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About mkjm

  • Rank
    Spaceflight Connoisseur
  • Birthday 03/05/1990

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    Spaceflight, armor, The Great War, Mass Effect & Halo (and some other video game series), the odd anime here and there

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  1. I've rounded the nose off a bit with the help of that scan, mighty helpful. Thanks HD!
  2. Another one for the pile! I snagged this 1:288 Academy kit for maybe $12 a few days ago. I wanted a shuttle kit that would be quick to build, small, had the tailcone, and decals for Enterprise. For this kit, I want to depict Enterprise during her first free flight in 1977, during the Approach and Landing Tests. The finished model will be going to a friend a co-worker, a fan of nerd stuff, table top games, space exploration, and NASA. We have had many conversations about different TV shows and the space program and video games, he is a great friend and colleague. He has actually gotten me into watching some Star Trek: Next Generation and I'm really enjoying it, so the shuttle to be gifted to him must be Enterprise! This isn't meant to be a Christmas gift, and will likely get to him next month. Inside the box, everything seems to be present. The amber color for the stand and the 747 cockpit windows is an interesting choice. The orbiter comes with no clear plastic for the cockpit windows which is fine. This is going to be a very basic build, but I'm still hoping for better than those wooden desk models you see at the visitor centers. The 747 will be built up eventually. As of right now, seams have been puttied and sanded smooth. I'm not a fan of kits that mold the black underbelly and white fuselage separately but its a concession. The kit will be primed with Tamiya white today, and then masking will begin. The initial paint scheme for Enterprise with the white cockpit is simple enough and lacks a lot of the markings the production orbiters have. The orbiter seems to have captured the look for the most part. The OMS pods are too tubular, too round, but otherwise should make for a good desktop representation. I'll make a pitot tube out of some very fine wire for the nose. I don't have a photo readily available, but the kit decals are sparse. I'm going to cannibalize a second Hasegawa Egg shuttle's decals for the NASA worm on the payload bay doors, and the USA on the wing. There is no easy way to depict the entry hatch on the initial Enterprise, and the decal that comes with the Academy kit represents a hatch on a later production orbiter with the tile detail. I'm not going to stress too much over it. Again, going for a good representation and not a contest winner. The orbiter will be mounted on a display base with the ALT patch. With work winding down and Christmas vacation coming up, I should hopefully be able to finish this and some of the other kits on the bench soon. More to come!
  3. I've decided that this kit will likely go on an Edu-Craft MLP (maybe the crawler as well, have not decided). I've debated on whether or not to have her in a launch position or in a roll-out configuration with the red OMS and SSME covers and the protective window covers on the cockpit. I think it would make for a very interesting look all things considered, kind of like this: This project is slow going with all of the others going on concurrently, but I've made a little bit of progress. I used blue painters tape to 'protect' the sides of the Revell ET on each side of each rib, and using a Dremel and grinding wheel went over each rib. There was still some edge that needed to be sanded down following this procedure of course, and it is not easy to keep the tank half still while grinding (also thank goodness for safety glasses!). I've dug a little deep in some parts of this tank half, but some milliput should fill that nicely. This is the tank after hitting it with some 320 grit: I've also sanded off the intertank stringers. This kit is going to be fitted with New Wares' orbiter, SRB, and ET detail kit for Revell which come with wraps. This half is for the most part smooth and finished save for the putty filling. Crowe-t, did you remove all of the the detail from both ET tank halves on yours? I'm trying to determine if I need to strip both sides bare but the New Ware kit details are somewhat vague on if all of the piping needs to be gone for the detail kit pieces (I assume so but I want to be cautious). As always, more to come!
  4. Thanks Wombat, that thing is massive! Would make for a great 2019 project I think.
  5. Ah yeah, I tried to find some photo of the dish by itself in what we have of orbiters under construction but there really isn't all that much out there. I think what you have in this preliminary design stage is looking great, however.
  6. That looks great! Do these help at all Bill?
  7. A very fair point! I may just be hanging mine from the ceiling so it may not bother me as much.
  8. Fantastic! I love the base especially. I see you used the photo etch as well, I've been debating if it's worth doubling the price of the kit to add the PE to it or just do an out-of-box build.
