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  • 7 months later...

Haha mhvink -- you read my mind. And thanks for stopping by! Indeed, I'd been thinking about getting back to this build. I'm guilty of jumping around builds and lately I'd been deciding what it is that I really want to focus on. Three things come to mind -- the new F-14 build, the 1/32 LM, and the LLRV. The LM-5 foiling is a nightmare so I've really put in on the backburner. I'll probably give some time to the F-14 to see how far I can run with it. As for the LLRV, my biggest problem is the lack of reference shots of the truss assembly behind the cockpit. If only I knew of someone who could take photos of the only ground-level LLRV on display -- the one at Edwards AFB as I see from this site:



This LLRV had the covered cockpit (and what seems to be makeshift parts for the engine? -- it doesn't look like the original CF7002V parts) but should have the same truss configuration behind the cockpit. To anyone who can provide a few shots and then some :)/> I will be eternally grateful. If there's a cost to it let me know.

Edited by crackerjazz
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Wow, that's still fantastic, Mike, thanks! Hopefully there's an open-house someday soon! I've asked X-Plane Fan, too and I'm hoping he can help me -- keeping my fingers crossed. That's the only eye-level LLRV (or LLTV I should say) that would be nice to take photos of. I've seen some shots on the web of what look like open-house events with people gathered round it. I haven't found any good collection of enthusiast-type shots of it posted anywhere, though -- maybe the interest in the strange-looking test/training vehicle has waned through the years. There's another one at the Johnson Space Center but it's hanging from the ceiling -- not really an ideal photo subject.

Edited by crackerjazz
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I need to remind myself every now and then of the LLRV and LLTV incarnations. I keep forgetting which one is which.

There were 5 vehicles in all -- 2 LLRVs and 3 LLTVs:

1. LLRV No. 1 was the one Armstrong ejected from.

- Initially had the open cockpit and caster wheels, cyclic and stick controls

- later modified to LLTV specs (LLTV 3-axis side controller and enclosed cockpit) and redesignated "LLTV A1"

- was in LLTV A1 incarnation when it crashed (8may68; Armstrong ejected safely)

2. LLRV No. 2 (aka NASA 951)

- similarly refitted to LLTV specs (side 3-axis side controller and enclosed cockpit) and redesignated "LLTV A2"

- last flight 13jan67

- cannibalized for parts and currently sports a mock-up engine

- used as modeling reference for the LLRV filming model (Armstrong crash sequence in HBO documentary From The Earth To The Moon)

- currently on display in a hangar at Dryden/Edwards AFB CA

3. LLTV B1

- crashed from gusty winds 8dec68

- pilot Joe Algranti ejected safely

4. LLTV B2

- crashed 29jan71 from electrical system failure

- pilot Stu Present ejected safely

5. LLTV B3 (NASA 952)

- currently on display (hanging from ceiling) at Johnson Space Center, Houston TX

Edited by crackerjazz
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Hi Ret, I'm building the 3D model mainly so I could make paper patterns for cutting styrene sheet/rods -- the thing is too big to print cheaply. Right now my hands are tied by lack of references (or the difficulty of interpreting reference shots), and, admittedly, my lack of Solidworks know-how. I'm trying to study it and have made good progress but compared to other 3D modelers who could have finished this in weeks, it's taking me years :( Sometimes I want to go ahead and just wing it -- just start cutting styrene rods as I originally intended to do. As the build went on, though, detailing it consumed me.

If anyone is interested to collaborate I'm open to it. It should make building faster. Wouldn't you want one sitting on or hovering over your desk :) Let's share ideas and build ourselves an LLRV!

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Too bad we can't get somebody with a camera drone to fly up to the ceiling where the LLRV is displayed at JSC. I'm sure it could be done, but JSC security might take a dim view of that. ;) An alternative might be a really really long selfie stick and a camera phone with a timer.

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Nice idea, Jay! :) It must be around 10 feet up isn't it? X-Plane fan sent a few shots of the one at Dryden. All taken with film, though -- I'll try to see what details I can make out - I might be able to start building the frame. But someday I hope someone can take digital close-up shots so I can zoom in. I was looking at the JSC photos you took, Jay, and they're really good -- more underside-oriented but lots of info to glean from.

