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About Homer

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  1. Hi Vidar, I don't have any plans at present to try to make this for the Tamiya shuttle, but if the interest is high, I might be willing to try to convert it. It will be a lot of work. If you don't mind, let's see how the current scale parts turn out and if the demand is high enough for the 1/100, I would certainly consider it.
  2. Thanks Hotdog and Robhp. I just submitted the order to Shapeways for the RCS insert so I'll post info on how it comes out. It looks like they don't expect to get me the new parts until after Xmas. It looks like the Updraft model seats are far more realistic than mine. I'd be interested to see how they did that, because the seats I designed are at the limit of Shapeways' guidelines for thinness of parts with the fine detailed plastic. The headrests that Updraft features actually mount on thin cylindrical supports; at 1:72 scale there's no way that the fine detail plastic could support the headrests. https://www.updraftmodels.com/product-page/1-72-space-shuttle-cockpit-update-set-late-for-revell I was toying with strategies to hide the seam between the RCS insert and the Monogram kit hull part, but couldn't figure out a really good way to do it. Right now, the tile border comes right up to the seam. We'll see how difficult it will be to disguise it with filler. Hotdog, I appreciate you being willing to see if your tile detail set will snuggle up to the RCS insert I made. If I need to make the tiles raised a little more than they are presently to match the thickness of the styrene sheet you are using for your tile detail, I should be able to do that relatively easily. Right now, the tiles on my RCS insert rise about 0.2 mm above the surrounding flat area. Once the RCS insert is successfully printed, I can post it to my Shapeways store. Gary, please note that the RCS thruster innards collide with the lip of the beanie cap base you already bought. It should be easy to trim down the interior lip so that the parts fit together. I modified the beanie cap base part and am printing it with this new order; once it prints successfully, I can move it into my store as well for future model purchases.
  3. I didn't have a lot of model shop time over the holiday, unfortunately, but I did get some Blender time on the laptop while traveling. I've been working on creating a more accurate part for the fore RCS thrusters. I'm not sure how much of these details will be visible in the print, like this striped semicylindrical indentations around the thrusters. I had to fudge the angles of the piece to match the RCS cutout from the Monogram model; you can see here that the fore and aft slope of the part aren't aligned with the blueprints. I'm wondering if the tiles here are going to look bit out of place, since the rest of the nose of the orbiter will be tiled with decals, so the difference might be distracting. Hotdog, is your tile set going to include these tiles on the lateral faces and the nose of the orbiter, or just on the underside? Do you think that the junction between this RCS piece and your tiles will work, or will it be hard to disguise the borders of the two modifications?
  4. Thanks Habu, that’s not a bad idea for the wiring. If I ever get far enough along with this project, I’ll see if it makes sense to run the wiring through the ET/SRB assembly. Gary, I just eyeballed the colors and then looked in my paint drawer to find some approximate matches. I used the Gigapan image to determine some of the flight deck colors. http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/102753 Most of the flight deck is white, and I used the decals to add most of the colors. I used some grays for the devices mounted on the aft wall, like the CCTV and the rotational controllers, etc. For the padding on the seats, I used some Floquil D&H Avon Blue F414194, but obviously this doesn’t have to be precise. IModelKit shows MMAcryl 4661 Ford/GM Engine blue is a close enough match. For the dashboard, I used Floquil Dirt F414308, and a close enough equivalent is MMAcryl 4604 Skin Tone Shadow Tint or Lifecolor UA 435 Polish Officers Field Uniform. For the pedestals on which the joysticks are mounted in front of the pilot and commander’s seats, I used Floquil USN Blue Gray F505088, for which you could use MMAcryl 4847 US Navy Blue Gray M-485. For the fire extinguisher, I used MMAcryl Chevy Engine Red 4629, and MMAcryl Int’l Orange 4682 for the ACES suits. FormLabs kindly printed sample parts of my tiled cap for me on their Form 2 so I could see how the quality compares. Here are the two samples they printed; at first glance, they look pretty equivalent to the fine detail plastic quality, although I didn’t print the figures with their tiny hands. The tile and bolt pattern looks pretty crisp. I’ll paint them up so I can make a more apples to apples comparison.
