Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

28 December 2014

Gemini XII - Agena EVA 1/48, pt. 5: A couple of beauty shots

So I was tinkering with a new camera a little this afternoon, and I decided to make some shots of the Gemini - Agena diorama. A little more visual details, but also some more blemishes and seams visible.
And more after the jump below.

Leaves me to wish you all a prosperous and peaceful New Year and all the best for you and your loved ones.

25 December 2014

Gemini XII - Agena EVA 1/48, pt. 4: Finished!

Well, merry christmas everyone!
Gemini XII is finished and docked, floating high over the earth with Buzz making a nice long EVA.
I changed a little to the model since last time, you can see what I did after the jump.
Here's a photo of the finished product. Well, as I say finished, I mean more or less, actually because I need to put four little shock braces on the back collar of the engine. Totally forgot about them. But with these shots you'll get a good picture of what it looks like as a finished diorama anyway.

16 December 2014

Gemini XII - Agena EVA 1/48, pt. 3: Gemini cockpit & yet another astronaut

Well hello, here I am again.
Still busy but now and then there's time to maintain the model building skills a little. Work on the Gemini diorama is continuing with the round up of the capsule build and the building of Buzz.

Here's a closer look at Buzz' empty chair, while he's doing his EVA. I added some extra details to his chair, like the arm restraints and all the belts, which float free now Buzz is outside. (all pics are a little larger than shown so click for bigger)
More after the jump.

05 December 2014

New teaser from Man Conquers Space online!

There's a space movie which is long awaited by lots of people around the world. No, not Star Wars, it's something much closer to home. As a fan of "what-if" stories I am really looking forward to see the end product of this tour de force by film maker David Sander from Australia. This project already has taken him I think ten years. It's an independent production, Sander produces, writes, directs and takes care of the SFX.
His documentary style film tells the story of the US going to space more than 10 years before they actually did, making much bolder steps than they actually did and shows people going to - and landing on - Mars before Kennedy's decade was out. It shows interviews with (fictitious) astronauts and grainy footage of Von Braun's Saturn Shuttle lifting off from pad 39 in Florida. Wonderful stuff. Here's the new trailer, the first in four years. it shows a vision of a world around 1969 in which people have been to Mars, painted in stupendously vivid colours and images. I really hope this film will come to life real soon.
Since the YT video was made private (why?) You can watch the teaser on Vimeo. I just cannot seem to embed that here...

PS. I'll place an update on Gemini soon. I've had a heavy head cold the past few days...

Edit July 18th 2015: It appears David Sander took everything offline. I really hope he himself is doing well. It is however a huge pity that this project now had vanished...

30 November 2014

Gemini XII - Agena EVA 1/48, pt. 2: Gemini cockpit & astronaut

And on we go.
It's been some time and it feels good to have regained some time to fiddle with glue and paper.
After the Agena it's time for the docked Gemini spacecraft. The idea was to show it with the hatch opened during Buzz' space walk. So the interior is visible and of course, Jim Lovell in the commander's seat is visible as well. So I had to do the interior and an astronaut inside as well.

Here is the result, the pictures of the build are after the jump.

Yes, the astronaut is made of paper, too. The helmet however, is not.

23 November 2014

Gemini XII - Agena EVA 1/48, pt. 1: Agena Target Vehicle

Well, it looks like I still am able to build something out of paper. I already started to doubt myself. It's just a little exercise, nothing really special. I decided on building the last Gemini flight, with the spacecraft docked to the Agena target vehicle while Buzz Aldrin is doing his EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity, for those of you who are not yet in the know).
The models come from Delta 7 models, designed by Dan Shippey. Very well detailed and totally worth the price. Absolutely recommended. In the files you'll find all Gemini versions (12 of them), the different Agena's, the Angry Alligator (ATDA), an 1/96 Titan with Gemini, an extra detail set with opening doors and even a splashdown  model.  I already did two Gemini's earlier on, depicting the rendezvous between Gemini's 6 and 7. And there will be more to come!  

I used several types of paper, used lots of test pages to get it all in the same and right scale and the build commenced.
Here's the end result of the Agena, the build pictures are after the jump.

20 November 2014

Hey! Paper purists! Look away! A plastic model!

