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egt95

Space Shuttle Columbia STS-1

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Hello everyone.

I have been reading some of the posts about various model builds and thought that I would share my experience in building my space shuttle. I am currently in the beginning stages of building an Airfix 1/144 Space Shuttle model to depict Columbia STS-1. I am looking to put as much detail into this as I possibly can and would like quality information, ideas, and constructive criticism from all of you hobbyists out there.

I have built models for years, but I really want to get this right. I have tons of resources to study from, but it's putting it to use is what I have trouble with.

So, thank you all in advance and as soon as I figure out how to upload pictures to this, I'll begin this adventure and post Atlantis, which was the last orbiter that I built.:unsure:/>

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lesson 1: you can't/don't upload pictures to the forum, you have to post links to images hosted elsewhere (e.g. flicker, photobucket etc.) using the "img" tags provided in the forum GUI.

hth...

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Hello and welcome. It's great to see someone else starting an STS-1 build.

I posted for the first time a month ago, asking about some info regarding my STS-1 build (see 'STS-1 external tank question' started Feb.6). I have found only a few nice pictures to use as a reference taken when the stack was being rolled out to the pad and a couple more of it sitting out there, but of course there is much more information and references available for later missions, simply because nobody was posting anything to the internet back in 1981 because it didn't exist yet. Even so, I'm having a lot of fun and I hope you do too. I have seen some great work on this site and have been inspired by some of the skillful modellers here and their work.

I was lucky enough to be present at the VIP site in between the big countdown clock and the press gallery for STS-1 and it was an amazing experience, so when I recently came across an old kit, I decided to do it up as STS-1. I'm looking forward to seeing your build and will be very interested to see what references are suggested to you. Good luck!

Edited by John G.

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Welcome to the forum! Here are some guides that will help you with your STS-1 builds.

10qxua0.gif

206yng2.gif

Looking forward to seeing your progress!

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Hello everyone.

I have been reading some of the posts about various model builds and thought that I would share my experience in building my space shuttle. I am currently in the beginning stages of building an Airfix 1/144 Space Shuttle model to depict Columbia STS-1. I am looking to put as much detail into this as I possibly can and would like quality information, ideas, and constructive criticism from all of you hobbyists out there.

I have built models for years, but I really want to get this right. I have tons of resources to study from, but it's putting it to use is what I have trouble with.

So, thank you all in advance and as soon as I figure out how to upload pictures to this, I'll begin this adventure and post Atlantis, which was the last orbiter that I built.:unsure:/>/>

WELCOME egt95! Great first post, start off building a wonderful subject. This is a great place for information and shared ideas and resources. You'll be very happy your wandered in the door.

Also, just an FYI there is currently a group build that just stared on the 1st for NASA based subjects. http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showforum=284

Feel free to go down there and check it out and decide if you'd like to join in on that (provided you are less than 25% complete). I don't want to add any undue pressure on your build, so no worries if you don't want to join for now. Just wanted you to be aware there are other space builds going on there as well. In the meantime, enjoy and I look forward to seeing your progress.

Thanks,

Bill

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Ok...I think that I have this photo linking figured out.

First, thanks for the welcoming and I'm looking forward to getting started. As I get these photos together, here's a few pictures of previous builds....

8d113e0b-dc86-4b12-a15c-a467c047a600_zps9ad2aab3.jpg

Columbia STS-107.

eba57f75-c56d-4d3c-92ca-d8c3776b3f1e_zpsd63cbb5f.jpg

Atlantis. STS-135.

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Based on these 2 builds of yours, this is gonna be a nice build!

On these 2, didja use aftermarket decals ... and I'll assume they're both 1/144's?

And you got that picture-posting thing down pretty fast!! :thumbsup:

Looking forward to your STS-1

Pete

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Based on these 2 builds of yours, this is gonna be a nice build!

On these 2, didja use aftermarket decals ... and I'll assume they're both 1/144's?

And you got that picture-posting thing down pretty fast!! :thumbsup:/>/>/>/>/>/>

Looking forward to your STS-1

Pete

Both are 1/144 scale. Columbia is an Airfix and Atlantis is a Revell. Both of which make pretty close to accurate models. Although there are differences. For some reason Revell did not mold the payload bay doors with the sections scribed, while Airfix's wings do not have upper panel details. But, that's where decals come in of course. I like them both, they assemble easy but there is a little extra work that needs to be done to them. I'm also in the middle of building a 1/72 shuttle that will represent Atlantis too. But I've put soooo much detail in the tiling that I needed to take a break from it.

