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Propellerhead

X-Ray Delta One: A Build Retrospective

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I present to you my Moebius 2001: A Space Odyssey Discovery XD-1 build that I completed a year ago.  When I put it on the contest table the first reaction was:  "Wow, someone actually built one."

 

Franky, I was thrilled that Moebius provided the opportunity to build another 2001 subject that was not low-production and resin.  A ton of assembly would be involved, I wouldn't be spending a lifetime cleaning/repairing parts and coercing them to fit and stay together.

 

The plan was to include the Paragrafix cockpit set, use the 2001 PE for the windows, but not use the corridor portion of it.     

 

I did my best to follow my references from the movie and books, but was not going to allow perfect to be the enemy of the good in this build.

 

This week's installment will cover the repetitive sub-assemblies.

 

So the big box...

 

Discovery%20XD-1-1_zpspdojft6s.jpg

 

And the pile of parts trees.  Mostly for the spine and cargo modules, but also including 2 long metal rods for the spine and smaller rods for the stands.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-2_zpssh3yzwee.jpg


 

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And the repetitive bits...

 

All of the parts for the engines, freed from the parts tree. 11 parts each for the three engines (nozzles not shown in the pic).

 

Discovery%20XD-1-3_zpscp6nwhxn.jpg

 

And the parts for the spine...the metal rods will go through each "vertebrae", the two parts of the spine will join at the antennae module and the cargo modules will attach to the vertebrae in very specific combinations.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-4_zpszjkdrw76.jpg

 

 

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Wash rinse, repeat...

 

There are five different styles of cargo module coded A, B, C, and D.

 

Each cargo module consists of five pieces - a bottom, two top/sides and two end caps. 

 

Discovery%20XD-1-5_zpspsspb7jd.jpg

 

I'd work on one type at a time, clip off the parts, clean 'em up, and glue them together.  I tried doing as much from the inside as I could and luckily the parts are keyed to keep you out of trouble.  But one must pay attention to the end cap parts as there are different styles for the various modules.  Stay organized and things will go fine.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-6_zpsyr4grmw3.jpg


 

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I used my trusty Nat Sherman cigar boxes to store my completed sub-assemblies.  I marked them by module type and the number of them that needed to be built.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-7_zpsisg1zi0d.jpg

 

And here are nine completed type A's...

 

Discovery%20XD-1-8_zpssuxsobus.jpg

 

What's the damage?

  • 9 type A's
  • 9 type B's
  • 9 type C's
  • 18 type D's
  • 18 type E's

Until next time...

 

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I've pondered getting this kit but can't swallow the price tag that comes with it.  Its great to see one being built though and I will be tuning in for sure

Hows the fit looking?

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8 hours ago, The Madhatter said:

I've pondered getting this kit but can't swallow the price tag that comes with it.  Its great to see one being built though and I will be tuning in for sure

Hows the fit looking?

 

To put things in perspective re: the price tag, the price/value/ease of build is pretty good if you compare to resin kits of the same subject.  I've built a couple of Atomic City's resin kits (small EVA pod and Aries IB) and they turned out well.  But the nature of the resin beast being what it is, there's the additional overhead of parts prep/fixing, fitting, filling, praying for seams not to pop, etc.  It was nice to just bang away on assembly for a good chunk of time before having to pick up an airbrush.  In that way it was almost like an armor build.  

 

On the whole, there are no real issues with the fit.  It's well engineered and many parts overlap or are beveled to minimize join lines.  Most issues I had were self-inflicted during the learning curve of building the cargo modules. I remember using filler on the "vertebrae" to deal with "divots."  It may have been carelessness or less than clean snips from the sprue gates, but at some point I had to say "good enough" and move on. 

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Can't wait to see more progress and ultimately completed pics of your build. It's looking great so far!

 

I  built this kit a little back as well and I concur, the fit is actually pretty good and well engineered. Their method for the metal rod to keep it straight is pretty well done. It does get tiring building all of the cargo pods but once you get in a rhythm it's not too bad. I never did a build thread of it, which is probably why it got finished. 😀

 

Bill

 

 

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1 hour ago, niart17 said:

Can't wait to see more progress and ultimately completed pics of your build. It's looking great so far!

 

I  built this kit a little back as well and I concur, the fit is actually pretty good and well engineered. Their method for the metal rod to keep it straight is pretty well done. It does get tiring building all of the cargo pods but once you get in a rhythm it's not too bad. I never did a build thread of it, which is probably why it got finished. 😀

 

Bill

 

 

 

Thanks! 

 

Yeah, if I did a true in-progress build thread on a forum that would've been the fate of this project, most likely.  Fortunately, I did my in-progress build straight from the iPhone and into my Facebook "On the Workbench" album.  The "publishing" overhead was much lower and the pressure to complete was considerably less since I was sharing with "normals" 😉 

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This week's retrospective includes more assembly...

