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About astrodoc

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  1. An extremely simple kit that an eight year old could build. The most interesting part was lighting the model using an Arduino microcontroller and writing a short programme to fade the LEDs in and out. Just for a bit of fun!! Steve
  2. The top and bottom halves of the model snap together well via the 6 large pins you see in the last photo. They will not be glued and the fit is nice and snug. Steve
  3. Hi all, Well I did say when I first joined this Britmodeller a few months ago that I would be concentrating on Real Space modelling and that hasn't really changed even though I have a few planes in boxes in my stash. I specifically said I would be avoiding all and every Sci-Fi kit (with the possible exception of the Starship Enterprise) but I never thought I would be posting this... Since I've played around with electronics in the past I thought I would try my first ever go at lighting a model. Nothing too ambitious on the first go so elected to go for Pegasus Models Area 51 UFO, a simple kit that a 6-year old could put together. So here is the progress so far... Box art for reference: First couple of coats of silver grey to imitate weathering. Several more to go!! 2 coats of Vallejo matt black applied heavy. Amazing how translucent PS can be so it's important to block off the light where you don't want it to shine through. Light from the green LEDs that will be installed must only emit through the filtered green windows (currently masked). The board that I used - an Arduino Nano. I originally considered using a 555 Timer IC but these can really only flash a single LED and require a few more components in order to function, whereas I needed six LEDs to fade in and out and in unison. A 4060 CMOS chip would have worked ok with some additional passive components (caps and resistors) but in the end I chose to go with the Arduino microcontroller since prices have come down so much for these devices. I wrote a simple programme to initiate and loop the blinking/fading of the 6 LEDs. Similar C++ programmes are widespread online and can be adapted to your lighting needs. Each of the 6 LEDs requires a resistor but that's all there is, apart from connecting up to the right connections on the Arduino board. Once the programme is uploaded to the controller and compliled (done using your computer), the programme is resident in memory and is then powered by the 9V battery shown. I'll post additional photos once the paint jobs are finished and (hopefully) add a short video showing the finished model. Best Steve
  4. Hello Matt and a hearty welcome from a Britmodeller in France. Like you I have joined recently (few weeks ago) after too long a break, and look forward to getting tips from more experienced modellers in the forum. good luck Steve
  5. Thanks for all your positive comments guys. I find find most encouraging. I have just completed an old Revell Snark cruise missile (photos posted in the finished models category under Sci-fi/Realspace). Am currently working on an MPC Titam IIIC booster and warhead at 1/100 scale. Will post updates in the same category as and when Steve
  6. Hi everybody, Well call me a glutton for punishment but I do have this "thing" going for making 40 year old models based on even older tooling. Crazy I know! Of particular interest to me in recent months has been Revell's History Makers series, basically a 1980's re-issue of Cold War rockets, missiles, X planes and spacecraft based on models first introduced in the 60's and 70's. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this beauty recently: the Thor and Jupiter C IRBM going for half the price of what other sellers were asking for on a well known auction site. Here it is... The box was factory sealed as was the poly bag, so I cannot blame the seller for what followed... On opening the box and examining the contents, here's what I found for the Thor missile's launch platform: WOW!! That particular piece is supposed to be totally flat! Now I've come across a few warped aircraft fuselages before, but never something like this. "Warp Factor 3 Mister Sulu" does not do it justice! As I said, I can't blame my seller since the contents were factory sealed, but clearly the box and contents must have gone through some heat cycling in their long history - sitting in a sunny shop window for years and years, perhaps? Or maybe forgotten on the back seat of a car in direct sunlight? One can conjecture ad infinitum on how this piece became so twisted. One of the Thor missile's fuselage halves is also slightly warped together with a couple of the launch gantry struts. But the base is by far the worse affected. I cannot see this as a manufacturing problem (although perhaps more knowledgeable people in this forum can correct me on that assumption). Otherwise Revell's QC department leaves much to be desired, even by 1980's standards. The challenge for me now is how to correct the problem and make the part usable, so any help from far more experienced modellers would be greatly appreciated (I've only recently got back into modelling after a long absence of 40 years!). I know that clamping the piece in a rig while soaking in 90-100C water to raise the styrene close to its glass transition temperature may gradually bring the plastic back to its original shape, but does anyone have any better ideas? A hot soak is something that I will try if there are no other ideas, but in view of the severity of the warping I may never recover the original shape. Or should I just discard the piece in my junk box and order some Plastruct? Cheers Steve Just another thought as an edit - if the box had been in a shop window for years the cover art would have become bleached and faded. In fact, apart from a few dents and light wear and tear, the box and colours are well preserved - like new. Adds to the mystery.
