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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/09/12 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project 1/72 Dragon Models The Mission The International Space Station has been continuously occupied since 2 November 2000, usually by joint American-Russian crews, with the occasional astronaut from Europe or Japan. For five years prior to that, shuttles docked with the Mir space station on a regular basis. It's hard to remember a time when the American and Russian/Soviet space programmes were competing, not co-operating. Yet that was the position for the first twenty years of the Space Age, and when a joint US-Soviet mission was flown in July 1975 it was seen as something extraordinary. What became known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project began in May 1972 with the signing of an agreement by President Nixon and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin. The Americans initially suggested that an Apollo spacecraft visit a Salyut space station, but this was immediately rejected by the Soviets amd after some discussion a 'bare bones' mission was selected, in which an Apollo and Soyuz would link up. Even this was not as straightforward as it seems. Though both spacecraft used a 'probe and drogue' docking system, they were of completely different designs and one would not fit the other. Additionally, there was the subtle point that the craft equipped with the probe might be seen as the dominant partner, and this was supposed to be a mission of equals. A new docking mechanism was designed in which either spacecraft could take the active role, and the Apollo end was attached to a specially-built Docking Module. This component was necessary because of the different atmospheric compositions: Soyuz used normal air at sea-level pressure, while Apollo used pure oxygen at 5psi. It would not be possible for an astronaut to move directly between the two spacecraft, so the Docking Module would act as an airlock. The mission began on 15 July 1975 with the launch of Soyuz 19, shown live on TV for the first time. In command was Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space: he was accompanied by Valeri Kubasov. Seven and a half hours later the Apollo was launched by a Saturn IB. (Though some sources refer to it as 'Apollo 18', it actually had no official number.) Its commander was Tom Stafford, veteran of two Gemini flights as well as Apollo 10, the dress-rehearsal for the first lunar landing. His crew consisted of Vance Brand and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, who was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts but never flew because he was medically grounded due to a heart murmur. Finally restored to flight status, he was at last getting the chance to fly in space. The much-anticipated docking took place two days after launch, and Stafford and Slayton moved into the Docking Module. Once atmospheric pressure had been equalised, the hatches were opened and the historic handshake took place. The two craft remained docked for 44 hours before separating, with each crewman visiting the other craft at least once. Soyuz landed safely on 21 July while Apollo remained in orbit for a further three days. The flight achieved relatively little of scientific value, but the political implications were huge. Even so, it was nearly twenty years before the two nations' manned space programmes would again meet up - but this time it would be permanent. The Model Having been impressed by the quality of Dragon's other recent spacecraft kits I was expecting good things from this one and I wasn't disappointed. Command Module plus the top and bottom of the Service Module and the engine bell (Top) Most of these parts are not used as they would be hidden when the model is complete. However the sprue does carry parts for the High Gain antenna and external handrails for the Command Module. (Bottom) Attitude thrusters for the Service Module The Service Module. The odd breakdown of parts is because Dragon issued a cutaway version. Photoetched dishes for the High Gain Antenna The Apollo sprues are the same as those in the 'Lunar Approach' kit. There are four of them, making an accurate replica of the real spacecraft. The important thing for us space geeks is that unlike virtually every previous Apollo kit, this one is of the Block II version: that is, the one which actually flew. The kits that came out at the time of the missions were based on the prototype, and the radiator panel detail of the Service Module was completely wrong. As a finishing touch, there are four photo-etched mesh discs representing the dishes of the High Gain Antenna. The only downside is that there is no interior to the Command Module, and no window openings are moulded. No doubt some aftermarket interior parts will eventually appear, but for now it's scratch-build or do without. Decal sheet - note the 5p coin for scale! Also the stickers for the Soyuz solar panels As for the decal sheet, you get everything, and I mean everything. All of the pre-launch maintenance stencils are included, even though at this scale some of them are the size of a pencil point. Once they're in place it's hard to even see them against the aluminium-coloured backing, but at least you'll know that they're there... The Soyuz, with the Docking Module in the centre. The long thin part is a cable trunk. (This sprue is in vinyl.) Remaining parts for the Soyuz, plus the docking mechanism. The Soyuz comes on two sprues, one of which has just four parts (three for the spacecraft itself and one for the Docking Module) and this has been produced in vinyl. The reason for this is unclear but the surface detail is excellent: all the folds and wrinkles of the thermal blankets which covered the craft have been reproduced beautifully. The box says that the Docking Module comes prepainted, but mine wasn't: I don't know if this was an oversight or if only the first production run has this feature. The other sprue is in conventional styrene and has the solar panels, the various antennae and all the parts for the docking mechanism. Unfortunately the instruction sheet could have been clearer here - while the construction of the Apollo is shown in the standard exploded diagram format, you only get a small photo of the Soyuz with arrows indicating vaguely where the solar panels and antenna should be attached. For the docking mechanism you will have to plan and check very carefully where everything fits, though the painting on the box lid will help. One nice touch is that Dragon have supplied a sheet of self-adhesive stickers to represent the solar cells. These are hologram-style, in metallic blue, and when they catch the light they look quite spectacular. Dragon's standard spacecraft stand - plastic base, metal support, with fixing screws Conclusion This kit is a must for anybody interested in space modelling. The only previous model of this subject from a mainstream company was Revell's 1/96 effort which, while acceptable, had numerous faults (not least with the Apollo being the prototype version.) Even built straight from the box, this will build up into an impressive replica of the mission that was the beginning of the end of the Space Race. Highly recommended.
