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glueman

Rebuild of the Lunar models Discovery from 2001

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Hi everyone,

 

I've started yet another project ... a rebuild of the Lunar models Discovery from 2001.  It's not an original unmade kit ... but rather this will be a rebuild of a kit that I purchased from a forum member.

 

So ... what's in the box?  Lots of nice parts ... a couple of containers are missing but that is ok can rebuild those from scratch.  Unfortunately, there are no EVA pods.  

 

IMG_2948

 

 

Good detail on the command module but the engine module has a surprising lack of surface detail on a part of this size.  There is more intricate detailing on my Reshape version of the engine module which is only a few inches in length compared to this Lunar version.  Both the engine and command modules are hollow.

 

I'm undecided at the moment as to what to do with the command module.  Leave as it is ... or open the windows and have some LEDs inside ... and/or open one of the pop bay doors and build a pod bay.

 

 

IMG_2950.jpg

 

 

Two sheets of instructions which given the size and complexity of the kit is a bit sparse.

 

 

IMG_2954.jpg

 

 

Slightly bent spine ... this is the Achilles Heel of this and the Reshape kit ... and virtually Discovery kits.  The spine is just not stiff enough even with the suggested 3/32" diameter tubing to support the command and engine modules. You may not be able to see it in this photo but the spine has a bend ... it is not perfectly straight ... and therefore will not 'do'.  I've tried to straighten out the bend but it's a bit of a lost cause (or perhaps I'm not using the right techniques).

 

 

IMG_2951.jpg

 

 

So ... my first job was to decide what to do about the spine.  A quick search on the net and I came across this article shown in the link below.  The author used a steel rod for the spine which seemed perfectly reasonable to me ... so that is the route I followed.  

 

http://www.starshipmodeler.com/2001/md_disc.htm

 

I've opted for a steel rod 6mm in diameter which was then inserted into a plastic tube 7mm in diameter.  This is slightly thicker than the original spine, which is about 6mm in diameter ... but I don't think anyone will notice.  Inserting the rod into the plastic tube was fun ... not.  Bit of wet-n-dry together with some GT85 helped the rod slide (albeit after a few attempts) into the plastic tube.  The photo below shows the original spine and the new steel rod -in- plastic spine.

 

 

IMG_2973.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by glueman
Replacing photos using Flickr

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The big problem with having a new spine is that you have to recreate all the supports for the fuel modules that are supported on the spine.  This is the stage that I'm at now.

 

Along the spine there are ten fuel storage sections (with three pods per section).  Each storage section is supported by three supports on the spine.  Each support is a hexagon shape approximately 3.5mm in thickness.  I'm following the build notes shown in the link in my previous post and am scratch building the hexagon supports.

 

Each support is composed of two hexagons slices cut from 1mm thick plastic card.  To give a solid yet 'open' structure each slice is separated by 1x1mm plastic strips along alternate edges of the hexagon.  The sides of the hexagon shape with the strip are those that will glued to the fuel storage pods.

 

There are 6 separate hexagon slices and 9 strips per fuel storage section ... in other words an awful lot of drilling ... cutting and scratch building.

 

The process is relatively straight forward.  Mark out the centre of the hexagons and drill out the hole.  Thread the plastic sheet onto a Hex Bolt and mark out the outline of the hexagon shape.  Then cut out the hexagon slice using a new, sharp flat edged scalpel blade.  Sand edges smooth ... repeat ... many times over.

 

The supports for the high gain antennae section and faulty AE35 unit are created in the same way but are square in shape rather than being hexagon in shape.  

 

It's a slow process ... but I'm getting there

 

 

parts1.jpg

 

 

This is a close up of three hexagon supports on the new spine.  Note the 'open' structure I mentioned earlier. The sides with the strips will be glued to the fuel pods.   The photo is just a mock up to show what they look like ... the final versions will be a lot neater ... I hope.

 

 

support1.jpg

 

Edited by glueman

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Another instalment ... and a bit of a confession to make.  The confession ... bit of a long story to set the scene ... but please bear with me.  

 

During the rebuild I'm having to make all new parts to go along the spine.  In the posts above I described scratch building the hexagon supports for the fuel pods. Each set of three fuel pods is separated from each other by two 'connector rings' joined end-to-end.  I couldn't salvage these from the original spine so have made some new ones from caps from felt tip pens.  The connector rings have three 'clamps'.  Below is a mock up of the connector rings and a clamp.

