Jump to content

Challenger deploys LDEF in 1/100

Recommended Posts

I'm in the process of updating and re-populating some of my older threads



I've been working on this while working on the little 1/144 Shuttle.


This'll be Challenger, Mission STS 13/41C deploying the LDEF ( Long Duration Exposure Facility ). The LDEF will be built from scratch and the Tamiya's kit Payload Bay will get a lot of scratch building too.


The fit is typical of any Real Space kit I've built ... in other words, the fit is awful, but that's part o' the funn eh?  :rolleyes:





The kit's Payload Bay is sparse, to say the least. Plus the profile is not semi-circular, but I'm gonna live with it.







The Payload Bay (PB) has a squared off Aft end, so I cut it out.





I also reinforced the big fuselage seam with strips of .040" styrene





Subassemblies being assembled. There were lot of parts in the little OMS pods.











The PB windows are spaced too far apart ... and will need to be carved out.





The SSMEs are getting a little attention too. Just Copper wire and CA glue.





The LDEF's image and prelim sketch. I've gotta figure out how to build this ... 





It's 14' x 30' long and I scaled it down in Illustrator, printed it out and rubber cemented it to some .040 styrene and cut 'em out. These are the Bulkheads.





Attaching some structure with .040 square rod





The kit has a piece which mounts the Cargo to the PB sides ... I'm gonna use it as is





Installing the panels ... it's 12 sided.





I'm off to a good start





The kit has a piece which installs into the PB. It's fictional but I'm gonna rework it and use it, and see if I can display the LDEF in mid air, attached to the RMS, by attaching to this new piece!





This just shows my best attempt at getting a good fit ... and it's pretty poor. Thank goodness for filler! I don't know how Manfred builds his pieces so accurately in 1/144!!  :bandhead2:





I just removed some items from the kit pallet





That's all fer now ...thanx for taking a peeks lads!

Edited by K2Pete
replaced the images
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 74
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Wow! I'm loving the LDEF! This is gonna be really awesome.


I remember those OMS pods and all the little pieces. Kind of a beeoch to get 'em all squared up. It's still a great kit, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, K2Pete said:

The fit is typical of any Real Space kit I've built ... in other words, the fit is awful, but that's part o' the funn eh?  :rolleyes:



 Are you referring to the fit of the Tamiya shuttle kit?


Fantastic work on the LDEF, that payload has always interested me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2016 at 3:29 PM, K2Pete said:

habu2 ... Yup ... the Tamiya Shuttle kit.


I have one of these in the stash, I assumed the fit would be typical of most Tamiya kits - as in good.  Sounds like this one isn't so good...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanx very much gents!


habu2 ... it may not be that bad a fit ... but I don't build newer kits to compare the fit. This kit is par for the course for Real Space kits.


The LDEF with it's major shapes built up. 

While researching further, I realized this mission was also the Solar Max repair mission ... so in the Aft of the PB will be the Fixture to which the Solar Max was attached. Therefore, the little pallet I was gonna use to support the LDEF seemingly in mid-air, will need to be re-thought





I moved the windows closer together. 





The Payload Bay got a new .010" covering. I'm forming it with some tubing and a clamp or two.





I've cut the Elevons off because they were free floating in orbit and I'll reposition 'em







The Aft Bulkhead before any accurizing





The PB with it's covering





The Fwd and Aft bulkheads needed some patches. The hinge-able kit doors would have fit in there ... but mine will be glued to the sides of the Fuselage.





The bulkheads with some details. The little pegs are the supports for the Handholds. The bulkheads will be covered with Aluminum foil or Grocery bag plastic.

And above 'em are the adjustable fixtures in the PB to which Cargo is attached ... I think.





The kit's Decal sheet. I bought this kit in 1991 and ordered a new decal sheet last year, and this is it.




I am really enjoying building this ... I'm having fun for the first time in a couple years!


Thanx for tuning in!