Because I like to show it to you, here's my styrene 1/33 Westland Wyvern in winter camouflage. It is still without its markings but they will be Dutch Navy. Because. As far as I know it also never flew in winter camo, so it is completely fictitious.
It's Trumpeter's S.4 late model kit and it's a great build. It always baffles me that most of the work is done with building the pilot's office and that it's the place you see the least of. A PE dashboard with acetate film behind it to show all the dials and screens. You need a loupe and a flash light to see any of it when you are finished. Oh well. I really like how it looks now. the only thing I really changed were the engine exhaust pipes. They were very shallow and had no depth. I used 8mm brass tube to make exhaust pipes that go all the way into the fuselage. Oh, and I detailed the wheels a little with some tubing. The winter camo really is an eye catcher.

Click for bigger

Oficially, winter camo is applied with a white distemper over the lighter coloured normal camouflaged areas of a plane, so it always looks a bit less opaque. And the borders between the colours usually are more vague than I made them here. Also, it easily washed off after a few weeks. I might have overdone the opaqueness and the sharp border edges a little but then again, it could be a freshly painted machine. Anyway, I think it looks very neat. 
I don't do plastic aircraft a lot and when I do them, I almost always make them a 'what-if'. And often Dutch. I even made up a complete storyline of which aircraft the Dutch air force had after WWII to back up the planes I sometimes make (the paper 1/48 Yak 130 from a while back also is part of that canon).
But okay, this is a blog mostly on paper models so I'll leave it to this. See you!

19 November 2014

A little bit of fun: Rosetta & Philae - the kiddie's model (-;

Hi there.
It has been a while. There was so much work and stuff to do, I could hardly get some rest to think about what would be my next step on the road back to paper modeling.
The documentary films we've made the past year have been very successful. They had good reviews and ratings and two even were broadcast.
All in all there was little time to spend in the hobby room cutting out paper. I did make a very nice plastic model, though. A 1/48th Westland Wyvern in winter camouflage. Came out reasonably well, it being painted with a couple of hairy sticks instead of the airbrush.

But what was the big thing in spaceland the past week? Right, Philae's comet landing. I watched it live and boy was it boring without any commentator filling in the shots of people staring at screens. But the landing itself, very spectacular indeed. 100 points to ESA.
Looking for a model of the real thing, I also found the kid's model at ESA's site, which was shaped after the cartoons they showed on beforehand. I decided that this was a nice first model to restart my paper model stuff with after my sudden stop. I loved these pretty animations they made of Rosetta and Philae arriving at P67 anyway so why not?

More after the jump.

05 October 2014

a bird and a plane (but no superman).

Hi there!
I am so sorry I cannot treat you all with something complicated at the moment. The 1/20 Apollo capsule I intended to build is on the shelf, just like all the other biggies. The Saturn, Planck&Herschel, the GeeBee raceplane I was doing, it's all on hold. I only can do out of the proverbial box models, the easier stuff.

There's hardly any creativity left in me at this time. I am more or less exhausted by the breakneck pace my partner and I have to get these documentary films out before their deadlines. It has drained me of almost all my creativity, and what's left of it I need to use for the films. We already brought out two films this year, there are two more to follow this autumn. After that, somewhere middle November, we finally are free. I hope.

So, unfortunately there's not much *big* paper modeling going on.
What I can show you are two little builds I did in the past weeks just to keep my mind off things. They're a little uninspired, just something to kind of still my paper model hunger a little. I made a very quick build of Johan Scherft's wren a week or so ago, just an ultra quickie, taking me just an hour or two. A perfect fit and a joy to make. It just was very quick. I liked the result and gave the little wren a place to sit close to the kingfisher I made some time ago.

It is attached to the branch with a piece of thin wire.
A little drop of clear acrylic paint made its beady little eyes a lot more vivid.
More after the jump.

12 September 2014


I updated the Gallery page a little. I was struck by the lighting on the professional photos Billy Leliveld showed on the papermodelers forum (and of which I also showed some here) and yesterday I tried to do the same with some of my models which are displayed in a space situation. I used my pretty little Lumix LX7 on a tripod, a blackish background and a very bright LED flashlight (a Maglite to be precise). The background I used was the biggest black surface I could find, the portfolio case I have for large sheets of paper. It just is ribbed like cardboard boxes. And that showed on the pictures here and there. It looked a little like an eighties video clip. Horizontal lines galore. Luckily I know my way around Photoshop a little. I talk too much. Look at the new pictures in my gallery here.
Here's one for appetite.

08 September 2014

More Tardis fun

This weekend I got a broken alarm clock and today I took it apart. I am always on the lookout for small cogs for making rivet lines on my models but the teeth of these wheels all were flat and not pointy, so I couldn't make use of the cog wheels as such. 
But when I took the clock apart, looking at the spiraled springs immediately took me back to my previous build. So I made a little display for my Tardis model.
More after the jump.

