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  1. Congratulations, you did what not many other modelers have done. You've finished a 1/72 space shuttle stack! Nice work!
  2. Those decal and paint instructions are not the greatest IMHO. Some of the color callouts had me wondering if it was outsourced to somebody who had never done a shuttle before. ;) As for my book (the shuttle one), it won't be out likely until 2013. I am currently involved in writing a history book on the space station programs (pre Skylab and Salyut to ISS) right now and the manuscript for that needs to be done by this November/December. I won't be able to start work on the shuttle model resource book with full effort until that one is done. I have collected a lot of information in the meantime, but it will take some effort to get it all together. Plus, I'll also need to reenter the job market next year, which will take time away from the book. It might get done sooner if my employment prospects don't pan out. But I am not anticipating that.
  3. Very nice decal job. Only thing is if you are going with the USA and Flag decals on the left wing (and the gray NASA logo with ship name on the other wing) it will NOT have the Nasa Meatball on the fuselage. Just a minor thing. :)
  4. That actually looks pretty decent. Once it is on the ET it should look pretty good. Its one of those nice little eye catches, should you look around on the back side of the stack.
  5. Well Dick, whatever you come up with, I am sure it will look great just the same, based on what I am seeing thus far. As much as I like building shuttles myself, I also like looking at what others have achieved with them. :) BTW, for the engines, Tamiya Metallic gray works nice for the OMS motors and steel with drybrushed silver on the raised areas works great on the main engine bells. You can see the steel I used on mine, although the OMS motors should actually be a little lighter in coloring than the SSME engine bells.
  6. I don't think Dragon will ever finish a 1/72 Saturn V since it is a bit too large (we are talking about 7 feet tall here). A 1/72 Saturn 1B maybe, but not likely with a V. As for what I would love to build, I've thought long and hard. Admittedly what I want is space related as well and of course, I don't expect anyone to do them as space subjects have a bit limited exposure. But, I think they would be feasable if somebody at one of the companies put fourth the capital to do them. 1/48 Space Shuttle Orbiter (ONLY the orbiter)- I've seen a couple NASA 1/48 shuttle models up close, so an orbiter is possible and if one of the companies were to put fourth the effort into doing one that we get on some airplane kits, this could be a great subject (albeit expensive). Revell hit the limit with their 1/48 B-1B kit, and a shuttle is a little more compact then that (and the landing gear wouldn't be as flimsy either). Imagine what could be done with say an open side hatch, accurate payload bay, photo-etched payload bay hinges, flight deck and other goodies? Doing an ET and SRBs would be WAYYY too massive though. If anyone wants to do that on their own, more power to them. 1/48 Gemini Titan- Now if Revell were to take their old Gemini kit (or a new tool, say from Dragon, were to come out) pair it up with a new tool Titan II ICBM. It wouldn't be too large and Eagles Talon/Don's Modelworks has done one in this scale already. But I would love to see one in all injection tooling. 1/72 Buran and Energia- Amodel did the Buran Analog and the Atlant with Buran airframe on it. But I hope one day they will bite the bullet and do the Buran Energia stack. I need something to compliment my shuttle builds (even if I know it would be EXPENSIVE!!!). 1/100 Tamiya shuttle with ET and SRBs- Tamiya did a rather nice job on their orbiter only kit back in 1981 and when they issued it again in 2004, I asked them if they would do a full stack version. They said not likely. Since that time, they did one more reissue as well. But I say if they were to spiff up their already good model with a new payload bay and tool up a new ET and SRBs for it, they could make a good kit even better. The resulting size would be bigger than 1/144, but not as big as Monogram's 1/72 monster and could command a price and resulting size similar to a 1/32 aircraft kit. 1/32 new tool F-104 Starfighter- The Revell kit was good, the Hasegawa kit was better, but both are about 30 year old toolings. I would love to see the uber-kit treatment done to an F-104. And since the thing has stubby wings already, it wouldn't command a lot of space on a shelf. 1/32 T-38 Talon- The T-38 could stand 1/32 treatment as well now that it seems we are likely going to see a couple new kits in 1/48. It is a rather small jet though and would also be perfect for the 1/32 treatment IMHO. Since the Red Arrows Hawk got the green light from Revell of Germany, why not a T-38, say in Thunderbirds colors? :)
  7. Just remember, superglue can be a bit brittle. It gives good strength in one direction, but the sheer strength is not great (which is why horizontal stabs glued on airplane models with CA glue can be knocked off with a good side knock). I prefer using plastic weld glues for most of my work and if I have to use CA glues, I use rubber toughened CA glues as they are a little stronger. But as I said, a good slow cure epoxy should work fine on the bipod strut (as well as the aft attachment point) to give the model a solid connection. At least the stock stand with its third support arm going up the engine bells helps take some of the weight off. For both my two previous shuttle stacks, I went with a different stand, which means a little more weight to worry about as the orbiter free stands on the ET with no bottom support.
  8. A little glossy on the ET, but the coloring is pretty good (and flat coating the ET will fix that anyway).
  9. If you think that is crazy, wait until you see my next shuttle. ;) BTW, although I know you plan to use the original stand (since this is a build for review), it is not a bad idea to use epoxy when gluing the bipod strut to the ET and the orbiter. That piece is the only weak link in the chain. Also, if you want some other ideas for this model, crack open your 2011 IPMS Nationals convention book as I wrote a nice space shuttle article in it that serves as a good primer for building this kit. It will potentially give you some other ideas as well. And acquiring some aftermarket decals would be a very good idea as well since Monogram did a not so good job with them on this reissue. The red and blue colorings are wrong, the white text in the NASA meatball is light blue in shade (huh?!?) and there are a few other ommissions. If you plan to use the decals to keep it an out of the box build, it is best to do it as a "wurm" era shuttle with the old gray NASA logos on the payload bay doors and wings as there the mistakes aren't as bad.
