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One Giant Leap For Mankind, Just A Pootle Round The Garden For A Martian


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As members may be aware, I have been very unwell recently, which has driven a cart and horses through my concentration levels. As I don't want to mess up my projects that Involve high levels of detail and thus long periods of concentration, I decided to build something out of my comfort zone. This was prompted by Mrs Martian buying me the Airfix Saturn V kit for my birthday. As it was fifty years to the day since I build a rocket (coincidentally the same kit) I decided it might be a good idea to build a few simpler kits and get a feel for the genre before I go charging in with my size elevens and make a hash of things.

 

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to model some of your quaint Earthling spacecraft. Incidentally there is the annual Veteran Spaceship Run from Planet Wibble to the Earth and back. This is not actually a race, it being considered quite an achievement just to complete the run without breaking down. There is however a small prize for the Alien who manages to frighten the most Earthlings by way of landing in remote parts of The USA and offering them a trip in their spacecraft. For those who actually succeed in taking an Earthling of a ride, also and quite unfairly known as alien abduction an extra prize is awarded.

 

I began with the Horizon Models kit of the Redstone Mercury. This is a delightful little kit which, with the exception of the rocket for the escape tower, goes together like a dream. I will certainly be building another of these. I decided that it was quicker and easier to scratch build a new escape rocket. I also added a hatch to the capsule and opened out the windscreen ready for some Krystal clear after painting.

 

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I then had a fiddle about with the Dragon kit of the Gemini Space Walker kit. I have had to do quite a lot of work to get the interior parts of the capsule to fit properly but I have now got there and am ready to start detailing. I have mocked up how I want to display the model. There will be a photograph of sunrise over the Earth as seen from space on the base board.

 

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I have begun work on the Horizon Models Mercury Atlas kit but I seem to have a rogue example here. The locator pins for the main body of the rocket were very fat and wobbly and resulted in me losing them and using plastic card tabs to join the rocket halves together. The panel lines were rather woolly as well and I have been sharpening them up with a scriber. My Trumpeter tool proved the best fit for this. All this work left the rocket needing to be Micro Meshed to within an inch of its life as the finish will be polished aluminium in the main which will show every tiny scratch and blemish.

 

Why do I think I have a rogue kit? I was Talking to @general melchett who has the ICBM version of the same kit and he has not encountered any of the issues that I have been struggling with. I will get some pictures of this build when I have progressed things a bit further.

 

I have delayed painting the Redstone Mercury as I need to paint the  capsules of all three models in a blue/black colour which I will need to get my Sister-in-Law to help me mix. My colour vision is pants and hers is uncanny. It therefore makes sense to mix up a batch of the colour and paint all three models at the same time.

 

I will get another post up as and when I am well enough.

 

Thanks for looking

 

Martian 👽

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Great work on that escape rocket. The stand looks uncannily like the one for a V2!

I think I read somewhere about the poor fit on the Gemini capsule, so it's not you. 

And good planning on the paint mix. I always thought Humbrol dark blue was close enough. Turns out my colour vision's a bit wobblt too!

 

3 hours ago, Martian said:

I will get another post up as and when I am well enough.

Take your time. I for one have enough fuel and oxygen to remain in orbit for another week or so.

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36 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Great work on that escape rocket. The stand looks uncannily like the one for a V2!

 

Apparently, the Redstone, from a technical point of view, was basically just a V2/A4 rocket on steroids which does make sense of the launching stand.

 

Martian 👽

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I have several of the Horizon kits, really nice.

 

I just paid for Dragon's Saturn V in 72nd so should see that in a few weeks.  Know it isn't perfect but should be a fun OOBish build.

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2 hours ago, Martian said:

Apparently, the Redstone, from a technical point of view, was basically just a V2/A4 rocket on steroids which does make sense of the launching stand.

Very much so: it retained many features of the V-2, but the big advance was that it did away with the "tanks-inside-a-fuselage" feature of the V-2, in favour of completely integral tanks & body, used by nearly all launch vehicles since.

