Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

28 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [12]

I am a bit surprised on how slow my progress seems to go. It is like I don't have the energy to start early and go on for more than three hours in a row per day. I still am tired as we speak.
I cannot put my finger on what makes me tired but I guess it must me the sum of a couple of things.
Thing is, it kind of irritates me that it slowed down. I'd like to see this SCA flying. That will happen, no doubt, but not today.
I have worked n the new wings. I always had planned this, and considered the built wing a test to see what I could detail. I added one engine and that is that. it all looks good and perhaps I would have used this wing if it wasn't for the lack of colour. it missed the dark surface area over the wing itself and that definitely needs to be on.
So here's a look at the engine up close (I even made the turbine blades by cutting them loose and curving them slightly) and the new wing after the jump.

23 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [11]

Today I made the base plate. I tried out a couple of sizes but ended up with the biggest one I had. It's about 30x40 centimetres and that is because I want to do the width of the runway on scale too.
I measured out the angle in which the runway would look best and would leave me with some extra room for detailing the surrounding landscape. (Well, its a desert, so there's not much to detail and decorate..) I will make a small tutorial in the tutorial section about how I make this kind of landscape.
Anyway, here's what I came up with.
The SCA and the other hardware still isn't finished but now I have a place for them to go.
More after the jump.

22 June 2013


So here it is. Johan Scherft's pretty kingfisher. I enjoyed this build a lot. Here are some pictures of it sitting in one of the yuccas in my room. More after the jump.

21 June 2013

Out of the comfort zone: Kingfisher!

 In need for a quick result and something else than aircraft and space related stuff, I decided to leave my comfort zone and do something new.
Besides aforementioned tech items, I also really like birds. Not so much that I would go out in whatever weather to seek and find some rare species never seen before in this area, not so much that I can name any bird by its call but enough to have a Peterson's European bird guide close at hand and really enjoying looking at birds.

This one I have seen only once. I was somewhere on a big estate in an area rich in rivers and streams. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little blueish silvery shape darting over the stream and disappear in the shadows. When I started to look a little better I saw it was a kingfisher. I think it's one of the prettiest birds around and I just adore its colours. The little peeps it makes. And to see it diving for sticklebacks is just fascinating.

Dutch designer and artist Johan Scherft has made a lot of very beautiful and very realistic bird models out of paper, all in 1:1 scale. Some of them he made into kits to sell. Some of those he gives away for free on his website. This kingfisher is one of them. He also has a wren, a goldcrest and a pair of superb birds of paradise available for free download. Check out his non-free models too, they really are worth the (small) price.

Here is where I started with, the rest of today's pictures are after the jump.
Clearly seen here already is the complex shape of the bird's body part. It needs to be carefully folded and glued, tab by tab. It was recommended to print it on regular 80 gram printer paper, so that's another out-of-the-comfort-zone sensation for me, who builds everything in 200 gram paper.

16 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [10]

Well, I guess it is possible after all. I wasn't sure whether I could pull off this trick, making slats and flaps on the SCA's wings. But I did.

And although I am always happy when something works out well, I must say I really am quite pleased with the result of today's build.

More pictures after the jump!

11 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [9]

Today was a good day.
The decision to start from the back to the front and do the middle part last has proven successful.
Today I closed up the main part of the midsection and it all fitted like a glove. I am happy about that. I have to accept the fact that the hull is not as tight as I hoped it would be, this is just not going to be one of my best models. Whatever. I now just keep on going with this one.
Here's the beginning of what I had on my cutting mat a couple of days ago and after the jump you can see the result of today.
From left to right the hindmost part of the midsection and two appendices, two newly designed middle parts (the parts were extended with the blue-white-red band over the fuselage - and actually could have been joined all together in the end but oh well..) and the front part, a bit with a lot of open spaces in it. The two wishbone shapes are the front ends of the wing roots.

08 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [8]

Yesterday I finished the tail section. Just some small stuff like the tail stabilizers and the APU exhaust part. Now I am about to tackle the midsection with the wings and the engines and the landing gear. 

To prepare myself for that and just to get a small, quick and satisfying result from an inbetweenie, I decided upon trying to make one of the T-38 Talon trainers which accompanied the SCA and Enterprise on their test flights. NASA uses a whole fleet of these versatile jet aircraft and although its original design, the Northrop F-5, stems from 1962, the USAF (and NASA) still fly the trainer version today.

Richard de Vries, who redesigned the SCA from Canon's 747-400, also made an 1/72 model of the T-38 Talon in NASA livery. I reduced it to 1/400 and gave it a try.
In case you missed it, underneath the cutter there is a very small cone. 
That's the pointy end of the T-38's nose cone.
Lots more pictures after the jump.

05 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [7]

As I maybe have told, earlier on in the building process, I had two ideas for displaying the SCA and Enterprise. One in flight, during the release of the orbiter and one at take off. I still didn't know which one I would want to make. As you can see, I now have. 

I asked my friend Zoltan about his opinion on the matter and he just gave me the last little encouraging push of what perhaps already was taking shape in my head all along. It indeed is a very interesting display, it shows the complexity of the wings of the 747, with all the flaps and slats opened. It has a fully deployed landing gear that makes the model more interesting to look at. Especially in 1/400.
The main advantage of this display option, however,  is the end result is much more stable. It doesn't "fly" high above the frame to which it is attached on a thin brass rod. And it lacks the complexity of two aircraft "hovering" loose above one and other. It would make for one very wobbly, unstable display. The main disadvantage is the big amount of extra work on a very tiny scale I have to do: the landing gear and the slats and flaps on the wings. Oh well, I think I can handle that now, after making the nose wheel.
more after the jump.

02 June 2013

ALT 1977 1/400 [6]

I have finished the forward section of the SCA. I decided to leave the wing root section for later and started with the tail section. This is near finishing, it just needs the APU tail cone and the tail planes.
And still I am not really happy about how the model turns out.
It's not the model itself, the fit is good and the parts all are well designed. It is mainly the size I work in and the amount of parts that make up the hull. The more segments, the more seamlines you get. And all the lines look equally visible in 1/400 as they are in 1/144. It is just that in 1/144 the seams are wider apart and the parts all are bigger. This results in a smoother looking surface, but not in 1/400.
I guess I will just go on with this build now just to see what the end result will be. Maybe after finishing, it won't look too bad all together.
I sure hope so.
Here's the batch o' pics for today (more after the jump):
The 'bulge" is attached to the forward section, and I added the structural reinforcing where the front attachment point of the shuttle is situated.

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