  9. Not so flippant at all! It just seemed always a weird choice to me, when modelers often build a ship that has sunk, or an ace fighter plane that has been downed in battle, we deal with subjects that can at times be brutal and revells decision to leave out the names of Challenger and Columbia always seemed more a slight than not. To me anyways. I have your thread pulled up and they still show for me! I'm probably going to screen shot and print the thread for posterity just in case though. Your work is fantastic and I enjoy reading through how you came up with fixes for the various inaccuracies like the OMS pods. That's for the insight on the ribs, I'll have to see about getting a razor saw to hopefully make short work of them. I really like the Revell stack, it's generally readily available below $30, it's inaccuracies aren't uncorrectable IMO, and the fit is...okay. I've never built an airfix stack, one day I'd like to, but I've seen other builds where the wings meet the fuselage and it always seems like a nightmare of a fit. But a few pictures never tells the whole story, I'd like to get one in hand. But I've got some builds that need to be finished before adding any more!
  10. And another one! I've had a 1/144 Revell stack for the better part of three years. I did the same as Endeavour back in 2009 but I was never really happy with it. I gave the orbiter to a good friend who has it on his space shelf and kept the poorly painted SRBs and ET for myself but knew I always wanted to retry it. Because I've had this for so long, I had a lot of time to figure out which mission and orbiter to do. Just last week, I was picking up some stamps at the post office for some thank you cards from my wedding. The lady behind the counter started showing me all the different stamps available before bringing out the Sally Ride set (of course our thank you cards were sent out with these!). I then recalled in 2016, when I visited the Smithsonian to see Discovery, seeing a case of Sally Ride artifacts and mementos and being exited to see that. Well, obviously I think doing Challenger for STS-7 is like, fate or something. I've pulled the reference images from AXM Paper models for help on the orbiter, SRBs, and ET detailing. I've had to consider whether or not I want to do tile decals, which tile decals, where to get a set of names as Revell doesn't include Challenger and Columbia (can anyone explain this? It was always bewildered me). RealSpace has the names and other details, and it seems only Warbirds and Lake County have black tile decals, with Lake County having the early orbiter white TPS decals as well that would be appropriate. Has anyone used Lake County Spaceport's decals before? I don't think I've ever seen them used here. I'm also likely going to go for the New Ware Revell Shuttle, Tank and Boosters detail set for this one. I've been reading through crowe-t's 2011 thread on his excellent STS-133 Revell stack and New Ware details for inspiration and what I can expect. For those that have built the Revell stack, do you do anything in particular to remove the horizontal ribs? Is there a special carving tool one uses for this or is it really just a matter of careful sanding? Well, like before, more to come!
  11. Ha! If I thought I could get away with it I'd certainly try! I used to work at a Michael's Arts & Crafts, I'll have to see if some old friends who still work there can give me a heads up when the easter crafts start rolling in so I can check. These egg series models are a nice break from the super-detailed tile and stringer counting.
  12. You know, if I could find plastic eggs that were smaller than your standard easter-style eggs, that would be a swell idea! I've seen images of an Egg shuttle attached to an Eggternal tank and some small deformed SRBs. I'm wondering now if a SaturnEgg V could be done, a plastic easter egg with some PVC pipe in the middle and some imagination?
  13. I spent a day off yesterday listening to podcasts and watching videos on scale model techniques. I'm trying to better myself and up the quality of my finished kits. I've also worked on Eggy a little bit. I painted the SSEE (Space Shuttle Egg Engines) Tamiya Gunmetal, but then I decided that they were much too plain. Taking some thin evergreen styrene rod, I used some tweezers to make bends in the piping. Not perfect by any means, but at least the engines are more interesting to look at! I looked at one of three Fisher 1/72 engine bells to get the piping pattern. After leveling out the pipes on the top where they attach to the orbiter and at the bottom of the nozzle, I hit them with the gunmetal again. That's one other thing I've decided - I've been using spray bottles for nearly every model I've ever done. I've decided to invest in a good airbrush, a small compressor with a tank (something quiet, I live in an apartment), and a ventilated spray booth, so I don't have to go out to the balcony to spray and dry parts and pieces. But for now, the bottle it is, especially when I need to worry about spending for the upcoming holidays. I was surprised at how egg-sized this little kit really was as it sits in the EOPF (Egg-Orbiter Processing Facility). I'm leaving the little Spacelab unit out for painting, as well as the payload bay doors. More to come!
  14. (Lets hope these photos stick!) My wife, as tolerant as she is of my many hobbies, has expressed a want for me to finish some builds before adding much more to the pile (the modelers conundrum). I've since begun an excel spreadsheet to catalog what is currently being built, what needs to be built, wishlist items, etc to help organize. Having just finished a Revell Saturn V (that awaits its decals) I needed something small and quick, especially as that Mach 2 Redstone is going to require more dedication than I originally figured. I've been sitting on this Egg Series Space Shuttle for almost 5 years now and I think its ready to be hatched. Just some basic assembly, dry fitting, seam filling. This one will be early worm scheme Discovery, on orbit with open payload bay doors with the little astronaut figure floating out of the payload bay. Just a fun and simple build, more to come! ~mkjm
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