spaceman

Space Shuttle Launch Pad 39A with Challenger STS-6

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kLrVBD.jpg

 

Back to the Beginning of NASA Space Shuttle Missions

 

Space Shuttle Launch Pad 39A with Challenger STS-6

 

Now it is time for presentation my Launch Pad 39A-Project in the ARC forum and I hope you'll be interested in.

 

To the prehistory:

 

After conclusion the NASA Shuttle program last summer with the last Atlantis-Mission (STS-135), I dedicate my first real space modeling project to the beginning the legendary space shuttle era before more than 30 years.

 

I was inspired to this major project by similar space modeling projects in the German forum Raumfahrer.net.

 

I decided for the STS-6-Mission with the Challenger (04.04.1983) as guidance version for my build, because I would like to build the tower version from the initial years of shuttle era with the red lattice windows and the partial red FSS grating structure inclusive hammerhead crane, which fascinated me somehow.

The following picture shows the Challenger during the roll-out in the fog on their way to the Launch PAD 39A,

 

sts6rollout1.jpg

source: NASA

 

as well as with the lift-off to the STS-6-Mission.

 

sts6liftoff.jpg

source: NASA

 

To the project:

 

To be built is the Launch Pad 39A with Launch tower, Shuttle stack, as well as Mobile launcher platform (MLP) and Crawler transporter (CT). Basic module for my project is thereby the Revell kit 4911 in scale 1:144“, in quotation marks and red, because one already is thereby for the cardinal problem of the actually mad Revell kit, the scale dilemma, to which one could be written its own chapter and said therefore some more must.

 

For the addition of the launch tower FSS I procured myself the Detail Kits von LVM Studios. Since I decided for the STS-6-Mission with the Challenger, with the Detail kits of LVM one can represent thereby the elevator shaft of the tower in the original building technique with the red lattice windows, as it in the early years the shuttle era looked quite. In addition Detail kit No. 1 contains parts for the complete staircase in the tower, which is completely missing with Revell's 4910/4911.

 

The LVM kits contain photo etched parts (PE) from thin brass sheet metal, with which very finely detailed structures can be produced as well known.

For building MLP and Crawler I use cardboard-model kits by David Maier from EDU-Craft Deversions on scale 1:144. The kits consist in each case of 13 colored building sheets of cardboard (27.5 cm x 42.5 cm) as well as a building guidance on CD-ROM.

 

To the scale problem:

 

As most of you will know, Revell kit 4911 is seriously underscale and not true to scale 1:144, which lead inevitably to problems with the building. Therefore one has two possibilities, if one liked to use the Revell kit.

Either one builds the kit Out Of Box (OOB), because in such a way the building groups FSS, RSS, shuttle stack and MLP fit to each other from the size, only stop is not everything on a scale 1:144, but only shuttle stack. Or one is compelling by partial scale adjustment to compromises and to scratch building, if one liked itself to orient halfway at the original. Of course one can do the build also without the Revell kit by overall scratch building.

As way out of the scale dilemma I decided for a compromise settlement. Therefore I made myself first of all own assembly drawings, in order to receive a better overview.

 

Starting point for my considerations was the following design of Gold Member Halbtoter in Raumfahrer.net forum, which shows a comparison between the Revell kit 4911 and the FSS/RSS in the true scale 1:144.

53844949.jpg

source: Halbtoter

 

The black design originates from the Revell building guidance, and the version drawn by Halbtoter by original plans of NASA is red in 1:144. It becomes clear one when exact looking that the red MLP (1: 144) does not fit no more into the Revell RSS.

 

Since this line tangle can confuse one first however and in addition the mini MLP of the Revell kit is not with drawn in, I made myself in addition the following designs:

 

lcrevellf.jpg

 

This design illustrates clearly the descriptive scale dilemma of the Revell kit 4911, if one would build all OOB. The serious error is evenly the much to small MLP (1:200!!!) of the Revell kit, which does not fit somehow at all the total proportions. In addition it comes that also the FSS Tower (RSS probably similar) is too low approx. 7,6 cm thereby only one scale of approx. 1:168 corresponds. The image quality must accept your stop, because there two transparency sheets lie one above the other. :o

 

The next design shows now a comparison of the RSS/FSS with MLP in 1:144 (with me black!!!) and in contrast to the Revell conditions in 1:168 and/or 1:200 (red).

 

fssrssrevell144.jpg

 

Considering this awkward situation I came to careful consideration in the long run that one does not come with the scale around a compromise unfortunately around, if one liked to use at least the FSS and RSS as main components of the Revell kit.