I have future plans on building the reissue of Revell Space Shuttle with the Launch Tower, and a Tamiya 1/100 scale shuttle model.

Most of the decals are from the manufacturers however, the upper wing panel decals on Columbia are the WarBirds 1/144 space shuttle tile decals. I'm still working in the illustrator to create more accurate decals, but I'm looking for the best quality decal paper to use on a ink jet printer. So far I'm leaning towards Testors. The set of decals I made for Endeavour seemed to have come out the best. I'm also working on a set of tile decals. I haven't seen a quality sheet since Cutting Edge went out of business.

Mike

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Well...Here we go!!

Columbia STS-1, 0 (800x598)

 

Columbia STS-1, 2 (800x598)

 

Columbia STS-1, 3 (800x598)

 

Columbia STS-1, 6 (800x598)

 

Typically I'm not so picky on how the main engines are molded because dark color paint can typically conceal the missing details of the molds. But this one I want to give as much detail as I can, so I'll be using aftermarket engines from Real Space Models. I also have decals from them too...

Columbia STS-1, 4 (800x598)

 

Columbia STS-1, 5 (800x598)

 

When I layed out this project, I had planned on using tile decals from Ed Bisconti. Not going to work. His decals are printed on clear decal paper and with the model molded in gray and will be painted with a base color, the detailing in the decals will not show up. If they were printed on white paper, it may have a chance. This is why I'm trying to come up with my own in illustrator.

All in all, a straight up kit. Not used to them being molded in a different color than white. When I opened it, the first thing I noticed of the bat was the center portion of the ET. It was not molded with ribs. So, it looks like a case of styrene strips to add texture.

Edited by egt95
Repopulating thread photos.

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Very interesting, that you plan to build the Revell Launch Tower, I stay tuned. :coolio:

:wave:

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When I layed out this project, I had planned on using tile decals from Ed Bisconti. Not going to work. His decals are printed on clear decal paper and with the model molded in gray and will be painted with a base color, the detailing in the decals will not show up. If they were printed on white paper, it may have a chance. This is why I'm trying to come up with my own in illustrator.

Rather than try to replicate the belly tiles in Illustrator, an arduous task at best, can you not just paint the belly white ... and then use Bisconti's decals? Or what I've done is scan in the decals and then print 'em out onto my own decal film/paper.

And I recall seeing someone else's suggestion on an Airfix Shuttle build, about using Evergreen sheet which has vertical ribs already moulded in. All you have to do is cut it and wrap it around the ET. It'll save you oodles of time ...

This'll be fun to watch!

Thanx

Pete

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Looking forward to seeing this build!

I also have the Airfix shuttle in my stash and I have already assembled the orbiter so I can work on creating decal sets for it. I have been drawing them up in Illustrator and I have most of them done. My goal is to create the "ultimate shuttle decal set" for this kit, with markings for any orbiter and time period, including all of the tiny little SRB markings. There will also be an accurate set of tile decals (eventually). I will have these professionally printed so you don't have to cut out each decal. You guys will be the first to know when these are available!

Here's a small low-res preview of what I have done so far:

8wbbsj.jpg

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Looking forward to seeing this build!

I also have the Airfix shuttle in my stash and I have already assembled the orbiter so I can work on creating decal sets for it. I have been drawing them up in Illustrator and I have most of them done. My goal is to create the "ultimate shuttle decal set" for this kit, with markings for any orbiter and time period, including all of the tiny little SRB markings. There will also be an accurate set of tile decals (eventually). I will have these professionally printed so you don't have to cut out each decal. You guys will be the first to know when these are available!

Here's a small low-res preview of what I have done so far:

8wbbsj.jpg

ohhh...I really like these. I have a Tamiya 1/100 kit coming and (when it becomes available) the reissue of the Launch Tower from Revell...

If you can scale them for the 1/100 kit, I'll wait to build it until these are available. These are truly amazing!!!!:thumbsup:/>/>

Edited by egt95

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Let me give you a heads-up ... the decals, the red and green lines that go on the truncated cone of the SRB skirts should be an arc, not straight lines ... in order for them to look straight on the SRB skirts.

Hope you don't mind the suggestion.

Pete

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Thanks Pete! I probably wouldn't have figured that out until I printed and applied the first test set. I suppose the same arc will have to be applied to the TVC service panels just above them as well. Good call!