  5. Thanks to you both. Pete, please let me know if that link works for you once you sign up for a dropbox account. I just clicked on it and it worked for me. Gary, I am planning on lighting the shuttle, but I've never made my own lighting system before, so I have no idea if I will succeed in my attempt. I plan on using a bunch of warm surface mount LEDs powered by what I'm guessing will be a 9V battery hidden behind the main engine mounting. I might have to 3d model something other than the kit part which has the integrated elevon or whatever it's called to include a battery access hatch. Once the shuttle hull is glued and light blocked, I'll probably cover the inside with metallizer paint or aluminum foil, then try to place some surface mount LEDs inside to scatter light everywhere. I bought a bunch of these from Digikey: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/cree-inc/CLA1B-MKW-XD0F0E83/CLA1B-MKW-XD0F0E83CT-ND/2753184 I made a little recessed area in the ceiling piece of the flight deck to permit mounting two to three of them - you can see two of them perched in their recess below. The walls behind the pilot and commander positions are hollow to permit passing wires, also shown in the photo. I sprayed metallizer (AK true metal) on the inside of the tiled beanie cap and the outward facing surface of the ceiling to improve light reflections, which hopefully will help to illuminate the holes around the edge of the ceiling piece. Honestly, though, I am doubtful that the ceiling will be visible once the model is closed up, so this part mad be completely over-engineered. I was getting frustrated with my tape masking ruining my paint layers by pulling up paint of the Shapeways fine detail plastic, which I presume doesn't grip the primer as well as styrene. So I tried the laser toner transfer technique used for making the photo etch to create some frisket paint masks. I printed the window paint mask pdf on a laser printer on thermal transfer paper, glossy side up. I think you can use glossy pages from magazines for this technique to spare buying the thermal transfer paper. Then I passed the glossy paper with the toner side facing a sheet of frisket paper through a laminator. The toner particles released from the transfer paper and attached (for the most part) to the frisket, providing enough detail to cut the masks. The wax paper backing the frisket detached a bit from the heat of the laminator, but the print geometry on the frisket itself was more or less preserved. I then cut my masks with a new X-acto blade, and with a little bit of fudging of the geometry to get it to lie correctly (my mask doesn't account for the geometry of the beanie cap away from the immediately planar window frames), it fit with minimal fussing. I sliced the mask in two places to provide enough wiggle room to get it to fit correctly - at 2 and 8 o'clock in the photo above where I've bridged the gaps with pieces of yellow Tamiya tape. This was a lot less work than my original masking tape effort. The reason why I needed to remask and repaint is because my first attempt at painting the bolt holes failed, as you can see above. The acrylic ghost grey paint dissolved the Future layer and acrylic black layer underneath when I tried to wipe off the excess. So I messed up my original paint job. I repainted the black frame using the frisket mask, and will try again to paint the bolt holes, probably with an enamel paint to reduce the risk of having the same thing happen again. Any suggestions from the group on better ways to apply paint to the little 0.5 mm pits in the window frames without a lot of overflow to remove would be most welcome.
  6. Thank you Ralf and mkjm for the encouragement. Looking good, Gary! Sorry that you clipped the wrong parts on the model and had to buy a second set (but thank you for your enthusiasm for this project and willingness to spend another chunk of money). That's a great idea to use plastic instead of glass for the windows - I may give it a try. Let me know how the optics are for looking inside to see the details of the flight deck, in case the view is distorted. Masking the windows for painting was a major pain. I thought that it might make more sense to create some paint masks manually with printer paper, so I created this document with the silhouettes of the windows and the HUD raised details on the dashboard ready for some careful work with scissors and an X-acto blade. I'll try them out and see if they're accurate enough for airbrush masks, but wanted to forward them to Gary (and others who might be interested) in case he wanted to give them a go as well while he was practicing on the current model. The black lines are marking the outer border of the window frames, so you should trim just outside the silhouetted areas. https://www.dropbox.com/s/es526i6nii5441u/shuttle window masks.pdf?dl=0 Let me know if you find them useful for the window masking work.
  7. Here is my attempt to paint the tiled cap. I used some 5 and 8 mm punch scalpels to cut the curved sections. Gloss coat before the decals. Not that this will be a very accurate build, but I'm trying to copy the asymmetrical black tile pattern from STS-114. I haven't yet gone around with a needle to highlight the window frame bolt holes in gray and perform a panel line wash. After I get a chance to do those steps, it will get a matte coat. I'm going to try to see if a layer of black light mask decals will make the lighting look more realistic internally. I've created two separate decal sheets, one printed on clear, the other printed on white: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ypdaakr5esi1fw7/flight deck decal clear.pdf?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/95njvzltcguzj7p/flight deck decal white.pdf?dl=0 Here is the template for creating the window glass and the main engine throttles. https://www.dropbox.com/s/mj9uai56th9tt1x/flight deck glass and main engine throttle template.pdf?dl=0 Shapeways informed me that the on orbit model has some detail that's a little too thin (Dr. Stone's fingers around the Canadarm controller), so that model has been removed from my store until I get a chance to modify it a little more.
