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Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

10 October 2012

Proton-M 1/96 bare metal edition [1]

So after the research on the Proton it's build time again.
I used Leo Cherkashyn's excellent model of the Proton-M as a starting point. I had to rearrange some of the parts to other sheets and copy/paste parts to make the most economical use of the aluminium coloured sheets of paper I wanted to use. (still I forgot some parts so I have to do yet another sheet...)
Yes, I already started. All the aluminium coloured sheets are treated with a coating of Digital Ground for better printing. This stuff is ideal for otherwise unprintable paper sheets.

So here's part one of the building process. More after the jump, as usual.
I started with the first stage. There's a lot of things to build for it. This rocket is a special one, because of the kind of fuel it uses. The Proton runs on hypergolic fuels, very poisonous and corrosive fluids that can be kept at normal temperatures and violently combust when mixed together. So there's no need for hi-tech turbo pumps and lots of complicated plumbing. It's just opening the valves of the tanks and vroom-vroom, there we go. Not so environmentally friendly, though...

Because of that the fuel is kept separate from the oxidizer in tanks around the central hull, which houses the larger oxidizer tank. The bottom has a nice mirror-like shine and I used silver paper to get the same effect.
Silver flower
The original model calls for small glue strips to attach the tank skirts to the flower-shaped bottom part. But on photo's of the Proton I saw the skirts are curved around the flower petals, not on top of it.
So I decided to do the same. Very hard to glue but the result is very pretty, I must say.



I wanted to put more detail into the small parts that go on the hull and therefore I used some embossing needles to bulge in and out some of the parts on the small umbilical boxes and engine feeders around the first stage's bottom. 




The Proton has a very special cradle it sits in on the launch pad. In the middle of it there is a large table with a couple of dozen or more metal oversized headphone jack-plugs pointing upwards. When the rocket is put into place, these plugs insert themselves into sockets that go to the rocket's electronic system. This connector-part on the Proton is matte aluminium. I also embossed the lines on this part.


Part of the Proton electrical connectors in the launch cradle - Youtube screenshot - ©TVRoscosmos

Proton lowered into the launch cradle - Youtube screenshot - ©TVRoscosmos


Electrical connector section on the bottom part of my Proton model.

I'd also like to add another picture of the cylinder roll technique I often use nowadays. After assembling the original tube, I insert a thick rolled up piece of paper, shorter than the length of the outer tube. Inside this roll, I put some reinforcement rings. This almost eliminates the chance of unwanted visual ribbing in the outer skin of the rocket.





This is a first test fit of the first fuel tank, and it already quite looks the part.
More next time!


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