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as205

XD-1 Discovery 2001 Build

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Just as I was getting ready to start this build thread, I noticed another build pop up for this model.  It will be interesting to see how we each approach the build.

 

Having finished my Apollo 15 Saturn V build for the 50th Anniversary Group Build, I wanted to do something different.  I chose the Moebius kit of the Discovery XD-1 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  This has always been one of my grail kits.  I've wanted an injection molded kit of this model ever since I saw the movie back in 1968.  There have been no injected styrene kits of this up until Moebius did it a couple of years ago.  There was a garage kit in resin, but it was out of my price range at the time.  I pre-ordered the kit from CulTVMan when it was announced.  It's been in my stash since then.  Now I'm finally getting around to building it.

49NuZgk.jpg

 

I guess I actually started the build back in July 2019, when I opened up the kit to repair a couple of parts that were broken on the parts tree.  You can see the broken cross brace for the main antenna and the broken window sill.

spSSfL3.jpg

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Those pictures were taken with the parts still in their bags.  I can see how it might happen with the way the trees are oriented in the bags.  Fortunately, they were not completely broken from the tree.  I was able to use some Tenax 7R and carefully bend the parts back into their proper position and then weld them back together.  Hopefully they don't break when I remove them from the tree later in the build.

Li1z4Px.jpg

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Of course this model screams for a detailed pod bay which is not included in the kit.  Fortunately ParaGrafix has come to the rescue with a pair of photoetch sets that re-create the pod bay and the cockpit of the XD-1.  I also found out that HDA Modelworks was making a set of decals for the ParaGrafix sets that would help me avoid having to paint all that detail by hand.  The black lines on some of the decals are a bit thick but I didn't want to try painting all the detail so it will work well enough.  Besides, a lot of the detail will be very hard to see through the tiny windows and the mostly obstructed pod bay door.

ZB5Gcrs.jpg

 

Obviously, since there was no pod bay in the kit, there were no pods in the kit either.  After looking at what was available from after-market sources, and actually purchasing a couple, I was not enthusiastic at what I had found.  The first one I picked up was cast in clear resin so it might be possible to light it.  Unfortunately it was way undersized.  I found another that was about the correct size but the detailing in the back seemed very wrong, and it was cast in solid white which would make lighting next to impossible.  Finally, I heard about Falconware on Shapeways.  He was producing a 3D printed set of pods that were the right size and nicely detailed.  He had even included the provision to add fiber optics for the headlights of the pod.  I bought a set of three and they look very good.  He also provided a set of arms in various positions so you can model them parked, picking up Frank, or opening the emergency airlock.

XSgBSyG.jpg

 

So now I have most of the aftermarket add-ons that I need (I still need to get some LED's for the lighting).  Now I needed to figure out my plan of attack for the model.  I decided to start with the photoetch sets from ParaGrafix.  I'll be modeling the scene where Dave is leaving the pod bay in his attempt to get Frank.  So I will only need two of the three pods that I bought.  I will also only need to light the one that Dave is using.  I'll model that pod platform extended with the headlights on and the arms in the parked position.  I had a bit of work to do before installing the platforms, which is good since I was waiting on the square brass rods that will support the platforms.

 

It's been a long time since I lighted a build and I have never worked with this much photoetch before.  This should be fun.

 

To be continued...

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YES! Awesome to see another build of this. Makes me regret just rushing through mine to get it done and not really detailing anything. Good luck and look forward to seeing the progress.

 

Bill

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I got started on the photoetch parts.  I sprayed them with a white primer and then covered that in a clear coat.

 

OovIfGP.jpg

 

I decided to start with updating the exterior airlock door.  As the kit comes, there is no detail on the door itself and the door controls are just a couple of raised areas next to it.  The photoetch has much more detail, but to start, I needed to remove the raised areas and then cut out the kit door.  The ParaGrafix instructions indicate to put the door on the outside of the command sphere, but looking at the movie stills it is clear that the door is recessed, hence my need to cut out the door.  The plastic is fairly soft so cutting out the door was not too difficult.  I tacked the door on with some CA and then used JB Weld to secure it in place and make sure there were no light leaks.  Then it was a simple matter to attach the photoetch door controls with a drop of CA.

bEqNrAk.jpg

 