 

This shows a - mostly - dry build of the command sphere, antenna unit and propulsion module.  I think I really wanted to know how big this was going to be at this stage.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-9_zpspystmaug.jpg

 

Another test fit of the major components - sans cargo modules.  Things are mostly plugged or taped together at this stage awaiting more clean-up and prep for painting. 

 

Discovery%20XD-1-10_zps7baswaea.jpg

 

I was also playing around with fitting magnets in the command and propulsion modules to help them stick more positively to the fore and aft stands.  I put metal screws in the cups of the stands and used magnets harvested from electric toothbrush refills.  The end result was not bulletproof by any means, but helps a bit.

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And now, to the paint shop...

 

I kept things small for manageability and to ensure easy coverage.  The cargo modules (undersides up) are all labeled and on their own pieces of matte board.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-11_zpsiveixbgb.jpg

 

After some Mr. Surfacer 1000 or 1200.  This must be the second priming session, as the outsides of the cargo modules have been painted.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-12_zpsnp6so6yp.jpg

 

This shows a test fit primarily to get the display base sorted out.  I like to get this kind of thing done early in the build so I don't risk damage later.

  • The spine elements and engines have all gotten their coats of Tamiya X-1.
  • The command sphere is still naked at this point because there is serious futzing yet to do with photo etch and lighting.

The display base is a 1x6" hardwood board from Home Despot and I routed the edges with a beveling bit.  The finish is my standard go-to of rattle can Krylon primer and Satin Black.  More doodads will be added later to dress it up and pay homage to the Master.

 

I was not going to stick with the kit's bases and installed the rods directly into the base.  First, I got the bases centered front to back against the straightedge. Then I fiddled with the left and right alignment so it was even.  Once that was established, I taped the three bases down, removed Discovery and drilled through the bases and into the board.  I would also eventually shorten the three rods as I felt it was riding too high for my taste.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-13_zpsg8jg2ad9.jpg

 

Next week:  more fun with magnets, photo etch, wiring and lighting.


 

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Here's Paragrafix's photoetch cockpit painted and folded up.

Construction and painting details:

  • I used Tamiya acrylics for the white and black elements

  • The rocker switch details the “vestibule” were painted according to my references (the Taschen 2001 “monolith” book) using Model Master enamels so I could clean up boo-boos later with a brush and thinner.

  • I used a black enamel wash to accentuate the white padding in the cockpit.

  • The seats were filled with putty to make them easier to deal with and provide more gluing surface.

  • Once all interior painting was done, I folded up the cockpit and the “vestibule” and then glued those components together with gap filling CA glue.

  • CA glue is clear so I spooged liquid black tape on the joints to block any light leaks and provide flexible backup to brittle CA glue joints.

  • Tamiya clear paints painted on the outside of the cockpit for the control panel lighting (yellow, red, blue).

  • Clear acrylic shirt collar plastic sprayed with Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass was used for the clear panels in the cockpit and the ceiling of the “vestibule.”

Discovery%20XD-1-1-2_zpsgfg4m05t.jpg

 

 

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Installing and lighting the cockpit…

I created a pallet for it to ride on, to provide a mounting surface for LED strip lighting and surfaces to bounce the light off of.  Armed with my contour gauge and matte board I made a pattern that would fit the backside of the sphere for the bottom. Then I made side pieces that would conform to the top of the sphere and notched to fit around the interior cockpit window structure.

  • Using thick-ish Evergreen styrene sheet and some square stock for reinforcement I built the pallet.
  • Black paint was generously applied to prevent light leaks.
  • Easy-LED strip lights were cut and stuck down alongside the cockpit on both sides to light the side panels.
  • I built a light box with square Evergreen stock and sheeting and another strip of lights to handle overhead cockpit indicators and the vestibule.
  • More styrene square stock was used to create a ledge for the front of the pallet to “key” into the sphere.
  • I sectioned some styrene tube to serve as “closet rod” caps. By plugging a rod from thick sprue into the caps, it presses the pallet into the top of the sphere.  A thin pad of foam fills the gap and holds it all in place.

·       Discovery%20XD-1-1-3_zpsr0xgohpp.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-17_zpslqb5lzeb.jpg

 

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Power would be internal and all parts would be serviceable:

  • The rear of the command sphere is removable and stuck on with magnets from a Philips Sonicare toothbrush refill.  They’re small and powerful.
  • I epoxied the magnets to the command sphere rear “cap.”
  • The magnets stick to small metal angles I had in my hardware stash.
  • The angles were bent to mate up with the magnets and so I could locate them in the sphere and glue them down.
  • I first tried to epoxy the angles to the sphere.  Not good enough.
  • So…I built styrene frames around the angles with square stock, added an ovoid “biscuit” to fit the screw slot to set the fore/aft position, and boxed it in with sheet stock.
  • The 9-volt battery simply sticks down onto a magnet on the bottom half of the sphere.