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Dennis Jenkin's book(s) have several photos of STS-1.

Here's a small low-res preview of what I have done so far:

I have several older shuttle boxings with inadequate decals, I'm Very Interested in your decal sheet!

(sorry for the thread hijack)

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Looking forward to seeing this build!

I also have the Airfix shuttle in my stash and I have already assembled the orbiter so I can work on creating decal sets for it. I have been drawing them up in Illustrator and I have most of them done. My goal is to create the "ultimate shuttle decal set" for this kit, with markings for any orbiter and time period, including all of the tiny little SRB markings. There will also be an accurate set of tile decals (eventually). I will have these professionally printed so you don't have to cut out each decal. You guys will be the first to know when these are available!

Here's a small low-res preview of what I have done so far:

8wbbsj.jpg

Those look nice. Can't wait.

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Looking forward to seeing this build!

I also have the Airfix shuttle in my stash and I have already assembled the orbiter so I can work on creating decal sets for it. I have been drawing them up in Illustrator and I have most of them done. My goal is to create the "ultimate shuttle decal set" for this kit, with markings for any orbiter and time period, including all of the tiny little SRB markings. There will also be an accurate set of tile decals (eventually). I will have these professionally printed so you don't have to cut out each decal. You guys will be the first to know when these are available!

Here's a small low-res preview of what I have done so far:

8wbbsj.jpg

Hey Hotdog, PM me about this if you get a chance please. I'd drawn up some decals as well and if you're truly going to have these screen printed I may have some items drawn up that may be of use. I wanted to have them made but without getting into "the biz" so to speak, I didn't see it was worth putting that much money in to the endeavor. See what I did there :woot.gif:/> ?

Bill

Edited by niart17

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Alrighty....So I started tinkering around with the model the other day. Before I cement parts together, I like to tape the pieces together for a dry run. I do this to see exactly where I need to reshape, file down, fill, and just to get a good feel of how it's going to fit together.

Columbia STS-1, 15

 

This is usually the problem area. The seams on the undercarriage and the shoulders of the wings. This is where putty and sanding comes in.

Columbia STS-1, 12

 

Columbia STS-1, 13

 

Columbia STS-1, 14

 

Looks like its got a pretty good fit to it. Like all of the rest, there is usually some work that needs to be put into it. But it always pays off at the end. I do not intend to have the payload bay doors to open, so the part in the compartment are only going to be used as structural integrity.

Edited by egt95

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Rather than try to replicate the belly tiles in Illustrator, an arduous task at best, can you not just paint the belly white ... and then use Bisconti's decals? Or what I've done is scan in the decals and then print 'em out onto my own decal film/paper.

And I recall seeing someone else's suggestion on an Airfix Shuttle build, about using Evergreen sheet which has vertical ribs already moulded in. All you have to do is cut it and wrap it around the ET. It'll save you oodles of time ...

This'll be fun to watch!

Thanx

Pete

I could paint it white but when I laid a piece of decal on one of the other orbiters, I wasn't pleased on the way it looked. Maybe because the areas seperating the tiles where clear and it shows the background color. I have, however, seen a post where someone just painted the bottom with primer grey, a shot of black, then a little white. He let it dry for a couple of days then wet sanded it smooth. I may make that attempt, but there is nothing better than the last little detail of a model to make it stand out.

As for the ribbed part of the ET, getting styrene sheets that are ribbed and wrap it does not sound like a bad idea. Thanks for the suggestion.

Mike

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My personal preference for replicating the tiles, especially at this scale, is to use the decals that are made from actual photos of the shuttle belly. With some careful fitting and planning, it can look extremely realistic. I've made some and printed them and I believe there are a few other people here that have done the same in some form or fashion. Just an idea to toss out there for you.

I look forward to seeing this build come along. BTW, there's still plenty of room and time in the NASA group build...just sayin'. :woot.gif:

Bill

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One thing to keep in mind about STS-1 though is Columbia was the cleanest it had ever been and would ever be at launch. It hadn't gone through a reentry yet, so you are not going to see the graying out of the tiles on the belly. By STS-3 there was a tiny little bit of graying (and some tiles getting replaced), but things stayed pretty uniform in color. So I wouldn't worry too much about trying to get gray shades in those tiles, certainly not the extent seen on the RPM backflip photos from the ISS (which were all of shuttles that had flown dozens of missions by that point).

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