Next up came the photoetch for the interior airlock passage.  It was a simple couple of bends and then some CA to secure it and some JB Weld to make it permanent and cover the joints to prevent light leaks.  Then I added the decals from the HDA Modelworx set.  In hindsight I should probably have put the decals on before bending the part, but it was fairly easy to cut the decal into three parts and apply them to the airlock passage.  These decals are printed with a laser printer.  It is the first time I've used this type of decal.  I do not know if they are all like this, but these are very thick decals.  Which is probably a good thing since removing them from the paper backing is rather difficult.  I've not used decals that were this hard to remove from the decal paper.  Even after a long soak and allowing them to sit for a while, they were still very difficult to get off the paper.  I had to apply quite a bit of sliding force to get them started.  But they did eventually come loose and I applied them to the PE.  I made sure to use a good amount of Micro Set and then followed that up with Micro Sol to get them to conform to the details of the PE.

mi1TC10.jpg

 

Next came the test bench that goes in the center of the pod bay.  It was a much more involved bending process with several small bends that needed to be made.  This is the first time that I have used PE that was this involved.  I finally got it bent, but I'm not quite satisfied with the final result.  I couldn't get the back of the workbench exactly where it needed to be but it is very close and when it is this small I think it will look fine.  Once again the decals were cut into sections and applied individually.  It took several applications of Micro Set to get them down smooth, but they look fine now.  I needed to apply a bit of black paint at the corners and the inside to stop light leaks.  I also needed to add a couple of styrene bits to cover the open end and the bottom overhang where there is no PE.  I then also painted the inside silver to aid in bouncing the light around when it gets lit.

2CfIwW2.jpg

 

Next I bent the climate control vents into shape and touched up the corners with some white paint.  They went together easily with just some simple bends.  I then applied the decals to the pod bay walls and floor.  The windows and lights were filled with Micro Krystal Klear.  The pod bay wall decals were cut into sections and applied.  The floor was one decal with a couple of holes cut out for the workbench and the space suit rack.  I also CA'ed the blue suit and the red helmet to the suit rack and applied the decals.

o1slBld.jpg

 

The ceiling of the pod bay is where the climate control vents go and I took a photo of them placed where they will go when complete.  I won't actually install them until later.  There are also some dome shapes that go on the ceiling.  You can see them in the movie, but they are not modeled in the PE.  But there are three raised areas on the PE where the domes should go.  I started wondering what I would do about that.  At first I thought I might just leave them off, but my OCD just wouldn't let me do that.  Then I remembered the half pearls that I used on a couple of my steam punk rockets.  I pulled them out and they were just the right size to fit.  I CA'ed them into place and painted them white.

iFmcWNy.jpg

 

I folded the pod bay into shape and CA'd it together.  I would have installed the floor but I was waiting on another set of LED's to arrive.  The first set were fine but they had a slight green cast to them.  I ordered another set from a different source and I'm hoping that these are more white.

B1OdN1N.jpg

 

Anyway, in the meantime I moved on to the cockpit photoetch.  I started with the hallway behind the cockpit.  I filled the openings with Micro Kristal Kleer, except the ceiling.  The openings are way too big to fill.  I will apply a piece of clear styrene that I will sand on one side to make it more opaque.  The part itself is a simple rectangular cube when folded.  The main thing to be careful of is the ceiling.  It is mostly open to allow the lights to shine through.  As such it is very easy to bend the wrong way, but with a bit of care it went together just fine.  After bending, I painted the backside of the openings with various Tamiya clear colors to enhance the color of the decals when lit from behind.

OmHvTKa.jpg

bTtZNKA.jpg

 

Next came the cockpit itself.  I filled all the small lights and openings with Kristal Kleer as before.  Then I applied the decals.  When they were dry, I turned it over and started painting the back with the clear colors to match the colors of the decals.  I also folded and painted the seats that will be installed later.  When the paint was dry I started folding the cockpit section.  There are a number of small pieces to bend but I had little trouble.  ParaGrafix really does make it pretty easy to get a good bend without special tools.  The lights look good, too bad you will be able to see so little of it after it is installed.

0mrbD92.jpg

lOvTgI3.jpg

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That is as far as I have gotten so far.  I need to start working out how to light the pod on the extended platform.  My brass rods came in so now I have no excuses left, I have to start working on it.  Current plan is to run some very thin wires through one of the rods and up into the platform then into the pod.  First things first, I need to get the pod painted to block any light from the interior leaking out.

 

More to come...

