Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

30 August 2012

Delta IV Heavy [4]

...And the build goes on.

But it starts to look like the final stage has begun. CBC 3 is nearing completion. I have to do the engine section and the I can start on the final assembly.
Nothing much else to say, except that I got two more detailed shots of the Delta and a sneak peek into one of my next builds for you after the jump. (-;

26 August 2012

Delta IV Heavy [3]

The construction of my 1/96th Delta IV steadily goes on. I don't work on it every day but I have finished the central CBC and the left one. I now am working on the right booster core, which still is in parts and needs a lot of work yet.
Here and after the jump are some pictures of where I am now.

Two boosters finished. A big rocket which comes together very nicely.

Clear Skies, Neil.

I also want to say something about the recent passing of Neil Alden Armstrong, He Who Walked On The Moon First.
He was 82, which is, in my opinion, a respectable age and an age on which one is expecting the end to be near. All of the still living Apollo moonwalkers are about 80. In a year or ten, fifteen, there will be no one left of them.

Armstrong had a very amazing life, to say the least. Not everyone on this planet has been privileged to have his name add to the pages in the history books with an event as crucial and important as being the first man to set foot on another heavenly body. Not everybody can say they flew the fastest manned rocketplane in the world 7 times,  went into space twice and walked on the moon.
Some people on the internet have called him "badass" and "the best astronaut" and equally misplaced qualifications. I don't think Armstrong would describe himself as badass at all, let alone he'd ever consider himself to be the best astronaut.

Armstrong in the commander's seat for Gemini VIII in 1966, awaiting liftoff.
What Armstrong was in my opinion?  Not the stick and rudder man like Yeager. Not the fun-driven hot dog pilot like Pete Conrad, Wally Schirra or Gordo Cooper. Not the religious experience on the moon having man like Jim Irwin. He didn't even have the ambition to be the first, like his LMP on Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin. It just happened he was the first one assigned to get out of the LM. Because the door hinged Aldrin's way.

I read Armstrong's biography by James Hansen a couple of years ago. A big book and a worthy read. It describes Armstrong as an almost boring man, reluctant in his status of hero, reclusive and a man of just a few words. He had to face up to the fact he'd become and always will be The First Man Who Walked On the Moon. He very quickly grew tired of being asked the same questions over and over again, signing autographs and being displayed as a hero. It just was not what it was all about, in his eyes.
He was in his element when he flew and when he taught what he knew to younger people when he was teaching at Cincinnati University.
In his later days he sometimes appeared in public, speak on a congress or, even more rare, do an interview. I think he'd already said what he had to say a long time ago. And he was a man of just a few necessary words.

Neil Armstrong was a very modest and intelligent man, a skilled and calculating pilot, and above all, an engineer pur sang.
He certainly is someone who will be greatly missed, who left his mark on society forever by placing his boot in the powdery, grey soil of the lunar surface.
Clear skies, Neil Armstrong.

15 August 2012

Delta IV Heavy [2]

Some of you might have solved the riddle instantly, others will have scratched their heads. What I am building now of course is the Delta IV, a big American booster rocket and in the version I am making the biggest on the market at this moment. This Delta IV Heavy consists of three CBC's (Common Booster Cores), bolted together side by side, of which the middle one carries the payload to orbit while the outer two act as boosters. This impressive rocket is indeed a big boy, measuring about 72 meters and weighing more than 730.000 kilos. 
Originally, this rocket has the same distinctive blue colour as the other Delta rockets have. It is just for safety that this one carries the orange foam insulation much like the retired Shuttle's external tank had. When the rocket ignites on the pad, it gets engulfed in a big cloud of flames of vented gaseous fuel residue that surrounds the rocket's business end. This causes the skin of the rocket to catch fire during the start. The flame retardant in the foam makes sure the rocket won't explode and kills the fire. That is why, when a Delta IV leaves the pad it always looks scorched.

Here is a video of the first launch of the Delta IV Heavy. You can see the flames surrounding the rocket after ignition and the completely charred rocket after leaving the pad. But it all has been taken in account beforehand.

So I did the central booster of the rocket now. It is huge, it towers over all the other rockets apart from the Saturn V. It really is big.
The model did not provide stabilization rings for reinforcement inside the long tube. I made them myself and cut out some 8 or 9 circles for this central booster alone. I also made some minor adjustments to the engine section to make it all dead straight.

more pictures after the jump.

12 August 2012

Riddle me this, riddle me that...

What is PK up to now? What is this textured paper for? Is it orange? Yes it is. Does he have to give away a little more? Oh okay, after the jump, then.

08 August 2012

MSL diorama [4]

We're finished. Curiosity has also landed on the surface of this diorama. Today I made the arm, the things on the front and top deck (two drill bit holders up front and three skyhooks on the top deck - with these Curiosity was attached to the cables of the Sky Crane. Up front on the side there is the hinge of the camera boom. This boom, or pole if you will, lies flat on the top deck during transport and landing and has yet to be deployed. My 1/48 version can be straightened, too. And the camera head can turn.  I used tightly rolled paper tubes and a pin for this construction. the camera head slides over this construction and is only glued to the paper.
As usual after the jump are more pictures of the finished model and diorama.
If you like it, please feel free to leave a comment!

Curiosity is on the surface!


06 August 2012

MSL Touchdown!

Curiosity has landed safely on Mars! We're there again!
 These are the first pictures of the HAZCAMs on the rover. Curiosity's shadow clearly visible.

[UPDATE 13:00] : In the meantime My little Curiosity also has gotten its wheels, I started working on the arm with the big Mars Fun Pack at the end and the Sky Crane is installed at the diorama frame looking impressively in action. Pictures follow later today or tomorrow.

05 August 2012

MSL diorama [3]

Counting down the hours to landing, I did some more work on Curiosity. All the wheels are now there and they all look good. At least good enough to use. Two of them could've been a little better. But CA is quite unforgivable. Glued is glued. I just could adjust a little here and there. Oh well. Hardly noticeable.
And yes, I had to. I couldn't leave it as is. I made the wheel bogeys all moveable. The central axle moves, but the secondary rear axle also pivots. The wheels won't be able to turn though, and they also cannot steer. But I think this also is fun to look at.
Because of this I also decided to change the diorama setting a little. I wanted Curiosity be able to show the moving parts, so, I couldn't attach the Sky Crane to the rover. So I decided on this:

More pictures of the building and moving bogeys after the break.

04 August 2012

MSL Diorama [2]

While the weather is good, one should take advantage of it, I think. In doing so, the building of this diorama has suffered some negligence. But so be it.
What do we have then?
Well, the box that makes up the body of the rover Curiosity is ready. Still needs dome greeblies, though. I do a lot of scratchbuilding, it all is quite small so some parts are hard to make from the printed version. I added an axle to the rover to support the wheel arms a little better. Today, I did one of the wheels, more as an experiment to see if it was feasible. It was. It kind of looks like the real wheels now. I like it. Five more to go. But I am afraid that won't be today.
Curiosity taking shape

Monday morning around 7 o'clock CET, Curiosity will land on Mars. Live on NASA! So if you are able to, watch it! Might be some spectacular stuff, because there will be live images from the rover's camera!
More building pictures after the break.

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