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1/72 Saturn V

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On 02/12/2019 at 10:31, Will Vale said:

I've been quietly following along during the construction because I didn't have much to contribute other than how neat it all looks. But the primed and then painted sections are spectacular. You definitely seem to be on a roll now!



Thanks a lot Will. Yes, it's moving quite well now, I really want to finish this while inspiration is still here and also work is fairly quiet at the same time.


I've been painting on the Lunar Module for two days, and one could easily go on for another two days to make it good, but the scale is slightly small and I almost keep forgetting that this project is about a full Saturn V... Time to move on.




Many tiny decals applied to the Service Module. Most are difficult to spot clearly, but decaling is one of the things I like more than some other work.




And decals also on the Command Module. Not quite as many.




The amount of finished parts in the box is increasing. I can now finish a few more sub assemblies like the space craft and S-IC fairings with fins. But looking in there reminds me that I still haven't done anything about those helium spheres for the S-IVB stage. I've not found and plastic balls in local craft shops that didn't have holes through them, everyone seems to think they should be put on a thread... Well, today I ordered some different sizes of ball bearing balls that should arrive fairly quickly. I plan to blast and/or tumble them to be able to paint and glue them well.




I also sanded the last touching up of surfacer and masked the stages and interstages for the white paint. I hope to get all the white spraying done tomorrow.



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1 hour ago, Planebuilder62 said:

Dear Jørgen

How will you display this model when its done so you can see all of the great work? Will it vertical or horizontal like the one at Cape Kenndy?

regards Toby

It's usual position at home will be standing upright and assembled in a dedicated vitrine, Ikea Detolf with a few mm to spare. However, I'm going to make another wood(?) base for it, about 2 meters long, where it can be laid horizontally on clear acrylic stands with all sections separated, but centered, to display also the internals, for the occasional show it will visit.

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Spraying white drew a lot more paint than I first thought, requiring a panic resupply trip to finish all sections. Again the S-IC had to be sprayed in the full scale work shop as it's too large.




The white will now rest for a few days before I can start masking for the black.




Today a supply of helium spheres and various other fully spherical pressure tanks arrived. These I will take to a good friend's blasting shop for some blasting and tumbling so they will take paint and glue.




A small break applying decals to fins and fairings.




Then I worked away finishing the Apollo Space Craft. The few remaining parts of the Service Module were easily fitted.




And the docking mechanism on the Command Module.




Here Columbia has come together.




Attention then turned to the few parts of the Boost Protective Cover and Launch Escape System. The two small windows were made from Kristal Klear.






The Lunar Module Descent stage was next. Again few parts remained to be fitted.




The landing radar heat shield got its engine facing side covered in Bare Metal mirror bright chrome foil.




There were more parts to be fitted to the ascend stage, but as all had been test fitted before only minor removal of paint was needed here and there.




I added the four tiny black support struts on the rendezvous radar dish from stretched sprue.




The Eagle has been completed.




And the Eagle can be stowed (not glued) in the SLA on top of the IU. The SLA ring will be glued to the top of the IU later on, but I will be probably leave the IU removable from the S-IVB stage, even if they weren't separated during flight.




We have the completed Apollo 11 space craft ready for lift off. Just waiting for its Saturn V.



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Really looking nice.


Quick question for you.  Can the Eagle be built in landed mode?


If the one I ordered actually shows up I will just build it in launch mode without all the internals and have a plan for a lander but in landed mode.



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6 minutes ago, Ken Stenzenko said:

The LM cannot be built with landing gear extended.

Rats.  that is what I thought but was hoping to not have to get another lander kit for my plan.

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1 hour ago, Ken Stenzenko said:

You are correct. I just pulled my kit out and parts are located on sprue C for both options.

I guess a copy of the instructions from an Apollo 11 kit with extended legs could help with placing the parts, if needed, but that can be arranged.

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Cool.  I actually have the Apollo 11 set so instructions are no problem.


My kit is supposedly in transit.  Let's see if this one can get through Chinese Customs.

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After a few days of resting for the white paint I have started masking and painting the black areas. I'm doing one piece at a time as it takes a lot of time to mask each piece and I want to spray with as fresh masking as possible and remove it as soon as I'm done. Also masking is not my favourite work so I need the breaks. It's a pain to settle the tape (Tamiya) down but it works quite well, better than I dared hope. Some small cleaning and touching up is required here and there, but not much. If it goes on like this I'm happy.


S-IVB. It remains to mask and paint a small off-white section close to pos. IV, but first the black needs a bit of time to settle.






S-II/S-IVB Interstage. I think this was the piece I was least looking forward to.






S-IC/S-II Interstage.



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That's looking real nice with paint on. Your masking worked out well. A trick for masking is to spray a very light coat of clear along the masking line before you spray the black. The clear will seal the tape line and prevent any black seeping under the tape.

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Another masking job I didn't look forward to was the S-II. About 3 hours of tape work.




Then 10 minutes spraying, if even that long, and half an hour unmasking. But it came out OK.






The S-IC was a bit less complex.








So that's all black areas done. Still a masking job I don't look forward to remains; the yellow-green areas under the S-IC engine fairings, which will not even really be seen when it's finished...

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As I was to mask the narrow off-white field under the S-IVB Telemetry Antenna I discovered a similar field under the smaller Range Safety Antenna that I hadn't seen before. The same two antennas are also present on the opposite side, but the layout around them is not exactly the same, and I couldn't see any traces of fields under those two on what photos I could find, so enough had to be enough. This is what I masked and sprayed.