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I've got the new LED's and they were much more white that the others.  I glued one to the pod bay floor to illuminate the workbench.  I also bent and installed the PE cockpit window frame.

c231u6z.jpg

 

I decided I could wait no longer.  I had to cut one of the pod bay doors out.  I was dreading doing this, but it really needed to be done.  In the film you can see that when the pod bay doors are open the notched frame remains in place.  This meant that I had to cut out the door and leave only the frame to be installed.  I used a brand new #11 blade and slowly and carefully cut around the door inside the frame.  After what seemed like forever the door finally came out.  Sanding the inside edge of the frame smoothed things out and it looks pretty good.

 

Here is a frame from the movie to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Y2bFA6T.jpg

 

Here is the door removed from its frame and a pic of the doors taped in place.

TkYKRQi.jpg

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Now it was time to install the suit rack and workbench on the pod bay floor.  I CA'd them into place.  I then CA'd the floor into the pod bay walls.  I turned on the LED and found a little light leak that I'll paint over with some black.  Otherwise it looks pretty good.  The photo is a little blown out, but with just your eye it looks good.

0lN8s7J.jpg

 

I placed the bay in the sphere and it looks pretty good.  With the other two doors closed you can't see much, but it does look great.

dRiLOwW.jpg

 

I then folded the PE pod bay sub-floor and installed it on the bottom side of the pod bay floor.

zygQOGj.jpg

0QgAvIU.jpg

 

I also went back and light blocked the cockpit and then glued it to the window opening and painted it black for light blocking.

99lt63y.jpg

 

Too bad all those details can be seen very much.

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I then started working on the pods themselves.  I painted black inside the pod that will be lit.  After that dries I'll paint silver inside to aid in bouncing the light around so the fiber optic head lights can pick up as much light as possible.  I then primed the pod that will be installed inside the pod bay.  It looks a bit rough on the lower half.  For some reason the bottom half of the 3D printed pod is a bit rougher than the top half.  I'll have to do some careful sanding to see if the primer can smooth some of that out.  It looks like I'll have to do the same with the pod that I'm going to light up.

 

Here is the interior painted black.

U0uW6kU.jpg

 

No paint on the outside.  That is the black showing through the translucent 3D print.

i5NeCUR.jpg

 

Primer applied to the non lighted pod.

NJFZh7V.jpg

 

That's it for now.  As you can see, I'm saving the pod platforms themselves for last.  I have to drill some holes in the PE for one of the pod pads to allow the wires to pass through.  I'm hoping that I don't destroy the part in the process.

 

Hopefully another post tomorrow.

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Time for another update.  I have been making slow but steady progress.  As I mentioned last time, I moved on to the pod platforms.  One of them will have to have a hole drilled in the middle to pass the LED wires through to light the pod.  I put a bit in my pin vise and carefully drilled a hole in the round pod base.  I then glued that to one of the pod platforms.  Next I got the pin vice back out and drilled through the platform.  It worked out well.  I used a small file and smoothed the edges so they wouldn't cut through the thin insulation on the LED wires.

AfnIUpB.jpg

EDOr88y.jpg

DESEXmT.jpg

 

Next up was to start folding the platforms and gluing them together.  They were a bit fiddly because of their size, but they went together quicker than I expected.

gLl9VzR.jpg

 

I cut off sections of the square brass rods.  There are two sizes 2.4mm and 1.6mm.  The 1.6mm fits nicely inside the 2.4mm.  I cut lengths of 2.4mm after measuring the lengths required for the parked and extended platforms.  I then cut some 1.6mm lengths to fit inside those.

QRAq4rc.jpg

 

Next, I glued the platform tops to the two platforms that would not be extended.  The last parts to add to complete the platforms were three tiny brackets under the front lip of the platform.  I lost one in the process of cleaning them up.  Fortunately ParaGrafix included an extra one.  I then glued the short 1.6mm brass rods to them.  Now those two are ready for filling and paint.

8v6JpoQ.jpg

 

The extended platform had to be done in a slightly different order because of the wiring.  First I needed to drill a hole into one of the long 1.6mm brass rods so that the LED wires could go from the platform into the rod and out the back of the pod bay.  I drilled the hole at a very shallow angle to make it easier to thread the wires through.

