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Don, the black stripes are Thermal Tape. The adapter section is full of environmental equipment, fuel cells, fuel tanks and stuff that gets warm. The Black Thermal tape was used on a few missions in an attempt to help with Thermal control. It was determined to be minimally effective and deemed unnecessary on later missions.


My version doesn't have this tape but it will have black 'dots' ... these are velcro patches the Astronaut on EVA would use to navigate around the exterior. He also had a velcro patch on the palm of his glove.


And, the supplier of the PE for this kit, LVM studios out of The Netherlands, doesn't have their website up any more ... methinks they're "Tango Uniform". But, yeah, this PE update is a royal PITA.


Thanx for the visit!  :thumbsup:


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Here's a reference image of the aft end with the AMU tucked into the centre and the foil insulation. This'll be built next ...





Starting to cut out and put in the aft structure which will be hidden by the Gold foil. Tucked into this structure will be the Astronaut Maneuvering Unit, AMU, which'll be built from scratch.





Real Space Models supplied this BIG piece of vac-formed styrene as the aft curtain. I'll chop out a piece of it and toss the rest.







The bit on the bottom is a foothold for the Astronaut. The whole subassembly still needs a little tweaking, but it's done.





The Overhead Switch panel has some PE which just sits on the surface. I decided to carve out the holes for the Hatch latches beforehand.





After realizing that soldering these small pieces would take way-y-y-y too much time to get good at, I decided to just glue it, things are moving along.

The Hatch pieces are glued down ... still many details, in styrene, to add ...





The Overhead Switch panel ...





To give you another idea as to the size of this stuff,  this piece supports the Ejection Seat and the only thing that will be seen is the tip, which would've been soldered ... but glued instead.




The PE really needs to be folded precisely. There's not a lot of fudging allowed with these joints. Does Filler stick to PE ... I'll hafta figure that out too.


Thanx for taking a peek gents!


Edited by K2Pete
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Well, I applied some Tamiya Putty to some scrap brass PE and it seems to stick just fine ... so next will be applying it to the model and sand it down. Fingers crossed. 



The Instrument panel's PE got glued on too ...





Built the Handholds with styrene channel ... and installed.







The Astronaut will be cut up and rebuilt and repositioned ... 





Milliput will be used to flesh out this little guy.





The Ejection Seat broke at the CA Glue seam. Darn it ...





So while I was deciding what to do with the Ejection Seat, I wondered how the fit was gonna be in the interior and um ... with just 2 pieces in there, it ... uh ... didn't fit.

The interference on these 2 parts was substantial ... an 1/8th to a quarter inch. Un-frikkin believable!





Then I dry fit the subassemblies for the Ejection seat and put that in and ... it's not that it's tight, it just doesn't fit.




I’m godsmacked!

I’ve spent the last 10 days or so fiddling with this PhotoEtch interior and this morning, I was curious to see the fit.

The Ejection Seats don’t fit. I can’t believe it. Now, I did read somewhere, 3 or 4 years ago when I bought this kit, that there were some fit issues. But this … aw geez. I must be doing something wrong. The interference is substantial.


I want to detail this interior … I need to buy another set of Mini Drill Bits because my .3 mm bit broke a while ago and I want to drill out the PE and insert wire, supplied in the kit, as the switches. Now, i’m gonna postpone it and try to figure out what’s going on.


I was debating as to whether or not BOTH hatches would be open to show off this lovely interior … now, the decision may have been made to keep one closed. Which will definitely make assembly and display much, much easier … but … I … am … so-o-o disappointed!


Till next posting ...


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Thanx Kurt H. and phantom ... you two guys are good mods! Good job!    :thumbsup:



I decided to press ahead and start to detail the Ejection Seats anyway ... although only one may be seen.

Here's the real thing. It's a Weber seat.





This will be the Survival kit ... just drilling some holes as grommets.





The scratch building aspect of this hobby is what turns my crank. Here I'm carving a tiny Lumbar support for the seat cushion ...





