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Dick Montgomery

W.I.P. Space Shuttle Full Stack in 1/72nd Scale

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I began this project just prior to going to the 2011 National Convention in Omaha, and its such a joy to return home and once again immerse myself in an enjoyable and fun modeling project!

 

The airframe has been assembled and I've begun to work on the seams. Had I taken more care in the assembly of the fuselage halves I could have reduced the work required, but frankly, it ain't rocket science! (Get it? Rocket Science?..... sometimes I just crack me up!) Anyway. The underside of the airframe is now seamed up requiring only some fine sanding and I've just now applied the first of several coats of 3M Acryl Blue to the seams on the upper surface. Much less work to be done on the top....that is until I attach the payload bay doors.

 

Lots of fun!

 

Seam-Work-on-underside-of-airframe.jpg

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Dick:

 

 

 

Did you see Paul Fishers release of the new nozzles? Might make an interesting addition to the reviwew if not too far along

 

 

 

Dave

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Looking good Dick. I have just the shuttle kit to do but keep thinking of getting the 72nd scale 747 and doing the odd couple. The fact that I have never done a vacuform kit, the cost of said model and where to store it when finished have put a little damper on the idea but will have to get at least the shuttle done one day.

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No. I did not see that info! I'll try to find it.

Dick:

 

 

 

Did you see Paul Fishers release of the new nozzles? Might make an interesting addition to the reviwew if not too far along

 

 

 

Dave

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A 1/72nd 747.....ah....wow. I saw a 72nd C-5 two years ago..... what an awesome display that would be but size, technical difficulties beyond my skill level, and $ prevent me from even contemplating such a thing.

 

Looking good Dick. I have just the shuttle kit to do but keep thinking of getting the 72nd scale 747 and doing the odd couple. The fact that I have never done a vacuform kit, the cost of said model and where to store it when finished have put a little damper on the idea but will have to get at least the shuttle done one day.

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I had a little time today to continue work on the Shuttle. The seams on the underside are ready for final sanding. The thrust plate was installed and the seams received a coating of putty. One can see the blue putty along the fuselage/thrust plate joints, and along the edges where the aerodynamic fairings for the engine nozzles mates up with the fuselage.

 

The clamp is holding the fuselage together while the 3 "support beams" holding the payload bay door hinge points is set to the proper width. The beams are simply lengths of sprue cut to the proper length. My version of the shuttle will be in launch configuration with the payload bay doors sealed. Without some support the fuselage along the length of the payload bay doors will flex too much for comfort. The hinges for the payload bay doors, molded in each fuselage half have been removed but the resulting nubs have yet to be sanded away.

 

 

MVC-003S.jpg

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The work crew hit the Shuttle early this morning. (We anticipate some time being lost to the NASCAR race this afternoon!) and the cockpit was prepared for installation. The seat cushions were painted and kit decals were added to the main instrument panel. Those marking on the side consoles and panels behind the Commander and Co-Pilot seats are totally fictitious and there only to add a little eye candy if an observer were to actually attempt to look into the cockpit and view those areas.

Cockpit.jpg

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Today saw more sanding. When one considers the seams on the SRBs, the Ex.Tank, and then on the airframe of an "airplane" as big as the Shuttle in 72nd scale to length of "seamage" goes north of 280 inches!

One of the big headaches is to maintain the curvature of the surface on the SRBs as one works on the seams. To complicate matters there are ribs that are at 90 degrees to the seams that must not be damaged as the seams are sanded.

 

i hate that

 

But when working with rockets and missiles it is a fact of life...so there we have it.

 

I do not know who invented the Flex-i-file but I'll vote for them as Modeller of the Year!

 

With all that said, I'm closing in on being able to buff out the "seamage" with some 8000 and 12000 sandpaper and then hitting the whole thing with primer.

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A note about construction. When the fuselage halves are joined and the main engine thrust plate (that big part on the tail-end of the Shuttle to which the 3 main rocket nozzles are attached) is glued into place, one will notice a rather large gap. ( at the Jaws end of the tweezers) No worries though. (look at 2nd of the 2 pics)

 

Mvc-020s.jpg

 

 

That gap is covered when the OMS/RCS pods are glued into position. The OMS/RCS pods are the large aerodynamic "shapes" that fit "under" the vertical stab.

 

Mvc-021s.jpg

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I saw this kit on the upper shelf at Hobbytown USA yesterday. I looked at it carefully until I realized it took a C Note to get it past the cashier. It is a very big box. I can't imagine a 747 in 1/72 in an injection molded kit, so it must be a vacuform kit. Who makes the necessary NASA decals for such a huge 747 kit?