Edit: Now that I think of it, we're actually lucky that there's one that's hanging from the ceiling or we woould't have a good view of the gimbal and everything that's underneath.





OK I'll be picking up where I left off. It sure looks like the Armstrong crash site.


Edited by crackerjazz
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Thanks, Mike! One of my resolutions for 2016 was to build a little everyday so that I'll have some update every week-- now the first quarter of the year's over (that flew by quickly, didn't it) and nothing close to that has happened :) so I'll make sure to devote some time to this build.

I was looking at the photo I uploaded and the engine looked a bit short -- and realized an entire turbine section was missing. :) That's the problem with picking up a project again after too long a break. I've mislaid my notebook and have totally forgotten all the mental notes I took along the way.


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Hi, Bill, thanks! :)


Making the missing turbine section.


I'm glad I just need to build the casing and that no blades are visible :)


I don't remember making as many parts on any of the other sections.







The bottom cone is too narrow at 0.5 mm height so I couldn't cut one from styrene. Just used some bondo.


I wish I'd taken more photos but sometimes when I do a testfit and I hit a sweet spot I just have to glue it in place and there goes the chance to get a photo of the part before it goes on permanently.

Edited by crackerjazz
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That ... is frakkin gorgeous! The amount of detail, at that tiny size is ...... what can I say ...? :o

For wiring and hydraulic lines, have you ever tried to stretch sprue? It may be a terrific scale solution.

Keep up the great work!


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Hi Pete! Yeah, I'm gonna need lots of stretched sprue, wires and prayers. It's a scary proposition. Getting dizzy just looking at Tony's engine photos -- I'm still trying to convince myself that it's gonna be fun :(



Edited by crackerjazz
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ok now you're just showing off.. :woot.gif:

Seriously though. Very inspiring. You're very good at breaking down complex shapes into their roots and building it up. Very keen eye on that. I just chicken out and give up and have shapeways print the parts for me. I really should take some lessons from you on scratch-building shapes.


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Hi CJ,

incredible madness, this is again scratch-building in perfection, you are a true sorcerer and have always new stunning ideas, congratulations. 00003423.gif

The solution with the rods for the screws I have also just tried with the screw rings on the flanges of the Rainbirds. But unfortunately my screw-hole circle for 12 screws is only 2.9 mm. :woot.gif:


Edited by spaceman
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Hi Bill, Manfred, thanks! Now my head's too big for the doorway. Didn't have time to do some plastic this week -- or actually I had time but felt too tired to fight myself to wake up at 5am religiously like I was able to do just a few weeks ago.

Guys, I've had a change of heart. I decided I'll be building the one Neil Armstrong punched out of -- the LLRV 1 retrofitted to LLTV-A1 configuration. Didn't want to at first because it seemed to have an unsightly insect's head for a cockpit. But after viewing the crash vid over and over the shape has grown on me. Besides, the model of the crashed vehicle will have more of a "story" to tell. The Weber zero-zero ejection seat details will no longer be visible when I cover up the cockpit but I could always make it detachable for display. Sadly there won't be any more helicopter controls and foot pedals and no more caster wheels -- those would've looked good in a model. I'll also have to accept the fact that it will have pogo sticks for landing gears : ( I'm giving myself until May 6, 2018 (50th anniversary of the crash) to complete the scratchbuilt model. That target should be realistic enough.





Had to model the landing gear again because of that fateful hard disk crash last year.





Edited by crackerjazz
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I think it's a good decision. It's the one most people who know about, even the casual space enthusiast kknows the story so there ya go.

Curious about your Solidworks work flow. Are you creating these parts in a top-down in-context assembly or is this done in one big part file and later broken in to individual solid bodies? Just curious because I've done a little bit of both before and would think this complicated a model would be best as a large assembly. Always fun to hear how others approach a subject.

Keep up the great work. Can't wait for 2018 now.


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