Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

30 January 2013

Baikonur rollout [1]

Filming goes well; we've made some pretty shots last Sunday. One of the young musicians we follow for this long documentary which we make performed very well in a contest.
Paper modeling is a little quiet at the moment but there is something going on. I have been working on the first leg of this diorama I want to make, as I mentioned in my previous post. As I decided not to put this build on PM until I have finished it, I will show you the progress here.

For some more atmosphere of the situation I want to depict, here's a quick sketch I made somewhere last week. I made the mistake to let the locomotive have lit all of its headlights while it actually is pushing the train, so in that case the right light would be the only one lit.

It also might be 1970, or even 1968. But you get the idea.

However, I also have started the build. I took a large oblong picture frame for the diorama base plate. I made the ridge on which the train rides and the landscape from papier maché. I still am not really happy with it, papier maché always tends to shrink when it dries. I used a lot of the stuff and while setting and drying it revealed a lot of the underlying framework I made, leaving it looking a bit like a buried spine. I have to use some modeling clay or gypsum to get the ridge smooth and straight.
The modeling of both the locomotive and the flat car went smooth and easy, even though it was in 1/400. More after the jump.

26 January 2013


Again, the other things in life like work have taken over a little. I have a lot of things on my mind at the moment. Also, I was far ahead in the build of Mir compared with Zoltan, who also is building the station. So I decided to give Mir a little rest until Zoli is a bit further. The shuttle I was working on still is unfinished, but has better doors now.
In the meantime I have been starting work on my next big project, doing research and collecting the necessary photos and models for the diorama, because that is what it will be.
This time it won't be contemporary. It also is something that has been in my mind for a long time already. Just a small hint? Okay. Here's one of the inspirational pictures:

Just as a bit of inspiration. The scene will be a little different.

It won't be the actual scene I am going to do, this one up here is Soyuz-5. My diorama will be set in the late sixties or early seventies and will have very much the same feel. The first steps already have been made; the paper-maché diorama has been made and is setting. 
More on that sometime in the next month. I first have to do some filming!

19 January 2013

Mir 1/400 [13] : Atlantis

Well, I started out building Atlantis. This is the third of the shuttle fleet I am building. Challenger, Discovery and Enterprise still have to follow. They'll be built in undoubtedly the same scale.
This time the payload is the most interesting bit, since there is no model of Spacelab in this configuration available from AXM.
I used Alfonso's Harmony module, which is almost the same size as the original double sized spacelab module, and added some details that makes it look more like Spacelab. After the jump, you can see the tunnel installed in the payload bay. The tunnel has been made from rolled up paper and is completely scratch built. All of the payload has been painted white to imitate the isolation cloth over the parts. 
Next are the struts with which the tunnel in the payload bay is secured.

14 January 2013

Sojourner revisited

Some time ago in 2010 I guess, I made a 1/33 diorama of Sojourner and Pathfinder. The models were designed by John Jogerst and it all looked quite nice but the base plate I used for the diorama was not pleasing enough to my eyes. It lacked a nice frame, for example. And I didn't have a frame that fitted the initial diorama base.
So yesterday, I took a new plate. It's a disused dropped ceiling panel, with a white grainy top layer.
I had a nice square picture frame and cut the panel to size. I carefully took the models off of the original base plate and put them aside. The deflated balloons around the Pathfinder station were ripped apart in the action but I planned making new ones anyway.
Most of the original stones came off well, too.
Then I started to paint the new base plate. All kinds of mixed colours of red, burnt sienna, ochre and brown, added with a thin sprinkle of dark grey sand over the still wet paint, so it got stuck in it.
With some help of pictures I kind of recreated the location of several important stones, but the rest is just for giving an impression of the surroundings of the situation.
New deflated landing balloons were made from a paper napkin which I painted. This time a bit more yellow than the original which I found just too dull. Next I glued Sojourner to its place, this time not at the stone they called Yogi but just rolled off the ramp.
The stones were added and painted to get a more homogeneous appearance. Well, that's it really. 

Now it's back to making a nice shuttle and doing research for my next project.
I already know what that will be, but you just have to wait for a little longer. It'll be worth it. I think.
There are more pictures of what was later renamed Sagan Memorial Station after the jump.

12 January 2013

Mir 1/400 [12]

Here's a Soyuz. it is a little bit small. It fits on the tip of my finger.

After the jump I will show you how I did it.

11 January 2013

Mir 1/400 [11]

We're slowly getting there. Kvant 2 is now finished and attached to the rest of the cluster of dragonflies. 

Some more pictures and commentaries after the jump.

04 January 2013

Man Conquers Space - how the future could have been

Unfortunately, I have come down with a terrible cold so I am not able to do any work on my Mir model for the time being. So here's something else to read.

The first moon landing was made in 1963 and around 1968 there were U.S. astronauts landing on Mars. Of course, this is not how it went in real life, but in Australian film maker David Sander's fantasized timeline it did.
He lets, for example, the astronauts ride Wernher von Braun's proposed 1950's winged cone-shaped behemoth of a ferry rocket. Also, NASA never came to be but the NCA (National Council of Astronautics) did. They took care of putting a man on the moon and bringing hem safely back to Earth as soon as 1963. And it didn't stop there. Soon the NCA was sending people to Mars. In 1969 they made a film to commemorate all that had been happening in the past decade: "Man Conquers space".

More after the jump.

01 January 2013

Mir 1/400 [10]

A happy New year to you all. Not much to say, only some pictures to add to the story. I changed - or rather: remade the long solar panel on Kvant-1 when I did its twin that still lives on Kristall. I finished building Kristall itself, it got its orbital manoeuvring engines and antennae. Last module of Mir I'll make is Kvant-2, since in my depiction the Priroda module is not yet there.  After that it's time to build Atlantis.
Okay, now here's one picture of the whole of Mir so far in my hand, more pics after the jump.
From left to right: Kvant-1 with its new solar array, Mir base block, Spektr pointing away from the camera and Kristall.

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