Edited by K2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Pete,


it's a pleasure watching you again at modeling, top2.gif   and as one can see, you apparently have a lot of fun again with scratching all these tiny details.  cant-believe-my-eyes-smiley-emoticon.gif

Very impressive work, keep it up.  up040577.gif

Edited by spaceman
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanx guys, your encouragement is much appreciated!  



I spent about 15 hours building up this Solar Max repair fixture

I started with a kit part to save me creating the curved lower half. I cut this 'module' part just about in half.

Using a reference image, I created a profile in Illustrator and printed it out at 43 mm wide.








This was my main reference. It was from a Mission pdf ... not much to go on eh?




And here ...





I printed it out, attached it to a piece of .020 styrene and cut out the profile to start the build. This is the Fore and Aft surfaces.






Glued the profile to the kit part and made some more parts





The larger piece will be the inner surface. It's .010 styrene





The Berthing Ring, with Greeblies, and supporting parts. It's all coming together nicely!





And, for all intents and purposed, done. I'll cover it with thin Grocery Bag plastic later in the build.




Now, I can assemble the Cockpit window, Bulkheads, the Payload Bay and then start ... sanding all those lovely seams!


Till next posting ... 

Edited by K2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have missed seeing your scratchbuilding! Very genius using the Spacelab part to make the basis for the Solar Max cradle. That's actually not a bad drawing to have as a reference, I've had to do more with less than that before!


Your decals should be arriving any day now... I included the cockpit decals, so ya might hold off on doing the cockpit until you get those.

Link to post
Share on other sites

vielen Dank Manfred!  :thumbsup:    :worship:


Hotdog ... I'm going to have opaque Windows on the Cockpit, so I'm not gonna detail the Cockpit itself. I used the kit's Instrument Panel decals just to use 'em up. The firm decision came last night when I was looking for the overhead windows in the kit and ... couldn't find them. So the Overhead windows are now a white piece of styrene.


I'm looking forward to getting your decals. It usually takes at least 10 days to clear Customs ... and I've waited for just about a month sometimes    :popcorn:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing some small stuff on this build


Somehow the overhead windows are missing from the kit, so I have to fill up the hole ... I just use styrene scraps








Some reinforcements were added to the cockpit windows. I recall Hotdog's kept popping out, and as I'll be sanding this thing all over, I hope to prevent these windows coming unglued.





The RMS ( Remote Manipulator System) got a little attention too. This is the kit's End Effector and ... I want to make it look a bit better, I mean, there's no claw on the end of it ... :doh:







The cockpit got no attention as the Cockpit windows will be opaque, but I used the kit's IP decals just to use 'em up.





To protect the windows from the upcoming sanding, I used a sacrificial decal to cover the 'glass'. I've also coated the 'glass' with Future prior to decalling. To remove the decal afterwards, a piece of masking tape will pull it off ... I hope!





To adhere the strips of grocery bag plastic, I applied stripes of Foil adhesive ... which you can just barely see here







The fit of the parts is pretty good. I complained before but in this example, I think the fit is less than perfect due to my poor assembly.





Payload Bay cameras, RMS and Ku Band antenna





The gap in the port wing to fuselage ... about .010" wide ... I'll fill it with a strip of styrene






I'll trim this strip and it may not need any filing or filling at all.


Till the next post.



Edited by K2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea for reinforcing those windows! I wish I had thought ahead to brace them like that. The nose gets lots of sanding and handling so this is a must, especially for this kit since you don't get much extra glass around the window area.


It appears your windows do not have the blue tint that my kit windows had? Is that just the lighting in your photo?


You tease us with the prep photos of applying foil adhesive, but then do not show a photo of the finished bulkhead with the bag plastic in place! I'd like to see a better shot of how it turned out.


Great scratch-building so far. I like all the little bits and details that you add.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hotdog ... the windows do have the Blue tint, but photographed with a green background kind of obliterates the tint. Look at the lower right corner where the 'glass' overlaps a white piece of styrene ... it's blue there.