  7. The kit is 26 cm tail to tip. 28.5 cm if you include the pitot tube. The real thing was 20.5 metres according to wikipedia. Lindberg made pretty much the same kit in 1/48, making it over 44 cm long. Apparently it came with the mobile launch platform on wheels, plus a towing tractor, hydraulic steps and a launch crew of 9 in addition to the missile. Would love to get my hands one but most sellers are in the USA and postage to Europe is more than the proce of the kit! S
  8. Thanks guys. I'm now on the lookout for the Snark's brother, the Chance Vought Regulus II, which was the US Navy's version of basically the same type of cruise missile, although the Regulus was launched from specially outfitted submarines. It's another kit in Revell's History Makers series, but prices are still too steep for me on the auction sites. Will have to be patient. S
  9. Hi everyone, Here is my humble attempt at Revell's Northrop Snark cruise missile, manufactured at the weird scale of 1/81 in order to fit in their standard box at the time. Box design was Revell's History Makers series (early 1980's), although the tooling dates back to the late 50's! I had anticipated an horrendous built with warped fuselage halves, flash everywhere and lots of filling and sanding, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The main fuselage went together quite well and although some filling was required it was no more than you get with far more recent kits. And the launch frame and other components were relatively flash-free. I did miss a couple of ejector pins holes on the yellow launching frame (see photo) but what the heck: after multiple coats of yellow paint on the original bright "Post Office Red" plastic, I wasn't going to go back to them. I was a bit concerned that all the decal's white stripes and lines would not come out well on top of the bright red colour of this missile, but things did not turn out too badly. The decals, though, were old and showing their age (1982) starting to yellow slightly and were very fragile. Needles to say, copious quantities of setting solution were employed to get the decals to lay well over all the embossed rivets and other detail that aircraft/missile kits of this age exhibited. This was reasonable successful but less so in some instances. I'll leave it to you to judge. The decal and paint scheme was for the prototype version of this early cruise missile. Production units were painted USAF SAC grey. Comments, both negative and positive, welcome! Cheers Steve
  10. I hope that you folks in the Real Space category will graciously accept a few Cold War rockets and missiles..... My very first attempt at modelling again after an absence of over 40 years!! Thanks Steve
  11. Salut Olivier, et bienvenue. Comme toi, je suis nouveau au forum. Je n'ai pas fait des maquettes depuis plus de quarante ans(!) et je viens de redécouvrir le hobby. Je te souhaite bonne chance dans ton hobby. I had better change to English now or the Moderator may start to criticize me since I expect this is an English-only forum! Bonne chance Steve (en région lyonnaise)
  12. Hello Everybody, I just wanted to introduce myself as recommended by the moderators. Well, after a long, and I mean LONG, absence from modelling of well over 40 years (yep, that's right!) I finally decided to get back into the hobby very recently. And my oh my, how things have changed since the days when I was a 10 or 11 year old fiddling around with stringy Airfix polystyrene cement and knocking over little pots of Humbrol enamel! Now, it's all about specialist washes, air- and dry-brushing, specialized lacquers, sprays, and even floor polish for a nice transparent cockpit! I suppose that is progress of a kind. My main modelling interest lies in spacecraft models and Cold War rockets and missiles (don't ask me why but I just love that stuff). I am talking about "real" space models though, so definitely not Sci-Fi, although I do confess to having a Revell Starship Enterprise kit in my modelling queue. So we're talking about Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Buran, US Space Shuttle, Vostok, ISS, etc. So I am on the lookout for all those vintage kits from old tooling that tend to be re-released in limited supply occasionally. That being said, I do have a nice Hasegawa SR-71A Blackbird and an Eduard Bell X-1 Mach Buster on the shelf that I am hoping to attempt soon. Cheers Steve
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