2001 Discovery XD-1 Build Part 6

I have complete installing the pod bay doors.  They required some filling and sanding as they are just slightly smaller than the opening in the command sphere.  I cemented the doors in and made the frames flush with the bottom of the opening.  The kept the gap at the top of the opening.  I inserted narrow strips of sheet styrene to fill as much of the gap as possible.  This was then cemented in with Tenax 7R.  The tiny bit of gap that was left was filled in with some small dabs of gap filling CA.

Next came masking of the command sphere halves.  The lower half only needed to have its glue tab masked to give a better bonding surface later on.  The upper half needed to also have its glue tab masked, but also the cockpit window opening.

I also started work on the light boxes for the pod bay section.  I started by using some .010 sytrene sheet cut to form the shape and size of light box I needed.  The sides of the pod bay used rectangular boxes and the top needed a pie shaped piece.  I then sprayed the inside with gloss black paint and then checked for light leaks.  I had touched up any light leaks and then painted the inside chrome silver.  After that had dried for a day, I cut out small rectangles for the LED’s to be installed.  I tacked them in place with some white glue.

When the white glue dried, I mixed some 5-minute epoxy and then put a dab over each LED and also a spot on the wire leads for each LED.  The extra spot of epoxy will act as a strain relief so that when twisting and moving the wires around it won’t put as much pressure on the LED’s.  After the epoxy set, I painted the backside of the LED’s with some chrome silver and when that was dry, I applied some gloss black to keep any light from escaping.  After that I, tacked the boxes in place on the pod bay with some Plasti-Zap CA glue.

The next thing to do was to mix up some JB Weld epoxy to permanently attach the light boxes.

That’s it for now.  Next up should be building the light boxes for the cockpit.  Thanks for looking.

 

2001 Discovery XD-1 Build Part 5

This update will show the completion of the pods, the painted pod platforms and some work on the rest of the command sphere.  The pod platforms were painted flat black.  I glued a pod base to the right hand pod platform to place the unlit pod.  I also glued the pod base in place for the lighted pod.  I put the pod platforms into the pod bay and did a test fit.  I then noticed that the extended pod was resting on the pod bay door frame and would not allow the pod bay to get a proper fit into the command sphere.  I had heard that before on a YouTube video a few week ago.  Sure enough it didn’t fit quite right.

After some careful moving and fitting I decided that if I could remove a bit of the frame near the bottom I could get the pod bay to seat well.  It would also mean that I would need to shim the back of the pod bay where it meets the sphere at the bottom.   I then started sanding the pod door frame along just the bottom third of the frame.  When I had enough removed I did another test fit and found that it should work fine.  When everything is in place it will be hardly noticeable.

Painting the details on the pods was tricky.  They are very small.  The stationary pod was completed first.  I added the black accents and a small red square on the back.  I then put some Tamiya clear gloss where the window should be to simulate glass.  Then I put some Micro Kristal Kleer where the headlights were to go.  When that had dried I painted them silver, and when that was dry I painted on some Tamiya Clear Gloss.  Next went on the arms.  They were CA’d into place and then painted flat white.  The lighted pod had a few more steps.  I made sure the complete inner surface was painted chrome silver.  Next, I carefully pushed the 1mm fiber optic fibers into the four headlight holes that were 3D printed in place as part of the pod.  I pushed them in until about 1/4 inch was inside the pod.  The fiber tunnels force the fibers to slightly bend toward the lower center of the pod so they can catch the most light from the LED.  I left some extra sticking out in front to make it easier to use the Plasti-Zap to glue them in without fogging them up.  After the CA set I trimmed off the extra.  I then hooked up the LED to see how they looked when lit.  It looks like they pickup the light well.

Next, I’ll be starting to mask the sphere in preparation to paint the interior for light blocking.  Thanks for looking.

2001 Discovery XD-1 Build Part 4

Time for another update.  I have been making slow but steady progress.  As I mentioned last time, I moved on to the pod platforms.  One of them will have to have a hole drilled in the middle to pass the LED wires through to light the pod.  I put a bit in my pin vise and carefully drilled a hole in the round pod base.  I then glued that to one of the pod platforms.  Next I got the pin vice back out and drilled through the platform.  It worked out well.  I used a small file and smoothed the edges so they wouldn’t cut through the thin insulation on the LED wires.

