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Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

18 February 2012

Soyuz FG 1/96 #2

Because there is little progress to be seen but nevertheless lots of work has been done on the business ends of the two finished parts I have decided on a little tutorial to show you how I make those tiny parts.
Most of it has to do with the swivelling of the vernier engines the Soyuz uses to steer when aloft.
First the little fairings around the base. You can simply glue them to thick cardstock and add them to the hull but then it's just a thicker shape. These things actually are hollow fairings under which small vents are located. To get some effect of them being hollow and seeing the vents I glue them to cardstock and then I cut off the vent part of the thickened fairing. This way when added to the hull it looks like you can see the vent under the fairing.

Now then the housing of the vernier steering mechanism.
Some background: It is quite an old system, not often seen on modern rockets. Each stage has a couple of small rocket exhaust bells which can swivel left and right. The strap-on boosters all have two on the outward pointing side, the core stage has four; one on each quadrant. This way the Soyuz can roll, pitch and yaw a bit while riding its payload to space. Modern systems rely on a different system which uses a gimbal system where the engine bell can move on a wrist-like mechanism and thus vectoring its thrust in any direction.
The real stuff. The vernier engines are the small ones.
The red colour is from the detachable shrouds that protect
the innards of the engine bell. For a big picture, click here .
Okay, enough rocketry. Now the paperwork.
Those vernier engines have two swivel points, one inboard and one on the outside of the rocket. The parts for it are quite small in 1/48 but are tiny in 1/96. Leo has supplied loose glue tabs for easier assembly but in this scale it gets a bit messy. My trick is to use super glue (CyanoAcrylate - CA) to edge glue the shapes. I add a little CA on the edges of the paper and use a pair of tweezers to gently push the edges together. In the end you have reasonably shaped fairings for the steering mechanism.
After glueing  the parts I give the outer rims a little extra colour and also use CA to stick them to the hull.
Leo's parts are grey when printed so I use a silver sharpie to
give them a more aluminium appearance.

carefully add glue. I put a drip of CA on a piece of unused
paper and use a cocktail stick to add a tiny amount
to the edges of the shape.

et voilà!


And this is how it ends up on the strap-on booster.


 Then the inner parts of those swivel mechanisms. Again, these are small shapes, now rectangular boxes, and with loose glue tabs. I choose to make them solid, so I cut them out, (this time I use aluminium coloured paper) and fill the innards with two layers of thick cardboard to get the right thickness. Then I fold over the sides and glue it all in place. 


The four small fins on the boosters are being folded and then I use a watercolour pencil to camouflage the white cuts. I do this with all parts. Having a good assorted set of watercolour pencils is a must, I think. I wet the edge afterwards with my finger to get an even result. It works like a charm.


The same way I treat the small vent fairings on the outer hull of the strap-ons. No glue tabs, but edge glueing. It maybe is a little tricky when you first try it but it works like a charm.
Still without the inner parts..

...and with the added parts.

Hopefully this is helpful for some of you.
Thanks for watching and next time I hopefully have finished all three other strap-on boosters.
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