  8. Prints arrived last week, had a little time to work on the parts. They seem to fit together well. I primed and painted the white layers on the cap, will wait for it to dry more before I mask and paint the black. The insertion tabs are a tight fit, but they work; I had to insert a dental tool to clean some print debris out their insertion slots a little bit. It looks like the orientation of the tiled cap is correct - the tile details are symmetrical and crisp this time. Please be aware that the wrists of the astronauts are the weak point and snap easily. I asked Shapeways if I should modify the model of Dr. Stone to include a little safety cage around it. Her hand arrived broken in the bubble wrap. I'll try to post some more photos shortly. I put the models on my Shapeways shop page, but I recommend that modelers who wish to buy the on orbit astronauts wait until I hear back from Shapeways about the breakage before placing an order. I haven't had a chance to put them all together, but the fit appears to be quite good, including the payload bay wall. https://www.shapeways.com/shops/homer-s-spare-model-parts One modeler already placed orders for the parts minus the on orbit astronauts, and I asked him to post in this thread after he receives the parts to provide feedback.
  9. Okay, hopefully the final test print. I changed the tiled layer of the beanie cap to give a little (orange) skirt so modelers could hide the seam more easily without sanding off the border of the tiles. I plan on using medical tape to simulate the quilts, to the seam should be hidden underneath those, as opposed to the prior version where the seam would be right at the tile border. I created some tab inserts to secure the cap down into little slots; they might need to be sanded down a little if they are too snug to fit into their corresponding slots. I discovered a large problem with making the beanie cap compatible with the open cargo bay doors: the rear wall of the cap isn't "vertical" like that of the real shuttle. If you close the cargo doors that come with the Monogram shuttle, they compensate for this angled discrepancy, so I couldn't just make my cap rear end vertical, since I want to model mine in launch configuration. So, after much trial and error (mostly error), I did this with the replacement for the aft cargo bay bulkhead wall: Here is what I hope it will look like when assembled: This blue wedge offsets the bulkhead from the aft windows of the flight deck, so I had to create a little spacer to fill that gap. It's attached by a sprue to the bottom of the bulkhead wall piece. Here is the spacer in place. There is a 0.2 mm thick little recessed area to add the glass cover slip. I anticipate that it take about 2-3 weeks for Shapeways to get the print to me.
  10. Almost ready for what I hope will be my final test print. Had some time finally to try the HUD photo etch. I went too far in darkening the gray of the decal background with this version (the prior ones were too light).
  11. Thanks Vidar. I don't have the 1/100 Tamiya kit, but if this works maybe I'll purchase one and see if I can adapt the parts for a smaller model. The problem with simply scaling it down is that the thinness of the walls is right at the limit for printing at present, so I can't easily just scale it down by 28% and preserve it's printability. It would require a lot of rework. I played around with the posing mode in Blender and fortunately the inverse kinematics option provided with the new MHX2 rigging is a lot easier to use than the old forward kinematics process. Individual fingers are too thin to print as single appendages, so whatever pose the hands are in, the fingers have to be attached to either each other or some other object or they won't print at all. So Dave is holding the IBM NewsPad, Frank is looking grumpy at HAL with his arms folded across his chest, Ryan is working the manipulator arm with both hands on the controllers (which I hope will be strong enough to support the weight of the figure), and Neil is pushing himself through the interdeck access hatch. I thought it might be too crowded to put Matt on the flight deck at the same time, but if there is another space that would make sense to pose a figure I can certainly try to put him in there doing something plausible and let the modeler decide.
  12. Danke Ralf. I tried to learn how to use MakeClothes with MakeHuman this past week for the clothes and hair. Here is my on orbit crew so far: . I can't say that they look a lot like Dave Bowman, Frank Poole, Ryan Stone, Matt Kowalski, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but probably nobody will be able to tell who they are at 1:72 scale. I think Frank and Neil came out the most recognizable. I'll try to put them in various poses, so that modelers have multiple options - I thought I'd have Dr. Stone operating the Canadarm controller in a floating pose like this: but there might be too much torque on the forearm to support the weight of the model, so I might have to model the astronaut in a more upright position like this: Any input from the interested community on how to pose the figures or other figures to model would be welcome. It's actually not that hard, as Ralf says, to use MakeHuman once you get the clothes loaded.
