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About Homer

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  1. Hi Hotdog, Thanks for the compliment. I think the split of the nose is because I have the beanie cap base poorly seated (you can see that it isn't quite aligned with the adjoining wall from the kit part) so it's forcing the two shuttle body halves apart. I'm on the road this week away from my model bench, but when I get back this weekend I'll try to confirm that the nose split isn't from the RCS insert tongue being too wide. I made the fore tongue narrower specifically to avoid forcing the nose to split, but I wasn't careful when I put the pieces together to compose that photo above. I did want the RCS tiles to protrude a little above the surface of the kit (on the order of 0.2 mm or so) so that it would be easier to blend the border between the RCS insert tiles and your tile sheets.
  2. My Shapeways order arrived last week, and I had a little time to try painting the RCS inserts. I primed and then light blocked the inside face, then I sprayed it with metallizer. Then I sprayed the white areas unmasked. For Christmas I bought a Cricut Maker. This turned out to be a huge time saver for cutting paint masks. Here is one of the two RCS inserts in place. It now fits well in the space. I ran out of time tonight, but next I'll try making the rain covers. Here is a link to the rain cover pdf if anyone wants to try modifying it. https://www.dropbox.com/s/dqrxzk275acfuqw/RCS masks.pdf?dl=0
  3. Thanks Hotdog - that image will be helpful as well. I found some more, not quite as close up as yours: It looks like the little rectangular patches over the ovaloid covers are pouches that trap air and help to shear off the covers after launch. The small lateral fore thruster doesn't have a cover on it at launch. I added that hollow portion back to my RCS launch config insert to reflect those changes. The rest of the thruster ports are modeled solid so the decals that simulate the covers will adhere. Here is my first attempt to make the thruster covers and those little envelopes. I'll try them in paper first, and if that doesn't work, maybe they will work on the white background decals, but I'm skeptical that the fold (gray lines) will work well:
  4. Thank you Wombat and Ralf. I have now discovered today that my mediocre modeling and painting skills are matched by my equally mediocre decaling skills. Continuing my glacial construction pace, I painted ghost gray on various components on the aft wall and the main engine throttles. For the flight deck in launch configuration, I super glued in place the translation hand controller between the aft windows. Please note that for the on orbit version, Dr. Stone's hands are already printed gripping this and the rotational hand controller, and hopefully these two support points will be strong enough to hold up her figure on the on orbit build. I'll try that build later (I thickened the wrists of the figures and sent them off for a reprint, so I'll try building the on orbit model after they arrive). After finding out how hard it is to install decals in tight spaces, I split the floor decal into three separate rectangular pieces, and installed them individually. Here are the three pieces installed. Here is a link to the new clear decal sheet with the three part floor decal. My apologies for the frequent revisions, in case any of you already printed the prior ones out. https://www.dropbox.com/s/02xfpkvw1ut0jlg/flight deck decal clear.pdf?dl=0 Then I started the process of applying the masking layer decals. I used a flashlight shining from behind to aid in aligning the clear areas with the holes in the wall. In many areas I trimmed the masking decal so that it would fit easier, leaving unmasked some sections where it really wasn't critical for the light blocking effect, such as the front display panel. The itty bitty numbers on the bags on the ceiling panel were the most difficult for me to get in place. After the masking decals were in place and softened with decal softening solution, I applied the colored decals printed on white decal sheet. It's a good thing that I had a lot of spares on the decal sheet, because I messed up many of these. The extra masking layer helps with the realism of the buttons, but the white decal sheet backing that is now necessary (to place the colored decals on top of the black mask) cuts down a lot of the transmitted light. I don't know if these will be too dim when backlit by LEDs in the hull of the shuttle. We'll have to see. At least here with a flashlight, the effect looks pretty good. Then I used the template to help me make the engine throttles out of staples. I used my sprue cutter to cut the staple and a pair of suturing needle drivers (not the tweezers in the image below) to bend it. I primed, then painted the throttles scale black with a little red dot at the upper bend area, and super glued them into their receptacles. I then glued in place the main joysticks for the pilot and commander. This is the docking rotational hand controller. And this is the rotational hand controller for the remote manipulator arm. I then glued in the fire extinguisher and the seats. The pilot and commander seats should insert into little protrusions on the floor, but I forgot to include them in my last build of the model on Shapeways, so I sort of eyeballed it. I'll try to re upload the flight deck model to include the little protrusions to aid in locating the two front seats. It's not that hard to glue them in place without the locators, though. The rear stowable seats snuggle into the recesses in the floor that are visible in the image above. I'll try to work on painting and decaling the astronauts in their ACES gear tomorrow. I revised the RCS insert and sent it off to Shapeways for printing. I made a test print at work on an Ultimaker 2 with the 0.25 mm nozzle to confirm that this time the front dimensions are correct. It looks like it will work. The artifact from the printer is just a wee bit too visible for these parts to work in place of ordering from Shapeways. I would like to try modeling those Tyvek rain covers to fit over the thruster openings that Hotdog pointed out in his post in this thread 18 Jan 2018. It looks like they have a little square flap over the ovaloid covers. Hotdog (or others), do you have more images of the rain covers on the lateral facing thrusters so I can try to make decals to match them with their little square flap with the concentric red circles?
