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Fantastic Plastic 2001 Space Station V


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SSVBoxArt-500.jpg

 

This is Fantastic Plastic's resin and photoetch model of Space Station V from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 

Space_station_v.jpg

 

After trimming, filling, sanding and washing, the resin parts look like this:

resin-parts.jpg

 

Surface detail is good in parts, but there's a little damage to detail here and there, particularly in the short rim sections. Also a missing corner from one of those sections, fragment not present in the bag, but I should be able to patch it with styrene sheet.

 

Above, I've already assembled the two ends of the hub, each of which comes as two parts. Lots of pour stubs to be removed from the hidden surfaces, and quite a bit of sanding, trial fitting and then a little filling to get a good fit.

 

Fantastic Plastic helpfully include a set of scaled diagrams, helpful for trial fitting. They suggest immersing the long rim sections in hot water if they don't have the correct curvature, and the plans are invaluable in getting that right, though I got them pretty soggy as I dipped, stressed and then checked each rim section!

 

Getting the spokes and rims all neatly aligned with no gaps is going to be a challenge. Again, the plans are excellent templates.

spokes.jpg

 

Here, I've discovered that the thick end of the spokes is just the right width to support the rim section as a height gauge to keep the positioned spokes level while glue dries. Given that the kit provides a spare spoke, I may actually be able to repeat this trick all the way through.

 

Any guidance on washes to bring out surface detail will be appreciated. I'm more used to marking up panel lines and applying oil and grime to aircraft.

 

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9 minutes ago, Hamiltonian said:

Any guidance on washes to bring out surface detail will be appreciated. I'm more used to marking up panel lines and applying oil and grime to aircraft.

    Im not the best expert but id recommend painting this light grey not white. White would be too stark and harder to subdue. Then id go with a slightly darker grey for a wash to accentuate the detail on the surface. Is it one wheel or do you have the under construction framework as well ? If you do id go with a reddish brown or reddish orange and not straight red on the exposed beams. It would give it some character. In fact id paint different beams different versions of the color to represent different production batches. Then id use a tan or medium brown wash on the exposed beams. As Im a huge fan of the movie I'm going to follow the build. 
 

Dennis

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6 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

    Im not the best expert but id recommend painting this light grey not white. White would be too stark and harder to subdue. Then id go with a slightly darker grey for a wash to accentuate the detail on the surface. Is it one wheel or do you have the under construction framework as well ? If you do id go with a reddish brown or reddish orange and not straight red on the exposed beams. It would give it some character. In fact id paint different beams different versions of the color to represent different production batches. Then id use a tan or medium brown wash on the exposed beams. As Im a huge fan of the movie I'm going to follow the build. 
 

Dennis

Yes, light grey and red-brown were what I had in mind for base colours. I'm going to sit down with the movie soon and try to get some ideas about the potential for varying the tones.

There are indeed a shed-load of photoetch longerons and stringers for the construction framework, which are fairly daunting since each quadrant is slightly different.

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2 hours ago, Bejay53 said:

Hopefully not asking a dumb question, but what does variable scale mean? It says a variable scale clipper. Is this to show a forced perspective in a diarama?

It's because Kubrick appears to have used different sizes of Orion clipper during the approach sequence. So the kit comes with a couple of small clipper options, and one that looks unreasonably large to me, which may be intended to match the movie-poster depiction of the Orion blasting away from the station (dangerously, I always thought).

2001-poster.jpg

I'm quite keen to use one of the small clippers, and the question is how to position it. I have some 1/16" clear rod to mount it on, and while the docking approach is the classic appearance, I'm thinking of turning the clipper around to reproduce something like the poster appearance. The rod will make more visual sense as some kind of trail left by the engines, and I can add a bit of yellow and orange immediately behind the clipper to see how that works. It'll either look great or terrible. I cannot be positive which.

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18 minutes ago, Hamiltonian said:

I'm quite keen to use one of the small clippers, and the question is how to position it. I have some 1/16" clear rod to mount it on, and while the docking approach is the classic appearance, I'm thinking of turning the clipper around to reproduce something like the poster appearance. The rod will make more visual sense as some kind of trail left by the engines, and I can add a bit of yellow and orange immediately behind the clipper to see how that works. It'll either look great or terrible. I cannot be positive which.

