I never seem to be able to just do a build out of the box, so to speak, even if it's a testbuild. I recently made John Jogerst's version of the Sky Crane that will put Curiosity on Mars' surface. It was a 1/24 kit, which I did in 1/48 and I changed something on the engines. Although the kit was built in a pretty straightforward manner, I just had to tinker with it. I guess it's how I do things.
With this Titan IIIe, it's the same story. Mark's parts are good if not great, and yet I still have this need to do it my way and just use his parts as a template or sometimes even just as a guide. I hope he doesn't mind. The rocket slowly starts to come together. Stage one has been finished, all the parts are on, and the engines are nicely detailed. More after the break, as usual.
The first stage has four reinforcement fins around its hull and Mark Cable's kit now provides those also in the IIIe version, I hope. I had to 'borrow' them from another of his kits. The original parts were good but I couldn't get them out of the metallic paper properly so I made them myself. Three parts per fin. I edge glued the perpendicular parts very carefully alongside the flat strips over the hull. Not easy after a day of watching at monitors while editing a film! I managed, but it was enough for today.
I still am busy with the fairing, it has been split in two halves yesterday and inside it has been upholstered with drywall tape which I painted silver. Both halves are kept together with magnets.
I made a lower ring out of a spare shroud part and glued it on the boat tail.
|This is the boat tail part. This is where the rocket widens for the fairing.|
Inside the Centaur and the Voyager will be during lift-off.
|Inside the upper part of the second stage you still can see the top of the fuel tank.|
I have studied the rare pictures of the assembly and it seemed the shroud is assembled in a very different way than how it eventually splits during flight:
First the bottom part, a ring is placed on the boat tail. Then the Centaur is placed on the stack and two large rings are lowered over the stack to form the cylindrical part of the fairing. Whether or not the Star kick motor and Voyager are already in place on top of the Centaur, I don't know. Finally, the top part with the cone is lowered over the whole stack and then the beast is ready. During flight the shroud just splits vertically and drops away.
|The bottom part of the shroud - note the open curvature in the lower half. The boat tail ring goes in between.|
|Magnets on the one half of the shroud, a nail on the other half.|
One of the shroud halves has been fitted with a tongue and feather system so it slips over the boat tail ring and sits there to conect to the other half. That one is not feathered and just goes over the boat tail ring and clicks into place with its magnets. There will be a second pair in the top of the fairing and after the nose cone it will be time for the two solid rocket motors. That will be next.
|Ready for ignition.|