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johnlove_mk_II

1/72 Saturn V - a reboot of sorts

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Took a little sabbatical from cutting plastic to rekindle my interest in R/C aircraft. There’s a lot of fun new technologies to play with and I’ve been having great fun flying and crashing stuff. Now I’m getting that itch again, and with the 47th anniversary of the moon landing having just recently passed, I started thinking of my 1/72 Saturn V project again.

A little history

I've actually been obsessing on a large Saturn V model since childhood when I first came a across a Revell 1/96 kit at one of the local hobby shops. It was a History Makers release, If I recall correctly it cost 65 bucks, which is far more than I could have ever afforded at the time.

Fast forward to the mid-nineties, I came across a reissue of the 1/96 kit on clearance at a Hobby Lobby for $25. Got it home and popped open the box to find that there where many detail issues … far too many for my retentiveness. I was planning on a almost complete rebuild using scratch built parts and the New Ware detail set, but that stalled and the project was shelved.

Now we’re back to 2013 … Dragon releases a 1/72 model of the Apollo Spacecraft from the UI to the LES. I started in on the idea of building a monster Saturn stack, with Plastruct tubes, Apogee F-1s and the like. Started in on the research and then Dragon releases the whole Saturn V kit … and it was kinda crap too.

Now, for the last year or so, I’ve been learning to model in 3D off and on. With that level of control, I can actually model something that will satiate my need for the model to at least have the correct stringer counts. I’ve decided to go for it once more, with a slightly different approach, a very expensive one that won’t require gluing on the 1,568 some-odd stringers.

The new plan

I’ve started to model each of the stages forward and aft skirts as single printed cylinders to then be attached to a appropriately sized bit of plastruct tubing. Then add other 3D and styrene bits and bobs for the other details. Right now I’m working to get the S-IVB skirts completed. The aft skit is proving to be a real pain, as the stringers are not evenly spaced around the circumference, but it’s getting there.

Screen%20Shot%202016-07-28%20at%204.00.43%20PM.png

S-IVB forward skirt.

Screen%20Shot%202016-07-25%20at%201.21.18%20PM.png

S-IVB aft skirt.

Screen%20Shot%202016-08-04%20at%209.49.30%20AM.png

S-II forward skirt with interstage - still working on adding all the little details.

Screen%20Shot%202016-08-04%20at%209.46.50%20AM.png

The whole thing, so far.

Screen%20Shot%202016-07-22%20at%208.58.47%20AM.png

Another view.

I am also planning to add the thrust structures for the SII and S-IVB, that will incorporate Meatball Rocketry’s J-2s, as well as the IU and other forward skit doodads after I get the main exterior parts completed.

Maybe I can actually get this done before the 50th anniversary?

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So-o-o glad you are taking this on, John! I hope you will make these parts available on Shapeways. Your previous attempt at this inspired me to follow in your footsteps and purchase the Dragon Saturn V kit so that I may one day make a similar attempt at building a correct 1:72 stack. I'm way behind in the 3D department though, so I was following your laser-cut styrene approach by drawing up the stringer wraps in Illustrator. I got as far as buying all the Plastruct tubes, and I finished the wraps for the first stage before stopping.

What you have so far looks excellent! I'll be keeping up with this thread and watching your progress with much anticipation!

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Thanks guys.

Moving on down the stack. Started on the basics for the SII aft skirt, Interstage and SIC forward skirt. These are just the test runs, I may have to rethink a few interface areas, but all in all I think it will work well.

Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%208.59.35%20AM.png

Stackable parts.

Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%209.07.16%20AM.png

Here’s the SII, as it would look with the Plastruct. I scaled up the 1/144 thrust structure model, just to get an idea.

Edited by johnlove_mk_II

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Got started on the S-IC intertank area last night. It took a lot longer to get to this point than I thought it would, but I think it works well. I need to figure out how to attach to the tank areas and include the brackets that attach to the LOX and Fuel "Y-ring" assemblies.

Screen%20Shot%202016-08-08%20at%201.25.49%20PM.png

These just might be the death of me.

Screen%20Shot%202016-08-08%20at%201.28.44%20PM.png

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This is gonna be so amazing! Go go go!

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A stark reality begins to settle in.

Here are the Shapeways costs per part … yikes.

  • S-IVB forward skirt, FUD - $43.71
  • S-IVB aft skirt, FUD - $39.23
  • Interstage and S-II forward skirt, ADP - $190.72
  • S-II aft / Interstage / S-IC forward, ADP - $503.19
  • S-IC Intertank, ADP - $200.76
  • S-IC aft, ADP - approximately $250-ish

That's $1,227.61, just for the cylinders! :wacko:

I may need to start shopping around, or wait until 3D printing become way less expensive. Surely at some point in the future I'll be able to print out a few hundred of these for like 50¢, right? ;)

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yikes!! and I felt bad about spending $100 on decals and batted engines for mine. the CAD looks pretty awesome though, I cant wait to see how this all comes together.