V4uaXSR.jpg

 

The wiring path is from the LED through the base of the pod.  Then into the top of the pod platform.  From there the wires have to thread their way into the brass rod at the base of the platform.  I had to take care not to scrape any of the insulation off the wires in the process.  Now with everything threaded together in the proper order, I started pulling the wire through while guiding the platform table into its proper position.  To take some of the pressure off the wires I left a loop of wire in the lower pod base before the wire disappeared into the brass rod.  I was then able to glue the platform table to the base.  Then slowly push the bit of excess wire from the pod base down into the pod platform.  Then I glued the pod base to the platform table.  Finally the extended platform was ready for paint.

FnAcsDn.jpg

e62C5LX.jpg

 

Continued on next post...

 

 

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Next was to tackle the 2.4mm brass rods that would accept the 1.6mm rods from the platforms.  ParaGrafix suggest cutting an extra set of the 2.4mm brass rods and use them as temporary guides to position the short 2.4mm rods used by the static platforms.

xBHF4jj.jpg

 

I also cut some styrene rods to use as spacers for the static rods as suggested by ParaGrafix.  You can just make out the spacers under the static brass rods.  I used CA to attach the spacers to the rods and the pod bay floor.  The extended platform did not need spacers since it travels completely from the front of the pod bay to the back wall.

heCRcEw.jpg

 

Once all that was done I painted the exposed ends of the large brass rods to blend in with the rest of the lower pod bay wall.

XVWgLwL.jpg

 

The pod platforms were painted flat black.  I glued a pod base to the right hand pod platform to place the unlit pod.  I also glued the pod base in place for the lighted pod.

1E1RV3V.jpg

 

I put the pod platforms into the pod bay and did a test fit. 

ilpF9WH.jpg

 

I then noticed that the extended pod was resting on the pod bay door frame and would not allow the pod bay to get a proper fit into the command sphere.  I had heard that before on a YouTube video a few weeks ago.  Sure enough it didn't fit quite right.  If I had not installed the frame the fit would have been fine, but I really like the look of having the door frame there.

 

While working on that problem I installed the closed and open doors.  I noticed that the fit was a bit loose, so I used some 0.005 and 0.010 inch sheet stock to fill the gaps and then sanded and filled anything that was left.

H21EBCU.jpg

8vnM0NY.jpg

 

After some careful moving and fitting I decided that if I could remove a bit of the frame near the bottom I could get the extended pod platform in without rubbing on the frame.  It would also mean that I would need to shim the back of the pod bay where it meets the sphere at the bottom since the entire pod bad will now be installed just a bit higher in the sphere.   I then started sanding the pod door frame along just the bottom third of the frame.  When I had enough removed I did another test fit and found that it should work fine.  When everything is in place it will be hardly noticeable.

cde8C5v.jpg

0SUN9fS.jpg

 

Painting the details on the pods was tricky.  They are very small.  The stationary pod was completed first.  I added the black accents and a small red square on the back.  I then put some Tamiya clear gloss where the window should be to simulate glass.  Then I put some Micro Kristal Kleer where the headlights were to go.  When that had dried I painted them silver, and when that was dry I painted on some Tamiya Clear Gloss.

Wn1TlYY.jpg

 

The lighted pod had a few more steps.  I made sure the complete inner surface was painted chrome silver.  Next, I carefully pushed the 1mm fiber optic fibers into the four headlight holes that were 3D printed in place as part of the pod.  I pushed them in until about 1/4 inch was inside the pod.  The fiber tunnels force the fibers to slightly bend toward the lower center of the pod so they can catch the most light from the LED.  I left some extra sticking out in front to make it easier to use the Plasti-Zap to glue them in without fogging them up.  After the CA set I trimmed off the extra.

AiAkyBS.jpg

 

I then hooked up the LED to see how they looked when lit.  It looks like they pickup the light well.

zPFBjNb.jpg

 

Next the arms went on.  I then placed them on their platforms to see how they would look.

MuJgWTV.jpg

 

Next I'll start masking the sphere and building light boxes for the cockpit and pod bay.

 

Thanks for looking in.

