Voskhod Update 2

Now that I have finished the Saturn V and the Lego LM I need to get back to the Voskhod 2 model.  When I last posted about this project, I had assembled the stages and put the photo etched brass truss on the first stage.  Since then all parts have had primer applied and also painted in gray.  Then the bases of the stages were painted with chrome silver.  I then glued the 20 engine bells from the Airfix kit to a piece of scrap wood with white glue.  This will hold them in place while painting yet be easily removable after the paint is dry.

Then I noticed that I needed to move a couple of external pipes on the second stage.  From my reference material they were in the wrong position.  After I did that I then drilled some 1/32 inch holes to mount the antennas on the second stage.  I had done a similar thing with the two antennas on the core booster.  To keep the antennas in the proper position until the CA cured I used a scrap piece of .060 strip stock taped to the side of the model.  The antennas were made with .4 mm rod bent to the proper shape.

Next I started thinking about how I was going to attach the second stage to the truss at the top of the core stage.  The second stage/spacecraft section is solid resin and heavier that the entire rest of the model.  If I was doing it again I think I would try to hollow out some of the second stage and spacecraft to lighten it up a bit.  After considerable trial fitting, cussing and thinking, I came up with a solution that I think will work.  I drilled four 1/32 inch holes in the base of the second stage at four points around the stage where a peak of the ‘V’ from the brass interstage touches the stage.  I then used CA to glue in four short stubs of sytrene rod.  This should help me align the second stage on the truss and also provide a bit of extra surface area to glue the two together.  I’ll glue the second stage to the core stage after I attach the strap-on boosters.

It is getting close to final assembly.  Just needs a bit more paint and adding the engine bells to the core and strap-ons.  I also need to get the base finished.  I have it drilled for the steel rod and the rod is cut to length.  I just need to sand and paint the base.

More to come…

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.

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.

Airfix 1/144 Saturn Ib

This is another one of my long-term projects.  I started it several years ago.  It got put aside because of other more important things and other distractions so I never found the time to get back into it until now.

SA-205 Apollo 7 CSMBefore I put it down, I had nearly finished the upper part of the model from the interstage to the Launch Escape System.  I used the Apollo Conversion kit from RealSpace Models to replace the obviously undersized parts that were included in the kit.  RealSpace has improved the conversion kit since I purchased mine.  It now comes with a pewter LES rocket and photo etched tower (I had to use the one that came in the Airfix kit).  The details on the CSM are also improved since I bought mine.  If I do another one, I’ll definitely purchase one of his new ones.

I also modified some of the details on the S-IVb.  I removed the hump on the attitude control pods that was only on the S-IVb 500 version.  Also the Airfix kit only has two ullage motors on the S-IVb.  The S-IVb 200’s that were used on the Saturn Ib had three ullage motors.  I tried carving an extra one from some scrap styrene, but my fat fingers made that a near impossibility.  Recently Airfix came out with a 1/144 scale Saturn V/Skylab kit.  It didn’t need ullage motors on the Skylab, so I stole one of the ullage motors from that kit and used it on the Saturn Ib.

To do the black roll patterns on the interstage, I made some black decals and applied them to the model.  It looks pretty good and I didn’t have to mask over the raised detail on the interstage.  That is never a fun job.  I made all the decals myself and printed them on my Alps 1300 printer.  I used the detailed drawings by David Weeks (also available from RealSpace Models) to create my decals.   David’s drawings are invaluable if you want to get anywhere close to accurate.  I didn’t add nearly as much detail as I could have using his drawings.

I could have done more to make the model more accurate but to me that just gets tedious.  I’ll add enough detail to satisfy myself and that’s good enough.

When I picked the model back up, the first stage was completed, but had only been primed.  It still needed final paint and decals.  I had started scribing dividing lines for the antenna frames.  Airfix just had them as rectangular blocks between the oxidizer and fuel tanks, but they were really two pieces.  Also they had all the antennas the same size.  When actually the only ones that were the same were the ones at quad I and III.  The antennas at quad IV  were different and at quad II they were only on one of the antenna frames.  So when I started to work on the first stage I decided that I would fix the antennas. Continue reading “Airfix 1/144 Saturn Ib”