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Last year, after advice and suggestions from BM airliner cognoscenti  I took a punt on a rather battered looking Revell 747/Shuttle combination.  To my surprise and relief both the 747 and the Shuttle were both intact with only the decals in a sad shape.  It was the 747 that I was interested in but after working on it for a while I couldn’t help but have a closer look at the Shuttle.  I go back to the first launch on April ‘81 and remember the media’s concern about the integrity of the tiles and what would happen if they failed and so on.  I followed most every launch for years after that until they became almost routine, and I stress “almost”.

 

The other day I had reason to look into the box that the Shuttle was in and took it out.  I had done a little work on it before putting it away last year and couldn’t resist, only because it was there on the bench in front of me you understand, doing a little more work on it. I’v taken a few photos and you have an interest in the Shuttle or maybe even have built one you might want to have a look.

 

After studying many reference photos the first thing I did was attempt to make improvements on the main engine exhausts.  The kit ones are stepped and the connection to the rear bulkhead didn’t match up with what I’d seen in the photos.  So I removed the dome and replaced it with a concave disc backed up with another disc.  Not visible in the photo are the rings around the plunge moulded exhaust cone.

 

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The pods for the OMS (?) seemed a little blunt to me so I carved a mould and tried vacuum forming replacements.  I didn’t like the way they turned out so had a go a reshaping the kit ones.  Very thick they were and I think the last one on the lower right is an improvement.  I also tried depicting the thermal blanket pads with thin polymer clay.  Not very good.

 

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Here I have raised the bulkhead a little and strengthened the bay sidewall with a length of styrene. 

 

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Thanks for looking in.  All comments, suggestions and your Shuttle build photos more than welcome.  I’m spread pretty thin with WIPs but I enjoyed working on the Shuttle and will probably carry on with doing so from time to time.

 

Dennis

 

No doubt this will need a bit of editing later. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Finishe tidying up the rear bulkhead to more closely resemble the 1:1.  

 

I was was surprised to learn that many of the Shuttle kits came out before the first launch on ‘81.  The Shuttle was probably pretty popular as a modelling subject several years ago now it seems that modellers are going in for science fiction kits.  No doubt Star Wars has been a big influence.  

 

Plenty of Shuttle kits on eBay.  The SCA/Shuttle combo going for high prices but not getting many takers.  

 

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The SCA outlets on the nose top were absent so very carefully drilled them out.  Also drilled out the ones on each side.  I the backed up the holes with Milliput and used a damp cocktail pick to finish off the openings.

 

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The idea to use the Milliput came from this link.  Good tips on detailing a 1/72 Shuttle.  Wasn’t finished, however, but still useful.

 

https://modelcuttingmat.wordpress.com/category/real-space/

 

I am am currently reading Into the Black - Rowland White.  Columbia’s first launch.  Very good so far but only just started.

 

Thanks for looking in

 

Dennis

Edited by DMC
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As usual, stupendous work.

It's always a pleasure to see you at work.

Cheers

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2 hours ago, Moa said:

As usual, stupendous work.

Thank you, Moa.  I can easily return the sentiment.

 

Dennis

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1 hour ago, moondrome said:

I have never built a space shuttle model. But looks like an interesting subject! I will follow your WIP. 

They are.  This is my first and I’m looking at another.  Do you have a kit yet?

 

Dennis

 

 

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

They are.  This is my first and I’m looking at another.  Do you have a kit yet?

 

Dennis

 

 

Hi Dennis, I don't have one and I have too many boxes on my stash waiting to be build.... But I'm tempted by the 1/144 revell atlantis. I have an idea for a diorama on an alien planet scene with a crash landed shuttle. something like this image. This is a pixel art I made a while agobinarystar4coloraa.gif

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I read that the Revell (Germany) Atlantis is a good kit.  Great decal sheet by all accounts. Will keep a lookout for your alien planet dio. 

 

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A little more done:

 

the bay walls were slightly concave and required straightening before the bay doors would fir correctly.  

 

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The wings are a pretty good fit. The top join being barely visible.  A slight gap underneath will need a little filling.

 

 

 

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TL: Thinning the OMS bell is easy with a large conical burr.  TR: Reduced the opening in the bell with a 3mm disc.

BL: flattened and re-polished the windscreen.  BR: one bell installed.   Might do this engine exhaust bell over as the “tubing” looks a little thick. 

 

 

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Thanks for looking in 

 

 

Dennis

 

 

 

 

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You are doing an admirable job, and the quality of your work shows pretty well.

Very nice modeling we see here.

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1 hour ago, Moa said:

You are doing an admirable job, and the quality of your work shows pretty well.