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Before starting on the light boxes, I masked the glue tabs on the sphere halves and the cockpit window area.  This should leave the plastic bare so the plastic cement will not have paint in the way when it is time to put the sphere together.

fTz7C9u.jpg

AFupxYA.jpg

zRFZBMU.jpg

 

I then started work on the light boxes for the pod bay section.  I started by using some 0.010 sytrene sheet cut to form the shape and size of light box I needed.  The sides of the pod bay used rectangular boxes and the top needed a pie shaped piece.  I then sprayed the inside with gloss black paint and then checked for light leaks.  I touched up any light leaks and then painted the inside chrome silver.

sBBpiZL.jpg

 

After that had dried for a day, I cut out small rectangles for the LED’s to be installed.  I tacked them in place with some white glue.

Ic3CUtA.jpg

 

When the white glue dried, I mixed some 5-minute epoxy and then put a dab over each LED and also a spot on the wire leads for each LED.  The extra spot of epoxy will act as a strain relief so that when twisting and moving the wires around it won’t put as much pressure on the LED’s.  After the epoxy set, I painted the backside of the LED’s with some chrome silver and when that was dry, I applied some gloss black to keep any light from escaping.

FTC4sJf.jpg

 

After that I, tacked the boxes in place on the pod bay with some Plasti-Zap CA glue.

tpOzjCA.jpg

 

The next thing to do was to mix up some JB Weld epoxy to permanently attach the light boxes.

nI52TvA.jpg

 

The cockpit light boxes were a bit more difficult than the pod bay.  They had to fit around some complicated shapes.   This time I made some patterns out of index cards.  I then trimmed the patterns until they fix nicely around the cockpit.  I then used this as a pattern to cut out the shape in styrene sheet.  I then slightly scored the sheet at the fold lines to make bending simpler.  The boxes were then glued together with Tenax cement.

Rm7Iiwq.jpg

 

I then checked them against the cockpit and made whatever final trims were needed to make them fit fairly well.  Any small irregularities would be covered up with JB Weld epoxy when they were permanently attached.

29OZiRR.jpg

 

Once that was all done I attached them with JB Weld.

wLjQ550.jpg

ZEq7nx2.jpg

 

With the light boxes installed, I decided to light them up and see what they looked like.  They look pretty good.  The photos are a little bluer than what they actually look like.  The different colored panels and buttons in the cockpit light up really well.  Too bad most of it will be unseen when the whole model is complete.

48JunuI.jpg

imU0YY6.jpg

T2SClUR.jpg

yaQ3wa0.jpg

OYYzbsY.jpg

 

Now it's time to move on to some actual construction in stead of lighting.  Next post...

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Excellent work!

 

It's crazy how much time it takes to figure out how to get the photo etch to play with the kit, chase down light leaks, etc.

 

All part of the fun.

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Niart17 and Propellerhead: Thanks for the kind words. 

 

Yes, lighting a kit and making it work with the aftermarket parts does get time consuming, but the end result makes it worth it.

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With the lighting complete for now, I moved on to the antenna array.  I followed the order of construction for the array, and found out that I should have done more test fitting first.  The main antenna went on fine, as well as the cross piece and the spike.  But the lower portion of the antenna mount does not fit that well and required some sanding, filling and more sanding.  All of that would have been a lot simpler if I had installed those pieces before adding the main antenna.  I think what I have done will look OK but it would have been a lot easier if I had done some checking first.  (Normally I do, but I got a case of “go fever”.)

rwjLyy5.jpg

 

I did not use the small spikes in the kit.  Instead I cut thin sections of plastic runner and glued them to the center.  You can see them in the photo above.  If you look carefully at the small antennas in the movie, you can see that they do not have spikes.  Instead they have flat plates with some small rectangular details on them.  At this small scale, I couldn’t get the small rectangles right so I left them as just flat plates.

SKfxKMI.jpg

 

The connector tube that is in the base of the antenna mount required a bit of adjustment to line up with the hole properly on both ends.  This tube connects the forward and rear tubes that run the length of the spine.

01WwgW0.jpg

 

Next I moved on to the back of the command sphere and the reactor/engine section.   First I took the back of the command sphere and drilled a hole to allow the wires to pass from the sphere, through the spine back to the reactor section where the batteries and switch will be.  I made sure that the hole is not so large that the tube will pass through.

bi1t776.jpg

 

I then moved on to the forward neck section. I left it in three pieces to make painting easier.

nAZhYIf.jpg

 

The reactor section also needed modification.  In order to get access to the inside where the batteries will be, I needed to lengthen the slots that hold the detail panels.

wI8p2lI.jpg

 

I then applied the detail panels to the top and bottom of the reactor section.  The lengthening the slots and not gluing the two halves together will allow the top section to be removed and provide access to the inside.

usx4T4f.jpg

 

I then added the rear neck pieces.  Finally, I assembled the three main engines.

