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Dragon 1/144 X-15 Build

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On 1/13/2021 at 12:39 PM, Jay Chladek said:

Dragon kit issues are a bit funny. On some kits like the Mercury Redstone, they deleted the capsule heatshield so you wouldn't have a complete kit if all you wanted was the capsule.


Compare the Dragon MR kit with the Hypersonic kit and the Dragon looks pretty bad.  Decals are wrong (specifically the roll pattern) and the level of detail is worlds apart.

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I never bought the Dragon kit, but I do have a couple of the Horizon Mercury Redstone kits and they look real nice.  I really hope they come out with a Gemini Titan II kit. If they keep up the quality like they have on the Mercury kits then it would be outstanding.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a quick update of the work so far.  The birds have been painted and are just about ready to have the decals applied.


Here they are with their overall color of Tamiya NATO Black.  It is not as black as Black paint so it gives them a better look.



Here is the business end of X-15-3.  I attempted to paint the radial dark pattern you see in the photos, but not very well.  I may try that again.  The experiment box has also been painted.  I painted the fuel/H2O2 jettison pipes with Tamiya metallic gray.  The air brake actuators were painted the same color.



I painted the q-ball in the nose silver.  Sorry for the blurry photo.



Next I painted the nose of X-15-1.  I started out painting silver on the forward half and then added white stripes on the other half.



Lastly, I painted the XLR-11's and the deployed airbrake actuators with the Metallic Gray.



That should do it for the detail painting.  Everything else will be decals.


Thanks for looking.

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Thanks for the nod.  I probably won't do a 1/144 B-52.  I've got the Monogram 1/72 B-52 with X-15 in the stash so I'll probably go with that.  I need to find a good set of decals for Balls 8 or Balls 3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I started this project back at the beginning of December I really didn’t think it would be the beginning of March before I finished it.  I had some distractions along the way that caused some of the delay and then life stepped in there for a while.  For example, I had to delay putting on the decals for a couple of weeks when it got so cold that the humidity inside the house dropped to 12%.  At that level, my decal setting solutions almost completely evaporated before I could get the decal on the model. But eventually the weather changed and I could complete the project.


Here the pair are with their topside decals applied.  At this point I still needed to apply Solvaset a few more times to get some of them to really settle down into the details.  No clear coat done yet, just decals.  There are a few small decals that will go on the underside of each one.



After putting on all the decals I let them set for a day, and spent the time on the base for the pair.  It is just a round wooden base that I picked up from Hobby Lobby.  It needed quite a bit of sanding, then primer and then some more sanding.  Once that was finished I added the rods that will hold the models in place and then sprayed on some Dupli-color gloss black.  After giving that a day to dry I put on the X-15 project decal and then two other decals that list the specific plane and mission being depicted.  Once those were dry I then gave the base a coat of Tamiya Clear Gloss to protect the decals from the Tamiya Dull Coat that went on next.



I then placed the models on the base.  There is a short rod that keeps X-15-1 from slipping off the base.  The angled rod is for the X-15-3 which I’m displaying in flight.  Here are a couple of shots of the planes on the stand.




Here are some closeups of the planes showing some of the small decals.







The end result looks pretty good and it will take it’s place with my other 1/144 scale manned space vehicles.  The decals took much longer to create since I kept finding more markings than I originally thought were on the planes.  Plus, I had to redo them a couple of times to get the sizes about right for the model.  I’m not sure how much longer my ALPS printer is going to last as the last set of decals I printed gave me a few problems.  As long as it holds out I’ll keep making custom decals when I need them.


I don’t know what the next project will be yet, I guess I need to go through the stash and find something that strikes me. Thanks for looking.

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These do look terrific Randy!  :thumbsup:

I use these same type of wooden plaques but you sure did a LOT of sanding on those edges ... and it looks great! I may have to start sanding mine down to be more presentable!

Models of the 1950's and 60's Aircraft/Spacecraft that represent the old 'technology' and yet, the Absolutely SPEC-TAK-ULAR results simply ... amazes me!  :jaw-dropping:


Are these models something you would enter into contests? Or are they purely for your own enjoyment?



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Pete: Thanks. I do them just for my own enjoyment.  Maybe someday I'll get the nerve to enter one in a contest, but for now I'm just building for me.


CaptKirk: I'm still thinking about the next project.  Yes, a diorama of a Starship landing might need a large display area. 😃 Of course that is why they test.  I remember seeing the original Falcon 9 Hopper tests and they had a number of failures then too.  Eventually they will get it right.  Pretty brave of them to do all their testing out in the open.



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Yes it does kind of blend in a bit.  I did the black base to match the others in the collection, but it does kind of hide it.  It's not quite as bad when it is with the others, but I see where you are coming from.

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On 1/12/2021 at 7:42 PM, habu2 said:

Excellent choices.  Jenkins and Landis also published a companion book, 108 pages of photos they couldn't fit in the Hypersonic book.




You might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere, search:

  • ISBN-10 : 1580070744
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1580070744





The Landis and Jenkins books are simply the pinnacle of X-Plane porn. 


The X-Planes Photo Scrapbook also provides more X-15 goodness plus other X-Planes and non-X coded aircraft (i.e. lifting bodies).

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