Hiding the switch…

  • I cut off a section of thin wall PVC pipe, cut a disc out of sheet stock, drilled a hole and installed a push button switch (inverted). That was glued to the back of the sphere’s endcap.

  • I fiddled around with the length of the spine rod to get enough play to actuate the switch. When pressed and latched, there’s no gap between the sphere’s end cap and the vertebrae part of the spine.

Discovery%20XD-1-2-2_zpsranfn6h9.jpg

Discovery%20XD-1-3-2_zps2ikrryky.jpg

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Continuing on with how this thing got built...

 

More priming of the other bits.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-20_zpsj9tgeiqk.jpg

 

Masking for panels using the reverse method:

 

Discovery%20XD-1-21_zpseojftysw.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-22_zpsmcxdwdap.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-23_zpsc7crzyu7.jpg

 

 

 

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Some masking removed for the first pass of knocking down the contrast and shading of various panels.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-24_zpsrjctgsgy.jpg

 

I've already knocked down the contrast considerably on the command sphere end cap (on the right).  There's still more masking in place on that to be removed later and worked over by more thin coats of Tamiya X-1.

Discovery%20XD-1-25_zpskglcgc5z.jpg

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As things proceeded, there was always that urge to put it together, see how it looks and know that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-26_zpssinuqpjc.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-27_zpsjz8bvlkk.jpg

 

Still some more work to do on the propulsion module with some masking still in place.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-28_zpszgnxoyjg.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-29_zpsq66ymg2m.jpg

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The lights are on and it was pretty much complete at this stage.  I still needed to add some "pieces of flair" to the base for the "studio" pictures to follow.

 

I washed the panel lines and greebles with Model Master Gunship Gray (I think).  I also selectively dry brushed with more Tamiya X-1 to knock things down and brighten things up where the wash got too heavy or I couldn't pull it out.  I may have also misted some thinned white to tone things down on the cargo modules as well.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-30_zpsuuq7boiy.jpg

 

Looks like I haven't added the photo etch grilles and "sooted" the engines yet...

 

Discovery%20XD-1-31_zpsn3ahnhkf.jpg

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How do you take pictures of this thing?

 

Well you need the following...

  • Enough room for it.
  • A backdrop.
  • Lights, many.
  • Stuff to attach lights to.
  • Focus stacking software for any hope of decent depth of field.

What did I have to buy?

  • More PVC pipe to expand my current lighting/backdrop rig.
  • More pony clamps to hold the backdrop.
  • More & bigger clamp lights and floodlight bulbs.
  • A black polar fleece blanket from Amazon instead of velvet (cheap!)

What did I do?

  • Expanded my lighting & backdrop frame and moved it to a sofa bed (the one-piece base cushion is flat and firm - good enough).
  • Ironed out the fleece as best as I could.
  • Draped and smoothed it out on my lighting & backdrop frame.
  • Set my lights, making sure they were secure and wouldn't swing down on the model (I wrap the pvc with reversed coarse sandpaper for more grip).

The contraption in use:

 

Discovery%20XD-1-32_zpsskkmt4sx.jpg

 

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Slightly elevated side view.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-33_zpspz2b58tq.jpg

 

Elevated front third.  I took screen caps from the DVD and used my photo printer for the images.  The United States Astronautics Agency badge is from the Paragrafix photo etch.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-34_zpsszsqaryg.jpg

 

The middle with that pesky communications unit.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-35_zpsvvjgqqlr.jpg

 

Elevated view of the rear third.

 

Discovery%20XD-1-36_zpsr1mokt88.jpg

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A details fly by...

 

Please forgive the "Here's Uncle Ted in front of the house...here's Uncle Ted in front of the house, but you can see the side of the house" nature of this scroll violation. 😉

 

Discovery%20XD-1-37_zps3unths01.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-38_zpsgeezhvs9.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-39_zpsxuvhhsni.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-40_zps1rzxev2b.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-41_zps6knbyq9d.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-42_zpshbe38efy.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-43_zps0tp9phpi.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-44_zps7zjvsfqd.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-45_zpsxok4os3a.jpg

 

Discovery%20XD-1-46_zpsqdnyvbvk.jpg

 

 

Discovery%20XD-1-47_zps4wejzoji.jpg

Edited by Propellerhead
Missed an image.

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That turned out well and presents well. Wonder if anyone might ever make aftermarket parts for the radiators they decided not to use but left the mounting blocks for there on the engine pod sides.
I like that it is 1/144 scale. Among other things that allows comparison to Revell Germany's Space Station models, Mir and ISS, the Space Shuttle, Saturn V, plus well known aircraft.

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