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1:144 scale diorama


source - NASA

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the first two-manned space flight using the Gemini space capsule on a Titan II launch vehicle. The launch of the first manned Gemini craft took place with Gemini 3 on 23rd March 1965; two previous launches were unmanned; with the purpose to test all systems and functionalities of the Gemini and Titan II rocket system.

To celebrate this anniversary I am going to attempt to build a 1:144 scale diorama of the launch complex at Cape Canaveral as it was in 1965. This launch pad was No.19, commonly referred to as LC-19, and this will be a total scratchbuild. The Titan II rocket and Gemini capsule will be a resin model produced by Anigrand.

The components for LC-19 will be constructed from plastic sheets and rods with the main items being:
Main building/Launch Deck - the long structure in the photo

Complete Vehicle Erector (CVE) - the tower to the left of the Gemini-Titan rocket with the White Room on top (angled for lowering).

Complete Vehicle Umbilical Tower (CVUT) - the tower immediately to the right of the Gemini-Titan rocket

Second Stage Vehicle Thrust Mount (SSVTM) - the second stage launcher base (grey), in front of Gemini-Titan rocket

Spacecraft Crane - the small crane, to the far right of the Launch Deck, for lifting the Gemini capsule from the ground to the Launch Deck.

I was going to enter this in the Non-Injected Moulded Group Build; however, the complexity of this build makes it highly unlikely that I could finish it within the GB timeframe. There is very little data, as in actual dimensions and specific measurements for this site, so much of the placements and fittings will need to be deduced from photographs obtained from the web, including Google Earth etc.

That's the lead-in for this not-so-little project of mine and I hope I can actually accomplish what I intend to achieve; especially with the limited references and plans available.

Thanks for looking


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I wish you good luck on your scratch project. I understand what your up against with these old launch pad references. I have started gathering material for my project of the launch complex 14, for Mercury-9, Gordon Cooper. Trying to find clear photos can be a pain, and forget about any plans or blueprints for these launch pads. I'm in the same boat as you. All has to be done with old photos and just about guessing how things are built. At least I get to start with a 1962 Revell kit for a lot of the measurements.

I just love all these old launch structures, and the Russian launch pads also. Post more photos if you have them please, maybe different angles? I'll follow this build to see how this will progress. Maybe I'll learn something about building with little reference material. Thanks.

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Hello Rich,

I have just started to take some initial photo's but, as you know, photographing white plastic can be a nightmare. I shall post something soon.

Please, please do not expect standards to be up there with yours, or Manfred's; I am just happy at modelling although I will try my best of course.

I shall be using Anigrand's Titan III kit for the Titan II launch vehicle, with the included Gemini capsule.




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The most information I have, which includes dimensions, is for the CVE so I will be starting there. I shall start with the CVE gantry, this is the framework below the White Room.


The platforms for each level cut out. These include the 'plates' which can be raised and lowered around the Titan II on the real thing


Here is the CVE lower framework with the platforms added



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Hello Mike,

your start looks promising and makes me curious. :speak_cool:

I fully agree with you, good old reference photos are unfortunately scarce commodity. gr_hail.gif

Therefore good start is half the battle. newbanana.gif

Good luck and always a sharp cutter, I stay tuned. n060.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have started work on the White Room now.

This is the building that surrounds the Gemini capsule and is positioned on top of the CVE tower.


Source - NASA

Fortunately, this element of the CVE structure has been saved from demolition and is situated at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum on Launch Pad 26B at Cape Canaveral.

I visited the pad a couple of years ago, as an additional part of the Kennedy Space Center tour, and took a load of photographs.


The first part to construct is the lower block of the White Room.



Next are the inner walls of the upper block plus some internal cabling.


Then the outer walls. At this stage a check was made that all sides are of equal height.


This is followed by the roof section. The large square opening is where the Titan II is loaded, when the tower is laid horizontally on the deck.


This is a test fit of the White Room placed on the CVE gantry to check fit. There's lots more to do before the two are joined!



That is it for now. I'll continue to work on the platforms of the CVE gantry and the internals of the White Room.



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Thanks Rich. I shall be working on the buildings and surrounding area next.

The intention is for the model base to include the structures and surrounds, in the area marked within the red dashed lines, but as it was in 1965

source: NASA



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