Next up was to start folding the platforms and gluing them together.  They were a bit fiddly because of their size, but they went together quicker than I expected.  Next, I glued the platform tops to the two platforms that would not be extended.  The last part to add to complete the platforms was three tiny brackets under the front lip of the platform.  I lost one in the process of cleaning them up.  Fortunately ParaGrafix included an extra one.  I then glued the short 1.6mm brass rods to them.  Now those two are ready for filling and paint.

The extended platform had to be done in a slightly different order because of the wiring.  First I needed to drill a hole into one of the long 1.6mm brass rods so that the LED wires could go from the platform into the rod and out the back of the pod bay.  I drilled the hole at a very shallow angle to make it easier to thread the wires through.  The wiring path is from the LED through the base of the pod.  Then into the top of the pod platform.  From there the wires have to thread their way into the brass rod at the base of the platform.  I had to take care not to scrape any of the insulation off the wires in the process.  Now with everything threaded together in the proper order, I started pulling the wire through while guiding the platform table into its proper position.  To take some of the pressure off the wires I left a loop of wire in the lower pod base before the wire disappeared into the brass rod.  I was then able to glue the platform table to the base.  Then slowly push the bit of excess wire from the pod base down into the pod platform.  Then I glued the pod base to the platform table.  Finally the extended platform was ready for paint.

Next was to tackle the 2.4mm brass rods that would accept the 1.6mm rods from the platforms.  ParaGrafix suggest cutting an extra set of the 2.4mm brass rods and use them as temporary guides to position the short 2.4mm rods used by the static platforms.  I also cut some styrene rods to use as spacers for the static rods as suggested by ParaGrafix.  You can just make out the spacers under the static brass rods.  I used CA to attach the spacers to the rods and the pod bay floor.  The extended platform did not need spacers since it travels completely from the front of the pod bay to the back wall.  Once all that was done I painted the exposed ends of the large brass rods to blend in with the rest of the lower pod bay wall.

That’s it for now, more to come.  Thanks for looking.

2001 Discovery XD-1 Build Part 2

I got started on the photoetch parts.  I sprayed them with a white primer and then covered that in a clear coat.  I decided to start with updating the exterior airlock door.  As the kit comes, there is no detail on the door itself and the door controls are just a couple of raised areas next to it.  The photoetch has much more detail, but to start, I needed to remove the raised areas and then cut out the kit door.  The ParaGrafix instructions indicate to put the door on the outside of the command sphere, but looking at the movie stills it is clear that the door is recessed, hence my need to cut out the door.  The plastic is fairly soft so cutting out the door was not too difficult.  I tacked the door on with some CA and then used JB Weld to secure it in place and make sure there were no light leaks.  Then is was a simple matter to attach the photoetch door controls with a drop of CA.

Next up came the photoetch for the interior airlock passage.  It was a simple couple of bends and then some CA to secure it and some JB Weld to make it permanent and cover the joints to prevent light leaks.  Then I added the decals from the HDA Modelworx set.  In hindsight I should probably have put the decals on before bending the part, but it was fairly easy to cut the decal into three parts and apply them to the airlock passage.  These decals are printed with a laser printer.  It is the first time I’ve used this type of decal.  I do not know if they are all like this, but these are very thick decals.  Which is probably a good thing since removing them from the paper backing is rather difficult.  I’ve not used decals that were this hard to remove from the decal paper.  Even after a long soak and allowing them to sit for a while, they were still very difficult to get off the paper.  I had to apply quite a bit of sliding force to get them started.  But they did eventually come loose and I applied them to the PE.  I made sure to use a good amount of Micro Set and then followed that up with Micro Sol to get them to conform to the details of the PE.

Next came the test bench that goes in the center of the pod bay.  It was a much more involved bending process with several small bends that needed to be made.  This is the first time that I have used PE that was this involved.  I finally got it bent, but I’m not quite satisfied with the final result.  I couldn’t get the back of the workbench exactly where it needed to be but it is very close and when it is this small I think it will look fine.  Once again the decals were cut into sections and applied individually.  It took several applications of Micro Set to get them down smooth, but they look fine now.  I needed to apply a bit of black paint at the corners and the inside to stop light leaks.  I also needed to add a couple of styrene bits to cover the open end and the bottom overhang where there is no PE.  I then also painted the inside silver to aid in bouncing the light around when it gets lit.