 

IMG_2957.jpg

 

Luckily, I managed to salvage some of the clamps from the spine but not all ... so I'm having to make more clamps.  The question was ... how to make exact copies of the clamps.  

 

I read a post in the Tips section of the forum about transferring plans to plastic card.  To be honest I was a bit sceptical as I wasn't sure if it would work ... or more precisely ... if I could get it to work.  I decided to give it a go.  I created a template using powerpoint and printed out the template on ordinary paper.  

 

IMG_3025.jpg

 

I then used liquid cement glue (Plastic Weld) ... actually I did this step twice ... the first time I painted the liquid glue on the same side as the template ... big mistake.  Second attempt ... I painted the glue on to the BACK of the paper, then I pressed the paper down firmly onto the plastic card for 2 seconds.

 

IMG_3026.jpg

 

Then I pealed back the paper ...  it worked ... the template was transferred on the plastic card.  I can now make lots of identical clamps.  

 

Once I was a non-believer ... now I'm a believer (cue the Monkeys song).  If anyone is using this technique, here are two handy tips; i) cut the paper longer than the design so that you have something to hold on to when pealing the paper from the card, ii) paint the glue onto the back of the paper (opposite side to the design).

 

IMG_3027.jpg

 

ddd

 

 

 

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Hi Glueman,great re-working there, I think I have one of the kit pods somewhere in the spares box. Will send if I find it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, oldmodeler said:

Hi Glueman,great re-working there, I think I have one of the kit pods somewhere in the spares box. Will send if I find it.

 

 

That would be fantastic ... thank you.  I'm leaning towards having a few lights in the command module ... even got a simple lighting kit. 

Pete

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I'm still making parts for the spine ... when will this end??  This time I'm making the ribbed sections at the connector rings between the fuel pods.  I couldn't salvage these from the original kit so I've ended up making new ones.  I ended up using lids from felt tip pens cut to the right length (ca. 5mm).  At first I tried to use a fine razor saw and a mitre box to cut the lids but couldn't obtain a nice clean cut.  After searching the net I came upon this method that uses a power drill.

 

i) Switch the power drill to 'unscrew' (or clockwise when viewed from the front) and clamp the felt pen lid in the drill. ii)  Use a brand new scalpel blade and rest the blade on the lid at the required distance.  My drill had a flat end so I could use that as a guide to keep the blade vertical. iii) switch on the drill and apply slow speed at first to create a grove.  iv) Increase the speed of the drill and slowly increase the pressure of the blade against the plastic.  Eventually the blade will cut through the plastic leaving a very clean cut.

 

36174327445_bcd1894b1b_b.jpg%22%20width=

 

 

 

 

Edited by glueman

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I've had similar issues trying to cut tube and I needed a very short section for something; funnily enough I watched the same video today!  

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2 hours ago, oldmodeler said:

Sorry Glueman, cannot find the space pod anywhere, I will keep looking incase it is somewhere I haven't tried yet. 

 

Thank you for looking.  Not to worry ... I haven't done much on the rebuild recently ... been out and about in the sunshine.

Cheers

Pete

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Hi everyone,

 

Been a bit absent recently with one thing and another ... but I'm still working on the rebuild of the Discovery.  Bit of a slow job but I'll get there in the end.

 

Still working on building the fuel pods along the spine.  I'm building the pods "off-structure" as I think it is much easier to build and to paint the fuel pods when they are not attached.  It's also easier to ensure they all align correctly. 

 

Here is one I made earlier.  Those of you who have built the Discovery know that there are four combinations of pod parts ... i) one long pod; ii) two pods of same size; iii) one long and one short pod with the short pod facing to the command module and iv) one long and one short pod with the short pod towards the engine.  

 

In the instructions, there are no hints on how to secure these individual parts to the spine so the likelihood of the pods not being correctly aligned are pretty high.  I decided to make my life easier and glue the individual parts onto a strip of plastic card 1mm thick by 4mm wide. This does make it a lot easier to attach the pods to the supporting hexagons and to align the fuel pods with each other.