  5. Test print of the RCS insert arrived. The details look crisp. Unfortunately, the fore end is about 1 mm too wide, so I'll have to shrink it a little. I tried to create a little contrast between the thrusters and the surrounding tile, so I tried putting down a base of gunmetal metallizer in the thruster ports. I then sprayed scale black over the rest of the part with the thrusters masked. Then I sprayed a lighter coat of scale black to blend the thrusters with the exterior surface, and then painted the white areas that I plan to cover with the medical tape later. My measurements for the front edge are off - it's about 1 mm too wide,, so I'll have to narrow the front a little. Thanks to Manfred forwarding the link to the paper flight deck project, I created a decal for the floor of the aft portion of the floor and added it to the clear decal sheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/02xfpkvw1ut0jlg/flight deck decal clear.pdf?dl=0 Those white squares are drawn to simulate these things that look like tie downs or access panels in this image: https://picryl.com/media/s131e006100-sts-131-yamazaki-on-discovery-flight-deck-59194d My apologies Gary if you already printed a clear decal sheet already. I'll try to work on the decal application steps tomorrow and post more photos as a guide.
  6. Rob, I will see how Shapeways prices the RCS insert when it’s included as part of the flight deck or tiled cap (all of which are printed in fine detail plastic), but I don’t think that it would be any more economical. The reason why I’m not simply attaching the RCS insert to the beanie cap base is because the beanie cap base is printed in strong flexible plastic and is a lot cheaper than if I printed it in fine detail plastic. The RCS insert needs to be printed in FDP. Southwest Forests, thanks for the compliiment on the astronaut figures. This iteration should look better than my prior attempts, in that I was able to simulate wrinkles in the fabric and create differently sized astronauts and suits (the prior figures were identical). I’ll see if those details come out once I have a chance to paint them. I plan on trying the oil wash technique to see if that looks moire realistic than simply spraying them with acrylic international orange. I don’t know how much of these details will be appreciable once the flight deck is sealed up. Manfred, do you already have a plan to accurize the flight deck and windows of the 1:144 shuttle on your launch platform build? I look forward to learning how you will apply your magic on that stage of your build.
  7. Thanks Manfred - those are really helpful references. That took some serious research to compile that information. There are some good places to stick a laptop on the 1/72 flight deck so maybe I'll add some decals for those. Gary, please be aware that not only will you want to shave down the inner lip of your beanie cap base if you buy the RCS thruster insert, but you might actually shave off the first millimeter of the piece (leaving the shortened insertion tongue in place). I did it last night with my Dremel and it was easy, and fits fine with 1 mm removed of length. Hotdog, I'll see when the RCS thruster arrives how thick the tile offset is when I dry fit it into the hull of the shuttle. I received another print of the flight deck so I could try making both the launch and on orbit configurations. After a few prior trials of painting and assembling the beanie cap, I think I have the general sequence down. Here are the parts I received. The on orbit astronauts come with a protective cage to reduce the risk of breakage of the fragile sections. I primed the parts with Mr. Surfacer 1000. Gary, i think you can see on the beanie cap base that the front edge is a little foreshortened (and jagged appearing): I painted the seats blue, then covered the surfaces I wanted to keep blue with tape, then sprayed black. The inside facing surfaces of the flight deck, ceiling, and beanie cap base (and tiled cap) are coated with black as a light blocking layer, then a metalizer to help diffuse the lighting: Here are the seats after the black coat was applied, and the metallized flight deck and ceiling: For the visible surface of the flight deck, I started by spraying the dashboard the dirt color. I then cut 1-2 mm wide tape strips, decreased their tackiness by sticking them against my nose or forehead, and then applied them gently to the border I want to protect: Afterwards this, I masked the rest of the dashboard with wider tape, but only stuck it down tightly over the thin rim of tape above, so it didn't lift up much if any of the brown paint the dashboard. Once masked, I sprayed the rest of the visible flight deck surfaces white. Then I masked the dashboard minus the surface detail that I wanted to paint black. This actually wasn't as laborious as it might seem at first glance. The geometries that need masking have pretty straight edges. I did need t usea magnifying loupe to place the tape accurately against the HUD hardware, though. I airbrushed the pilot and commander control sticks blue-gray, then brushed on black on the joystick handles. Gary, I think you can appreciate more easily in this photo how I dremeled the front of the beanie cap base in this photo. I also painted the inside of the windows on the beanie cap base scale black as well, inside and outside facing sides.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.