 

I'm watching this project with great interest. I've wanted to do the 747 & Shuttle in 1/100 using the old Entex 747 and Tamiya Shuttle.

 

Ed

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Very cool project. Am intrigued.

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I've been working on the seams on the ET....and as you know, the ET has an orange peel texture to it. The usual "fill and sand" will not work here because that will destroy the texture adjacent to the seams. I've developed a technique that appears to be working. I'm applying thin coats of Mr. Surfacer thinned with liquid cement, and then stippling the putty as it dries and transforms from a goo-like paste to a solid. The transition time is very short....reminds me of working with acrylics when figure painting.

 

I'll know if it works well enough to pass muster once I'm shot a coat of primer on the ET.

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WOW! that's gona be a good 'en!

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Well now....that didn't work. I spent quite a bit of time stippling thinned putty on the seam and it looked good right up until the first coat of primer hit it. What a mess. It didn't look anything like the intended appearance....remember I'm trying to duplicate the orange peel texture of the ET.

 

Anyway, it's on to Plan B...... er.......wait..... I don't have a Plan B....or C.

 

So I pulled out a book by Mig Jimenez (FAQ of modeling) and right there, in the first few pages was a short description of how to make duplicate the "cast" appearance of an American tank turret and a Soviet turret. He used some Tamiya products and it looks like I'll need to place an order with the local hobby shop for some materials.

 

In the meantime I'll do what I can to clean up the mess and prep the tank for Plan MJ (Mig Jimenez)

 

This portion of the Space Shuttle has more to do with armor construction techniques than aircraft techniques. Perhaps I should build a T-35 or something along with the shuttle?

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Dick,

A trick I heard when trying to replicate a texture which I think I read about being used to replicate Dinosaur scales over a puttied area is to make a cast of some of the existing textured area and them push that over the putty. Think the guy just used some liquid latex to capture the texture but sure there are other materials that would work.

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Good suggestion, I was thinking of something similar.....I can spread the thinned putty in place and then push on it with some foam or a sponge... but the details are very small and I'm ending up with stuff that would be 6 to 10 feet when scaled out. It just "looks" wrong. I've made progress through trial and error....but so far its been mostly "error". I'll keep at it until I get it ....

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I changed direction and decided to work on the Orbiter for a few days. I've decided to represent the shuttle in launch mode, which means that the payload bay doors are closed. The hinges were removed and the doors were then sealed shut. After several days of putty/sand/repeat the airframe is almost ready for priming. You can see some primer on the model already. That helps to pop out any areas along the seams that still need attention.

The vertical stab was glued on after everything else was sanded and ready to go. It is quite tall and really hampers one when one is attempting to work on the wing root seams, payload bay door seams, and those wheel well seams on the under surface. Getting the tail glued into place represents a milestone on Orbiter progress.

 

And after much sanding, puttying, and fiddling, the seams on the ET are as good as I'm going to get them so it is currently in the spray booth air-drying.

 

Mvc-074s.jpg

 

Mvc-073s.jpg

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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/

Edited by JMChladek

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Jay,

I've been meaning to ping you. I saw your Moonraker at the Nats! I will be looking for some of the texture paint at the local hobby shop very soon. My seam work went from bad to worse the more I tried to work on it.

 

Just today I have the ET painted orange.... I'd show a pic but its just a big orange tube of plastic...so perhaps a pic wouldn't be worth the effort. I've also attached the external plumbing to the ET and have just shot a base coat on the SRBs, etc.

 

This is an IPMS review item so while I try to identify the problems, such as the window issues, I don't correct them. It's a fun build but it does require quite a bit of seam work to close everything up.

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Dick,

 

Another trick to adding texture is to usr the Testors spray fabric paint.

 

Too bad it only comes in gray, tan & black. I'd reccommend tan and then ovrrspray with various shades of orange to get the color.

If they made it in OD the stugf would be perfect for navy bombs.

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Jay,

Where'd you get the decals for the heat tiles on the underside of the Orbiter? (Please tell me those are decals!)

 

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.photobuck...ttle%20STS-117/

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Jay, found some decals! Of course, Real Space has some offerings....I wonder what you used?

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Looking good so far!!! Love space and Sc-Fi models!!!!

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Oh yeah, I've built this kit! very fun kit, like the man says, lots of sanding, of course I didnt bother with reproducing the textures like he is.

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