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Space Shuttle Launch Pad 39A with Challenger STS-6 (1:144)

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Hello everybody,


well, the smaller the details to be scratched, the closer you have to look to see their shape and being able to determine the needed dimensions. cool.gif


As you can see in this image section, the Holder sockets are in the form of small U-profiles in which the handrails are articulated. 


Source: forum.nasaspaceflight.com (STS-9, Ares67)


Since this photo shows the canister used during STS-9 (11/1983), it can be assumed that these Handrails and Ladders already existed at the time of STS-6 (04/1983), but unfortunately I don't have any direct photos of it. huh.gif


On the following photos of the Launch pad during STS-6 it looks like this, 


Source: retrospaceimages.com (STS-6)


because you can see the holder sockets at least with high magnification, up046118.gif like here atop of the canister hanging in the RSS-Payload Bay




and here during the exit from the Vertical Processing Facility (VPF)


Source: retrospaceimages.com (STS-6)




In this drawing I've finally determined the dimensions of the holders


Source: James MacLaren, Page 52


And as you can plainly see, they are indeed tiny and, according to my previous idea, should each consist of four parts, which is why for 18 holders only 72 snippets would be needed. up046885.gif


Well that can still be going funny. up040577.gif

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Hi Manfred. I must have missed your previous idea because I'm not clear why each is four parts? Could each bracket not be made from a small section of U-shaped channel?

I assume (probably incorrectly) that you don't intend to have working pivot pins - but if you did, that would still only be 4 parts per rail section?

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Hi Kirk,


thanks for your tip and that you have ruminated about it and want help me. :worship:


I've immediately thought of my narrowest Evergreen profiles too, but both the H and U shapes are 1,5 mm wide, which doesn't match the delicate Handrails:hmmm:


Then I took a Channel profile which is 1,3 mm wide and compared it with my version (right) which is 0,9 mm wide, using 0,2 mm thick strips for the sides, which looks like this. :thumbsup:




I think if I would cut a strip (0,13 mm x 0,75 mm) for the sides it should look still a little bit better, still closer to the real size determined in the drawing, although it's more effort. up040577.gif

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Even with the help of your giant 1 cent (😁) and the scale on your cutting mat, I often forget just how tiny all these pieces are.

At the moment, my head is in 1:24 world, so please ignore any stupid suggestions I make!!

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No problem Kirk, 1:160 is a little bit smaller, if you want so from the Underworld:rofl:


The dimensions determined from the NASA drawing are decisive, whereby the blue dimension (diameter of the handrails) is my reference dimension.

BTW, please ignore the blue 12, it comes only from copy and paste. up040577.gif

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Hello everybody,


originally I had immediately thought of my narrowest Evergreen profiles, cool.gif but both the H profiles and the U profiles are 1,5 mm wide, which would not match to the filigree handrails. rolleyes.gif


Then I've compared a Channel profile (1,3 mm) with my planned four-part variant (right), which, when using strips (0,2 mm x 0,75 mm) for the sides, is approx. 0,9 mm wide, which looks more pleasing in combination with the round rod (Ø 0,45 mm) of the handrail struts. up046118.gif




And if I would cut a Styrene strip (0,13mm x 0,75mm) for the sides, it should look even better and even closer to the size specified in the NASA drawing get there, what would mean a bit more effort. huh.gif


So I've tried to scratch such a Prototype. But it's already not easy to cut a 0,75 mm wide strip, but which I managed to do.  

I then placed this strip upright on the ruler angle, clamped the Base strip (0,25 mm x 0,5 mm) in front of it and then both strips were carefully glued by using MEK at their connecting line. Then I glued a small strip onto the other side, 




and let it dry.