And here's a pic of the Plastic bag material adhered.

I've used, in the past, Foil Adhesive and coated the whole sheet of either Aluminum Foil or Plastic Bag. Aluminum Foil didn't work for me because the creases formed were too sharp and metallic. When I tried this plastic bag stuff, I liked the softer edges and texture. But THIS time, I didn't coat the whole the sheet with Adhesive ... just striped it on the styrene ... and it works nicely. The adhesion is about as strong as a Post-it note. Just enough to keep it there and easy to adjust.

The Handholds still need to be glued.







The belly has some gaps and I filled 'em up with .010" styrene. Smaller gaps will get a little putty. Now ... I sand it!




Thanx for looking in!

Edited by K2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14.12.2016 at 11:36 AM, K2Pete said:

The belly has some gaps and I filled 'em up with .010" styrene. Smaller gaps will get a little putty. Now ... I sand it!




Thanx for looking in!


Hey Pete,

these gaps would let be filled perfectly and much more easily with Apoxie Sculpt, even without sanding.  up040577.gif

Edited by spaceman
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanx a lot Mike! ... and when some details get installed into the Payload Bay, hopefully it'll look even better!


Manfred, I don't think Apoxie Sculpt would work on the belly of any Shuttle model. The waviness of the wings and fuselage, not to mention the below average fit of these parts, will still require a lot of sanding.



There were still gaps and I filled them with .005" styrene






These are the rings which will fit on the aft bulkhead with the SSME's






The Grapple fixtures on the LDEF






I'm carving the little supports at the base of the Tail







The belly before using the Tamiya Putty





I slather on the putty but I still need to have 4 or 5 sessions of sanding, refilling and re-sanding





The belly just needs one more sanding





The Chines needed some attention too





Just below the windows and the Overhead "windows" ... and then, that's it. Now I can start to add the details




I've been building a lot of the small stuff like, Grapple Fixtures, PB junction boxes and like that. Now that the excess handling needed during sanding is done, I can add in all the 'stuff"  :banana:     ... as well as getting the LDEF done. The samples on the LDEF will be decals.


And Hotdog, I'm still waiting for the decals ... this wait is normal. And they'll be here exactly when I need to apply them!  :clap2:


Thanx for taking a peek, lads!

Edited by K2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete, this build is looking amazing. You are doing a fantastic job, with all that scratch building. Glad to hear your enjoying building again. I know the feeling. It takes it out of you sometimes, all the repartition and to what detail to go too. 


Ejoying watching this one come together. The decal sheet look great, and will be nice to see on the finished shuttle.


Thanks Pete


Merry Christmas all



Link to post
Share on other sites

OOOH looks like it's starting to heat up! Once the belly seams are all filled in and sanded the real fun begins! I love how your star trackers turned out. Did you use Evergreen tube for that?


Yeah the decals are probably sitting in customs. Happens all the time when I ship international. Just a few more days and they should be there! Can't wait to see how they look on your shuttle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanx a lot Mick! Let me wish you a very Merry Christmas too!


Hotdog, yes to Evergreen tubing ... 



This is how I place the various panels on the LDEF. Some samples, on the real thing, were in a deep well and I wanted to depict those too. It sure added a lot of extra time and I've still got some fine tuning to do to it before I design and apply the various sample decals.





The panels are held in place with small bits of masking tape before they get glued in.






There are a lot of things to do on this ... f'rinstance, the Payload Bay doors need some work. The Radiator Panels are .020" V-Groove styrene. That's the kit door.








The frustrating assembly of the handholds on the Fore and Aft bulkheads is done. I've got some more stuff to do in the Payload Bay before I shoot a coat of white paint.





Also adding details to the Solar Max repair stand. Copper wire for the wiring and cabling




There's still lots to do before I assemble the Shuttle's subassemblies ... but man, this is a hoot!  :banana:


Merry Christmas to you all!

Edited by K2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...