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STS-134 "The Final Endeavour" -1:72 Shuttle

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STS-134 "The Final Endeavour"

1:72 Space Shuttle



(Photo courtesy of NASA, available from: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/posters.html)



Good evening all!

As of a month ago, I've had Revell's 1:72 Space Shuttle kit lying in the stash begging to be started. Now that I'm coming to the end of another build (a 1:48 twin-seat Eurofighter) I thought that it's about time to start on this project.


-As you can probably tell, I've chosen the STS-134 mission as the basis for this build, for a multitude of reasons: firstly Endeavour is my favourite shuttle (I can't quite put my finger on exactly why though!), the payload is highly important in its own right (it also allows for me to model and expose more of the payload bay compared to a shuttle carrying an ISS module, such as STS-98), and as it was one of the more recent shuttle missions there are plenty of references/photos/diagrams to aid the building process.


Throughout this build I would like to comment on what I'm building, for example one of the SSME's (Space Shuttle Main Engines), and note some interesting snippets of information about it- as well as providing the reference material that I've used at the time. However, I won't be able to attach every single piece of reference information as there are a few select pieces that I'll be using from NASASpaceFlight.com's "L2" subscription based forum.  I won't go into detail as to what is contained on there, but I can nevertheless highly recommend it if you have the slightest interest in spaceflight (whether it be past, present or future vehicles).



The Plan:


Well to put it simply, I would like to really "go to town" on this build. The tile detail on the kit isn't great- it's inaccurate, has raised panel lines, and not detailed enough for what I want to do.

I've been thinking about how to address the tile issue, and I've settled on 3 options: 1. Use decals, 2. cut tiles from thin plasticard and apply them one by one to the required surfaces, 3. Scribe tile detail into the plastic. I'm uncertain about using off-the-shelf tile decals as I'd quite like to have a more 3d surface than a flat decal would provide. Option 3 would be the most viable and preferable option in this case, but the worrying thing is that Option 2  could be possible..... (if we ignore the fact that some 20,000 tiles would need to be replicated) -but I'll have a go at some experiments before I commit to either option!


I fully intend to detail the crew compartment interior (both flight and mid-deck), as well as that of the payload bay, and construct the payloads carried by STS-134 (including the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and the ELC3 package).

As for displaying the model, I'd quite to model it with the gear up, payload bay doors open, Canadarm deployed, displayed at an angle to show both the top and underside of the orbiter (but more on that later).

The one thing that I have sourced from elsewhere was a set of the 1:72 Space Shuttle decals from RealSpaceModels- and gosh do they look good!



So that's it for this evening! As with most of my recent builds, this will be a slow burner (which I suppose in some ways will allow me to really focus and concentrate on getting the accuracy up to the level that I want).


Thanks for reading through my ramblings!


Best wishes,





(Image courtesy of NASA, can be obtained from: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/history/50thgallery/2011-05-16-2.html)



(Image courtesy of NASA, can be obtained from: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts134/multimedia/preflight/index.html)






Edited by cathasatail

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Happy new year everyone!


So, let's begin with the build. As is the way with pretty much all aircraft kits, we'll start off with the cockpit and crew compartment. However........




...although the kit parts are a decent structural representation, they are unfortunately not as accurate as I would like them to be.

-The interdeck hatches are absent

-The seat bases are inaccurate

-The "detail" on the rear wall of the crew compartment can only be described as fictional

-The shape and position of the rear windows is somewhat dubious (but I'll have to look into that some more before I cut the windows out)


Based on this, I used the kit parts as the basis for a plasticard version:



(the rear window pencil outlines are temporary, prior to further research)



(Don't worry- I haven't glued them together yet!)




(Photo of Bob Behnken in the interdeck access hatch on Endeavour during STS-130- image obtained from: https://nara.getarchive.net/media/s130e005229-sts-130-behnken-in-interdeck-access-hatch-d6e49f)

For reference, I believe the mission specialist seat to be the object on the right, with the robotic arm/payload bay control panels on the left


As you can see from the above photo, the next job will be building up the surrounding structural pieces and then detailing the flooring/interdeck access with the assortment of screws/panel lines/handles/etc.

-I won't post the images directly as I don't want to infringe on copyright, but some additional photos of the flight deck of Endeavour can be found here: http://www.launchphotography.com/Endeavour_Flight_Deck.html




(Adapted from an image taken during the STS-134 mission, original obtained from: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/23630385)


-I've added the arrows on the above image to visually demonstrate the predicament that I'm having with the rear windows; the panel between the windows is far too small on the kit parts (see below) and will have to be widened






That's it for now, thanks for reading :)


Best wishes,


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Posted (edited)

Evening all,


More progress on the cockpit today. In order to increase the amount of detail on the cockpit panels, I have decided to experiment with printing the panels and applying them to the cockpit structures.

With the main centre panel (comprising the 9 primary multifunction displays/LCD screens) I've been trying out a "3d effect" by using 2 layers of paper (with the MFD's cut out on the top layer).





-I'll need to trim the paper some more, but I think it's not looking too bad (?)



-I've excised the centre console from the kit parts and added a sliver of plasticard on the top surface to replace the height lost during excision.



-And a brief mock-up of the panel so far (apologies about the bad lighting!)


Although I'm used to reading academic journals as part of my University work, I'd never have thought that there were papers out there regarding the Space Shuttle:


(Image from: Mccandless, J.W. Hilty, B.R. Mccann, R.S. New Displays for the Space Shuttle Cockpit. Ergonomics in design. 2005 Oct; 13(4): 15-20. )


The above paper (also found HERE) is quite an interesting read, as it describes the redesign of the original cathode ray tube screens to the cockpit displays that occurred in 2002 and the proposals for a planned further upgrade in 2005. However, this second phase didn't occur (interestingly, there's an article on NASA's website (found HERE) which talks about the cockpit upgrades seemingly in the present tense: with the next stage of redesign "planned to fly by 2005".)


Best wishes,



Edited by cathasatail

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The panel looks good Sam, I assume you just took a photo of the panel and scaled it to 1/72 before cutting out the MFDs?


I have the 1/72 and may build it this year, so I have a lot of interest in your modifications.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

The panel looks good Sam, I assume you just took a photo of the panel and scaled it to 1/72 before cutting out the MFDs?


I have the 1/72 and may build it this year, so I have a lot of interest in your modifications.



Yes, so I took the diagram of the shuttle's cockpit panels (found HERE, scroll down a bit until you find a post from a "William Mook") and I took images of the panels from the internet and scaled them to fit the diagram, I then scaled the diagram down to a 1:72 scale.




-The central panel on the left was used as a background to provide the LCD displays (with the blue screens), with the central panel on the right (with the orange screens) having been colour corrected to match the grey colour of the centre console and overhead panels. The orange squares were the cut out and the the central right panel was placed on top of the central left panel.


Hope that helps :)








Edited by cathasatail

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