On to masking the fairing areas of the S-IC. I expected this to be a real pain as the tape will not produce a straight line when applied diagonally over the stringers and seen from a direct in front view, rather it will be something like a zig-zag line. However that problem turned out to be very minor in reality, and as this will not be easily seen, if even at all, when finished I decided to go ahead the easy way.




Here is what I ended up with. It's a good enough compromise I think.



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There's been a good deal of progress over the last few days, and some setbacks as well.


Here are the sand blasted ball bearing balls, after a visit to my friends blasting shop.

"Why do you need to blast them?"

"Because I need to paint them to look like shiny metal spheres."

It did seem a bit stupid right there I'll admit.




Here they are after a coat of etching primer.




With some paint on they should hopefully not look like glued on ball bearing balls.




I had applied the sway target decals to the S-II/S-IVB interstage, and with these fully dried overnight the S-IVB and both interstages received their semi flat clear coats.




Final unmasking was a bit nervous, but no nasty surprises thankfully.




Time for the major decal work on the S-IC and S-II. I enjoy decaling much more than masking. There are lots of small ones on the S-IC, and researching photos of the real one sitting on the launch pad just before launch, or even during launch pays off. For example placements aren't always exactly as symmetrical as it seems. I'm trying my best, still a compromise.




These are Rick Sternbach's decals from CultTVMan printed by Microscale. The quality is very high and they are very thin. That also means they are delicate to work with when adjusting their placements is needed. They don't like to be moved around much so it's important to place them very well and keep the surface wet until perfectly lined up.




Slow and careful work pays off. After drying overnight it was time for semi flat clear coating in the full scale work shop.




And then things started to act up. I sprayed the S-II first and in the middle of it the airbrush splattered dark dust. Thanks a lot. I had to break, tear it apart, but couldn't find any obvious problem. Thorough cleaning followed and then there was no choice but to finish off the session and consider the damage done.


I made a second cleaning of the airbrush and sprayed the S-IC, which went well. Here they are just after spraying. It may look OK from a distance.




But not when looking closer. A lot of fine dark dusting is seen on the larger white areas.




This is not OK, something must be done. After my frustration levels had settled a bit I noted that it only affects some sections of the larger white areas, and across the lower section of the black motion squares. All red United States are OK. Luckily there is a second set of motion squares on the decal sheets.


Hopefully I can sand the clear with 1000 grit, patch up the white with fine airbrushing, add the lower motion squares and then after a new session of clear it will all be OK. We'll see...




I had to leave the S-II stage for the paint to fully cure and get on with other things. Like assembling fairings, fins and air scoops.




The Instrument Unit and lower SLA-section glued together and test fitted on the S-IVB.




Lunar Module aligned and in place.




It's a tight fit with the top section of the SLA in place, but it works.




The day after spraying clear I could unmask the top of the S-IC, and luckily the masking has been sealing perfectly all the time. The two vent pipes could be fitted.




With the clear fully dried I decided to attack the S-II. It was easy to sand the surface of the clear coat enough, and then I had an airbrush session patching up the white areas where needed.




Finishing the top of the S-VB.




My retro rockets for S-II/S-IVB interstage look a bit skinny when installed, but the whole interior is very much simplified anyway so it'll do as is.




The first Auxiliary Propulsion System Module is aligned while glue is drying.




And finally I have to do repetitive scratch building again. Mountings for the S-IVB helium spheres. I should have modeled them in SW and have them 3D-printed, but I haven't come round to do that and now I didn't want to wait. Eight pieces ready for paint.




With the helium spheres finally done the whole S-IVB thrust structure could be assembled. There is so much more tiny details around the engine and covering the structure itself on the real thing, but I draw the line here.




With the thrust structure glued in place we have a finished S-IVB stage.




When the white patching up had dried I could cut three motion squares and repair that area. This is where I am now. This will have to dry over night and then it's time for a second clear coat session... It will have to work right this time, and hopefully end up like nothing happened...



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F1 engine installations. I placed the stage upside down and adjusted it to as perfectly vertical as possible. Then I started with the center engine using 5 min epoxy and checked its alignment while it settled.




Then I glued the outer engines one at a time, again with 5 min epoxy, making sure they were level with the center engine and with each other as I went round.






After an hour all engines felt very rigid and I could lay the stage down to start permanently fitting the parts around them.




First the tripods I made for the actuators.




Then the heat shields.




And finally the actuators.




Here is the finished look, before the fairings will cover up.




While fitting the engine accessories I found a pipe I had forgotten for the tank top, so that was also glued in place.




Stacking up the S-IVB on its interstage while some glue was drying.




And with the complete spacecraft on top.




During the day I have also sprayed the semi flat clear on the S-II stage after the paint repairs. No drama this time, which was a great relief. Work can continue.






I unmasked the S-II top to check and it was all OK inside. The clear coat will have to cure further overnight before handling and unmasking the inside of the aft skirt and fitting the bottom tank dome.




There is still quite a lot of work remaining to assemble the S-II thrust structure with engines and pipes. Most pipes will require further adjustments and other work, as I have not been able make good test fitting so far.


It was a bit fiddly, but in the end the heat shield with all its struts ended up where I wanted it.




As with the F1 engines on the S-IC stage I first glued the center engine, aligning it as well as possible.






Then I put all four outer engines in place and put the whole thing on the work bench making sure all engines sat right, and then glued their mountings from the inside with 5 min epoxy.




Here they will cure for a while before I can start working on all the pipes that goes inside, between the structure cone and the bottom tank dome.



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