T5BEIV6.jpg

ugnUadM.jpg

 

Continued on next post...

 

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With the main sections complete, the next thing up is the extremely repetitious spine and cargo pods.  I’ve got them removed from their runners and organized in numbered cups.  I still need to clean up the edges and then start putting them all together.

 

I gathered the spine pieces and also placed the cargo module pieces in separate labeled cups to make assembly a bit more organized.

Wc6Whn6.jpg

 

I assembled the 10 spine parts.  These each consisted of 5 pieces.  There were no locator pins since there needed to be room to run the metal tube through them. They did have an over lapping lip that helped the parts go together.  Once the two halves were set, then the three reinforcing ribs were added.  Then I just needed to do that 9 more times.

xqTmPCR.jpg

 

I also then assembled the cargo/fuel containers.  You have to build 60 containers of 5 different types.  The fit was pretty good.  Some Tenax and a bit of pressure glued them together with very few seam lines.  The parts are all keyed so there is very little chance of putting them together incorrectly, but some organization will speed the process.   There are some seams on the back sides that may not be hidden.  I may not fill the seams if they can’t be seen.  But, they are all done and ready for primer.

aisGctq.jpg

 

I just had to slide it all together to see how it looks.

wPxu0PF.jpg

 

I also took the time to glue some sheet styrene pieces into the reactor section to hold the battery holder in place.  They should keep the batteries from moving around when the model is moved.

36kLZAT.jpg

 

I then primed all the parts.  The sphere halves look a bit darker than the other parts, but that is a trick of the lighting.  They all have the same shade of primer applied.

YcX8VVT.jpg

 

Now that all the parts are primed, it is time to start masking the larger parts and painting the dark panels.  I’ve started with the command sphere.  I’ve masked off the areas to remain light gray.  I’ve started painting on the two darker shades of gray.  You can see that on the command sphere half on the right in the photo.

8qXbHH2.jpg

 

When I get all the darker gray areas painted I’ll mask over them and spray on some Vallejo White Gray for the base color.  Once that is complete the whole thing will get a mist coat of White Gray to tone down the dark panels.

 

More to come.  Thanks for looking.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, as205 said:

Now that all the parts are primed, it is time to start masking the larger parts and painting the dark panels.  I’ve started with the command sphere.  I’ve masked off the areas to remain light gray.  I’ve started painting on the two darker shades of gray.  You can see that on the command sphere half on the right in the photo.

8qXbHH2.jpgWhen I get all the darker gray areas painted I’ll mask over them and spray on some Vallejo White Gray for the base color.  Once that is complete the whole thing will get a mist coat of White Gray to tone down the dark panels.

 

More to come.  Thanks for looking.

 

 

 

 

I also did my panels in reverse by priming first, masking, shooting on the white, selectively unmasking and knocking it all down with mist coats of white.

 

I did that with my build of the Atomic City Aries IB and it worked out pretty well.

 

 

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3 hours ago, as205 said:

With the lighting complete for now, I moved on to the antenna array.  I followed the order of construction for the array, and found out that I should have done more test fitting first.  The main antenna went on fine, as well as the cross piece and the spike.  But the lower portion of the antenna mount does not fit that well and required some sanding, filling and more sanding.  All of that would have been a lot simpler if I had installed those pieces before adding the main antenna.  I think what I have done will look OK but it would have been a lot easier if I had done some checking first.  (Normally I do, but I got a case of “go fever”.)

rwjLyy5.jpg

 

I did not use the small spikes in the kit.  Instead I cut thin sections of plastic runner and glued them to the center.  You can see them in the photo above.  If you look carefully at the small antennas in the movie, you can see that they do not have spikes.  Instead they have flat plates with some small rectangular details on them.  At this small scale, I couldn’t get the small rectangles right so I left them as just flat plates.

 

 

I didn't have any fit problems, but kept breaking the "bows" on the large antenna due to repeated handling.  Exercise care with that.

 

I also noticed during my build from the the spikes are missing on the small dishes, but let that detail go because of concerns at contest time. 

 

However, I used Paragrafix's photo etch for the windows so I guess my example is in between 2001 and 2010 "re-fits" of the Discovery. :dontknow:

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phantom: Thanks very much.