Very nice modeling we see here.

Thank you, Moa, good of you to drop in on Real Space.  Fairly quiet over here, not much in the way of banter from the usual suspects.  I am particularly enjoying this build.  Just enough scratching to make it interesting but not so much that burn-out ensues.  

 

55 minutes ago, wanthony said:

Nice work! 

 

Just in case you weren't aware, these exist: http://www.realspacemodels.com/shop-galapagos/1144-space-shuttle-main-engines

Thank you.  And yes, I am aware of them and don’t they look nice.  Very tempting.  Would save me about two days work.

 

Dennis 

 

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

Thank you, Moa, good of you to drop in on Real Space.  Fairly quiet over here, not much in the way of banter from the usual suspects.  I am particularly enjoying this build.  Just enough scratching to make it interesting but not so much that burn-out ensues.  

 

Thank you.  And yes, I am aware of them and don’t they look nice.  Very tempting.  Would save me about two days work.

 

Dennis 

 

Especially for the SSMEs!

 

There's also this guy I just ran across. A bunch of resin parts and PE... https://mek.kosmo.cz/newware/#nw143

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18 hours ago, wanthony said:

There's also this guy I just ran across

Great link!  Spent an hour or more just trawling through it.  Really appreciate the heads-up.

 

Dennis

 

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Decided to add a little depth to the wheel bays.  Not really necessary as they will remain unseen but just had to do them.  A few bits of spru and wire will do to fill them up.

 

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Thanks for looking in

 

Dennis

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Decided, since I had the moulds, to have another try at the ME exhaust bells.  Better I think and I’ll save the ones I’m ordering from Real Space for the Atlantis, which arrived here this morning.

 

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Painting it was the most difficult part but it’ll pass as long as you don’t look to close.

 

Thanks for looking in

 

Dennis

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Hi Dennis. Found ya! 

Just had a nudge (from Moa.....) about the Lodestar projects. 

I'm away making Cars in the Heller Group Build and I realised I'd lost track of your work on the Lockheed Twins. 

Looking like you're taking bit of a break too. 

Space...... The Final Frontier 

😎

Tidy work 👍

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5 minutes ago, rob Lyttle said:

I'd lost track of your work on the Lockheed Twins. 

Ditto

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From somewhere in Deep Space.......

 

Hello @rob Lyttle, and @Moa,

 

Yes, sidetracked again.  No excuse for it except a weakness for next challenge.

 

The Lockheed is ‘resting” but hasn’t been abandoned.  Quite a lot to do on it, however, which means another batch of styrene to order.  

 

Moa, you’re one of the few that can juggle several balls in the air without dropping one.  An admirable feat in modding.

 

Rob, wondered where you were.  Should have known you were over in Gasoline Ally.

 

I’ll probably stay in orbit for a while longer.

 

Dennis

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Take your time.

Only fun to be had.

 

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Three ME exhaust bells are finished, except for painting.  Tamiya Extra Thin was used on the first two but for the third I used CA. The CA worked very well after I got the measure of it and wasn’t as messy.  Hardest bit was keeping the rings evenly spaced and the stretched spru the same thickness.  Photo in a book I have shown a tech working on a bell and his wrist is about the same diameter as the rings. My wrist at its widest point is about 2.5” and that works out to around 0.43, or so, in scale.  I note that resin AM replacement bells have thicker rings.  Not really sure what those rings are for.

 

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The black bell with the silver rings will probably be repainted.  I’m leaning towards STS-1 and Columbia and photos of the launch seem to show the bell to be one colour or maybe dark grey with black rings.  Need to sort that out.  Book on that first launch on the wa.

 

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Thanks for looking in.

 

Dennis

 

 

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On 10/18/2020 at 1:30 AM, DMC said:

An admirable feat in modding.

 

In my case an admirable feat in muddling and meddling.

 

Looking good, Dennis, and each improvement adds.

 

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3 hours ago, DMC said:

Not really sure what those rings are for.

Far from being an engineer (heaven forfend!) but there is such an incredible amount of pressure (load per square inch) in those cambers/bells that the rings may be just a structural device to avoid the chambers to burst open.

 

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4 hours ago, DMC said:

Not really sure what those rings are for.

They serve two purposes, the rocket fuel is pumped through them, the heat from the rocket exhausts vapourises the fuel ready for combustion, and the fuel vapourisation cools the nozzle, stops it melting.

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37 minutes ago, Dave Swindell said:

the rocket fuel is pumped through them,

Hi Dave

Does that mean that they are not actually rings, but a sort of coiled duct?

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