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Hotdog

1:72 Shuttle Tile Detail Set

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I have hit another snag in the production of my tile detail set. The laser engraving of the styrene sheet did not turn out. The laser heats up the thin .010" styrene too much and warps the sheet! I was afraid of that.

The die cutter says the best he can do with the laser engraver is with a .20" acrylic sheet like the kind used to engrave plaques and trophies. This is the thinnest sheet they make, which of course is unacceptable for us. It's also not heat bendable, which is necessary for shaping the parts that will represent the tiles on the rounded areas like the OMS pods and the crew cabin.

But all hope is not lost! I emailed Evergreen Scale Models, makers of the styrene sheet, and asked them what process they used to engrave their sheets with brick, tile and siding patterns. While they would not share with me their process, they suggested trying a CNC router, which is the forerunner of the 3D printer. I have found a local vendor that seems to have all the latest CNC technology that has also done work for NASA and Aerojet. So I'm hoping they can help me with my little project! I am preparing a presentation to give to them after the holidays.

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i hope it works out i can not wait to use these on my shuttles me my self i am still working on my product

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DSC06322_zps61c77b2a.jpg

Just a quick update: I've been working with Accurate Model Parts helping to get the window issue corrected. It looks like we've finally got it taken care of. Once I get my hands on the Mark II set, I should be able to resume work on the tiles.

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Those windows DO look good ... but ... they seem to fit snugly into the Monogram window frames.

Were Dutycat's efforts in vain? ... or is it just these tired old eyes playing tricks ... ?

I'd better have another look ...

(tired old) Pete

... and if the Mark II's are bang on ... can those of us that bought 2 sets of the Mark I's get a set fer free? ;)

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I'm glad I didn't buy a set of the Mark I's. With all these problems with the windows I think I'll build a Revell shuttle. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Mike.

Edited by crowe-t

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For the Mark II set, the window dimensions in the Shuttle Operations Manual were used as a starting point. Then the window shapes were adjusted ever-so-slightly to better fit the angles and shape of the Monogram kit. It took a few tries to get them to look right, but here they are. They are about 12-14% smaller than the Mark I windows.

I don't know why you couldn't use them with the Revell 1/72 shuttle. Probably just a tad bit more cutting and sanding into the fuselage to make 'em fit. I'd be interested to see how they turned out!

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Hi Hotdog,

You are certainly making a superb job of this.

Have just been over on Crackerjazz's LM thread. Just a thought : would 3D printing be a commercial production possibility for this ?

Cheers

John

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John - If the tile pieces were 3D printed, one set would probably cost over $1,000. Shapeways charges by the amount of material used to produce each part. I purchased a small set of rocket engines recently that were $15. So think of how big the bottom piece for the belly tiles will be, and what that might cost! If I were making tiles for a smaller shuttle, such as a 1:200 scale, it might be cost effective to 3D print them.

In other news, it's looking like the ET umbilical panels and TSM panels are going to be photo etch parts and will likely be sold separately from the tile set.

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John - If the tile pieces were 3D printed, one set would probably cost over $1,000. Shapeways charges by the amount of material used to produce each part. I purchased a small set of rocket engines recently that were $15. So think of how big the bottom piece for the belly tiles will be, and what that might cost! If I were making tiles for a smaller shuttle, such as a 1:200 scale, it might be cost effective to 3D print them.

In other news, it's looking like the ET umbilical panels and TSM panels are going to be photo etch parts and will likely be sold separately from the tile set.

While maybe not $1,000 I did a rough outline shape of the shuttle belly and calculated the rough cost of a sheet 1mm thick (which is about the minimum you could get away with and still have detail) it was around $300-$400 for just the belly sheet. Granted there would be material removed for the tile pattern but not enough to make it much cheaper. So I agree I don't think 3D printing would be viable for this yet.

Have you looked at the cost of photo-etched parts that size?

Bill

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Bill - no, I have not reached that point of desparation just yet. I am still optimistic about getting the styrene etched with a router. I'm currently waiting on a couple of samples to arrive. The styrene is essential, not just from a cost perspective, but also for shaping parts to fit the rounded surfaces like OMS pods and the crew cabin. I could be wrong, but I don't think the thin metal of photo-etch would conform to those shapes like heated styrene will.

Edited by Hotdog

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DSC06347_zps8d8bc7d7.jpg

I have received the first sample piece of the tile set. Just a small section for testing. The detail is superb! The machine-engraved lines leave a bit of a raised "lip" on the surface of the styrene (much like if you were to scribe lines by hand with a scribing tool) so there's a bit of light surface sanding required to smooth it out, but I don't think that's a big deal.