 

This photo is a close up of the fuel pods and the connectors between the pods.  This is just a dry fit of the parts and not the final fitting.  I'll most probably paint the individual parts before assembly.

 

36174332135_d0bf0f61b3_b.jpg%22%20width=

 

NB: Since taking this photo I have rebuilt all the 'connectors' using plastic tubing instead of the plastic pen covers.  Although I used super glue to attach the plastic connecting rings to the pen covers, the bond was a bit on the weak side and didn't stand up to the man-handing of the connector onto and off the spine.

Edited by glueman

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Hi everyone,

Looks like the photos have been disabled ... sorry.  I'm in the process of uploading the photos onto Flickr and replacing the ones in the text.  First one appears to work.  May take a while.

 

Thanks

 

Pete

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Good luck with that, glad I found this thread finally - will look forward to seeing the photos!

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1 hour ago, glueman said:

Hi everyone,

Looks like the photos have been disabled ... sorry.  I'm in the process of uploading the photos onto Flickr and replacing the ones in the text.  First one appears to work.  May take a while.

 

Thanks

 

Pete

Thanks for making the effort Pete. Tbh I wouldn't actually object to paying photobucket for their service if they charged something sensible. I really think they've shot themselves in the foot over this. I think I'll give Flickr a go, too.

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Hi everyone,

 

Bit more action on this rebuild ... this time scratch building a new fuel pod as one was missing.  I used the D type pod as a guide and used various pieces of plastic card for the body and for the surface detail.  I wasn't aiming for an exact replica ... only a look-a-like.  I'm pretty chuffed with my effort.

 

36475856962_2dd1358f8a_b.jpg%22%20width=

 

35810460104_30d2d7dfa0_b.jpg%22%20width=

 

36248852800_9ab05697d4_b.jpg%22%20width=

 

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On 18/08/2017 at 5:07 PM, gavingav said:

Your fuel pod is much nicer and sharper than the original part .

 

Thank you :)

 

Not had much time to add to the build ... sorry ... dreaded work has got in the way again.  Hopefully I'll be able to post some more photos soon.

 

Pete

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Phew, been a while since I last posted.  I have been working on the rebuild ... just very slowly.

 

What am I doing now?  Well ... I decided to have a go at making some new engine nozzles as the ones on the kit aren't really up to scratch.  I did a bit of research on the net and found that the nozzles that come with the kit appear to be loosely based on the 2010 film version of the Discovery, not the original 2001 model.  I wanted my rebuild to be more like the original 2001 version.

 

At about this time ... and this always happens when you commit to doing some serious scratch building ...  along comes a brand new kit which is an accurate representation of the original 2001 Discovery.  I'm talking about the 1/144 kit by Moebius.  Bit frustrating to say the least!!  I've invested so much time, effort and money in my rebuild that I couldn't really justify splashing out on the Moebius kit ... never say never.

 

I used the various images of this kit circulating on the net as reference for my scratch building.  For example, this link shows the new engine block and nozzles:

 

https://culttvman.com/main/moebius-models-2001-discovery-update/

 

First step .. find the right sort of shapes to make the new engine nozzles.  Easier said than done.  I did find a pen, more specifically parts of a pen, that looked the part and were the correct size.  As I only had one part from one pen it was time to learn something new ... casting.  I ended up used Blue Stuff to make the mould and filled the mould with fine grained Milliput. 

 

Had quite a few experiments that went horribly wrong but eventually got there and produced three good reproductions from the pen part.  I learned some new techniques along the way ... like after making the bottom part of the mould, put it into the freezer for 30mins.  This helps to prevent the top (and hotter Blue Stuff) sticking to the lower (cold) part.

 

IMG_E4647

 

 

The next step was to build a section of the nozzle between the new milliput part and the bell-shaped end of the nozzle.  I opted for a tapering hexagonal shaped part made from thin plastic card.  I drew a template in PowerPoint, printed out the pattern and transferred the pattern to the plastic card.  I wanted to have a plastic rod through the centre of the nozzle to make it easier to fit to the engine block.

 

Building a new set of nozzles entailed scratching building the bell end shape of the nozzles plus all the detail that is often shown in photos.  It was a case of finding the correct shaped bits of plastic card ... and lots of patience and a steady hand. 