  13. Thanks Catfan and Hotdog. Here are two photos of a test fit of the cap. Catfan indicated that he wanted to use the cap on a model with the payload bay doors open, so I realized that I would need to add the fore wall of the payload bay with correctly shaped and positioned windows (as opposed to using the part from the kit). I was able to print up a mock up of the wall on an FDM printer at work to check the fit. It's 1 mm in width and snuggles up nicely. Please be aware that lighting the aft wall of the flight deck will be partially limited with this payload bay wall in place. If any subject matter experts can provide some images of whatever hardware is mounted on this wall that is visible from the payload bay, I can try to include it. Exactly concurring with Hotdog's suspicions re: print quality issues, the Shapeways customer service technician confirmed that my cap was being printed upside down, so the support material was in contact with the tiled side of the roof, thus explaining the recurring print artifact problem. He also told me that quality is better with fewer parts per single model printed, since when you batch them in one printout, the system has to fill the in betweener space with support material. I thought I was saving on overall part cost by printing as many parts as possible in one model, but apparently that's not the case. Anyway, I hope that this solves the print quality problem I've been having. In order to use the flight deck for on-orbit shuttles, I should change the rear stowable seats alignment system. Right now, I have these little pyramids protruding from the floor that mate with the underside of the seats. I'll try to make them fit into slots in the floor instead, so that for modelers who don't want the seats mounted the slots can easily be puttied over. I'll also try to make a few astronauts to mount in the cabin floating around in zero G. I drew a long sleeved collared shirt, some cargo pants, and socks on a mannequin whose resemblance to one of the Kelly brothers is completely unintentional. I figured out some basic sculpting techniques so I was able to create the appearance of wrinkles in the fabric this time. I'll try to work on some hair options, although I'm not sure how it will look. Basically hair will be a somewhat variegated blob on the scalp. I'll probably have to make the women astronauts have their hair back in a ponytail. Based on this diagram of the seats I found online, I created little gray boxes to the left sides of the mission specialist and payload specialist's seats to simulate the portable oxygen system. Can anyone tell me if these systems were in use on later shuttle flights? I will try to cut holes in the floor of the flight deck to simulate the interdeck access hatches on starboard and port sides for on orbit models, and then will make some plugs to fill them for the landing and launch configurations. My apologies to those of you who have been patiently waiting for me to finish and release this model; my regular job is taking up a lot of time presently, so I don't have enough downtime available to focus on this project as much as I would like. Hopefully the wait will be worth it.
  14. Here is a brief update. Here are the pieces from the latest version of the model, primed, then light-blocked. I keep getting prints with asymmetrical quality issues - on the cap, on the port side, the tile pattern is clean. But on this print, the starboard side has artifact that obliterates the tile and window frame details. Shapeways offered to reprint or refund my money, and I saw a few tiles that didn't lie down correctly (you can see them midline front of the windows in the above images), so I reworked the geometries a little to try to minimize the effect. After painting, you can appreciate the difference in the finish quality: I haven't figured out if selecting the print orientation will make a difference with this print - if anyone can give me any guidance on things I could do when I submit it to Shapeways (i.e. how should I orient the piece to optimize print quality), I would be very appreciative. I proceeded to try to assemble the components to see how the multilayer window frames would look. I painted the dashboard brown then black on the HUD components. Those rectangular black pieces on the dashboard are part of the innermost window frame. I tried painting the black outlines of the windows and the overall tiles with black using latex liquid mask, but the edges weren't clean enough, so I tried to wash the black layer off with alcohol, but in doing so, I cracked the piece. Next time I'll mask it more laboriously with tape. The middle sandwich of the multilayer window frames is mostly gray, with a black inner section. With the cracked tiled cap on, I think you can better appreciate how the layers will appear when it's assembled - the model gives off a nice sense of depth to the layers, and you can distinguish the two deepest layers even though they're both painted scale black.. I left a 0.2mm wide space between the middle layer and the tile cap for the cover slip glass. I still need to try out the HUD frames and HUD glass, but I ran out of time today. Also, I need to make a minor modification to the dashboard and will try to sculpt some wrinkles in the ACES suits to make them look a little more realistic, and then I think this model will be ready for release in my Shapeways shop to others who are interested. I will need to order a final print for myself before Shapeways will allow me to release it to my shop, so this will probably take a few more weeks.
  15. I survived my first attempt making photo etch without a trip to the ER or a call from the neighbors to the hazmat team, and was able to produce some HUD frames. Unsure of how thin of a wire the brass would support, I produced multiple variants at 0.25 mm, 0.35, and 0.5 mm thick. The finer 0.25 mm variants on the far left column worked fine, and as you can see below. The brass stock I used is 0.03 inches, or 0.7 mm thick, so it's thinner than the microscope glass. I also played around with the degree of toner deposited on the sprues connecting the the pieces to the rectangular frames. It looks like at 50% opacity on the bottom row there was an acceptable amount of etching to thin/weaken the sprue about the right amount. I think the pieces are ready for a final test print. Here is the base, which I'll print in strong and flexible white, which will need to be sanded down a bit to get the surface smooth: And here is everything else, to be printed in frosted ultra detail: I tried to make photo-etch mask covers for the windows to permit airbrush painting of the bolts around the window frames, but the holes were too small (0.5 mm) and the acid didn't penetrate enough to etch them, so I abandoned that idea. I sunk the bolt holes a little deeper and I think they should be able to be painted with a pinhead with some light gray, and then the overflow around the hole can be dry brushed over with black.