 

Propellerhead: Yes, the "bows" on the main dish are very fragile.  Mine was broken in the box and required repair before removing from the runner.  I too used the ParaGrafix photo etch for the windows, and left off the clear part.  I don't plan on putting mine in a contest so I'm just building it to my liking.

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Thanks, Aigore.  It's a bunch of tiny bits of plastic that add up to a large piece of plastic.  I'm really happy that Moebius came out with this kit.  I've wanted one for years.

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Holey Kow Randy!!! This is a superb build!! Your images and description of what you're doing is terrific!

And the results? ... Lovely!!!

 

Don't go rushing this ... it's coming along bee-yoo-tee fully!

Pete

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Thanks Pete.  It is going rather well.  I'm not sure how much paneling I'll do on the cargo or reactor sections.  I don't like the aztec patterns that some people put on the ship.  That looks fine on a starship but it really doesn't do anything for me on the Discovery.  I may just go with some light panel highlights and leave it at that.

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Just to be clear, I finished this project just before Christmas.  All in all I've been working on it since October.  It is just taking me a while to post my progress.

 

I'm now at the painting stage.  After hand brushing the darker gray colors and then masking them I painted everything in my base color using Vallejo Model Color White Gray.  To my eye it makes the perfect base color.  It is almost white with just a hint of gray.  I sprayed all the parts with the base color.  Model Color is primarily intended for brush painting but I was able to airbrush it by thinning it 50/50 with a custom thinner I made that was 66% distilled water and 33% isopropyl alcohol with a few drops of Model Color Flow Improver added.  This worked very well and gave me pretty even coverage.

 

Here are the sphere halves painted with the base color with the masking still on.

iTuOf7p.jpg

 

Here is the reactor section with its base coat.

obVWdP4.jpg

 

This is the spine painted but not glued together.

0sDlVvx.jpg

 

After painting the base color, I removed all the masking, except for the open pod bay door and the cockpit window area.  I let the paint set for a day and then mixed a batch of 25/75 base color/thinner and applied a mist coat over the command sphere and neck parts that had the darker gray areas.  This toned down the difference in shade from the base color and looks pretty good to my eye.  Sorry I didn’t get any before pictures.  I’ll apply a clear flat overcoat to protect the paint.  It is rather fragile and can be damaged if not handled carefully.  The clear coat should give a tougher surface.

 

This is the command sphere sections with their mist coat.

u0L04TN.jpg

 

Here is a front view of the command sphere.  Not a perfect match but close enough for me.  By the way, the sphere is not glued together.  I won't do that until I install the interior.

oOjQW98.jpg

 

After letting everything cure for a day I applied a clear coat to protect the paint and then let that set for another day.  Now it is time to start putting these pieces together and create the complete ship.  I glued the forward neck sections together and added the spine connecting piece to the reactor section.  Then I removed the remaining masking and started installing the interior of the command sphere.  I first installed the window shelf then used some CA I glued the cockpit in the upper half of the sphere.  I then applied some JB Weld epoxy around the edges as an additional light blocking and to permanently attach the cockpit.

dcRSo1a.jpg

 

Next came the pod bay installation into the lower sphere half.  Here I needed to make an adjustment.  If i tried to place the pod bay in where it fit then the extended pod platform wouldn’t fit since I had included the door frame.  If I had left off the door frame then it would have been fine.  To fix it. I installed the pod bay just a bit higher in the sphere half.  This meant that the bottom of the interior would not rest in the bottom of the sphere.  This would lead to a very weak attachment at just a couple of points at the top of the pod bay.  To strengthen it, I added some styrene extensions to the bottom of the pod bay.  They were first attached with CA then after the pod bay was properly glued in, I used some JB Weld to more permanently attach them.  It is now installed very firmly to the sphere.

aiuBWC4.jpg

 

I didn't get a photo with the JB Weld, but I assure you it is in firmly and shouldn't come loose any time soon.  Here it is from the front, with the pod platform sticking out the door. 

ke7t4Vg.jpg

 

Next I glued the two sphere halves together with some Tenax.  With the sphere together I, soldered the cockpit and pod bay wires together and then added the long wires that will travel the length of the spine back to the batteries in the reactor section. 

Fyoz1jG.jpg

 

I then threaded that wire through the command sphere back plate and glued it to the command sphere.

AfpdTSb.jpg

 

The next post should show the completion of the build.  Thanks for looking.