 

IMG_E4670

 

 

The finished bell end shape of the nozzle.  I'm pretty pleased with my efforts

 

Using the reference photos as a guide I added some surface detail on the hexagonal shape parts.  The bits that look like mini ladders were made from a section of plastic card with parallel lines scored every 1mm apart which is then sandwiched between two strips of card (0.5mm thick by 1mm wide) ... 6 in total for each engine nozzle ... 18 to make.

 

I admit that it is not a 100% copy of the nozzles shown in the reference photos ... but compared to the original part (upper nozzle) I reckon it is miles better and much more of an interesting shape to look at.

 

One down, two more to go.

 

 

 

Edited by glueman

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Hello again Glueman, wow, you are making a superb job of this.  looks as thougn you are gradually replacing many parts for more accurate scratch-building:

er, I have obtained a Moebius models 1/144th Discovery kit. A quick look shows this to be very high quality, and  very faithful to the movie Discovery XD1 spacecraft model. I paid £187, plus £27.27 customs tax to buy the kit direct from Moebius and have it shipped airmail, I expect it is available in UK shops somewhere for less. A brief examination of the injection-moulded parts show faithful detailing, a strong spine and the ability to align all the modules correctly.  The kit has better detailing than the prototype 3-d mode  shown at Wondercom, though I may tone down some of the raised detail some more.  Model does not have pods or lighting,  but these can be added.

I plan to put a show and tell on the Britmodeler site  as I make the kit. 

Currently making the Pegasus Terminator movie 1/32nd Hunter Killer Arial machine.  this kit is good, but suffers from over large  locating pins, all which need drilling out to get a good fit.

 

regards,

M

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19 hours ago, oldmodeler said:

Hello again Glueman, wow, you are making a superb job of this.  looks as thougn you are gradually replacing many parts for more accurate scratch-building:

er, I have obtained a Moebius models 1/144th Discovery kit. A quick look shows this to be very high quality, and  very faithful to the movie Discovery XD1 spacecraft model. I paid £187, plus £27.27 customs tax to buy the kit direct from Moebius and have it shipped airmail, I expect it is available in UK shops somewhere for less. A brief examination of the injection-moulded parts show faithful detailing, a strong spine and the ability to align all the modules correctly.  The kit has better detailing than the prototype 3-d mode  shown at Wondercom, though I may tone down some of the raised detail some more.  Model does not have pods or lighting,  but these can be added.

I plan to put a show and tell on the Britmodeler site  as I make the kit. 

Currently making the Pegasus Terminator movie 1/32nd Hunter Killer Arial machine.  this kit is good, but suffers from over large  locating pins, all which need drilling out to get a good fit.

 

regards,

M

 

Thank you.  Yes, I do appear to be replacing many old parts with new, scratch built parts hence the reluctance to splash out and buy the new Moebius kit.  Would be interesting to tot up all the extra expense I've incurred so far on the build (e.g. new steel rod for the spine, Blue Stuff ... card ... glue ... and lights for the command module ... plus all the thinking time on how to actually do something).  Regarding the Moebius kit ... they do say ... never say never. 

 

Look forward to hearing about your build.

 

Pete

 

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Hi everyone,

Sorry for the long delays in this re-build of the Discovery.  Life is getting into way again. 

 

Made some progress with the nozzles and engine block.  I'm in the process of adding some extra panelling on the engine block as the surface is a bit too flat and boring for a kit of this size.  Needs a bit more surface texture.   I've also made a new circular 'disk' that will go at the end of the spine so that it is more in keeping with the 2001 version of the Discovery.

 

IMG_E4871

 

Close up of the engine nozzles ... dry fit of the parts.  When I fix them into position, they will all align up and touch each other side to side.  I know they lack the surface detailing and are not 100% perfect ... but they are miles better (and more interesting) than the original nozzles.

 

IMG_E4872

 

I took the plunge and bought a EVA pod from Shapeways.  This pod is the smaller of the ones available at 17mm in diameter.  Although it 'looks' the right size for the pod bay doors, I suspect it is still a tad too big for the pod bay. 

 

I've not yet made up my mind whether or not to open the pod bay doors HAL 

 

IMG_E4874

 

gg

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Nice to see this back on track.

Word is that HAL is linked to the TSB computer so the doors will remain closed.

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