  2. 1 point
    -To this day every models or dioramas I've shown you have been built in the past monthes or may be years, this is now my last built model, a Yak 38 U. -For this model, I have to thanks General Melchett for the ideas I borrowed from his own W I P post, I hope he will forgive me for that. .....! -I must say that I didn't used his thecnics for elongatind the fuselage; -In most of Forger U model I've seen few have elongated swivelling jet blast curved shield so it is what I tried to represent......My scale is 48 as usual..... -Only to show the lengthening of the rear fuselage. The blast shield itself has to be lengthened in the same way of the fuselage, just look at photos....
  3. 1 point
    Hello Finished another one, this is the Trumpeter Westland Wyvern in Operation Musketeer markings. It goes together really well, perhaps a little rivet heavy, but I quite liked the effect. I had my mind set on wings up as I figured it didn't compromise the lines of a not-particularly-attractive shape. But at the end, I really wish I had built it wings down, as I felt it lost some of its character once I had put the wings on. Hope you like it. Ian
  4. 1 point
    OK, first impressions and all that but that "mottle" just looks like weathering, especially as its being carried over onto the roundels and it looks a bit insubstantial and doesn't seem to serve any kind of camouflaging purpose.
  5. 1 point
    What problems have you had Jon, like others have said you have got it to a very respectable looking state. Finish it man!
  6. 1 point
    Don't give up on it Jon. I agree with John and Tom, It's very good and not too far off finished. Chris.
  7. 1 point
    That's lovely - I too have recently built the Welsh MD-11. As far as vacs go - it's one of the best I've ever built! I've got the Welsh 747SP to do so may well build that for the Airliner GB. I love the KLM scheme by the way - it's stunning and it would be a crime not to finish it Tom
  8. 1 point
  9. 1 point
    What? you can't 'discontinue building' that, it looks beautiful. Go on, get it finished its one to be proud of. John
  10. 1 point
    THat looks pretty crisp and clean to my eyes. If I hadn't known it was a vacform, I'd never have been able to tell from the pics. Persevere and you will be proud of your achievement. Jens
  11. 1 point
    That looks superb to me. Very colorful. Carl T
  12. 1 point
    Looks brilliant mate! All of them do! Robin
  13. 1 point
    Vacforms often have a blunt, thick look about them, a lack of sharpness, but this is very good...it doesn't look like a vacform Nicely done
  14. 1 point
    is that an Airbus A300-600 in the backtound?
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    You are right, have a look for shar67 and his Emirates 773 build, looks good
  17. 1 point
    As promised here are some pictures of the basic progress so far. For the Hydrogen tank I have used an old battery which when under the foil will give the correct relief. The ALSEPP needed some additions and I have used some balsa and metal foil to make this the correct proportions This is the choco egg astronaut I will be utilising, mini neil fits on the kit ladder perfectly (this is shown with the base from the choco egg) I wanted a quick modelling fix however so I have nearly finished a small tribute to apollo, which involved the spares from the 1/200 AMT man in space (which will be next on the list after this LM) This kit includes a few duplicates on sprues which you don't need so why not build a mini lunar approach. This is only about 3" long Best crack on with the 1/48 version now!
  18. 1 point
    Great model. My only question is: would the aircraft have all that ordnance hung on it and have almost every panel open for servicing? W
  19. 1 point
    I've started the painting process! However I'm unsure about the pre-shading... I don't know if it's nice like that or if the pre-shading is too visible yet... Help
  20. 1 point
    As an aside, I have a good book I picked some years ago, The Thames and Hundson Manual of Rendering with Pen and Ink. by Robert W Gill ISBN 0-500-68026-4. It has some interesting notes on perspective and grids as well as it's main topic rendering (shading), which might be worth looking at for anyone wanting to further their studies in techniques.
  21. 1 point
    I came across this on a tribute page and had to share it: And I wonder… will there someday be a holiday in his honor? In my mind’s eye I can see people lining the streets, watching parades, talking about that day, smiling and laughing… and all the while, through a quartz window in the dome, the crescent Earth will be hanging in the black sky above them. (by astronomer Phil Plait. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/08/25/neil-armstrong-1930-2012/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BadAstronomyBlog+%28Bad+Astronomy%29 )
  22. 1 point
    Kits issued before 1982 are "obsolete"???? Says who??
  23. 1 point
    I like it, a very nice bulid. The in flight pose really sets it off.... Leon
  24. 1 point
    One of the guys over on LSP wondered how it compared with an SU 27 - so here's a quick shot - along with an F-100D Iain
  25. 1 point
    Ello folks - me again - just like bad penny my Connie project pops it's head above the parapet at Telford - opening it's master slave up to much ridicule and banter! Update is I *have* made some progress on Photo-Etch design - when I have something suitable to show I'll post here. But Telford was useful in that I now have the offer of some resin engines for her. Oh - and as John 'Tigger' Wilkes has the patterns - we may be able to get a few more run off. Just want to check the wings as initial findings were they were short in span - so we may do some 'tweaks' to the patterns. Iain