Then I've carefully cut off a 1 mm long part from this U profile with a razor blade, 




which actually succeeded with the precautionary placed Jump away-Protection tape (left). up046118.gif




Now only the small end piece had to be glued and trimmed, 




whereupon the test fitting of the first Mount on the handrail could take place. up039822.gif




Although the feasibility of the Prototype could be shown in principle, I have in mind a smarter solution for scratching of the remaining 17 mounts, by what the effort should let be reduce. up040577.gif

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Posted (edited)

Hello everybody, is there anybody in there? cool.gif


And thus to this new variant for the production of the Handrail brackets that I have been thinking about. idea1_2.gif


The idea behind it is actually simple and based on the production of such a U profile with a greater length, from which I then carefully cut off small 1 mm long pieces and close on one side. up047090.gif 


Thought and done, gluing the side strips (0,13 mm x 0,75 mm) to the base strip (0,25 mm x 0,5 mm) took place again in the proven manner by fixing between the rulers. 




Such a Steel ruler is also ideal for aligning the U profile, which happens to be 0,5 mm thick as on commission. :whistle:




Then the U profile was glued to the end strip (0,13 mm x 0,8 mm), which I deliberately left a little longer and fixed flat. 




However, since my steel angle for the vertical alignment of the U profile offers much more support, I then chose this arrangement, which made the gluing much easier. up039822.gif




For final fixation while the Revell glue was drying, the deck ruler was moved to the stop, 




whereby the U profile was glued perfectly. up046118.gif




For the separation of the end strip I've thought about this special fixation on a small steel block,




after which the razor blade was used. 




To complete the bracket, only the end piece (1 mm) had to be separated from the U profile, 




for what I needed five rulers for fixation, analintruder.gif which I arranged in such a way that I could now use the razor blade to score at least the upper edge of the two side strips on the 1 mm line, which only has a minimal overhang (0,25 mm),  




wherefore I had to take a close look myself with the headset magnifying glass over my glasses, assuming a steady hand. up037692.gif




For the final separation of the mount I only had to be able to recognize these fine incisions, 




which is perhaps just visible here on this macro shot at an enlargement of 3553x2665, hmmm.gif 




therefore here again somewhat larger with marking. :rofl:




When making a cut with a razor blade, the Jump away Protection tape is important in addition to a steady hand, which again has proven itself! up046118.gif




The advantage of this variant is that I can now use the remaining U profile to make another nine mounts in the same way, 




wherewith the half would be done already. up040577.gif

Edited by spaceman
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7 hours ago, spaceman said:

Hello everybody, is there anybody in there? cool.gif

Should we nod if we can hear you? Or do you need some information first? 🤣



Very, very cunning plan to make such tiny parts so accurately. Had you ever considered being a vascular surgeon?

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2 hours ago, CaptKirk said:

Should we nod if we can hear you? Or do you need some information first? 🤣



Very, very cunning plan to make such tiny parts so accurately. Had you ever considered being a vascular surgeon?


Wait and see, maybe in my next life ... up040577.gif

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1 hour ago, crowe-t said:



I'm here. lol  Excellent work on all these parts.




Thanks Mike for looking in on me again after a longer time. :worship:

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Thanks Mike for your staying interest in the background. :worship:


I can understand you, what should you keep writing again and again too about such a long time ... up040577.gif

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I read every one of your posts.  As you know I've been following your build since day 1 and haven't missed anything.  This is such an incredible build.  It's amazing how you started building the paper kit and have taken it to this level of accuracy.  Keep up the incredible work.

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Hi Mike,


you are one of my most loyal companions all time and I know you've been in there from the start, :sunrevolves: which is why I looked back. That was 11 years before almost to the day (03/15/2012), what a long and memorable time to look back on fondly. And you were the second interested modeler after Bill (niart17) to reply that time. :clap2:


You also recognized early on the difficulties of the scale dilemma and raised concerns about the size of the SRB Blast chambers and TSMs that I only later realized after the Shuttle stack was test set up on the MLP. And that then led to the first larger emergency surgery of expanding the Blast chambers and using larger TSMs (1:144). idea1_2.gif




In this respect, we were already fellow sufferers back then, because you also grappled with similar scale problems with your outstanding Revell 1/144 Space Shuttle stack as a tribute to Discovery's STS-133 mission and had to make compromises with the Revell MLP, which was simply too small. :gr_hail:



Source: EDU-Craft Diversions 


But there is a solution for everything, just don't give up. up040577.gif

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Posted (edited)

Hello everybody,


let's go on with the production of the tiny Handrail brackets, which are held up the progress quite a bit, since you always have to let the glue dry before you can handle them any further. cool.gif


In the meantime I have arranged the steel block the other way around when cutting off the end strip, as this way I can better control the cut with the razor blade.






