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    Tulsa, OK

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  1. Pete, Yes, I thought about that one for a while. And it sure was straight out of the box. 😉
  2. Well I only thought I was going to be ready for final priming. I was going through some of the SA-1 photos that I have and noticed a couple of new detail bits that I had not noticed before. One was a fairing over the Position 1 fuel tank valve. This apparently covers the valve and provides an attach point for the on pad fuel fill and drain line. It has a semi rounded profile with tapered front and rear sections. I made a stack of three styrene strips to get the approximate size and shape. Then I sanded them to the right profile. This was then attached over the original valve hole that I had made earlier. Next I moved on to the air scoops on the outboard engine fairings. I’ve been thinking of how I would model these parts since I began the build. I finally came up with an acceptable solution. I pulled out the Walthers piping sprue that I used earlier to create the turbo pump exhausts. I looked carefully at the ends of the runners that lead to some of the parts on the sprue. Some of the ends had a rounded profile and were close to the right diameter. I used a sharp #11 blade and cut off the hemispherical ends of the runners and then cut those in half. This left me with some 1/4 sphere shapes that were close the size needed. I then glued them in place on the fairings and used the #11 blade to shape them to more closely match the correct profile. They may still be slightly oversized but they look close, so I’m going to leave them at that. I also noticed that there were vent openings at the top of some of the fuel and LOX tanks. Not all of them just some of them. I found some drawings online that showed the plumbing of those vents. The drawing along with some photos allowed me to determine which tanks had the vent holes and where they should go. I used a small drill bit in my pin vice and made the vents. I then primed the dummy upper stages again. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I prime this part. It seem that every time I think I’m done, I find some more pin holes that need to be filled. I primed the first stage to check for any other areas that need to be worked on. For the most part it looks good. I also attached the engines and turbo pump exhausts to a paint stir stick and primed them as well. Next up will probably be attaching the dummy upper stages to the first stage. Thanks for looking.
  3. Finally time for an update. I looked at the photo references I have for SA-1 (in fact all the Block I vehicles) and the outboard engine fairings have angled sides that match the angles on the boat tail. I cut my fairings to roughly match the subtle lines on the boat tail. The next thing I did was to complete the turbo pump exhausts. I cut a bracket out of 0.010 sheet styrene and glued it to one of the exhaust pipes. It looked good so I made three more. I'll attach them to the pipes and then they will get attached to the model at a later stage. I then drilled some small holes in the first stage boat tail to accept the exhaust pipes. I also drilled holes at the base of the fuel and LOX tanks to match photos of SA-1. Finally, for this post are a couple of pictures of the continuing filling and sanding of the model to cover some of the blemishes in the castings. I sprayed a coat of primer on them to highlight some of the remaining rough spots. The more subtle blemishes don't show up well on just the bare resin. You can also see that I’ve added some tunnel covers to the fuel tanks and a vent pipe on the fuel tank of Position 4. That's all for now. Next I should be able to get the final primer on the two main sections in preparation for painting. Thanks for looking. Randy
  4. Thanks, Pete. I was moving along pretty well. Now the filling all the surface blemishes on the parts is taking me a bit more time than I anticipated, but I am making progress none the less. I should have a new post in a couple of days. (hopefully) In the end it really is a fairly simple kit, above the first stage that is. All the detailing is on the first stage. Randy
  5. Very nice build! It's great to see how others build the same model. It gives me ideas for the next time. I love your base. I may have to steal some ideas there. Randy
  6. Niart17 and Propellerhead, thanks for the kind words. It was fun and now I finally have a 2001 Discovery that I've wanted for ages.
  7. I've made some more progress on the build this week. I glued the top section of the first stage in place. I also glued the second and third stages plus the nose cone together. I'm continuing the clean up of the first stage. I thought about using my Dremel to get rid of some of the junk in between the tanks on the first stage, but it is such a confined area that I’m afraid that I’ll mess up the tanks on either side. I think I’ll add filler between the tanks to cover up the bumps there. The dummy upper stage assembly also requires some filling and sanding. While waiting for some filler to dry I started scribing the panel lines into the base of the boat tail. I also drilled some holes to insert locator pins for the engine bells to be added later. Next I drilled a hole in the base of each engine bell. I also glued some 3/64 inch styrene rod into each of the locator holes in the boat tail. The outboard engine fairings that come in the kit are too small and do not fit well on the boat tail. I instead used some 0.010 inch sheet styrene to make some replacements. I glued them on with Plasti-Zap CA glue. I continue to add filler to the tanks on the first stage. I also started making the inboard engine turbopump exhaust ports. I’m not that great at bending styrene rod, so when I can, I adapt other parts. I had some piping left from a Walthers Piping kit that I used on a steampunk rocket a while back. I pulled out the runners to see if there were some parts there that I could use as a turbopump exhaust. Sure enough I found some. I only had four pieces that I could use, so I had to make sure not to mess them up. After cutting them from the runner I carefully trimmed off the ends that I didn’t need. I then drilled out the exposed ends so they look more like pipes instead of rods. That’s it for now. I have to make some brackets for the turbopump exhausts before they can be attached to the boattail. I also have some more detail items that need to go on the first stage tanks, but first I have to finish the filling and sanding. There are also supposed to be three hemispherical air scoops that go on each fairing. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to model those. Thanks for looking.