The upper seat cushion with Lumbar supports glued and some filler putty. I've also added some 'cushioning' to the upper Ejection Seat.





I soldered the joints on that broken seat. It sure ain't pretty, but it does the job. I'll file and Dremel the excess to smooth.





Thinking that I did something wrong in the fitting of these LVM seats. I placed 'em back in position. And in the Instructions it states that in final assembly. the top of the seat should be 0.5 mm from the top of the seat rail. 


Well ... I'll be darned! ... In the dry fitting, i placed the seats at their lowest point. When I placed 'em as instructed, they fit ... better.




To illustrate the point, here's the seat position I had for the dry fit.

The top of the seat is about 3 mm from the top of the seat rail.





Here is the 'correct' position ... about 0.5 mm from the top. The fit is just a little tight, but will be fine.




I'm glad it was my screw up and not LVM's. But nothing was glued in, so no harm, no foul.


Still a little ways to go on this interior, but I'm relieved about the seats.


Thanx guys!


Edited by K2Pete
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WOW!!!!! Just WOW!!!! Pete if you leave the curtain off the back you can show off all the cool

colorful balls in there. I did the 1/48 Revell Gemini and it had neat green, purple, yellow and

red balls and other cool colorful stuff! Just kidding, I contemplated using gold foil myself.

This is just "too good"---John

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Thanx Gents!



I'll have one astro seated in the vehicle and the seams are awful ... but normal for this mid 1960's kit. I fill the seams with styrene bits, then file and sand as necessary. 







He'll have one arm flipping switches so, I had to perform an amputation in order to re-position it ...





I do a few sketches in order to visualize how I'm gonna position the model. In the upper Left, you can see the seated Astronaut and in the lower Right, you can see how I think the Astronaut on EVA will be positioned





I built this little hinge support and it'll be a good reinforcement for the PE hinge as well. Added details to the Hatch too.





... almost done ...





Seat belts, Lap belts still to add, but this is almost done too.





One seat will be empty, and the other Astro will be sitting in the other seat. The loops are the "D" ring for the Ejection Seat, and the smaller ones are arm restraints made from thick Copper wire.





And the fit issues with the seats have been resolved ...I hope! I had to cut away the side walls of the hull in order for these to fit. The holes will be partially covered over with various equipment that attaches to the side walls








While this interior is proving to be a bit of a bear, this build is still loads of fun! The interior still has a lot to do in it, IP details and various fit issues, but this is where I derive my enjoyment in this hobby!


Till next posting. 



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While the subject is Gemini ejection seats, if you've got a minute and a half to spare,




Watch NASA's Gemini Ejection Seats Fire in Slow Motion



Published on May 21, 2016






And then if you have three more free minutes,





Why Did Gemini Use Ejection Seats and Not an Escape Tower?



Published on Feb 19, 2016
When it came to astronaut safety, why were ejection seats good enough for Gemini astronauts but not Apollo astronauts? There are different kinds of launch escape systems, but they all do the same thing: they get astronauts out of the way of a potentially deadly rocket explosions. On Mercury and Apollo, the LES was a launch escape tower, a solid-rocket powered tower atop the spacecraft that could rip it away from an exploding rocket, carrying the crew a safe distance away where they would land by parachute. But Gemini used ejection seats, much like the ones fighter pilots used. Why? Well, watch the video to find out!


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Thanx for the vids ... I've watched all her videos ... because she's articulate, knows what she's talking about and ... she's pretty easy on the eyes!  :rolleyes:


The Gemini spacecraft was indeed designed to land on Terra Firma ... and I did a model of it too ... here's a couple pix ...






If you're curious, the build thread is here...



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After deciding on the pose of the astronauts, I had to decapitate one guy to turn his head a few degrees





and after reattaching it, filled the gaps with .005 styrene scraps





The PE's '8-ball' will be replaced with a small sphere. So drilling out an allowance was next





A new piece of equipment was scratch built and installed





and the Centre Console needed to have a little more support and needed some building and fitting ... actually, needed LOT of fitting.