 

And in such a way now past planning for my project looks as compromise settlement, with which I will build MLP and Crawler in 1:160 and in addition FSS and RSS in the height are supplemented around approx. 3 cm. I hope now that the result will then contently place me also to some extent. :gr_hail:

 

lcprojektf.jpg

 

So, now however enough the preface and thus finally to the building and to the first parts and pictures.

 

First part of my project will be the MLP platform, for which I procured myself the cardboard model kit of EDU-Craft Diversions on a scale 1:144, with which one the MLP-2 used with the mission STS-6 can build. Since I will build however MLP and Crawler transporter on a scale 1:160, first I went with the 1:144 cardboard sheets into the copy shop to reduced it to 1:160. Here is a small selection from the 13 MLP sheets.

 

mlpmaierbgen.jpg

 

The two following pictures show now what then from it is to become, the MLP, first without

 

mlpmaier.jpg

source: EDU-Craft Diversions

 

and here at the same time with shuttle stack as impressive comparison with Revell's mini MLP.

 

stackrevell.jpg

source: EDU-Craft Diversions

 

And in my next post I will show you first pictures of my building site.

 

:wave:

Edited by spaceman
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Here we go! This is gonna be really really good so hold on tight guys. If you haven't seen the pics from Spaceman's build before, just wait til you get a load of this incredible work of art. Watch and learn.

Bill

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Hi all,

and now finally some first pictures of my building site. This is the larger part of the MLP platform top side here.

deck1.jpg

And here the smaller part of the platform top side (continuation), the front (Side 1) and back (Side 3) as well as the left SRB Blast Chamber.

deck2ml23.jpg

The next picture shows the two side panels of the MLP, Side 2 and Side 4, the right SRB Blast Chamber as well as the SSME Blast Chamber and parts of the 6 MLP "feet" (pedestals).

ml45.jpg

Since to me however a pure cardboard version appears not strong enough as foundation for shuttle stack nevertheless, I decided to give to the MLP a load-carrying sub-construction from hardboard and balsa which are then pasted with the colored cardboard. But not all details from cardboard look so mad and manufacture of special delicate parts could be very difficult (e.g. railings and in particular long and thin pipes!!!) Therefore I've intended, to build not everything of paper from the kit. Additional small parts and armatures as well as lines, railings and stairs I will scratch build of plastic sheet or metal.

Let's go, now it goes first times into the wood …, here the upper and lower cover plate of 1.8 mm hardboard.

bodendeckplatte.jpg

On the upper cover plate the side panels and the retaining structure from Balsa were then glued on.

rohbau1.jpg

rohbau2.jpg

rohbau3jizo.jpg

mlpoberseitep.jpg

So, thus the MLP shell construction has already times a quite tidy stability and might some launches loosely so probably get over.

Wow, now I'm however glad, the beginning is made and updates follow soon. :rolleyes: And if to you to something it is noticeable, what perhaps better one could make, then does to you please no obligation, for constructional criticism or other proposals, hints and general feedback I would be very grateful.

:wave:

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Manfred,

I'm glad to see you posted this thread here at ARC. The work you are doing on this project is outstanding! :thumbsup: I've seen the pictures on your other site and it's great to read here what you are doing to make this happen.

Since you scaled the MLP to 1:160, will you be leaving details such as the Tail Service Masts & Blast Chambers in 1:144?

Mike.

Edited by crowe-t

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Hi Mike,

thanks for all the kind words! Don't know, why should I do so? :rolleyes: Of course I scaled all the MLP paper sheets to 1:160.

:wave:

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Manfred,

Will the 1:144 SRB lower skirts fit in the 1:160 blast chamber openings?

I'm also thinking the 1:160 TSM's will look a bit small.

Mike.

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Looks great Manfred! Glad to see more LC39 projects.

I have already finished my build of the FSS with the LVM sets. They are truely beautiful sets and go a LONG way in making the Revell kit look great. Waiting on set 4 at the moment.

I thought long and hard about the scale differences as well. I decided that, rather then alter the height of the FSS (other then the parts in the LVM sets), I am going to use the MLP to make up the differences. I figure if I make the height of the MLP just a hair underscale, it will look ok.

You might also remember that by altering the height if the FSS by 3cm, you might throw off the fit of LVM sets 1 and 2.

Edited by indydog

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I've seen this thread on the original forum, and your work is AMAZING. simply, amazing!!! Can't wait to see it inished

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Manfred,

Will the 1:144 SRB lower skirts fit in the 1:160 blast chamber openings?

I'm also thinking the 1:160 TSM's will look a bit small.

Mike.

Hi Mike,

I tried it and the 1:144 SRB lower skirts still fit into the 1:160 blast chamber openings. As already said, everything is and remains a compromise.