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Oh bravo Martian, nice to see you back at the bench with a long tubular object in your capable hands.  Regarding the Atlas I haven't heard anyone mention the issues you speak of, sounds like you were just unlucky. I'm going to foil mine, (probably quite prophetic) as those things were super shiny. If you want horrific, and I know you do, try Fantastic Plastic's M.O.L....Fyffes has nothing on it, all over the gaff...still, a lot of fun though, in an odd, Mach 2 kind of way. 

 

Be a good chap and pen me in for the annual Veteran Spaceship Run from Planet Wibble to the Earth and back, fancy a bit of an amble. I'll dust off the old Nike-Ajax running shoes and start training by nipping down to the garden shed  for supplies and (maybe) back. I think I might just land in the middle of Scunthorpe town-centre instead of behind some boring sand dune in Nevada...mind you, with all that's being going on lately and the fact that it's North Lincolnshire and will probably be raining, I don't suppose anyone will bat an eyelid (or three).

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2 hours ago, general melchett said:

I think I might just land in the middle of Scunthorpe town-centre

ABORT ABORT ABORT! Have you been there lately? You might survive in a King Tiger, but half the shops have closed down anyway.

Hemswell car boot is closed down ATM so there's space next to No 1 Hangar for a soft(ish) touch down. 

Give me a bell and I'll leave a Tartan flask full of tea there for you. Hope your Hobnobs survive re entry. (F'nar).

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22 hours ago, general melchett said:

Oh bravo Martian, nice to see you back at the bench with a long tubular object in your capable hands.  Regarding the Atlas I haven't heard anyone mention the issues you speak of, sounds like you were just unlucky. I'm going to foil mine, (probably quite prophetic) as those things were super shiny. If you want horrific, and I know you do, try Fantastic Plastic's M.O.L....Fyffes has nothing on it, all over the gaff...still, a lot of fun though, in an odd, Mach 2 kind of way. 

 

Be a good chap and pen me in for the annual Veteran Spaceship Run from Planet Wibble to the Earth and back, fancy a bit of an amble. I'll dust off the old Nike-Ajax running shoes and start training by nipping down to the garden shed  for supplies and (maybe) back. I think I might just land in the middle of Scunthorpe town-centre instead of behind some boring sand dune in Nevada...mind you, with all that's being going on lately and the fact that it's North Lincolnshire and will probably be raining, I don't suppose anyone will bat an eyelid (or three).

I think there is a member on this forum who had similar issues with the kit. Here:

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235007733-mercury-atlas/

 

 

Still the rocket body has been blurglecruncheoned into complience. However, having decided on a quick five minutes on the Mercury Atlas today, one of the legs of the escape tower decided to ping off into oblivion and despite completely gutting the Martian cave, it defied all efforts to locate it. Those five minutes very quickly morphed into several hours while a new escape tower was scratch built. I have done the tower and should have the rocket finished tomorrow when I shall try and put some pictures up.

 

Frustrated of Mars 👽

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2 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

ABORT ABORT ABORT! Have you been there lately? You might survive in a King Tiger, but half the shops have closed down anyway.

Hemswell car boot is closed down ATM so there's space next to No 1 Hangar for a soft(ish) touch down. 

 

When I am looking for a soft touch down, I try and aim between General Melchet's ears! Sorry that was way too good an opportuity to miss.

 

Unrepentant of Mars 👽

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Quote

ABORT ABORT ABORT! Have you been there lately?

Thanks the Gods I haven't had to venture further north than Scampton in the past couple of years and even that was an ordeal. It can't have got any worse.....can it?

 

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I think there is a member on this forum who had similar issues with the kit. 

 

Ah, in that case, maybe I was just lucky. Sorry to hear about the escape tower escaping. That damn carpet monster, I'm convinced it's a portal to an evil black hole that maliciously spits the parts back after you've spent hours scratch building them.

