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.

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Voskhod Update 1

Time for a quick update on the Voskhod build.  I started on the first stage.  I drilled a 1/8 in hole in the first stage base part.  Then I cut a piece of brass tube to length and glued on a cardboard centering ring to one end.  The other end will go through the hole in the first stage base part.  I then glued that assembly into one half of the first stage using epoxy.  When that setup, I then glued the second half on using my Tenax substitue.  I also put a dab of epoxy on the cardboard centering ring to attach it to other half of the first stage.  When everything was set I tested it on my Vostok model base and it works fine.

I then started filling and sanding on the first stage and the strap on boosters.  The first stage also has the booster truss completed.  I was able to use the Airfix parts and I think they will look good.

If you look at the pictures below you will see the strap-on boosters lined up behind the first stage that is being worked on.  They actually are lined up in a specific order.  I found out that the strap-on boosters fit better at certain positions on the truss.  I test fitted all of them and noted which position worked best.  Then I made a small mark on the back side of each strap-on.  The mark will never be seen since it is on the back side next to the first stage.  I also had to trim a bit of the first stage where the top of the strap-on meets the first stage.  There is a bump at that point where the tip of the strap-on is to be mated to the first stage.  All of the strap-ons were too high by just under a 16th of an inch.  I trimmed each mating point according to where each strap-on would be placed.  Everything now seems to fit.

I also added the interstage truss brass to the top of the first stage.  The photos I can find of Voskhod 2 are very inconclusive as to what that area is supposed to look like.  I took a path that I think will make the model work and look like some of the photos.  The brass interstage truss comes as a “Y” shape.  The tail of the “Y” is supposed to run from the first stage body to the end of the stage at the blast plate.  Then the top of the “Y” is the truss work that actually separates the stages.  I think you can see in the photos what I mean.  I used JB Weld epoxy to join the ends of the truss and CA to attach it to the first stage.  My research photos also show that if the tails of the “Y”s are used then there is a small raised line around the bottom of the “Y”s.  I added that with some 0.5mm styrene strip stock.

Next step is to primer all the parts.

Voshkod While I’m Waiting

Well I ordered a detail set from New-Ware for the Saturn V build.  While I’m waiting on delivery (I’m expecting delays in customs due to shutdown) I thought I’d start on a 1/144 Voshkod model.  I’ll be using the Apex kit as my base and adding a conversion set I bought from Rho-models a LONG time ago.

You can see from the pictures that I have already attached the capsule section to the second stage.  Both are resin parts.  I’ll be using the photo-etch that is included in the conversion set for the interstage web instead of the plastic one that comes with the Apex kit.  The plastic they use is very brittle and hard to bend into a curve.

I have an Airfix Vostok kit and I’ll be using the engine bells from that kit to upgrade the Apex kit.  The Apex engine bells are simple cones, while the Airfix bells have at least a bit of detail to them.  I will also try using the Airfix cross brace parts instead of the badly detailed Apex ones.  I also have some photo-etch ones that came in the Rho-models conversion kit.  I’ll use those if the Airfix parts don’t work out.

Besides gluing the resin parts together, I’ve also put together the four Stage 0 boosters.  I’ll leave the engine bells off until I get it all painted.  I’ve done some initial cleaning up of the build components, but I’ll still have to do more once I get everything primed.  Now to start on the core stage and put in some additional items that will support it on its base stand.

My 1/144 Rocket Garden

I thought I’d show my 1/144 rocket garden as it stands now.  I took some of these pictures a few weeks back when I had not yet finished my Shuttle Stack.  It is now finished and you can see in the last couple of rocket garden pictures that it is now displayed with the rest of my fleet.  The Saturn V will hopefully be added before the 50th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11 on July 20th.  I have in my stash the models of the missing Russian launchers.  I have everything I need to build a Voshkod 2 model, and I am only lacking the Soyuz upper stage to be able to build that.  I’m not sure exactly how the Saturn V is going to fit in with this grouping.  I may have to relocate my ISS model.

50th Anniversary Saturn V Build

My next build is a 1/144 scale Saturn V.  My goal is to complete it before the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.  But, it won’t be depicting Apollo 11, instead it will be built as the Saturn V for Apollo 15.  It was the first Saturn V that flew without any ullage motors on the S-II interstage.  A move that was taken because experience had shown that they were not really needed and it also allowed for more payload on the Apollo spacecraft.