Don't know, how you come on the fact that my TSM's looks a little small? That may be deceptive, but everything is 1:160. :coolio:

:wave:

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Hi Mike,

I tried it and the 1:144 SRB lower skirts still fit into the 1:160 blast chamber openings. As already said, everything is and remains a compromise.

Don't know, how you come on the fact that my TSM's looks a little small? That may be deceptive, but everything is 1:160. :coolio:

:wave:

Manfred,

I don't think your 1:160 TSM's look small. I just thought the 1:160 TSM's might look a bit small against the 1:144 shuttle. From what you said I'm sure the difference between 1:144 & 1:160 is minimal. 1:160 seems like a great compromise.

Keep the pictures coming. :)

Mike.

Edited by crowe-t

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Manfred,

I don't think your 1:160 TSM's look small. I just thought the 1:160 TSM's might look a bit small against the 1:144 shuttle. From what you said I'm sure the difference between 1:144 & 1:160 is minimal. 1:160 seems like a great compromise.

Keep the pictures coming. :)

Mike.

Mike,

your consideration is not bad, I could place the 1:144 Revell TSM's on the MLP in order to copare both, then we can see the difference. Still everything is possible.

Manfred

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Looks great Manfred! Glad to see more LC39 projects.

I have already finished my build of the FSS with the LVM sets. They are truely beautiful sets and go a LONG way in making the Revell kit look great. Waiting on set 4 at the moment.

I thought long and hard about the scale differences as well. I decided that, rather then alter the height of the FSS (other then the parts in the LVM sets), I am going to use the MLP to make up the differences. I figure if I make the height of the MLP just a hair underscale, it will look ok.

You might also remember that by altering the height if the FSS by 3cm, you might throw off the fit of LVM sets 1 and 2.

Hi Mark,

thanks for the encouraging words. I've visited your Website and I admired your excellent work. But I don't understand, these photos are nevertheless of a 1:160 FSS tower, have you still another new more tower built in 1:144 with the LVM kits? And which scale is your MLP, 1:144? Do you have also photos of your whole Launch pad, which would interest me much.

I think that I can use the LVM kits nevertheless. The FSS elevator house at the lowest level has to be scratch build in any case, that should not be such a big problem. ;)

:wave:

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I've seen this thread on the original forum, and your work is AMAZING. simply, amazing!!! Can't wait to see it inished

Thanks for the kind words! It makes me happy that my work pleases you in such a way.

:wave:

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Hi Mark,

thanks for the encouraging words. I've visited your Website and I admired your excellent work. But I don't understand, these photos are nevertheless of a 1:160 FSS tower, have you still another new more tower built in 1:144 with the LVM kits? And which scale is your MLP, 1:144? Do you have also photos of your whole Launch pad, which would interest me much.

I think that I can use the LVM kits nevertheless. The FSS elevator house at the lowest level has to be scratch build in any case, that should not be such a big problem. ;)

:wave:

Manfred,

Yes, I currently have 2 builds of LC39 underway. One is completely scratchbuilt in 1/160 and the other is an OOB build of the Revell kit with the LVM sets.

I doing mine backwards from how you're doing yours. I will build the complete FSS/RSS, build the shuttle, and then scratchbuild an MLP to bring it all together. Not sure what scale the MLP will be at the moment.

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Hi guys,

and here is an update from the MLP building. The carcass part looked last still rather naked. Therefore now first times the top deck got its decoration wallpaper. There first however times was the question about the most favorable sticking variant. Since such can full-laminar probably be pasted a relatively large surface of nevertheless approx. 30 cm x 25 cm from the tube or even with a Pritt pin rather more badly, I decided for sticking spray (Uhu). And thus it went then also completely well, although one must be careful, otherwise sticks there fast also everything else ... :woot.gif:

decktop.jpg

Next was the front Side 1, whereby still following is to be entered afterwards: As one can see in one of my last pictures,

deck2ml23.jpg

this front in the paper kit has the same height as the remaining MLP sides, which does not correspond however to the original, how one can see at the ladder on this NASA photo, which goes up to the center of the SSME Blast Chamber.

mlp9.jpg

source: NASA

Without the ladder the building of the MLP base would be somewhat easier, which however was not in my sense. Therefore I have corrected this small omission sin of Mr. Maier by the appropriate ladder. ;)

vorderseite.jpg

And then finally still the remaining 3 sides of the MLP followed.

rechteseitevorn.jpg

linkeseitehinten.jpg

linkeseitevorn.jpg

Now does the MLP look equal already many nevertheless better, or? Only the lower surface is missing, with continues it then tomorrow as conclusion.

:wave:

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Manfred,

Yes, I currently have 2 builds of LC39 underway. One is completely scratchbuilt in 1/160 and the other is an OOB build of the Revell kit with the LVM sets.