 

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When I am looking for a soft touch down, I try and aim between General Melchet's ears! Sorry that was way too good an opportuity to miss.

In finest Yosemite Sam style...''Where I acome from, that there's fightin' talk''... Armstrong Whitworth canonettes at the ready.

 

 

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On 03/01/2021 at 19:38, Martian said:

Apparently, the Redstone, from a technical point of view, was basically just a V2/A4 rocket on steroids which does make sense of the launching stand.

 

Martian 👽

The launch stand was not the only thing they had in common. It used a broadly similar navigation platform and also used graphite vane deflectors in the exhaust for steering - just like the V2.

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4 hours ago, general melchett said:

 That damn carpet monster, I'm convinced it's a portal to an evil black hole that maliciously spits the parts back after you've spent hours scratch building them.

What has Baldrick's bottom got to do with this?

 

Confused of Mars 👽

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As promised, here are some pictures of the scratch built escape tower. I haven't got any done today as yesterday's exertions have left me wiped out. I still have some ribbing to add to the rocket motor and what I suspect is a lightning conductor to the top. I will be replacing most of the kit part with Albion Alloys slide fit tubing for strength.

 

Thanks for looking

 

Martian 👽

 

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2 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Is it true that lightning conductors are only good for the minute waltz?

Only if said conductors can do it in 59 seconds or less.

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I managed to get a session in on the Atlas Mercury today and concentrated on getting the rest of the escape tower and rocket sorted. I added the ribbing on the rocket motor along with the lightning conductor. I also added some representative cabling to the tower. All the tower needs now is a quick clean up when the glue on the ribbing is cured and it will be ready for paint. The next big job will be to tidy up the three engines at the business end of the rocket. More when I have got that all sorted out.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

Martian 👽

 

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That looks very nice. The cables add extra detail.

I always wondered at what point (and how) the tower was discarded after launch.

I don't think it stayed in place all the way up to orbit. Or did it?

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21 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

That looks very nice. The cables add extra detail.

I always wondered at what point (and how) the tower was discarded after launch.

I don't think it stayed in place all the way up to orbit. Or did it?

I will dig out the Haynes book on the Mercury and see if it says at what point the tower was jettisoned.

 

Martian 👽

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All Hail Martian, supreme thingummy of Mars!

Those rockety things of yours look just the thing I must say!

 

Just out of curiousity, how many legs on a pootle?

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5 minutes ago, Tzulscha said:

All Hail Martian, supreme thingummy of Mars!

Those rockety things of yours look just the thing I must say!

 

Just out of curiousity, how many legs on a pootle?

Our thanks for the compliment Earthling. A pootle is a verb meaning to travel in a leisurely manner, to stroll if you like.

 

Martian 👽 

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13 minutes ago, Martian said:

 A pootle is a verb meaning to travel in a leisurely manner, to stroll if you like.

 

Martian 👽 

Ah!

I am disappoint. 

I was sure it was some fierce alien beast at least.

 

So, a bit like a potter then.

Not so exciting but certainly something I am capable of myself..  If I were to make the effort

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1 hour ago, Pete in Lincs said:

That looks very nice. The cables add extra detail.

I always wondered at what point (and how) the tower was discarded after launch.

I don't think it stayed in place all the way up to orbit. Or did it?

The escape tower was scheduled to separate from the Mercury Atlas at 2 minutes 34 seconds into an orbital flight and at 2 minutes 22 seconds into a Mercury Redstone sub-orbital flight.

 

Martian 👽

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On 1/6/2021 at 7:40 AM, Martian said:

and what I suspect is a lightning conductor to the top

 

It's not that, it's actually a shock body, designed to generate a conical shock wave around the outside of the tower assembly during high-supersonic and hypersonic flight so that the bluff shape of the escape motor doesn't generate its own very strong and irregular shock wave which would probably shake the tower to pieces, otherwise.

Edited by KevinK
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