  10. The decals I used are the OOP Cutting Edge tile decals that were offered back in 2003-04. These are VERY difficult to come by these days for less than a kings ransom. But I was able to source a few sets in both 1/144 and 1/72 they were out. There is a knockoff set on eBay that pops up from time to time, but Keith McNeill in the UK also offers a decal set in both 1/144 and 1/72. He took high resolution images from the shuttle RPM backflip manuevers to make his decals and the results look much better. However, the sheets are also expensive as heck due to the printing process he used (ALPS I believe) and the fact that ALPS supplies are getting more difficult to find). In my case, while CE did gray tiles for all the black areas, since that isn't quite accurate I only applied them to the bottom and the sides of the nose (and the body flap areas). I used flat black on the normal top areas. I mixed Tamiya smoke with clear red and clear blue to get more of a blue black color and sprayed the decals on the sides of the nose until I got them back to black again with a nice faded line where the tiles transition up the sides of the nose and on the wing leading edges.
  11. Hey Dick, you should have let me know at Nationals that you were working on a shuttle. I've built two of those Monogram monsters and have a few tricks to getting them looking good. Your work thus far is outstanding BTW. One thing that works well for the ET is to spray it with texture paint, either the whole tank or just along the seams. I've done it along the seams and then added a primer layer over that and it worked well. But I know of one other modeler who did the whole tank except for portions of the intertank region and he had a better result I think (partly because the tank had a uniform texture at that point). I used Krylon texture paint on mine, he used Rustoleum on his and we had no reactions with the paint to the plastic or any paints or primers we used after that. BTW, you can see images of one of my Monogram full stacks here (it might give you some ideas for accurizing the windows on the Monogram orbiter): http://s92.photobucket.com/albums/l31/JMChladek/Shuttle%20STS-117/
  12. I've got one of the Message from Space kits and it is ALL styrene plastic. I've never seen a resin one (or were you referring to an Entex kit from the Black Hole?). If anything, the plastic kits done by Bandai for Message from Space were BETTER than the film (although Japanese live action production standards at the time were different from US standards, so WE may consider it a bad film when in Japanese circles it likely was not so bad). The two fighters (Comet Fire and Galaxy Runner) were done as kits and they had the classic late 1970s trend of being able to be built with pull back motors so they could roll on the ground. But the kits also had the option of being built as serious models without the toy features. The main ship Liabe, which I have in my collection can only be built as a serious model without the toy features and it looks great when done. As for Battle In Outer Space, in the film the effects guys made X-15s that actually looked like they were more heavily based on the ole off scale Revell kit than anything else and to my knowledge, Aurora NEVER did an X-15 up in those colors. Yes they did an X-15 (which is not very accurate) but to my knowledge they only ever released it an X-15. To me, the two subjects that might qualify for such a list would be the Armegeddon X-71 and Russian Space Station that Revell Monogram did in 1998. I wouldn't say Armageddon was a "bad" film as I enjoyed it, but it wasn't exactly science fiction in the strictest terms as it was billed as more of an action flick in outer space on an asteroid. The kits that Revell did weren't the greatest though. For the shuttle, all they did was stick parts in their normal space shuttle kit as opposed to tooling up an all new kit. The Russian station was the Mir kit(actually released a few months before the normal Mir kit was) with an extra set of modules tooled up for it. It seemed like Revell just phoned the models in and its no wonder the models weren't big sales successes for them. Compare that with what AMT/Ertl did for the 1990s Lost In Space Movie. They went all out and tooled up two incredibly well done kits of the new Jupiter 2 and the Robot for it and had them out when the movie hit theaters. I built the Jupiter 2 kit and loved it. But the movie, while relatively successful (and which I enjoyed watching), wasn't quite the box office smash and franchise starter that people were expecting. So merchandising for it just seemed to die on the vine. Now a surprising movie one could put on the list which had kits done for it was Star Wars Episode One, the Phantom Menace. Remember how the merchandisers all flooded the market with product for it because they were predicting cash cow sales successes in this new addition to the Star Wars Franchise? AMT/Ertl was part of that as they had four kits that came out when the movie did and others came out after. Remember how that product ultimately went unsold and how the movie wasn't as good as it could have been? A year after the film came out, AMT cancelled most of their planned followon kit issues (the last new one they did was the Gungan sub, which can be VERY hard to find as not a lot of shops carried it since they were still flooded with the other SWTPM merchandise) and eventually dropped the license entirely. I would say the sales dissappointment of the TPM kits likely almost sank AMT as a company and may have had a lot to do with them being sold to Racing Champions a couple years later.
  13. The coloring looks good to me. Besides, Cylons are machines with no sense of color anyway (short of those snazzy green pentagon symbols and black stripes on the wings of the Raiders). As for knowing which ship is which, probably transponder signals take the guesswork out.
  14. Heck, the Estes Enterprise rocket that came out in the 1970s proved that. It had a big nose probe strapped to the front to move the center of pressure forward of the CG, but it flew nice and straight with the thrust line coming from the impulse deck. Playmates also did an Enterprise D glider toy that could fly well enough. If a "real" Enterprise has a rather dense CG, then propulsion coming from the impulse engines would make it fly just fine. Now if propulsion comes from the warp engines, then it would tumble. But those engines don't put out rocket exhaust like giant SRBs. They warp space to let the ship travel at faster than light velocities. For speeds under warp, it is the impulse engines that do the propulsion.
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