Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

27 November 2011

We have lift-off!

The Atlas V with MSL Curiosity on top lifts off from the Cape, 26 november 2011. ©AP / Terry Renna
A beautiful launch it was, yesterday. Right on time Curiosity left the pad, carried on top of its powerful Atlas V 551 booster. Somewhere in August next year, the big rover will make its landing on Mars. A very interesting and spectacular event, never been tried before.
Here's a great piece of film where you can see how the landing will take place:

In the meantime, yours truly also has taken up his X-acto again.
Yes, as soon as Curiosity rose in the skies over Florida, the modeling virus struck again. I have started a new build. No photos yet, since I want to do this one just for myself, to get into the swing of things again. It's a biggie, though, and it's a static model. No dioramas for the time being, I think. there's a lot of static stuff I would like to add to my rocket garden. 
Anyway, this one is not part of that. I even don't know yet where to put this one when finished. Its base measures about 30 cm in diameter, I guess. Originally the model is 1/144 but I enlarged it to 1/96 so it kind of matches most of the real rockets I have.
It's white and red chequered, it's got three fins and has fired everyone's imagination at some time.

For those of you who still don't know, click "more".

24 November 2011

Launch postponed indefinitely...

After a couple of false starts I have to face some facts. Perhaps it wasn't just the situation on PM but it sure drained me of all creativity involving paper modeling. I would like to build something new but it just doesn't work. All I do is stare at the paper and make wrong cuts and all.
I tried again today but I cannot force it. It just won't work now. I just have to lay it aside for a while. It immensely frustrates me and I feel pretty inconvenienced, not being able to get lost in a nice build. I can't figure out why this happened, why I reacted so sensitive to this event and what I have to do to snap out of this semi-lethargic phase I happen to be in.

So for the time being, there won't be any building here.
I really really hope I will get back to it soon, but unfortunately I don't know when that will be.
Hang on in there, I'll be back.

20 November 2011

(almost) ready for launch - again

A small update.
Even though I haven't been able to build anything 3D-ish, in my head I started to think of a new project again. What happened on PM really got me off the creative flow I was into. I decided to leave "Maria" for what it is for now. I have the feeling it is jinxed, unfortunately. And I usually am not superstitious.

I reset my thoughts on Skylab once again. No what-if, just a historical diorama in about 1/300. No concrete building plans yet, I just started the research phase again. Hopefully in the next week or so, I will have some more ideas on which kit(s) I will be using. At this moment I am looking up pictures and making drawings of how I want it to look. More of that later, too.
I really hope this isn't a false start again. I Feel a bit as if I'm in a vacuum.

14 November 2011

Great timelapse film from ISS

No new building yet, still too uninspired to pick up the paper and glue.
Merzo brought this little gem to my attention, it's a timelapse movie shot bij low-light cameras on the ISS when passing over the nightly areas of the planet. It looks as though the whole planet is covered in a green layer of an ongoing aurora. But when you see the actual parts where there *is* an aurora, you can easily spot the difference.
beautiful to see the solar arrays rotate to new positions and the different views from different portholes.
Enjoy it fullscreen (click on the outward pointing arrows next to the word "vimeo").

09 November 2011

Will the fun ever stop? Yes. It sometimes does.

It might be some time before I continue something space-related. I started doing something else for a change, a build of an early SF movie robot called Maria. She is from the legendary film Metropolis, made by Fritz Lang. When I started this build on Papermodelers, it immediately set root for a discussion which quickly overheated involving the history of this particular model and its whereabouts and the way how I got my hands on this model. I hate those kinds of polemic "your word against mine, I am right and you are not" debates full of slightly insulting allusions. It completely took over the thread.

It sure kicked the fun out of this build and out of making a model in the first place.

I got really sad and upset when this happened. Initially I just was so angry, frustrated and fed up with it all I almost decided to just quit the forum and go back to just build for my own pleasure again. For now I have opted to leave them alone for a while and come back when I feel like. There's only so much shit I can handle and it has reached my limits.

Luckily, I have my own place where I can continue. For now I just want to work quietly on this model. I'll post some progress shots here from time to time.

(I won't make a habit of talking about myself here, this is not a diary kind of blog but this is a rare occasion that I wanted to just do so.)

This is the first attempt, it was a good one but I now have a better version I am working on.

02 November 2011

Musings on what next

Usually, I already start thinking about a new project when I can see the end of the build I am working on. It keeps me busy thinking and researching. I like that a lot.
The next one is keeping me busy for some time already now. I first started out thinking it should become a Skylab themed build. But what, where and when?

I recently came over some very intriguing documents involving the doomed space station. There were big plans made by Martin Marietta in the mid-seventies that showed Skylab revisited in the eighties. A new configuration and shuttle visits and all. I was fascinated and started drawing up sketches and ideas.
(*EDIT* : for you big space enthusiasts who don't know the document, here it is. (PDF) it's big!)

I did this one a while back but it shows how Skylab might have looked like around 1981.

Until it became too big. There was too much I could alter and show on the station but it would be too far fetched. I like ideas of what-ifs nut they have to stay between certain barriers. There will be a what-if of Skylab but for now I rethought the whole idea. I want to do a relatively easy inbetweenie. 1/200 or thereabout, and involving Skylab. So I am considering a real space event. When Apollo met Skylab for the first time: a crippled, overheated and underpowered behemoth with a small spacecraft taking a damage report.
But still, I haven't yet decided definitely what will be the next build. Soon I will find out. And you will too.

"Okay, Hunt Club, are you ready for the pick up?" [pt.9]

We're finished! First, the last bits and pieces of Hunt Club. The winch, the rotors, the horse collar for picking up Gus (which they eventually didn't do):

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