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.
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.
I finally finished the Estes Interceptor-E. The painting was pretty simple, just paint everything white. Then mask off for the wing tip pods and the tailcone. The hardest part was applying the three pages of water slide decals.
These have to be without a doubt the hardest decals I’ve ever applied. I’ve worked with thin decals before but never ones this large. This is a two edged sword. They are so thin that they will stretch very easily, so you have to be careful and fully wet the area where the decal will be applied. That way your can move the decal into its final position without stretching it (that’s the theory anyway). On the other side, with them being so thin, they conform easily to any surface details that are there, making them look almost painted on.
I did finally get them on and it really makes this bird look great. Hopefully I can get this one in the air for the June launch.
Update: It flew very well at our club launch. I then took it to our annual High Frontier launch in Pawhuska OK. It flew beautifully again, but unfortunately drifted northeast into some high grass (very high) and brush. Myself and a friend looked for it for quite some time with no success. I really hated to loose that rocket, it had turned out great and I only had two launches on it. I have another kit in my stash and I guess I’ll have to find some time to get it built. Next time there is high grass or brush in the area, I’ll be sure to fly it with a beeper. I had one in my range box that I could have used but chose not to. Stupid on me.