Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

08 August 2018

ANS - the first Dutch adventure in space [2]

Tonight it rained for the first time in weeks. While it was too hot to glue, I was working on the filmed interviews I did with the engineers that built the ANS. It was very interesting and also gave me more insights on how the satellite worked and how special this thing actually was in 1973. 
Now it has cooled down a little but still it is warm outside. But in the meantime, I did manage to do some micro-sessions to get a little further with the build of ANS, the little satellite that could. As we go further into the build, I will try to keep telling you some more details on this little nearly forgotten marvel from the dawn of the nineteen-seventies. The photo below shows where I am now, the rest of the story follows below.

The receptor of the Soft X-ray Telescope has been installed, the backside of the solar panels have been detailed. (Note: the solar panels will be reversed when finished, this side facing the other way.)

30 July 2018

sticky weather

Yes, I am still here. It just has been too hot to build anything. Whenever I use a drop of glue it is already dry before I have applied it to the parts. I have made some progress but too little to mention in a post here. So, now the 35º+ heatwave apparently has almost passed and the temperatures are back to a 'normal' 28º indoors, I will see if I can start building again. If only I could stop sweating. What do you mean, no climate change? Scorching heat and an occasional rain bomb with no cooling power whatsoever.

See you soon.

17 July 2018

ANS - The first Dutch adventure in space [1]

Hi. Storytime!

When in the early 1960s Europe too wanted to get a foothold in outer space, ELDO and ESRO were founded. A lot of European countries were involved, including the Netherlands. But although they financed the endeavour along with the rest, the Dutch were practically ignored when it came to active participation. The assignments for rockets and satellites always went to Germany, Italy and France.
The Dutch lacked experience, they said. Something they of course would never get when they couldn’t participate. So the Dutch delegation took a deep sigh and said to themselves: “Well, we’ll do it our bloody selves, then” (but of course they said it in Dutch, probably somewhere in the line of “Dan doen we het verdikke zelf wel!”).
They wanted their satellite to serve a scientific purpose, so it was decided it would be an astronomical satellite.

Skip forward a half a dozen years or so. With a big grant from the government the Dutch finally could start building in 1969. They named her ANS, which is an old-fashioned Dutch girl’s name but in fact stood for Astronomische Nederlandse Satelliet.
Two very special telescope systems would scan the Infrared and X-ray spectrum. The universities of Groningen and Utrecht would provide the telescopes and other astronomical instruments, the Philips company would create and build the brain and electronics, and Fokker would build it all together in a small frame, all under the supervision of the NLR, the Dutch Aeronautical institute.

ANS being tested, around 1973. On the forward facing part you can see the holes for the soft X-ray telescope (the round one and the little square one) and in the middle the opening for the bulky Cassegrain UV-telescope. On the side, just below the top is the US hard X-ray experiment. At the bottom, pointing away from the camera, is the on-board computer. Everything was connected with strings of long white cables. 
Photo: ICANS/Fokker/Philips/NLR

01 July 2018

29 June 2018

Just bear with me.. something's coming.

The result is just a couple of days away, I think. I have been working on and off on this thing and it nears completion. I didn't know how long it was going to take me so I first thought I just build it and post it when I would be ready. But it took longer than I expected. Lots of parts needed to be redesigned and testfitted before satisfactory results.
I think the result won't be perfect but it will be good.

In the meantime, I have been busy with work, mainly work preparation. Trying to get things going again in our filming business. The economy apparently is getting healthier but we don't really see lots of improvement in our branch. We have stuff on the backburner we are going to revamp and giving it a second chance in the funding caroussel.
Concerning the build: what can I reveal already? Well, it's a plane, it has been made before, but in plastic and it is Dutch.

The result will be shown in a few days. I hope.

See you soon,

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.

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