Edited by dylan

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I may need to start shopping around, or wait until 3D printing become way less expensive. Surely at some point in the future I'll be able to print out a few hundred of these for like 50¢, right? ;)/>

The future is now. You should be able to find a local printer who can do it cheaper. Here's a great site I found recently:

https://www.3dhubs.com/

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I've got the 72nd prebuilt Saturn V in a detolf cabinet...it is very impressive to the unknowing eye. I have another 72 Saturn V unbuilt kit that I've ordered Shapeways BPC and escape tower along with the SLA . Have an order in to Martins-models for his Saturn update sets. My dad worked on LM-3, 4 and 5 and saw those Saturn's launch at the Cape. With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing coming up I want my 2nd one to look really good! My dad passed away coming up on 5 years ago but I want to build it to honor him and all those that were part of that great engineering feat.  

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I bookmarked your last thread over a year ago, and I review it from time to time.  I've wanted a 72nd scale Saturn V in the worst way, ever since I built the 96th scale Revell kit as a child in the '70s.  I got the Dragon Saturn V kit a year ago, and it is such a disappointment.  I then got expensive replacement batted F-1 engines, and 70th scale vacuform engine skirts.  That will correct the worst flaws, but it doesn't fix the rest of that ugly monster.  I am dreaming that someone will come out with a correction kit, but that would essentially be a whole new model.  So if some wizard here can come up with a way to turn this Dragon turd into an accurate Saturn V, he will be my hero for a long time.  I'm thinking that the second and third stage thrust structures should be written off, and just build something out of tubing and whatever, and put the Dragon Apollo spacecraft on top.  It won't come apart in stages like other kits, but maybe it could look right just standing there.  I could also buy one replacement J2 engine and scratch build the third stage, and put the Dragon Apollo kit on that, maybe simulating the first docking on the way to the Moon.  It would expose the LM and lots of neat Service Module parts that are hidden on the launch pad.  

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I have a plan, whether I will ever get to it is another story.  :(

 

Dragon fudged many features in order to reduce mold costs. This resulted in the inaccurate tank and intertank vertical dimensions. They also just plain screwed up all (not most, but all) the external details on the booster.

 

A while back Squadron had the Saturn Skylab kit on sale, and I picked up two. My plan is to combine the kits to achieve the correct vertical dimensions, and to use 3D printed external details, especially the conduits, fairings and ullage rockets. Somewhere I have diagrammed out what parts to cut and combine for this kitbash.

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Wow...just acme across this threat! Your 3D design is top notch. I wonder how much the prices would come done if that all was 1/144? I have an Airfix kit stil downstairs (the newer one) that for sure could use some of those details...if not all of them.

 

thanks

Uwe

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Hi John,

what a fascinating 3D modeling, cant-believe-my-eyes-smiley-emoticon.gif awesome models. 00003423.gif 

Keep it up!!! up040577.gif

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Been working on this a little more lately. Looking at the possibility of completing the model and having it constructed before the fiftieth moon landing anniversary next year.  (along with like three other projects. 😬) Currently I'm exploring ways to print the parts without having to spend a small fortune, so I decided to give the Shapeways Processed Versatile Plastic a try.

 

I printed the S-IVB forward skirt as a test and the results weren't particularly great. I wasn't too familiar with the material or processing involved, but the "processing" basically removed most of the surface detail. I'm thinking I can alter the parts slightly by enlarging stringers to preserve the edges and to print the skirt sections in regular Versatile Plastic and any surface details  with the fed/fud plastics.

 

IMG_0175.JPG

Test print. Bad.

 

I did stack the test part with the Plastruct tubing and Dragon SLA/CSM/LES.  It looks impressive from a distance,  just not so much up close – so there is hope.

 

IMG_0177.JPG

So close.

 

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Started adding the external details to the S-IVB and the interstage. APS packages, tunnels,  and other assorted protuberances.  I'm currently working on the trust structure and finishing up the retro motors for the interstage.

 

If you're curious about the inside of the S-IVB to S-II interstage check this out.  (Google street view from Puerto Rico.)

 

sivb_all_the_stuffs.png

 

Screen+Shot+2018-08-24+at+3.52.20+PM.png

 

Screen+Shot+2018-08-24+at+3.50.54+PM.png

Edited by johnlove_mk_II

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That really is some incredible work that you are doing there. Wow this is exactly what I'm think about for a new build. I just don't have the ability that you obviously have to do it for myself but this looks like it'll be the ultimate 1/72 scale Saturn V. I think what you are doing is fantastic! It will look stunning when you are done and hopefully you have been able to make some more progress on it since your last post. Beautiful work sir! 

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