Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

27 May 2018

Clear Skies, Beano.

Alan Bean, the fourth man to set foot on the moon, has passed away.

Alan Bean, artist and astronaut. Image: © Smithsonian / NASM (as far as I know...)
Alan Lavern Bean was assigned to the Apollo Applications Project (AAP), when Apollo 12 original crewmember Clifton Williams died in a plane crash. 
Commander Pete Conrad immediately thought of Alan Bean as a replacement. Apollo 12 was the only crew who were actual friends that flew together.
Of course, Alan bean, Beano for his friends, was the one who knew what SCE to AUX meant, when Houston radioed that to the crew after a lightning strike took out the control panels in the Apollo, just after they left the launch pad. Their mission was out of the box, well-organised, professionally executed and filled to the brim with fun.
After Apollo 12, Bean resumed his work on AAP and commanded the second manned mission to Skylab in 1974. When he retired from NASA, Alan Bean became a prolicic painter. His main subject was of course his mission to the moon and Apollo in general. His paintings were realistic and had a nice grain to them. He added small chips of their Apollo spacecraft heat shield in  his work and used his tools he used on the moon to give his paitings more structure. In some ways, Bean also can be compared to Manet, when he made an elaborate study of the colour of the moon, the same way Manet did with the Cathedral of Reims. He painted situations that never happened, like the plan he and Pete conrad had to make a photo of the two of them together with a timer he had smuggled with him in his suit ( he couldn't find it when they planned the photo so it was never made) and also the full crew of Apollo 12 together in front of the LM.
Now that Alan Bean has died, the crew might be back together again, somewhere out of this world.

Clear skies, Alan Bean and the crew of Apollo 12.

image: © Alan Bean / source: ArsTechnica

22 May 2018

Zio's Hawker Tempest

At the moment I am working on Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a model made by French designer Edy. It goes a little slower than I anticipated, while I am using glossy photo paper which makes it tricky to glue. In need for a quick result, I decided to break out another little Zio plane. And I chose one of his Tempests.

The Hawker Tempest is one of a family of planes all conceived in the early days of the Second World War. While the famous Hurricane was fighting in the Battle Of Britain, Hawker already worked on a more modern successor. The Tornado was the first one they tried, but it was abandoned. Then, the Typhoon came along which was better but had some disappointing characteristics at the start. The Tempest was a direct derivative of the Typhoon and in the hands of a good pilot it became a formidable fighter. The Typhoon also saw service, by the way.

The Tempest was equipped with a large Napier Sabre engine, which needed lots of cooling. For that purpose, a big radiator was placed under the nose, giving the plane an unusually large ‘chin’. But it also gave the plane its characteristic looks. There also was a version produced with a radial engine wich looks really sleek and much more like the very beautiful Hawker Sea Fury which actually was the plane the Tempest eventually evolved into.

This here is the end result, the build report is below, after the jump.

18 May 2018

Missions: a missed opportunity

This is a little rant about a TV series I saw the 1st episode of yesterday on BBC4.

Let’s start with saying I love science fiction. It can’t be weird enough. I love Lafferty, Asimov, Bradbury, Niven, Laumer, (okay, it’s all old stuff.) I also love realistic SF a lot. I think films like “Moon” and “Ex Machina” are excellent examples of good realistic SF. So I was excited to be able to see the start of a new SF series on BBC4, the French series called “Missions”.
It tells the story of a Mars expedition going wrong and weird. In a preview people spoke of elements of “Lost” and “Alien”. Okay, sounds interesting, let’s go for it. Below you can read the rest of my review.

The Eagle Transporter Ulysse 01 on Mars © OCS City

22 April 2018

McDonnell FH Phantom 1/50 [2]

Well, you didn't have to wait very long for the final report on the Phantom. Because here it is.

Where were we? The wings. The wings had to be completed. And the rest. And I did. Here's the end result, click on 'read the rest of the story' to read the rest of the story.

19 April 2018

McDonnell FH Phantom 1/50

The McDonnell FH Phantom was one of the first operational American jet planes, designed especially for the Navy. It was small and light, much smaller and lighter than for example the F4U Corsair. It had two Westinghouse jet engines that were housed in the wing roots. It became operational just a little too late to fight along in WW2 and it very quickly was taken over by better designed, better performing jets. There only were 62 Phantoms built. Its successor, the Banshee, looked a lot like the Phantom but was more powerful and a bit larger. Later, in the mid-fifties, McDonnell reused the Phantom’s name for the much more famous but really ugly jet fighter with the crooked nose, the weird tail wing anhedral and the cranked wingtips.

