Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

16 February 2012

Soyuz FG 1/96 #1

Every build should begin like this.

Oh, the joy of a fresh blade!
Oh yummie!
This is the next one to get to the pad. The special anniversary Soyuz FG launcher with the Gagarin commemorative logo. Last year around April the Russians celebrated 50 years of manned spaceflight with this launch.
Postcard sized pages on 200 grams paper
I used Leo Cherkashyn's Soyuz kit, which is meant to be built at 1/48th. Quite a biggie. Since my rocket garden is one half of that size I decided to reduce his kit to 1/96. Lots of tiny parts! I started with the central core booster which the Russians call stage 2, the strap-on boosters being stage one.
During the build the feeling came over me that the build was lacking something.
When I got a big file by mail from Zoltan (thanks!), stuffed with pictures of Soyuz being build, I realised what it was. There should be more detail and realism. So there I went.

This is about half the size of the whole rocket.

I first wanted this to be a simple straightforward build, no strings attached. But well, the last couple of builds were much more detailed than this one so it just didn't feel right. The first part that got the change was the engine section of the core stage. Soyuz rockets have this very shiny polished aluminium parts around the engine block. I remembered I had this tape laying around which I used for taping the insulation layers together underneath the laminate floorboards in my girlfriend's house. Shiny silver stuff, about the thickness of regular masking tape but then more expensive and silver instead of brown.
Silver masking tape for considerably more money than the regular brown stuff. Could this be a rip-off?

It worked like a charm. It was just a small strip around the lower part of the orange section but it did the trick. After the central stage I started on one of the four strap ons. 
Whoa. Where's me sunglasses?

One booster engine section about to be assembled.

I decided on doing them one by one to avoid tediousness with cutting the same piece over and over. I added the silver parts. I even did some carving in the parts to imitate the panel lines. Some weight in the bottom has to make sure the rocket won't get too top heavy, although its base is quite broad.

Et voilà!
So, this is not going to be the 'quickie' I originally had in mind but quite the opposite. It might take a while, because I also have a job to do and there's actually some work coming up.

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