 

That sounds like a possible solution, certainly it would be worth spending time seeing if it would work.

 

@Bejay53 I'm glad you asked that question, it had intrigued me as well.

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3 minutes ago, Jeddahbill said:

Any possibility for lighting on this kit?

Cheers,

Bill

The rim is made up of solid chunks of resin, so I can't see a way to light the windows. It would certainly be possible to drill into either end of the hub and mount lights way back inside to illuminate the docking ports, though. I think it would need an external power source--I can't see a way to hide batteries inside, but I'm no expert.

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Just checked the fantastic plastic web site. Pretty much explained the thought process. Shows several photos of the different clippers approaching the station. Evidently Kubrick estimated the diameter of the station to be 1000 ft. Depending on the clipper used it would make the station appear larger.

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IIRC it was only a single Clipper model but the camera scaling kept changing. Sometimes it was not even a physical model but a hi res photo placed on an animation stand for movement- he used this technique for the Aries 1b as well.

 

I love this Station kit and have been wishing to get one since it first came out- it looks great and I am looking forward to seeing your progress posts!

Edited by Richard Baker
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A pause for a couple of days while I tried to work out how to assemble the rim of the station.

The spokes fit into sockets between the rim quadrants, but the rim quadrants don't butt directly against each other. There are photoetch parts that fit between the quadrants and extend on either side of a tapered part of the spoke. So the photoetch needs to go in after the rim quadrants and spoke have been assembled. Meanwhile, the rim quadrants have to be kept planar, and the circle has to join up smoothly.

After a lot of fiddling around, I came up with this:

rim-jig.jpg

I'm holding two rim quadrants in the correct relative position, with a strip of styrene as a spacer and balsa strips maintaining the plane. Photoetch parts in place on the other ends of the quadrants. Hub and spokes assembly now going to drop vertically into the complete socket at bottom, with epoxy to fix, and the transverse spokes being aligned by the upper partial sockets and photoetch parts. Once set, remove balsa former amd temporary styrene spacer, and then slide in photoetch around the bottom spoke.

I'm going to avoid gluing the ends of transverse spokes, to allow some sliding jiggle room when I close the circle at the top.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

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On 3/6/2020 at 4:35 PM, Pete in Lincs said:

Ingenious.

Maybe overly complicated, but the dry fitting suggested I was going to have an alignment and symmetry problem if I tried to do it a quadrant at a time.

Anyway, it worked:

rim-build2.jpg

rim-build-3.jpg

spacer.png

 

Little bit of filling and sanding required, but nothing too drastic.

 

 

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I managed to produce a reasonable patch of the damaged kit part using styrene sheet.

patched.jpg

Sorting the various parts of the partial ring into their correct positions was harder than I thought it might be, and the kit plans were invaluable:

 

quadrants.jpg

 

And assembly was to some extent more challenging than the complete ring, since the parts at the end of each spoke are largely unconstrained.

assembled.jpg

The fit between spoke and rim, as provided in the kit, is poor, and the spoke ends needed a lot of sanding to get them to a size that allowed the rim parts to close around them. I then used cyano-acrylate to glue the rim parts to each other around the spoke ends, but slower-setting epoxy to attach spoke to rim. That gave me a window in which I could adjust the orientation of the rim sections before laying it down to harden.

 

Glad to have all the resin sanding and fitting done. Now I can give the workroom a hoover and put the particulate mask back in the drawer.

 

 

 

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I would defintaley recommend Marco Scheloske's laser-cut five piece acrylic stand.

 

I would go for a dull red oxide for the 'under contruction' structural elements of Space Station V. On the 4k BD its definatley not a bright red and yes off whites and greys for the completed elements.

 

414395555.jpg

 

Tommo.

