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Space Shuttle Cutaway-winter project

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I'll be re-populating this thread with images. There are over 300 images, so this is gonna take a few days :rolleyes:

Today is January 19, 2018



I've got a 'couple' of 1/72 Space Shuttle kits and decided to finally make use of 'em. I really enjoy scratchbuilding and I've wanted to do a cutaway of the shuttle for awhile now, so let's give it a go.

I found a bunch of online photos of the orbiters under construction and these were my main inspiration. Couple that with a NASA site that has line drawings of almost every system, Dennis Jenkins' book on the Shuttle's 1st 100 missions and I figger I've got enough to get started.


There are a helluva lot of decisions that have to made regarding which view to use, what assemblies and components to see and a ton more. I'll do some sketches to try to determine what I wanna see before I actually cut away the kit parts.


The Monogram Shuttle kit will be the foundation. The Revell kit will just supply other parts. At this stage the Revell kit will provide the Crew Compartment.






The pencil lines around the windows show me where to roughly enlarge the windows. This is the Revell kit and the raised tile lines can be seen. These'll be sanded off as the crew compartment will need to be thinned substantially.





Trying to form the shape of the crew module, I wrapped a thin sheet of styrene around a pudding cup ... but the glue didn't adhere. Neither Styrene cement nor CA glue. But I'll figger sumthin out.






These are the bulkheads. The round one will attach to the front of the Crew module and the other will attach to the fuselage, separating the RCS section.


Edited by K2Pete
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I think what I'm gonna try is to make the frame and just wrap a thin styrene sheet over 'em. I want to see the inside of the crew module, flight deck and lower crew compartment. Here are the basic shapes. The pencil guidelines on the inside of the fuselage show the angle these frames will be at.




Here are some elements for the crew module interior. New flight deck floor, with access hatches to the lower level, airlock, stowage units and instrument panel. The IP has a scratched 'visor' attached to the front of it.







I scratched new seats for the pilots. Kit seats, on the right, are shown for comparison. I've also installed some bits of styrene to replicate the monitors and HUDs and an a few more details to come.

Right at this stage, I'm just blocking in the 'major' subassemblies front to back. As this is gonna be a long term project, I'm in no hurry to super detail it ... yet.



The payload bay's frames are next. I sketched the shape, made photocopies and attached the copies to .020 styrene. Then attach the horizontal supports.





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The Aft section is next. This is gonna be a bear! With all the piping, hydraulic and electrical systems, I'm not sure HOW I'm gonna do it, so we'll see.

I scratch built the SSMEs a couple years ago using the Real Space engine bells and scratching the rest.





These are the parts for the inside framing and the Thrust structure itself. As the left and right sides will be seen, I have to build both sides of the fuselage structure. The RHS side will be attached to the kit fuselage and the LHS will be 'see'thru'. I'll also cutaway the OMS pod and the centre support is shown here.





The Thrust structure, SSMEs and the body flap, which will either be partially cutaway, or entirely. Not certain yet.



That's it for now. I've been at this for just a couple weeks ... only a few months to go.

Thanx for looking in.


Edited by K2Pete
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Geez, you guys reply quickly!

Jay, this IS gonna be a hoot!


Kev, the kits are quite different in their parts breakdown, but neither one is perfectly accurate. The Revell kit is more toylike, so I prefer the Monogram as it's a little more 'accurate'. I believe Jay has a pinned posting outlining the various kits and their ups and downs.


This is the type of sketch I use to try to determine how I want the model to look. I'll do a lot of 'em, dozens, to try to understand the assembly and then figger out how to best model it.





These are the first elements of the LHS wing, which will be cutaway. I used Evergreen Corrugated Metal Siding sheet styrene for the main structures. Yes, it's a little out of scale, but it's close enough for me!



And this is the aft 'bulkhead' (?) that the SSMEs will attach to.





