Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

24 March 2012

Doing the paperwork

I wanted a kind of easy build next. One that could just almost brainlessly come into existence. But I should have known better. Soon after starting on the good looking Titan IIIe, designed by Mark Cable, I realised it wasn't going the way I wanted.

First, I got in some trouble with paper. I really wanted the rocket to be made in metallic coloured paper, since the rocket itself has this distinct metallic colouring over it. Some places it's blueish, other parts are more brown toned, some are plain aluminium. A very good opportunity to test some of my metallic gloss pieces of paper.
Even though I bought it in a copy shop, the copiers couldn't, no wouldn't take it. They were to smart. "The surface was to shiny and then they get confused", said the employee to me when he took out one stuck piece of metallic paper out of the copier's belly. Okay, that was my little problem but now I was stuck with the kit's original textures and colouring.
Bear with me, the original model really is not bad at all, it's just that I want more.
Many of the rocket model designers want of course to add a touch of realism to their kit. Most of them do this by giving the hull of the rocket a virtual shine. It makes the rocket look like it is already curved while still enclosed in the paper sheet.
But this bothers me a little. I want the shine to be real. That's why I used silk gloss photo paper for the fairing on the Soyuz. The hull of the Soyuz is kind of dull, so that could be plain paper. Now this one, like I said, is metallic. I want to use metallic paper to get that specific shine.

The other issue has to do with a design flaw most model kit rockets seem to have. Seams. Along the vertical axis of the rocket cylinder there has to be a seam somewhere where the two ends of the paper meet. But almost always this seam is somewhere plainly visible, while two centimetres further there is a cable run or a fuel line running over the hull from the top to the bottom. Why not hiding that seam behind that duct? Why not trying to get your hull as flush and smooth as possible? Very often I find myself reworking a design in Photoshop® to still be able to get rid of that seam.

Over here is a seam. A long, straight and kind of ugly seam. I glued it quite well, actually but still it is a seam.
And there isn't one on the original article, I am sure about that. But here it is, out in the open.

And over here, just two cm left of that very seam, is an almost continuous cable run.
That seam should have been underneath here. It would have made the appearance much more real.
Now I am thinking about what to do. I also have John Jogerst's Atlas V 500 readied for building but I first wanted to do this one. Since I also want to include a small 1/96 payload in both models, I have decided to continue with the Titan IIIe but on my own terms. I will use Mark cable's kit as a starting point but I will scratch build most of the machine myself.
It's a little hard to find good pictures of the Titan that launched the Voyager probes but that is the one I am going to make. It will need some thorough reworking if I want to use the metallic paper. The ideas of how to do this slowly start to seep into my brain. This might become a very interesting build after all. Only not the easy build I had in mind.
Such is life. And is gets sucher every day.

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