 

 

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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On 04/03/2020 at 16:38, Hamiltonian said:

It's because Kubrick appears to have used different sizes of Orion clipper during the approach sequence. So the kit comes with a couple of small clipper options, and one that looks unreasonably large to me, which may be intended to match the movie-poster depiction of the Orion blasting away from the station (dangerously, I always thought).

 

 

 

There was only one Orion III filiming miniature which was approx 560mm long. Kubrick kinda cheated in that the two models were never filmed together and Kubrick's SfX team used a transparency of the Orion with forced perspective of the Space Station V model for dramatic effect and as such there is no consistant scale between the two in the famed 'Blue Danube' act of the film.

 

Therefore you can go with what you feel is right.

 

Tommo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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photoetch-detail.jpg

Well, I'm glad that bit's over. At the hub ends of the spokes, there's now a little fan of photoetch triangles. Ten around each spoke, for a total of eighty. In three slightly different shapes. And they're quite small.

photoetch.jpg

Clipping these off, filing them and positioning them was a bit of a chore. Fantastic Plastic provides a goodly number of spares, but I'm pleased to say I got all 80 in place only losing one--which I found again later. That's some sort of personal best for me.

 

I also added some raised styrene plates to the rims. These are on the outer surface of each ring, positioned at the point where the spokes join the rim (and halfway between those points on the completed ring). One is visible in the photo above. These are clearly visible in the movie, and they serve nicely to conceal some of the damaged areas created by thick pour stubs on some of the  kit sections of the incomplete ring.

reference1.jpg

 

I'm still working on trying to repair some of the moulding problems in the partial ring sections--ugly wrinkles that are difficult to fill successfully. Then it's on to the girder work--which I'm sort of looking forward to.

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On to the girder work. Each quadrant has its own set of eight curved photoetch steel longerons, and a number of frame assemblies of different kinds that need to be spaced along the longerons. (The longerons have helpful little notches in them for frame positioning, though the existence of these notches means that you have to be pretty precise when aligning the longerons.) The central four longerons thread through holes in the frame structures, so the frames need to be stacked up on those longerons before they're attached to the resin parts at each end:

quadrant-structure.jpg

I shoved all the frames to the middle, which let me easily spring the four longerons into position at their ends, and then I slid the frames into final position. After that, the outer pair of longerons can be laid in place, and the inner partial longerons slide through the structure and glued in position. All this worked fairly well, except that I belatedly (after I had the first four longerons glued) discovered that the locating areas on the resin parts aren't properly defined, and need to be filed down if they are to align correctly with the holes in the the strut assemblies. So it was a bit of a bodge getting everything together, but I should be able to do better on subsequent quadrants.

Here's the completed Quadrant A:

quadrant-assembled.jpg

A couple of the photoetch parts (the inner longerons at top of picture) have been replaced with styrene strip which is pretty much of identical gauge. This was because of the aforementioned problem with aligning the photoetch frames and the resin ends. There was simply no way to thread the steel longeron parts through the end frame and on to the resin, and with everything else glued in place, no good way to adapt the resin to fit. While I was fiddling with all this, I twanged one of the longerons across the room and "mislaid" it--but the styrene replacement worked so well I just used the same material for the other side. There's also a little kink in another of the longerons, which I should be able to improve, because of the mismatch between the resin and the frame immediately next to it. If I'd been a bit more vigilant with my dry fitting I could have avoided all this trouble, but you live and learn.

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Well, that took a while. Quite a fiddly process, and I found it pretty much impossible to get all the alignment notches in the longerons in the correct plane for frame positioning. Still a bit of snagging to do, but the final result looks OK, I think.

spacer.png

incomplete-rim-2.jpg

 

The longerons are etched so close together on the fret, that even my finest side cutters couldn't free neighbouring parts from each other, and the attachment points were too robust for a scalpel blade.

frame-parts.jpg

Fortunately, they're pretty robust, and the old "folding back and forth" method separated them without damaging the parts.

 

Next, some detail needs to be added to the spokes. The resin parts come with moulded detail that is fragile and distorted, and I made the decision early on to simply strip this off and replace it with some brass strip.

spoke-detail.jpg

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