Edited by K2Pete
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ok THAT'S IT! i'm taking up needle point! man, this is some mad crazy skills you're showing here. awesome! i'd done a real crude lower crew compartment long ago to show the hatch open but mine looked like a cardboard kids toy compared to this. keep it coming. :lol:


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Dang, look what you are doing to these poor shuttle kits! Your killing them man! :worship:

Seriously, talk about some ambitious work. So far you've got a good start though. BTW, since you seem to be mounting an airlock to the inside of the mid-deck, be aware that is going to limit your marking choice to a wurm era shuttle model as the mid-deck airlocks were removed from the fleet when they were retrofitted for Mir and then later ISS docking operations (and gained the NASA meatball logos in the process). Only Columbia kept its mid-deck airlock, but the plan was to change it over when it got back from STS-107 so it could also be used for ISS support flights.

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That's good to know Jay.

I hadn't thought that far ahead. The starboard wing will have the name of the shuttle on it, the port wing will be see through / cutaway. I'm more aiming for a generic shuttle anyway, showing fuel tanks, some wiring, some hydraulic lines, but I guess I'll be leaning towards doing it as a Columbia.

Thanx Jay


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Pete, you know it is amazing. Just the other day I was thinking what detail can I add to enhance the payload bay. I even contacted Real Space Models asking them for a better photo of their payload bay set and advice.

You see, I have a Hubble telescope kit and from what I have read this kit is very close to being a 1/72. Well, soon I read that...the little light bulb on top of my head went off (Ting), why not a combine them together and make a space diorama? Your timing of your build could not be any more perfect. I'm collection every reference I can lay my hands on and your build will be definitely an awesome reference. Thank you for taking the step-by-step photos of your work and photos of your sketches. Keep up the good work :rofl:


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A word of caution Mike. I've got the Real Space Payload Bay and as nice as it is, it is incorrect. It has 12 bays, while it should have 13. A couple years ago, I mentioned this to Glenn, the owner of Real Space and his response was ... 'just an oversight'. So if you're going for accuracy, heads up.


Here's a quick update.


This is the body Flap. I haven't decided whether or not to partially 'skin' it.

Parts ... Building it ... and assembled.








I cut out the fuel umbilical access panels and blocked in the umbilical panels themselves. Plus the fuel doors and crew hatch.






The Rudder. I'm gonna cutaway a portion of the Port side, and split the rudder. I've skinned the inside surface of 'em. I also want to show the drogue chute compartment.






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The crew module is taking shape with some Milliput. I'm still not sure where to cut it away.



The fuselage cutaway is taking shape.



The Nose Gear bay with structural members. The Nose gear will be stowed, with no cutaway of it.



I figger I'm about 5% thru this build ... still such a long way to go.

Thanx for all your comments gents. It's very much appreciated and is a real motivation too!


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Guys, guys, guys ... there's nothing amazing about gluing some styrene together.

But thanx anyways ... positive comments ( and constructive criticism ) are always welcome!


Here's a brief update.


The Rudder has taken many hours to do and it's only about 80% complete. I may have bitten off more than I can chew on this project. The Rudder alone has over 60 parts, and I initially thought I'd be able to assemble it in just a couple hours. This cutaway project may take a COUPLE of winters to do ...!

The Crew Module (No Pix, sorry) is causing me a lot of grief. The canabalized Revell forward section is too wide ... and I'm exploring using the Tamiya 1/100 fwd section to vac form a new Crew module canopy. But I'm just at the 'thinking' stage.


Here's some pix.


The OMS pod. The fuel tank is made from 2 acrylic balls and attached to a small length of styrene tube and then wrapped with some very thin styrene sheet. Then filled and sanded, filled and sanded. ( Let me know if you guys know of another way of making, or acquiring an oblong 'fuel tank'.)








The Rudder parts and subassembly.





Thanx for taking a peek gents.


Edited by K2Pete
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nahh, the truth is that Pete picked up one of them thar Shuttles at NASA's yard sell. He's just taking pictures of the real thing after he's taking it apart and has it sprawled out in his garage somewhere. 'cause that CAN'T be scratchbuilt model work!

Man, Pete, you inspire me and deflate my ego all at the same time! keep up the great work. :thumbsup:


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