Next I bent the climate control vents into shape and touched up the corners with some white paint.  They went together easily with just some simple bends.  I then applied the decals to the pod bay walls and floor.  The windows and lights were filled with Micro Krystal Klear.  The pod bay wall decals were cut into sections and applied.  The floor was one decal with a couple of holes cut out for the workbench and the space suit rack.  I also CA’ed the blue suit and the red helmet to the suit rack and applied the decals.

The ceiling of the pod bay is where the climate control vents go and I took a photo of them placed where they will go when complete.  I won’t actually install them until later.  There are also some dome shapes that go on the ceiling.  You can see them in the movie, but they are not modeled in the PE.  But there are three raised areas on the PE where the domes should go.  I started wondering what I would do about that.  At first I thought I might just leave them off, but my OCD just wouldn’t let me do that.  Then I remembered the half pearls that I used on a couple of my steam punk rockets.  I pulled them out and they were just the right size to fit.  I CA’ed them into place and painted them white.

That is as far as I have gotten so far.  Next I need to start working on how to light the pod on the extended platform.  My brass rods came in so now I have no excuses left, I have to start working on it.  Current plan is to run some very thin wires through one of the rods and up into the platform then into the pod.  First things first, I need to get the pod painted to block any light from the interior leaking out.

That’s all for now.

2001 Discovery XD-1 Build

I’m getting ready to start my next build.  It will be the Moebius kit of the Discovery XD-1 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  This is one of my grail kits.  I’ve wanted a kit of this model ever since I saw the movie back in 1968.  There have been no injected styrene kits of this up until Moebius did it a couple of years ago.  There were some garage kits in resin, but they were either out of my price range or I didn’t find out about them until they were out of production.  I pre-ordered the kit from CulTVMan when it was announced.  It’s been in my stash since then.  Now I’m finally getting around to building it.

Of course this model screams for a detailed pod bay which is not included in the kit.  Fortunately ParaGrafix has come to the rescue with a pair of photoetch sets that re-create the pod bay and the cockpit of the XD-1.  I also found out that HDA Modelworks was making a set of decals for the ParaGrafix sets that would help me avoid having to paint all that detail by hand.

Obviously, since there was no pod bay in the kit, there are no pods in the kit either.  After looking at what was available from after-market sources, and actually purchasing a couple, I was not enthusiastic at what I had found.  The first one I picked up was cast in clear resin so it might be possible to light it.  Unfortunately it was way undersized.  I found another that was about the correct size but the detailing in the back seemed wrong, and it was cast in solid white which would make lighting next to impossible.  Finally, I heard about Falconware on Shapeways.  He was producing a 3D printed set of pods that were the right size and nicely detailed.  He had even included the provision to add fiber optics for the headlights of the pod.  I bought a set of three and they look very good.  He also provides a set of arms in various positions so you can model them parked, picking up Frank, or opening the emergency airlock.

So now I have most of the aftermarket add-ons that I need (I still need to get some LED’s for the lighting) I’m ready to start on the model.  I opened the box and examined the runners.  Each runner is in a separate bag so if any parts come off the won’t go far.  Unfortunately, my kit had two parts that were damaged.  The main antenna spider had one of its arms broken.  Also the window sill was cracked.  After sparing application of liquid cement and careful bending of the broken part, I was able to fix the spider.  You can barely tell where it was broken.  I used a similar procedure on the window sill.  Both came out great.

Now I need to figure out my plan of attack for the model.  I think I’ll be starting with the photoetch sets from ParaGrafix.  I’ll be modeling the scene where Dave is leaving the pod bay in his attempt to get Frank.  So I will only need two of the three pods that I bought.  I will also only need to light the one that Dave is using.  I’ll model that pod platform extended with the headlights on and the arms in the parked position.  I have a bit of work to do before I install the platforms which is good since I’m still waiting on the brass tubes that support the platforms.

I expect the initial stages of this build to be a bit slow, but things should start progressing nicely after the interior and lighting is installed.

Thanks for following along.