DSC06351_zps53de4bfc.jpg

Here it is after a little sanding, brushed with flat black, and fitted into place on the model. A glimpse of what is to come! I might could have sanded a bit more, but you get the idea.

DSC06335_zpsa44952ff.jpg

The new Mark II AMP windows have arrived also. Once I get them painted up and assembled, I can get back to figuring out the tiles around the crew cabin. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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Those windows look promising, but that tile? section looks like alligator skin.

That's because I didn't sand it smooth enough. The engraving process leaves a bit of a "lip" in the surface of the styrene. Some light sanding takes care of it and smooths out the relief, but in my rush to show you guys some progress I didn't smooth it out enough.

20140201_181812_zpsb6c9029b.jpg

Here's another image, after some more sanding and a light application of gray pastels to bring out some of the detail. Now you should be able to get a better idea of what the parts may look like with a little more proper treatment.

any updates?

I finished putting the paint on the Mark II AMP windows today and have started the process of gluing the window sections together. Once that's done, I will install the windows into the fuselage so I can finish the tiles around the crew cabin. Meanwhile, the search continues for a vendor who has an XY Cutter big enough to handle the 14" x 19" section of belly tiles. If anyone knows of such a place, please let me know.

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23 04 2014

I see you guys talking about glass sets and window tiles and beanie cap. What??

I just bought the 1/72 Revell Shuttle and would love to get this stuff for it because it looks amazing. Can someone point me in the right direction to get some of these excellent sets?

Thanks in advance fellas

Liam

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23 04 2014

I see you guys talking about glass sets and window tiles and beanie cap. What??

I just bought the 1/72 Revell Shuttle and would love to get this stuff for it because it looks amazing. Can someone point me in the right direction to get some of these excellent sets?

Thanks in advance fellas

Liam

The beanie cap is available from Dutycat (a member of the board here) and has some very nice tile detail and windows.

The window set I'm using is from Accurate Model Parts. I'm the guinea pig for the project, working out some of the kinks before it's ready for primetime. You could go ahead and buy a set now on their website, but I would hold off if I were you. I'm currently helping them with a simplified "Mark III" version of the windows that promises to remove a lot of the frustration from the painting and assembly process.

The tile set is an ongoing project that I work on between model builds and as part of my own 1:72 shuttle build. It is being designed for the Monogram orbiter. I'm close to having all of the parts for it finished and ready to prototype, but I'm waiting to get either the Mark II or Mark III AMP windows installed so I can finish the tiles that go around the windows. Another issue holding up progress is finding a vendor that can engrave a 15" or longer styrene sheet, who stocks the thin .010" sheets, and can do it at a reasonable price. A vendor that meets all of those requirements has proven very hard to find. So far, the best deal I have been able to find is with .020" styrene and the cost is over $200! I'm hoping a local plastics guy I do business with can meet the project needs.

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Hotdog, it nice to see this thread is still alive. I like your two new parts. I will have to grab me the window set as well. Also, I can't wait to see and purchase your products. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Mike

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Hi Hotdog

Just wondering where you're up to with the tiles sets? That looks great. I have a 75 Monogram I've been playing with. Bought the beanie cap and SSMEs you saw on Collectspace.

Might just have to buy a set of Fisher parts. Heaps cheaper than elsewhere for delivery. I was thinking to cover the shuttle with styrene and mark the tile detail.

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I still have a few pieces to finish, meanwhile I am trying to get the cost down. Finding a supplier who meets all of the requirements AND can produce the parts cheaply has been difficult. I don't think I will sell as many sets if they are $300, so I gotta figure out a new plan. I might have to split the set up into sections (belly, aft, nose, etc.) in order to make it affordable, sort of like what LVM Studios has done with their Shuttle Launch Tower Detail Kit.

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There in lay my conundrum. I have a hard time justifying a detail set that costs more than the model. But I do understand the time and effort that goes into creating all the intricacies. A full tile set would look awesome.

What about the thermal blankets. What did or will you use for that? I was thinking white medical tape? Or maybe just cut up linen and glue on?

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Yes, medical tape is the solution for the blankets I plan to go with.

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Have you tried going to a local machine shop? If I was to do this personally, I would bolt through the 0.010" sheet into a piece of aluminum with known indexed holes where tiles are not to be cut. If you wanted more control, double sided tape from 3M is great. The CNC would need to be outfitted with a really small diameter tool (easy to order), and then run from there. That would remove the 15" limit as most CNCs have travel measured in feet. Just an idea!

Also, most shops order material for specific jobs anyway so stock is not a big deal.

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