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Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

28 March 2012

Titan IIIe "Voyager" 1/96 #1

Here we go then. The second coming worked out fine. Printing on several kinds of metallic paper showed me which ones were and which ones weren't fit for printing at all.
So I started out with the first stage. Gotta start somewhere. This whole rocket actually is just a tube. Almost no hard conical parts apart from the boat tail and the fairing. Anyway, I tinkered some with the first stage and added the interstage section to it. This originally was designed to be at the second stage part. But while staging, the interstage stays on the first stage. So I changed that.


A curious thing with U.S. rockets is that the Titan has been the only rocket / missile that mimicked the style of staging the Soviets did. It meant igniting the second stage while still attached to the first stage. For this method they needed blast holes in the interstage and so this is a rocket that has a lot in common with actual Russian hardware even more so, because this is the only U.S. launch vehicle that uses hypergolic fuel like the Russian Proton, instead of the more common method of kerosene/oxygen or hydrogen/oxygen.

The blast holes in this rocket model were made from drywall mesh tape. I painted it black and used some extra CA to stick it to the insides of the interstage walls. Another layer of silvery paper was glued over it to conceal the overlay. The interstage actually needed some thorough reinforcing, since this paper is really thin. CA to the rescue and now it feels quite sturdy.



Drywall mesh in the blast hole. I cut off the unnecessary horizontal parts and at this close up it shows terribly. But in real life it all is hardly visible. Almost smooth.

Seen from the inside before closing up the tube
I also changed a lot about where the seam runs over the hull. It now is hidden away behind the cable runs. It is much nicer in appearance although this paper is very good in closing up seams. Regular 200 gram paper leaves much bigger seams than this stuff.
That's nice.
The outer structures on the hull were a bit accentuated by using a dull needle and running it past the many horizontal and vertical lines on the hull. 
the seam, neatly where the cable runs will run.
For the innards I rolled up some thick paper and fitted it snugly inside the tube. I used my wonderful circle cutter to put a load of reinforcing circles inside the cylinder. It now feels completely stiff.


I used the top of a Styrofoam ball for the top of the fuel tank of stage one. I covered it in white glue and after drying the surface was smooth and could receive a layer of Tamiya gold leaf acrylic paint. It then was pushed in the upper part of the stage until it reached its final position just under the blast portholes. it neatly sits, just visible through the blast hole itself, like in the real machine.



The second stage is more colourful - I had to really saturate the colours when printing to get the right effect on the paper, but the lettering in black kept on being a bit vague. When I added some white bands over the outer skin, I decided to neatly cut out the part where the lettering overlays this white band to prevent the great difference in opacity. I also used a dull needle here to accentuate the panel lining.




I already did the engine of the 2nd stage (no pictures yet) and I am going to do the engines of stage 1 next.
Even though I always seem to have the need to completely fiddle, tinker and mess up a perfectly fine model, I can say that this kit is a beautiful piece of work.
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