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Dick Montgomery

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

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Definitely visit Jay's Photobucket link. Now that is what this model can look like when done properly.....

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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.

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Ok Jay,

You are a certified Crazy Man! I'll do the best I can with what I've got and I'll be using some of your images as a "template".... really a great looking model!

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.

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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.

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Good advice all the way around and Thanks! I've made a small amt of progress....the Orbiter is ready to prime and the ET has different shades of orange with the "yellow" banded areas near the pointy end. It's a fun build but the errors in shape, decals etc. could cause those afflicted with AMS to really, really, not enjoy the kit. I prefer models that are more accurate and decals that are the proper color, but that isn't as high a priority for me as just having some fun.

 

This one already has a "home" upon completion. It will become a permanent resident of an ROTC display case at a local high school.

 

 

 

If you think that is crazy, wait until you see my next shuttle. ;)I

 

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.

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Progress! The SRBs and ET are painted (mostly) and also assembled.

Mvc-075s.jpg

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A little glossy on the ET, but the coloring is pretty good (and flat coating the ET will fix that anyway).

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Yep. haven't flat coated it yet...to say its a bit shiny is very accurate. Checked on tile decals. While there is a source it ain't gonna happen.....too pricy for me although the quality of the items looks very good.

 

And I see what you mean when you talk about the prospects for failure at the various attachment points for the full stack.

 

There will be Super Glue used in abundance.

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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.

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No pics today, but the ET has been given a coat of clear-flat and is, for all intents and purposes, finished. I'm currently working on the Orbiter using 3M Blue Painter's tape to set up a spraying job with some black paint. When one gets to this point one can begin to see the end of the project drawing closer....if all goes well I might have this model done by the end of next week. We'll see.....

Guaranteed that its not built up to the level that Jay's model represents but it is providing plenty of enjoyment none the less!

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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.

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Good timing on the suggested colors....I'll be getting to those parts in a few days.

 

I'm definitely taking liberties with the authenticity of the paint scheme and patterns but I want to be in the ballpark.

 

Today I'm continuing to mask and paint and will get some "gray" on the underside of the Orbiter and in a few other areas. My spray booth is about 35 inches cubed and its a good thing. The ET and SRB stack had only a few inches of clearance to get inside the booth when I shot the flat coat on the ET the other day. This is one Big Model!

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Starting this morning, those areas that were to remain black were taped and I shot a gray color on the underside of the shuttle. I attempted to simulate tiles and it came out a little better than I thought it would. The pattern isn't accurate at all but then the model will be displayed in a classroom with the underside practically invisible. Still....the effect could be enhanced by orienting the patterns more in line with what it should really look like.

Mvc-086s.jpg

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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.

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Thanks Jay. As you indicated its "ok"....much room for better technique though.

 

Anyway, I'm reporting significant progress now. The Orbiter has received its decals and I'm finishing up some of the smaller paint work that I wanted to save until late in the project.

 

At this rate, barring any unanticipated "holds" in the countdown, we'll have launch in a few days.

 

Mvc-091s.jpg

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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. :)

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I may have misinterpreted the instruction sheet. I'll look at that and either fix the model by removing the meatball, or making a note in the review that the plans (gasp!) have a slight inaccuracy.

 

BTW...when is your book going to be published?

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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.

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Well, I'll be watching for publication, whenever it happens.

I checked the instructions that the meatballs are shown on the Discovery version....and the engineering on the decal itself reinforces the idea that "they" thought it should be there. The "Flag-United States - Meatball" decal is a single piece. I haven't decided yet but I'll probably leave the meatballs in place for "Review" purposes.

 

Either way, I appreciate the info....

 

Today will be "paint the engines" day, but that will probably take place much later this evening. I'll go back to your comment related to color in this thread and make some notes.

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Jay,

Thanks for all the information you've provided during this project....

I'm done! I do not, as yet, trust the contact points between the ET and the Orbiter...we'll see about that.

 

The Paul Fisher parts (engines and such) will really spice up your 72nd Shuttle!

 

Mvc-097s.jpg

 

Mvc-095s.jpg

 

Mvc-094s.jpg

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Congratulations, you did what not many other modelers have done. You've finished a 1/72 space shuttle stack! Nice work!

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Thanks guys. Now, do you want to hear the sad part? I had one of the old Monogram kits in my stash and was building it right along with the one pictured in this thread, which is an IPMS Review item. So now I've got the completed review item which will be donated to an ROTC wing in a local high school, and I've got my original kit 50% completed on the workbench. The 2nd one is actually easier to build !

 

Its been fun. Its been real. And now that the project is finished I can say it was real fun!

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