 

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Now on to the completion of the build.

 

I turned my attention to the steel rod that went into the reactor section.  I needed to create an opening in it to allow the wires to exit the spine and get attached to the battery switch.  I used my Dremel tool to grind off a section and then used a file to remove the sharp bits.

nW7Lst4.jpg

 

Now I could start building the spine to put the rest of the model together.  I used a bit of JB Weld epoxy in the back of the command sphere where the forward rod was to go.  Then I threaded the wire through the rod and put the rod in the command sphere back.  Next I glued the neck section to the command sphere back with some Plasti-Zap CA.  Having the neck piece on would also help center the rod in the command sphere back since there was a bit of play at that joint.

sd22zux.jpg

 

After letting the JB Weld set for a day I was then able to start adding the spine sections with CA.  The forward section was finished with the addition of the antenna complex.  The antenna complex also contains the rod connecting sleeve.  I glued the sleeve to the forward rod with a bit of CA trying my best to get the antenna section lined up properly with the command sphere.

mRf9xYu.jpg

 

Then I moved on to the the rear section of the spine.  First was to thread the wire through the rear rod.  I had to slide on the spine and reactor sections even though I would not be gluing them at this time.  This was necessary to make it easier to get the wire through the small hole in the rod.  I then applied CA to the rod and sleeve in the antenna array.  Now I could start gluing the spine sections as earlier for the forward section.  Finally the reactor section was glued in place.

aE8RnkJ.jpg

 

Next came adding the containers.  This required special attention to the instructions to be sure that they were glued on in the proper order  Some of the sections were a bit trickier than others since they had only one attachment point and a large over hang on one side.  But it all went well and surprisingly enough I didn’t have to redo any containers.

 

Here is a view of the first row of containers going on the forward spine.

g8GXQm4.jpg

 

And here continuing down the spine.  This is the bottom row of containers.  Note the upside down antenna.

xOIXT7R.jpg

 

Once the containers were on I used some black wash on the engine exhausts, glued them in place in the engine stalks and then glued the completed engines to the reactor section.  Unfortunately the engines do not touch each other as they do in the film.  I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory fix so I just left them with a small gap between each one.  I also soldered the wires together in the reactor section which completed the wiring process. 

6IxYx2h.jpg

 

Here is the forward section of the model complete.

IsomgAm.jpg

 

Here is the forward section from the right.

YCxyPmS.jpg

 

Here is the antenna complex.

5Bw5PZd.jpg

 

Here is the rear section.  The lighting was not very good.

pbuZgJp.jpg

 

More completed build pictures on the next post....

 

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Here are some pictures of the completed model, both lit up and dark.

 

Overall view of the model.

HJkzPJF.jpg

 

Front view with lighting off.

ueKvJcA.jpg

 

Front view with lighting on.  The lights photograph bluer than they actually look.

WV6ZMM2.jpg

 

Closeup of cockpit area.

svBXdf3.jpg

 

Front view of cockpit.

2zgFTby.jpg

 

Pod view.

LbYTLt0.jpg

 

Peeking inside pod bay.

8No3twu.jpg

 

Looking at the interior from the right.  If you look closely you can see the other pod.

YyJuX3W.jpg

 

I epoxied the stand sections to their steel rods and sprayed them with primer.  I believe I will paint base and rod matte black and the top piece I’ll paint with the base color of the model.  Like I said at the beginning I’m still not sure exactly how I will finally mount it, but it will be different from this.  I'll post an epilogue when I finally get the mount the way I want.

 

That was a fun build and I really like the final product.  Thanks for following along.

 

This build makes the third build I finished this year.  That is a record for me.  The year started by finishing my 1/144 Voskhod II model, then the Apollo 15 1/144 Saturn V, and finally the 1/144 2001 Discovery XD-1.  We'll see how many I can complete this year.  I think first up I'll try the Martin's Models 1/144 Saturn I Block I resin kit.  I hope to start a build thread on that soon.

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VERY Nice! Great job all the way around, lighting, build, painting... excellent build

 

Bill

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Very nice indeed! 

 

What's great about finally having an injection molded kit of this subject is that it allows you to spend your time on customizing and building it to suit your tastes.

 

There's a ton of assembly, for sure, but you don't spend all your time getting it to fit and getting it to stay together.

 

It really makes a statement when completed.

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