  8. I’m starting a new build. This will be the first for the year. Last year I completed three models. That is a record for me. I’ll see if I can do better this year. First on the bench this year is an all resin kit of the Saturn I Block I (SA-1) from Martin’s Models. I purchased this kit directly from Martin in the UK at least 4 years ago. Some people say that the castings are pretty good. I’m not quite in that camp. Maybe over the years his casting process has gotten better. The castings in my kit are not quite up there with New-Ware or RealSpace Models. But the kit is *way* less expensive than either of them. There are some casting flaws, pinholes and some parts are a bit out of round, but it should still build up to a nice model. I’ll just have to do more cleaning than usual and do a little scratch building for some of the details. The first thing I did was to gather everything together to see what I had to work with. As I mentioned above, a number of the parts will require some clean up and filling. On some of the parts it is not obvious where the the pour plug ends and the part itself begins. I don’t think I’ll be using the included display base. I’ll display it like I’ve been doing with my 1/144 manned launchers. The included decals are not bad, but I might be doing some custom ones before it’s all over. I cleaned up the parts and removed the pour plugs as best I could tell. I sanded the bases of the major sections and then started stacking them to see how far off from square I was. It is really difficult to sand them exactly square, so I rotated the parts until I got what looked like a straight rocket from the bottom to the top. I also made some alignment marks so that when I stack them later for gluing I can be sure that the alignment remains in the original orientation. All sections stacked to ensure a vertical orientation. Closeup of the first stage area. Clean up of the parts will continue. Upper sections. You can see the alignment marks. Next, I made some marks on the first stage boat tail. This will allow me to drill a hole in the center for the rod that will hold the model in place on the base. I also made a diagram to assist me when I scribe the lines on the base heat shield. Then I glued the first stage tanks to the boat tail. I had to use a couple of shims to get a vertical stage. I attached them with CA. Then I started the process of filling the areas where the tanks meet the boat tail. This is still a work in progress. You can also see from the pictures that there is some clean up to be done between the tanks as well. I also filled a major divot on the boilerplate second stage. That's it for now. More to come soon. Thanks for looking.
  9. Those elevon decals look like they printed them backwards. The ones for the right wing will fit the shape if they were mirrored. It doesn't look like it's anything you did. Otherwise, this build is looking great. Randy
  10. Looking great Pete! The PE really makes it look great. Randy
  11. Thanks. Yes, I've been waiting for this kit for a long time. Randy
  12. Here are some pictures of the completed model, both lit up and dark. Overall view of the model. Front view with lighting off. Front view with lighting on. The lights photograph bluer than they actually look. Closeup of cockpit area. Front view of cockpit. Pod view. Peeking inside pod bay. Looking at the interior from the right. If you look closely you can see the other pod. I epoxied the stand sections to their steel rods and sprayed them with primer. I believe I will paint base and rod matte black and the top piece I’ll paint with the base color of the model. Like I said at the beginning I’m still not sure exactly how I will finally mount it, but it will be different from this. I'll post an epilogue when I finally get the mount the way I want. That was a fun build and I really like the final product. Thanks for following along. This build makes the third build I finished this year. That is a record for me. The year started by finishing my 1/144 Voskhod II model, then the Apollo 15 1/144 Saturn V, and finally the 1/144 2001 Discovery XD-1. We'll see how many I can complete this year. I think first up I'll try the Martin's Models 1/144 Saturn I Block I resin kit. I hope to start a build thread on that soon.