...

Hi Mark,

by the way I have already the 4th detail kit of LVM, and the parts look again great. I consider whether I should present the kit in a short specially thread?

Do you have a current thread from your launch pad build with photos?

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I have to admit, that MLP looks really good! The detail quality of the paper parts is amazing. I may have to look into one of those for my build.

Hi Mark,

by the way I have already the 4th detail kit of LVM, and the parts look again great. I consider whether I should present the kit in a short specially thread?

Do you have a current thread from your launch pad build with photos?

SWEET! I don't yet have the 4th detail set. I don't have a thread on my build yet, as it is a build being done for someone.

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I have to admit, that MLP looks really good! The detail quality of the paper parts is amazing. I may have to look into one of those for my build.

SWEET! I don't yet have the 4th detail set. I don't have a thread on my build yet, as it is a build being done for someone.

Hi Mark,

thanks for your nice complements for the growing MLP and the paper kit. At some places the detail quality do not me exactly enough, which one will still see in mine thread. Complicated divides e.g. like the LOX and LH2 valve skids on the Access platforms of Side 1 are only apparitionally suggested. I try that then to scratch build on the basis of good reference photos, but it's difficult enough ... :woot.gif:

:wave:

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Any tips for a 1/72 scale styrene plastic version?

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Sorry, I don't know what you want to know exactly. :rolleyes:

:wave:

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Keep on building ...

and it continues to go with the MLP. Next the lower surface came to, which got a grey painting from the Tamiya spray.

mlpunten.jpg

Thus then the outside covering of the MLP would be actually already nearly complete.

mlpvorn.jpg

mlpoben2.jpg

And as one in the pictures can see, became already also Blast chambers for the two Rocket booster (SRB) as well as the Main engine (SSME) disguises. When starting the hot exhaust gases are derived by these openings.

blastchambers.jpg

Although everything don't look bad already, however Blast hambers are just like the 4 sides to be structured later still further by scratch building. But I prepared already some meters of Sheet profiles (1x1 mm and 1.5x1.5 mm), as well as priming and paints. That must happen with my building method (unfortunately) before sticking together, since following painting is absolutely taboo. And that will be simultaneous then for me also the entrance into the Airbrushing, with which I have so far still no experience. Property in addition on recommending my modeling shop forwards to test the Aqua Color colors of Revell.

And then already times a view ahead on the next details for the MLP deck, e.g. Blast deck and Blast Shields.

blastdeck.jpg

So far only times for today.

:wave:

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Hi together,

does not want to withhold my first modest Airbrush attempts from you. As dummies I selected the reinforcement profiles for scratching the MLP sides and the Blast chambers. Somehow everyone must begin ... Property me in addition as a precaution a spraying cardboard considered and went thereby in the sheds, in order not to arrange in the house all too large field damage. In addition I considered myself then still appropriate spraying racks.

spritzkabine.jpg

Then I unpacked my Airbrush basic set from Revell with compressor, loaded the gun and completely started courageously straight. Knew so far only the terrible vapor from the Tamiya sprays. :crying:

And those are now my first proud results, approx. 6 current meters, which wait now for the cut.

stege.jpg

Those are profiles 1.5x1.5 mm for the MLP sides and 1.0x1.0 mm for the SSME Blast chamber.

With the result I am so far quite actually content, but every beginning is difficult ... :thumbsup:

And now the freshly painted profiles should come naturally also on the right places. And so the first meter profile 1.5x1.5 mm is already glued, and it looks already quite good for the beginning. :woo:

profilelinkeseite.jpg

There now however already still some meters of profiles lie before me and wait patiently for their dispatching. But occasionally the Blast deck follows tomorrow.

:wave:

Edited by spaceman

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Manfred, thank you very much for posting it here, in English. This is a real treat to watch!

I viewed your German post and am astounded at your detailing!!! :worship:

I have one question ... when you glue the 1.5 x 1.5 mm styrene to the paper, what glue do you use? And will it last for years?

And do I understand that you'll be building the TOWER as well?? And the CRAWLER? :thumbsup:

Thanx

Pete

(near Niagara Falls, Canada)

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Hi Pete,

thanks for your appreciative words. I use a superglue (Pattex Ultra Gel) for bonding the styrene to the paper and it keeps very good on the paper.

Like I already presented at the beginning of my thread, it is not a major project in vain, consisting of the Launch tower (Revell 4911) as well as MLP and Crawler transporter from D. Maier's paper kits. And to it come in addition still the parts from the Detail kits of LVM. And completely at the end of the project possibly also still a Diorama ... :rolleyes:

:wave:

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