can also see the labels for the umbilical door and the access door.  The black and white sway targets on the interstage are made very long on the decal sheet for anyone who wants to actually apply scale stringers.  For this application I just needed to trim them to square shapes since the pre-molded stringers are pretty flat.

I painted the RCS quads with Tamiya silver metallic and then when that had cured I painted the bells with some Tamiya Smoke.  It is a transparent color so it just darkens the silver underneath.  I think the effect works here.  Remember in a previous update I said that I was definitely going to be using decals for the black on the S-II?  Well, I lied.  The S-IVB came out so well that I decided to try masking the S-IC and the S-II.

It was a bit difficult, but I think it will work. Wish me luck. We’ll see how it comes out in the next update.  By the way I still hate masking.

That’s all for now.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 9

Well it’s time for another update.  I’m down to the painting now.  This is the slow part for me.

I started by masking the S-IVB and S-IVB interstage.  I’m not going to mask all the small antennas on the IU.  I’ll paint them individually after the black goes on.  The S-IVB interstage has a couple of sections of black/white that are divided by a horizontal line.  I’m using Tamiya flexible tape for that.  It can follow a gentle curve without making creases in the tape.

The F-1 engines have been painted with Tamiya Metallic Silver.  The inside of the bells has not yet been worked on.  You can also see that the S-II and S-IC have received their coats of white.  Some of the black details on the S-II will definitely be done with decals.  Trying to smoothly mask around some of those details would make me crazy.

Here you can see the S-IVB and interstage with their black paint.  The Tamiya yellow tape covered the stringer sections very well.  I didn’t have any seepage under the tape.  The SM still needs to be foiled.  I guess I’ll be doing that next.  You can also see that I’ve added the silver S-IVB APS pods.  To the left of the S-IVB you can see one of the fins for the S-IC.  They have been painted and will be installed after the S-IC gets its black and silver details.  You can also see the SM RCS quads.  These are from the New Ware set.  I tried to use the ones that came with the RealSpace Spacecraft update kit, but I broke off a couple of nozzles.  Glenn had the pour plug attached to the quads at the nozzles which makes removing them from the pour plug challenging.  Tom at New Ware attaches them to the pour plug at the quad housing instead of the nozzles.  Hopefully I’ll get them off the pour plug in one piece.  At least I’ll have 8 chances.  New Ware included 8 and I’ll only need four.  I’ve included a close up of the RCS quads.  You can see that New Ware even hollowed out the nozzles a bit.

That’s it for now.  More masking and painting to go.  This is my least favorite part of model building.  There are so many ways to mess up a model at this stage.  In the end it usually ends up looking good, but it is a pain getting there.

More to come…

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 8

Sorry for the long delay in posting.  I’ve been busy with other things lately.

I’ve put a coat of primer on the model and added the LES tower.  I decided to use the PE tower that came in the RealSpace Models set.  I tried a couple of times to scratch build one in styrene rod but I never could get a result that looked good.  The PE one came out pretty good.  I did add a copper wire ring to the tower that was not included in the kit.

Here is the S-IC with primer.  My scribing lines leave a bit to be desired. The tank seams might need a bit of work, at least on the LOX tank. I can still see a couple of dimples.

Here is the S-II with its primer coat.  I decided to add the details now since I have decided that the black stripes will be done with custom decals instead of paint.  After primer I noticed an area on the upper insulation band that needs some sanding.  The New-Ware details really make the S-II look good.  The interstage fit isn’t perfect but it would really be a big task to get it there. This will have to do.

Here is the S-IVB.  I think this stage came out looking the best.  All the details are added except the APS pods. They are silver in color and I think I’ll wait until I put paint on the S-IVB before I attach them. Those tiny PE parts on the IU were tough to get in the right place before the CA set up.  Lots of work under the magnifying lamp.

Finally here is the spacecraft section. There are a few tiny pinholes that I need to take care of.  Also, I have not added the RCS clusters yet.  I have not yet decided if I’m going to paint the SM or use BareMetal Foil.  If I use the foil then I’ll put the RCS clusters on after foiling.  Otherwise I’ll go ahead and add the RCS clusters and then paint.  I used foil on my Saturn IB build and it turned out pretty well.  I still haven’t made up my mind yet for this build.  I had to do a bit of trimming where the PE LES Tower meets the posts on the BPC.  You can see the copper wire circle that was added to the tower.

That’s it for now.  More work to come.  The LES rocket needs to be detailed and primed.  Painting isn’t too far off now.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build Update 7

Time for another update.

I’ve been busy on the Apollo spacecraft section.  The Realspace part needed a few updates.  The first one I tackled were the panel lines on the Spacecraft Lunar Adapter (SLA).  Glen had engraved the lines, but my sources indicated that they were raised lines.  They were part of the separation mechanism.  The New-Ware update set had some PE parts that could work to update it, but when I checked, I couldn’t be sure that they would fit properly.  They would fit better on the Airfix part but that presented its own problems.  If I used the Airfix SLA then I’d have to cut off the Command/Service Module (CSM) from the Realspace resin part.  I could keep the Airfix Service Module (SM) but then I’d be in a pickle for the Command Module (CM).  Both the Airfix and Monogram CMs were wildly undersized, even with the kit Boost Protective Cover (BPC).  So, I decided to add my own panel line strips to the resin SLA.  I also had to add the semi-circular parts that were between the hinge details.  I found that a 1/8 inch hole punch made a circle of styrene sheet that I could modify and make look good enough.

I then got ready to add the PE parts to the spacecraft section.  My drawings show that after Apollo 14 there was an extra window in the BPC above the commander’s docking window.  I took a small drill and made an appropriate sized hole.  I’ll paint both the windows black when it comes time to paint.

I started adding the PE with the CM attitude control thruster covers.  After adding the first one under the crew hatch, I went to add the next cover and noticed that where the other two covers needed to go was a reinforcing ridge.  I could have just moved the thruster covers over to avoid the detail, but that would have put them obviously offset from the +Y and -Y positions where they were supposed to go.  I removed the offending details and used some .4mm strip to place them where they were supposed to be.

Next was to start adding the PE to the SLA.  The PE pieces were relatively large so I used a dowel to add a gentle curve to the parts so they would conform to the curve of the resin.  One thing I fortunately noticed before I started adding the PE parts was that New-Ware labeled the placement drawing with POS III in the wrong place.  I was comparing to my source material and noticed that things were not going to line up.  It took me a while to realize that the fix was as simple as just re-labeling the instructions to show POS I where they had POS III. Things went smoothly after that.  I’ll add the SM attitude control thrusters after painting is done.

Now all the major sections are ready for their first coat of primer.  Then I’ll be able to tell what areas need further attention.  I still have to finish the Escape Tower.  I’m trying to decide if I want to use the Realspace PE parts or if I want to scratch build one.  The escape rocket from Realspace is fine, I won’t need to mess with that.  I guess I’ll play with some styrene rods and see how difficult it might be to scratch one.

Things have finally started to warm up.  I’ll try to get some primer sprayed now.

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.