  13. Now on to the completion of the build. I turned my attention to the steel rod that went into the reactor section. I needed to create an opening in it to allow the wires to exit the spine and get attached to the battery switch. I used my Dremel tool to grind off a section and then used a file to remove the sharp bits. Now I could start building the spine to put the rest of the model together. I used a bit of JB Weld epoxy in the back of the command sphere where the forward rod was to go. Then I threaded the wire through the rod and put the rod in the command sphere back. Next I glued the neck section to the command sphere back with some Plasti-Zap CA. Having the neck piece on would also help center the rod in the command sphere back since there was a bit of play at that joint. After letting the JB Weld set for a day I was then able to start adding the spine sections with CA. The forward section was finished with the addition of the antenna complex. The antenna complex also contains the rod connecting sleeve. I glued the sleeve to the forward rod with a bit of CA trying my best to get the antenna section lined up properly with the command sphere. Then I moved on to the the rear section of the spine. First was to thread the wire through the rear rod. I had to slide on the spine and reactor sections even though I would not be gluing them at this time. This was necessary to make it easier to get the wire through the small hole in the rod. I then applied CA to the rod and sleeve in the antenna array. Now I could start gluing the spine sections as earlier for the forward section. Finally the reactor section was glued in place. Next came adding the containers. This required special attention to the instructions to be sure that they were glued on in the proper order Some of the sections were a bit trickier than others since they had only one attachment point and a large over hang on one side. But it all went well and surprisingly enough I didn’t have to redo any containers. Here is a view of the first row of containers going on the forward spine. And here continuing down the spine. This is the bottom row of containers. Note the upside down antenna. Once the containers were on I used some black wash on the engine exhausts, glued them in place in the engine stalks and then glued the completed engines to the reactor section. Unfortunately the engines do not touch each other as they do in the film. I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory fix so I just left them with a small gap between each one. I also soldered the wires together in the reactor section which completed the wiring process. Here is the forward section of the model complete. Here is the forward section from the right. Here is the antenna complex. Here is the rear section. The lighting was not very good. More completed build pictures on the next post....
  14. Just to be clear, I finished this project just before Christmas. All in all I've been working on it since October. It is just taking me a while to post my progress. I'm now at the painting stage. After hand brushing the darker gray colors and then masking them I painted everything in my base color using Vallejo Model Color White Gray. To my eye it makes the perfect base color. It is almost white with just a hint of gray. I sprayed all the parts with the base color. Model Color is primarily intended for brush painting but I was able to airbrush it by thinning it 50/50 with a custom thinner I made that was 66% distilled water and 33% isopropyl alcohol with a few drops of Model Color Flow Improver added. This worked very well and gave me pretty even coverage. Here are the sphere halves painted with the base color with the masking still on. Here is the reactor section with its base coat. This is the spine painted but not glued together. After painting the base color, I removed all the masking, except for the open pod bay door and the cockpit window area. I let the paint set for a day and then mixed a batch of 25/75 base color/thinner and applied a mist coat over the command sphere and neck parts that had the darker gray areas. This toned down the difference in shade from the base color and looks pretty good to my eye. Sorry I didn’t get any before pictures. I’ll apply a clear flat overcoat to protect the paint. It is rather fragile and can be damaged if not handled carefully. The clear coat should give a tougher surface. This is the command sphere sections with their mist coat. Here is a front view of the command sphere. Not a perfect match but close enough for me. By the way, the sphere is not glued together. I won't do that until I install the interior. After letting everything cure for a day I applied a clear coat to protect the paint and then let that set for another day. Now it is time to start putting these pieces together and create the complete ship. I glued the forward neck sections together and added the spine connecting piece to the reactor section. Then I removed the remaining masking and started installing the interior of the command sphere. I first installed the window shelf then used some CA I glued the cockpit in the upper half of the sphere. I then applied some JB Weld epoxy around the edges as an additional light blocking and to permanently attach the cockpit. Next came the pod bay installation into the lower sphere half. Here I needed to make an adjustment. If i tried to place the pod bay in where it fit then the extended pod platform wouldn’t fit since I had included the door frame. If I had left off the door frame then it would have been fine. To fix it. I installed the pod bay just a bit higher in the sphere half. This meant that the bottom of the interior would not rest in the bottom of the sphere. This would lead to a very weak attachment at just a couple of points at the top of the pod bay. To strengthen it, I added some styrene extensions to the bottom of the pod bay. They were first attached with CA then after the pod bay was properly glued in, I used some JB Weld to more permanently attach them. It is now installed very firmly to the sphere. I didn't get a photo with the JB Weld, but I assure you it is in firmly and shouldn't come loose any time soon. Here it is from the front, with the pod platform sticking out the door. Next I glued the two sphere halves together with some Tenax. With the sphere together I, soldered the cockpit and pod bay wires together and then added the long wires that will travel the length of the spine back to the batteries in the reactor section. I then threaded that wire through the command sphere back plate and glued it to the command sphere. The next post should show the completion of the build. Thanks for looking.
  15. It's looking good Pete. Looks like there is the typical amount of patching and filling of any shuttle model. As you said, the PE set adds a lot of nice detail. Randy
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