Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

30 September 2011

Next project: N-1

So the Mi-9 Hook has yet to catch its first speck of dust and I have decided on which project will be next. Got to keep myself busy, I guess.
More than a year ago I started Ralph Currell's N1 model in 1/144 but I put it aside after finishing Blok A, when I grew weary of the tedious cutting out of latticework. Today I blew off the dust that gathered during 14 months of shelf life and got out the rest of the A4 sheets with the upper stages. Time to get glueing again. This is the "small" version, I also have the 1/96 version lying around and that one also will be built in the future. I even plan on building this N1 in 1/400. At least I want to try that.
But let's not get ahead of things and start cutting Blok B.
Here's some pictures of where I will be picking up the build.

After the break some more information on the N-1 for those who don't know a lot about this Soviet moon rocket.

28 September 2011

Fakestok 8: Finished.

Well, here it is.
I am not really happy with it, it just is a bit too crude for my taste. The helicopter was hard and its shape caused some troublesome hours now and then. It is a bit wobbly here and there and not a clean build.
It does show a nice rendition of what happened there at Tushino nevertheless.
The wheel struts are made from brass, the wheels themselves are scratched from a couple of layers of mat paper.  The rotor is the wrong way round but I realised too late. Also a factor why I am not fully happy with it.

Oh well, It looks nice anyway. Here's the result. Tomorrow I am going to let the sun and wind blow through my hair on one of the islands here and ponder over the next project. What will it be?
I don't know yet. Maybe after tomorrow I do.

25 September 2011

Fakestok 7: Almost done!

This Mil is quite a model, if I may say so. The parts are strangely shaped but when assembled they look marvellous. A job well done by N810, as the designer calls himself.
after some short early morning build sessions and one whole Saturday, the hull is finished. The last bit was the hardest, a dozen of very tiny odd-shaped parts to fill up the small openings left by the bigger pieces. Without the proper directions at hand, it really is a puzzle. But with some common sense and piece after piece it all works out quite well.

Inside the hull I put two small tubes, one for attaching the wires with which I will hang the Fakestok under the belly, and one for putting the whole shebang on its display stand, the runway of the Tushino airfield. the only thing remaining is the rotating parts, i.e. wheels and rotors.

Here's some small pictorial evidence of the last week:

the part where the rotor will come.

A very neat and clean tail boom.

Some hard and puzzling parts here. The wing opening and transition from engine section to hull.

Wings on and glued in place, now resting to get the stuff firmly in place.

More pictures after the break!

18 September 2011

Fakestok 6: inching further

After a week full of filming i found some time to work on the Mil again.
The progress might seem small, but it took quite some time. the vague instructions left me in the dark of how to assemble the exhausts right so I ended up with two dissimilar ones. Oh well, no one will notice.
I am afraid there will be too much space underneath the wings but that also is something I'll trial and errorwise will find out.

The rotor attachment point is up next but first here are some photos.

I use styrofoam balls for inner reinforcement. So far I used one in the nose, perhaps a second will follow in the midsection of the hull. Without them I fear the heli is a bit prone to dent and bulge in the wrong places...

So far for now!

14 September 2011

Big, bigger and very white: Here's SLS!

This week NASA announced its new soon-to-be-realised behemoth: the SLS  (Space Launch System - what's in a name?). Again, it looks like Apollo on steroids. A very heavy launcher for big pieces of space equipment and a little less heavy launcher for the Orion, which survived the Constellation debacle.
Apollo on steroids all over again: NASA's new SLS proposal. And this is just the smaller one. (photo: © NASA)

Now Constellation really was something of an awfully bad idea and similar design and it was good it was cancelled. Launching people on a sole SRB is just not a good idea. To have to develop new engines for the Ares V would have taken at least ten years, It's not the age of the Space Race any more. The big Ares V looks about the same as what thiokol proposed to NASA in 1978 and what NASA has dreamt up now, a 120 meter colossus with two SRB's. But there also is a big difference with this one: Most of it is shuttle derived equipment. Two extended SRB's on either side of a big rocket, which is using five Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME's) as engines (hopefully the first stage can be recovered in one piece, those SSME's are very expensive and very reusable…) On digital impressions the rocket has been painted white with black roll markings, making it even look more like a Saturn V.

11 September 2011

Fakestok 5: Hook getting its shape

In the meantime I managed to get some more shape into the Mi-6.
The parts making up the engine section are small and I had some trouble locating the place they had to go. Luckily some pictures on the web of this chopper's beta build helped me.
It has a lot of small parts that need to be curved and twisted to get it into the good shape for connecting them to the other pieces. In this scale not always easy, but there certainly is some result. 

While doing this I am thinking about how to 'hang' the Fakestok under the belly and where to put the tube for inserting he display rod. I think for the latter I have to make a kind of inner structure. It also would be nice to have the Fakestok detachable. We'll see. Here's today's progress.

08 September 2011

Skip the "paper" bit, where do I sign?

Where do I sign up? (photo from the BBC news website)
Just recently I read another story about the need for people who have to get up there and clear the Low Earth Orbit region of debris of defunct satellites, rocket stages and other space trash. Space garbage men. I would love to become one. I think that would be one of the most challenging and adventurous jobs I can think of. And you get a tremendous view while doing it.
In the news today: NASA needs more astronauts. There seem to be only sixty or so left. The rest went away to corporate jobs or retired. Now NASA doesn't seem to have enough of them spaceboys and girls to do the jobs up there.
Sign me up, people. Unfortunately there are some things to take in account that are against me becoming an astronaut: Being almost forty-one, being Dutch, being bad at maths, colour-blind, and being out of shape for a couple of years. Now the last one is something to work on but the others surely will deny me of a foothold to a career as an astronaut, I am afraid.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to become a space traveller. I had it all planned out: First I would become a jet pilot, then I would go to America and become part of an astronaut training program and then I would go into space. Like that.
It just went a little different. And now I just am a Paper Kosmonaut.

But hey there, you people at NASA, if you have some place left, I wouldn't mind being janitor on the ISS.

04 September 2011

Fakestok 4: Trying to build a Mil Mi-6

I guess I have to give up the idea this would be a quick and easy one. No way. It fits wonderfully well, that isn't the problem. It's not going to be easy to get the shape right, the heli is round indeed. Every part is curved in one way or another. It still is a bit hard to see where this is going. I like the process, that's for sure.
Now I have a bigger part of the hull together, I saw the nose part wasn't cut out right and left the nose end a bit drooped and just a little too small at the wider end. I solved this by using a spare grey part and cut it into shape to camouflage this 'dent' in the hull. It looks a lot better now.

The rear view shows the amount of strips I used to get it stick together.

It looks like the hull of an aircraft, that's for sure.

Curves, curves, curves...

tricky to get the windows lined out well.

I already have some ideas about how I'll attach the Fakestok.

The upper part of the hull is slightly squeezed at the 'root', then bulges out to house the two turbine shafts. I really am curious how I have to curve and fold and glue those parts. That's later. I got to keep being cautious with messing up the seams with too much glue. It should not get too dirty. Although Russian heli's never were really clean, perhaps this one should be because of the occasion...
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