Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

04 September 2012

Dnepr 1/96 [1]

The steppes. In the middle of the Russian part of nowhere. A hole in the ground. An open hatch. Suddenly a green and silver pole emerges upon a bellow of orange smoke. It rises out of the hole and slows down. A bang. A flash. A small cylinder appears out of the cloud underneath the rocket and drops away to the side and with it a dozen or so small sealing rings are jettisoned. Then, after a fraction of a moment in which the rocket seems to be floating still in the air, the engines of the first stage ignite and with a roar they kick the rocket upward into the sky.

The launch of a Dnepr. At 1:13 a replay from another viewpoint

That's how a Dnepr [n-YEP-pr] gets wings. Ever after I saw a video of this happening, the model I had was pushed into the top regions of my to-do-list. Designer Leonid Cherkashyn has made a very nice model of the rocket, although, after printing I found the colours were not much like the real thing. Much too blue - and with an imprinted shine on the rocket's skin, something I have come to dislike since I use metallic paper for such things.
After some modifications I had a better matching colour and I printed it all out on semi matte metallic paper.

More of the build after the jump.

First a comparison of Leo's colouring and mine:

Leo's version is very blue. It looks quite nice, but it is in my opinion far off from the original colour. It also has this shine over the surface, which I do not really like.

Mine is dark grey green, which I think is more like the used colour on the rocket. I darkened the lower parts, to give it a sort of scorching from the blast out of the hole.
The colour looks good, I added silver card metal straps around the rocket's hull. I embossed them to imitate the rivets.

The red line is made from red paper, with the yellow straps out of - you guessed it - yellow paper. The original is on the skin but lacked a bit in colour depth because of the paper I used. What the use of this line is? I don't really know. It might be a charge to self-destruct the rocket in case of a looming disaster. Anyone? 

In Leo's model the smaller parts had some 3D effect printed on them to suggest depth. I decided to just make them 3D. It looks quite good. I like how this stage has come out. The metallic colour also adds a lot to its realism.

The top of the fuel tank. This Lumix camera I have now makes such nice macro shots.. I had the lens almost inside the tube! The tank has been painted, by the way.

I use this method of reinforcing my rockets a lot nowadays. First I roll the tube itself, then I take a piece of thick paper, a bit smaller in length, but longer in width, and roll it, so I have two to three layers inside the tube. In this inner tube I place some reinforcing circles and glue them. This way the hull has a better overall reinforecement and the rings don't leave imprints on the hull.
Second stage as-is. Next the straps and lines will come.
More next time!
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