Anyway, I’m going to be using parts from the old Monogram kit as well as an old Airfix kit that were in my stash.  I didn’t like the aft skirt section on the Monogram kit so I’ll be using the one in the Airfix kit.  I also didn’t like the details on the S-II on the Airfix kit so the main body of the Saturn V will be using the Monogram parts.  I won’t be building out the S-II thrust structure or the S-IVB thrust structure because both kits are terrible in this area.  If I were to have the stages separable, then I’d have to get some 3D printed parts to fix the problems, but I don’t want to take that expense this time.

I will also be using the RealSpace Models Apollo Spacecraft update kit.  It will replace the SLA, CSM and LES with much more accurate parts.  I’ve used that set before on my Saturn IB build.

Here are a few pictures to get started.  Note the old boxes of the kits.  Yes, they’ve been in my stash for a long time.

Shuttle Discovery Build Complete

Well I missed my self-imposed deadline, but not by too much.  I finished it before Christmas.  The SSME and OAMS engine bells went on well and the orbiter was given a coat of Future Floor Finish to protect the massive amount of decals on the orbiter.  After giving that a day to set up, Discovery was given a coat of dull coat.  It looks pretty good.  If I build another, I’ll be sure to paint the cockpit walls black.  It is a bit distracting that there is nothing behind the windows.  Otherwise though I think it looks pretty good.  Here are some photos of the finished orbiter.

The SRB’s were next.  They had been sitting there, painted white patiently waiting for me to do something with them.  The top section of each SRB is painted a light cream/tan color.  Mixing that one took some time to get something I could live with.  With the orbiter finished it was time to start adding the decals to the SRB’s.  I had to reprint the “LOADED” markings a few times before I got them the correct size.  Those suckers were TINY!  I also painted the foam on the stiffening rings on the lower SRB segments.  Next time the black rings on the SRB’s will be a bit wider, these seem too narrow.  After the decals, the SRB’s got a coat of Future Floor Finish to protect the decals from the dull coat that was to follow.  Below is a pic of the remaining sections of the shuttle stack.  The ET has the yellow sections painted and waiting to be masked off before painting the darker shades of foam.  Masking the aft shuttle attachment was a pain in the butt.  The SRB’s are still missing their nozzles.  Those will go on after the dull coat.  You can see the brass tube sticking out the bottom of the SRB.  This will accept a wire rod that will support the stack on the stand.  Both SRB’s have the brass tubes in them.  To be sure they are centered and vertical, the rod runs the entire length of the SRB from the tip of the nose cone to nozzle.  They are epoxied into the nose of each SRB.

I didn’t get pictures of the painting process for the ET, unfortunately.  But here are some pictures of the finished stack.  It turned out pretty well.  I’m happy with the ET colors.  If I had to do it again, I’d probably change the shade of the intertank area a bit, but I’m still happy.  The stand could have been a bit better.  I’m not pleased with the grain showing through.  But at a distance it looks good.  The stiff wires running up the SRB’s are doing a great job of holding the stack vertical without my having to add a support for the orbiter.  Here is the finished gallery of photos.

Now I’m ready for the new year and a new project.  Next up, a 1/144 Saturn V for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Shuttle Discovery Build Update

Since January I’ve made some small progress on the STS-31 build.  I got the OMS and Main Engines added to the orbiter and sprayed on the dull coat.  It looks much better now, kind of like a shuttle orbiter.

I drilled small holes in the backs of the main engines and OMS engines.  I then CA’ed a short styrene rod into each engine nozzle.  I drilled corresponding holes in the back of the orbiter and then CA’ed the nozzles into place.  That completed the assembly of the orbiter.

I then sprayed the whole orbiter with Tamiya Dull Coat.  I did it in light coats so that there was less chance of it attacking the decals.  Even though the model was clear coated with Future, I did not want to risk messing up the decals, since about 80 percent of the orbiter is covered with them.

The SRB’s are coming along.  I have the right SRB with all it’s decals on, and I’m preparing to put the decals on the left SRB.  The ET is still sitting in the condition it was in last January.  I guess I’ll have to suck it up and start masking it and get it painted.  It’s been sitting there long enough mocking me.

I want to get it finished before Thanksgiving so I can start on my next build.  I’ll be starting a 1/144 scale Saturn V.  My goal is to get it completed before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, in July 2019.

Anyway, hopefully in the next few weeks I can post an update showing the completed STS-31 stack.