Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

13 May 2011

"Fakestok" @ Tushino 1961

This was an idea for a model diorama I suddenly got when I came across a paper model kit of Vostok. Not the one we all know now, but the one the Soviets wanted us to believe was the real thing in 1961.
At the air show in Tushino that year the Soviets showed Vostok to the international press, dangling underneath a brand spanking new Mil Mi-6 helicopter. It looked like a futuristic craft, a pointy white cylinder with a ring around its end, and in big red letters VOSTOK over the sides.
No one knew there and then it was just the fantasy of Korolyov's engineers gone wild. He ordered this fake model since he really was eager to show and rub in the achievements Vostok recently had made but the military insisted he had to keep the spacecraft itself top secret. So it was decided to take the shroud of the third stage and go Buck Rogers on it.
(I borrowed this picture from Sven Grahn's site)

For years to come the Western observers thought they had seen the real hardware and fantasized about its innards. One of them even suggested an astronaut in a very small return capsule, lying in a prone position instead of on his back. The stabilization ring fooled everyone. However, the antennas were real.
The idea for a more than just "out of the box model" was obvious. So I found a 1/48 model of the Mil Mi-6 helicopter at ($2,50) and wanted to try and combine it with the Fakestok to show the flypass during the airshow.

(For those interested in seeing the actual happening in 1961: here's a Youtube clip:)
Three small Mil-Mi-4 helicopters fly along past the crowd, carrying the three first Sputniks. Then, after a short animation of those and other space achievements, a bigger Mil Mi-6 helicopter comes flying past with the fake Vostok (Восток) spacecraft.

The trouble was, I didn't know the scale of this Fakestok. I therefore opened Photoshop, took a part of the perfectly modeled 1/48 Vostok of Leo Cherkashyn which could be used as a cross section reference and put it over a comparble part of the old kit. I then started trial and errorwise rescale the Fakestok into 1/48.  I shrunk it to 66% of its original size to get a perfect match.
Now it is scaleable, I can easily resize 'copter and spacecraft to a smaller diorama scale. The idea is to use a runway motif as a base, with the runway lines slightly motion blurred to give the Mi-6 some suggestion of speed.

It might be looking like this when finished. Perhaps I also add some extra effect by making the rotors look blurred. This would mean not adding the actual rotors of the kit but cutting a transparent circle with slightly blurred rotors printed on. The scale in which I want to build it might be around 1/100 but I could be crazy and try 1/144 or maybe even 1/200...
Who knows? This, at least is the idea for now.
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