The 1946 Phantom. (photo: Wikipedia)
The 1954 Phantom II With lenghtened nose and a very necessary cannon below. (photo: Wikipedia)
Fellow Dutchie Gerard Methorst has made a lot of very pretty and often unique model designs and I have started to build his FH Phantom. So, the original one. I guess there will be more to follow in the coming week, but here is the build story and the first batch of pictures I'd like to share.

05 April 2018

Slow moments in fast times.

Yeah, I know.
It is going slow here on the blog. I have got a lot of other things to do. I am building now and then, but it is not worthy enough to show, I think. It just serves as a means to clear my mind of things once in a while. Also, I have been creative in some other ways. We have been busy preparing for displaying our three architecture documentaries we made last year. The last two are shown on exhibitions this spring and all three are shown in the local cinema as part of the activities around Architecture Day. For you Dutchies, the trailers are here, here and here. Sorry, non-dutchies, there is no subtitling available. But they still are quite nice to watch. (There is another architecture movie we made and that one indeed has English subtitles. The trailer of that one is here.)
All in all, ther has been just a few moments I could cut and glue paper. Hopefully soon there wil be more time to thoroughly get back into paper model building. I really do hope so. I still have a lot of models I want to build. I want to do a final Block 5 Falcon9 and also the F9Heavy. There's a McD Phantom 1 designed by Gerard Methorst waiting at my cutting mat. I want to do the top of that darned N1 rocket. I would like to make Nando's Collier rocket, Maxim's Myasishchev M55, and there is more.
I will get to them. That is a promise. Not as much to you all but to myself.
Stay tuned. Enjoy the background noise. see you soon.

12 March 2018

Yes, I am still alive, don't worry.

At the moment there are some other creative things occupying my days, so there is less to show. Yet there are lots of plans and you can count on a couple of nice builds later on this spring.
I have been practising on an airplane with a skeleton inside to get myself ready for the M-55. It turns out I used the wrong thickness of paper after all. More on that later.
At the moment, I am recuperating from a heavy flu, I haven't felt ill like this in years. I am mobile again, going out and enjoying the fresh air but at times, I still cough my lungs out. Hopefully that will pass soon too. For the time being, just be patient, there are things in the proverbial pipeline.
Thanks and see you soon.

16 February 2018

It got to stay fun. So here's some fun.

It is amazing how disappointed I was after abandoning the M-55. I even lost a bit of confidence in my own skills. I had to do something about it so I went back to what I consider fun builds, and for me it is building a plane designed by Fabrizio Prudenziati. While he himself is no longer among us, his heritage is large enough to keep me busy for the coming years and then some more. Thanks for that, Zio. Really, your planes keep on bringing me fun.

14 January 2018

Myasishchev M-55 Geophysica 1/48 - Abandoned...

Yes, people. I abandoned this build. The half-finished frame lies in the bin. The printed pages are in the waste paper basket. I had serious trouble with the skin of the plane. It probably is my own incompetence, since I saw Maxim's finished version, which looked fine.
Fact remains that to me, this hobby is meant to be relaxing, a means to clear my mind of bothers and most importantly, to have fun. This build was troubling my mind and wasn't fun any more. So there.
What is next? Your guess is as good as mine. We'll see!


06 January 2018

Clear Skies, John Young.

NASA astronaut John Young has left the earth for good, 87 years old.
Being a veteran of two Gemini flights, two Apollo flights - one od which brought him ti the lunar surface - and two space shuttle missions under his belt, you can consider John Young one of the most broadly experienced astronaut of them all. No other astronaut has flown  that many different missions.
Being chosen to NASA in the second batch of astronauts,John Young trained together with Gus Grissom for the first manned Gemini flight. He was the first (and only) astronaut to smuggle a corned beef sandwich into space. He then commanded Gemini 10 with Mike Collins as his pilot. Apollo 10 was flown by Young as Command Module Pilot. His colleagues Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan descended to 15 km above the lunar surface with the LM to pave the way for Apollo 11 that would fly next and would actually land.
Young did land on the moon with Apollo 16. Together with Charlie Duke he drove around in a lunar rover and spent 71 hours on the lunar surface, conducting three moon walks.
Then, in 1981, he commanded the first STS space shuttle mission, together with Bob Crippen. They spent two days in space with the new spacecraft to test it. Young's last space mission was STS-9 in 1983. All in all he is the only one who has flown four different types of spacecraft, Gemini, the Apollo, the Lunar Module and the Space Shuttle orbiter. He kept working for NASA until his retirement in 2004, when he was 74.
He died on the fifth of january. Clear Skies, John.

photo: wikimedia / NASA
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