The tricky separation of the U-profile can also be done in different ways, which is why I tried out a few things and switched to a larger sheet of steel as a base, which makes handling easier. :whistle:






And so it goes on step by step, re-clamping everything again and fixing it differently, over and over again, just don't let up ... rolleyes.gif




Now it's also easier to score and cut off the tiny ones, and the U-profile is getting shorter and shorter ... huh.gif






The half is done, up046118.gif but a few brackets are also a little on the short side,  hmmm.gif and some still need to be adjusted in length, but which is doable. 




That's why I've prepared another U-profile, 






which I can now use to tackle the second half of the brackets, so hopefully I'll end up with 18 usable parts for the 8 Handrails. up040577.gif

Edited by spaceman
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Posted (edited)

Hello everybody,


and with it to the Final Cutdown. cool.gif


This was the chosen arrangement for the second half of the brackets for cutting off the U-profiles (1 mm) that I had previously scratched and marked with a pencil, up046118.gif




here after careful cutting with a razor blade under sharp eagle eyes. up037692.gif




And that's my valuable yield of 20 mounts (2 reserve) with approximately the same size. up039822.gif 




I had imagined the gluing of the mounts onto the handrails to be a little easier, but firstly it turns out differently, and secondly than you might think. hmmm.gif


As you can see in this image, the mounts are open at the front, so I have to glue the handrails rotated 90°, unlike I thought before. How good that I compared again. huh.gif


Source: forum.nasaspaceflight.com (STS-9, Ares67)


The consequence of this, however, is that the gluing again requires a special fixation and I have to be hellishly careful that no holder flies away. :woot.gif:




That's why I have to glue each holder individually and with great sensitivity by using MEK, whether I want to or not. rolleyes.gif




Although handling these tinies is indeed quite a fiddling, up037312.gif




with the necessary calm and concentration one can do it! up046118.gif




And so the handrail can then be glued to the Payload Canister. up039822.gif




That's why I always say: Nothing is impossible! One just shouldn't set any limits! up040577.gif

Edited by spaceman
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Posted (edited)

Hello everybody,


today the Mounts were glued to the other three-legged handrail, cool.gif




wherewith the row at the bottom of the canister is complete. up046118.gif




Then it was the turn of the two vertically arranged handrails above it, which have two mounts and were done more quickly. :whistle:








And so the image slowly completes, whereby I also still hinted the Personnel door through which one can arrive the Canister Payload Bay. up039822.gif




Now only the mounts on the four upper railings are missing. up040577.gif

Edited by spaceman
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Hello everybody,


and these Mounts were glued today. cool.gif 


At it the most difficult step was pushing the Handrail feet into the tiny mounts, which is why I "sharpened" them slightly. Then the gluing followed with MEK by carefully wetting the mounts with the finest red sable brush (10/0)huh.gif






This also finished the third Handrail pair




and could be placed on the template for fitting. up046118.gif




It was finally the turn of the last couple,






whereby the whole set is finally complete. up039822.gif




And in this arrangement, all eight Handrails could soon be glued to the canister, as well as the Personnel door. http://www.raumfahrer.net/forum/yabbfiles/Attachments/up035091.gif




So that nothing happens to them until then, I quickly brought them to safety in this little box. http://www.raumfahrer.net/forum/yabbfiles/Attachments/up050224.gif




That's it then again. up040577.gif

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