This cabin is really taking a lot of time to complete. I figure I'm about 50% done with the cockpit ... and still have to install details, drill for switches, fit and finish ... 





But build, test fit, tear down, file, test fit again ... is the name of the game at this stage ... 






This subassembly is getting pretty heavy too ... I hope the stand will hold it and I'll have to see if the CoG will still be centred ... time will tell.


Thanx for taking a peek!


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phantom ... I take care of my Astros!   :thumbsup:


This is the 1st time my stuff has been called eye-candy! Thanx airmechaja!  :worship:



While waiting for some micro drill bits to be delivered, no local shops have 'em .... I decided to rebuild the Astros.

I thought I'd try to carve a hand out of styrene and ... this might just work!





... then the hand controller ... a piece of sprue is about the right diameter ...







This seated Astro, a little outta focus, has its repairs made from Milliput. It'll all get filed and sanded to look prettier.





The EVA Astro will have to be completely rebuilt ...





The shoes needed to be built up a bit. The soles are just a piece of .040" styrene and Milliput will be sculpted to make the boot





Reference photo of Capt Cernan training. On his chest is the Emergency Life Support System, ELSS, which will have to be built too





And rebuilt with Milliput which will get filed and sanded down to something a little more presentable.





The decals from this eBay kit were a bit yellowed but on the back was the Venice California address ... that brought me back  ... this build has really triggered some good memories, like a few of you have had.




Thanx guys, for popping in!


Edited by K2Pete
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I've been waiting for some micro drill bits to arrive so I can drill some holes for switches and stuff and got 'em, but ... they ... are ... all ... dull.

I am so disappointed ... I read a bunch of reviews on a variety of different sets and these were all positive ... so I got 2 sets ... dang it!





So while waiting for the bits, I got to work on building up the EVA Astro ... I carved another hand out of styrene ... The ELSS Chest Pak was started too.





As these are gloves I added the extensions ...





I started carving and filling off the excess Milliput ...







The Shoulders needed a little bulking up, so I added a bit of Milliput.





The gap at the wrist was filled with styrene scraps and Tamiya putty.

This little guy is coming together ... for the Visor I may have to Vac-form one ... i'll have to see what else I have that may work.




If you all can suggest Micro Drill bits, specifically 0.3 mm let me know ...


Till next post


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The last of the 'major' subassemblies got started ... the backpack, AMU ( Astronaut Maneuvering Unit ) .... just styrene and a little copper wire.




Here's a reference image ...








... some Milliput for the 'cushion' ...





... almost there ... just needs some little details and paint will go on with the rest of the model.




This little ELSS was done too ...






I'll be ordering another set or two of better quality Micro Drill Bits and this build will wait till I get 'em in hand, could be awhile ...


Till then


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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't stopped this build but ... I've ordered 3 different sets of Mini Drill Bits and they were all dull, all useless.

I had ordered my last set, a few years ago, from Lee Valley Tools, but they no longer carry 'em. 

They did however refer me to Zona Tools and with shipping and exchange ( USD to CDN ) these little bits will cost me close to $70.00 ... um ... uh ... well, I know you get what you pay for, but gee whiz ... 


Just wanted to let you know I'm still here, but I'll have to figure out something ... I'd like to get this build off my table and ready for a local show in early November.

i'm gonna give my local knife sharpener a call, they may have some really fine grinder belts that'll put an edge to these bits ... doubtful, but ... what the hey!



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I hadn't seen this until now. This is excellent and truly impressive work! :thumbsup:


I've only rarely seen guidance on the folding order for PE. In my experience, it's mostly a case of thinking about the fold order. Have you looked at annealing the PE for some of the more delicate folds?


Are you using lead-free solder or perhaps silver solder? They need a higher temperature than lead-based solder. I've only used silver solder for strength applications. I used a micro torch to solder the joint, but it would likely be too aggressive for PE. As for lead-free solder, while I can crank up the temperature of my soldering iron, I do find it harder to use, so I tend to use my older lead-based solder for electronics.

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