The Voskhod build that I started back in January is finally finished. I got the main engine bells painted. Then I drilled small holes at the base of the core and boosters to accept the tab that is on the engine bells. They were then glued into place with thick CA. The vernier motors were painted and installed on the core and boosters. For the core, the full length of the Airfix vernier motors fit within the cavities that were on the sides of the core body. For the boosters, I had to trim all the part away except for the nozzles. These then fit into the small recesses at the edge of each booster. They were also glued on with thick CA.
Then I carefully glued the boosters to the core stage. I again used thick CA. I added a small drop at four points for each booster. One at the tip where the top of the booster is attached to the core body and then at two points for the braces. I also added a drop of CA at the middle of the crossbar where there is a pin that goes into a hole that had been drilled in each booster body. The Apex kit did not have that pin on the crossbar that came in the kit. The actual vehicle did not have that attach point either. The Airfix part that I was using instead did. I like that idea as it helps hold the boosters on a bit more securely, and at this scale you cannot see where they meet so it does not distract from model.
Next came a fiddly part of the build where I had to attach the second stage to the truss work on the core stage. Here I put a small amount of JB Weld epoxy at each pin that I had previously added to the second stage. I then carefully placed the second stage on the truss. It took a bit of wiggling here and adjusting there to get it into the proper position. Each of the four pins had to be behind the top of the inverted ‘V’ on the truss so that the JB Weld could have something else to grab onto. After letting it cure for 24 hours, it is not securely attached. But I still want to be careful in handling, since the pins holding it together are tiny.
It now sits on its base. The steel rod fits nicely into the tube that I built into the core stage. It is very stable on its base. It now takes its place in my 1/144 scale rocket garden of manned launch vehicles. I now only need two more to finish the garden, a Russian Soyuz and a Chinese CZ-2F. That is until Spacex and Boeing start flying crews to the ISS.
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.
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.
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.