07 September 2014

Apollo Command Module 1/20 [1] Beginnings.

Time to start the model of the decade. It actually has already completely used up all existing superlatives so I cease to try and add more to it now. Ken West's Apollo capsule is on the cutting mat.

After getting a grasp of how big the model would become, I decided to reduce the size but I still wanted to be able to do as much detail as possible. I chose 1/20 as my preferable size. A lot smaller than the original model but still a large model. I started printing out some pages and today I made the first cuts.
We start with two parts simultaneously to make it more interesting.
While I am starting with the heat shield, I also am doing the instrument panel. As far as I can remember, this part and the hatch are the most elaborate parts with the highest amount of details. In fact, you can consider them little models on their own.
So here's a couple of photos to get started.

It will be a lot smaller than the original build would be.
The finished capsule will measure about 17 cm across.

Let's start with the outer ring of the heat shield.
 More after the jump.

06 September 2014

Finally, PK does a rant on printers.

I don’t get anything as far as printing stuff is concerned.
All I want is a 1/12 paper model, originally intended to fit on A4, to be printed at an A5 size, so I can fit two pages on one A4 sheet, and thus resized so it will be 1/20.

If I print a single page, reduced to 1/20, solo on an A4, I have to do this at 60%. This make perfect sense to me.

If I put two pages on one single A4 sheet (which, in my theories, makes the pages A5 sized), the printer dialog box claims the reduced pages are 97%. This makes NO sense to me. 97% of the original size? 97% of an A5? What? This is not clear in any way.

To reduce a page from A4 to A5 takes 71% already. So in the dialog box the setting should be automagically set at 71%. That would make sense. Now I just have to guess new percentages to print the pages at my desired scale. That took me some more ink than I intended to spend. Of course I got there in the end. But only by comparing to the originally reduced print (@60%) I already had.

Now I learnt I have to print the pages at 90%, with the printer set to “no border” to get the exact size I intended to get.
Thinking a little further, this indeed may get the page size up to the original 60% (the pages already being reduced to 71% without incorporating this number in the dialog box) so I get the final result but it should be easier, more intuitive.

This is not making my life any easier. But then I suppose it might not be intended to make my life easier. Printers belong to the weirdest group of household appliances. Why?
I'll rant about that after the jump. (-;

05 September 2014

The little dilemma's of a paper Kosmonaut

Now that we have finished the last inbetweenie it is time for at least one big project for the coming times. And I have decided upon the wonderful Apollo capsule designed by Ken West. But since I apparently cannot build anything just straight out of the proverbial box, but preferably a little smaller (or a lot) I also need to do this with the Apollo. Now I just am wondering on which scale I should use. How much detail do I want to keep? I reduced the control panel in a test print to 50%, so 1/24. In this scale I will probably have to lose the finger guards of all the switches. The next test I did was at 75%, which would turn the model into a 1/16th sized object. It will give me all the details but it just is a bit too close to the original size. The path in between would lead me to 60% and that would make it 1/20. 

To give a sense of scale: the smallest panel version is about 10 cm across, the middle one is 12,5 cm and the upper one measures a little more than 15 cm.

What will it be?
Of course, I will keep you all informed.

04 September 2014

Time. For an inbetweenie.

Does a thrumming metallic sound and the apparition of a large blue box ring a bell?
Fine. Although I am not a frequent television watcher, when I do, I often watch BBC shows and I also like Doctor Who a lot. And must say I am very pleased with the Twelfth Doctor. I really think Peter Capaldi is perfect for the role. I know I might offend some of the Who fans here, but I think he's a better fit for the part than Matt Smith ever was. So in celebration of the thirteenth incarnation of our favourite renegade timelord, here's a little Tardis I built this week. It has been built from blue paper, so no need for colouring and all that. Here's the end result, some pictures of the build can be found after the jump.

31 August 2014

Falcon 9 v 1.1 (5) - Finished

Here's the last part of the Falcon 9 1.1 build.
The only thing remaining was the cap on the top of the Dragon capsule and that has been finished today. The fit was a little loose, but that also might be caused by my tinkering. I wanted the cap to be able to taken off off the docking collar. And with some TLC, in the end it all fitted reasonably well.

Falcon 9 1.1 among its colleagues. Note how extremely long and thin it is.
Want to see more?

24 August 2014

Falcon 9 v 1.1 (4)

Onwards and upwards we go.
Back to where we left the long pencil rocket called Falcon 9.
Lots of progress made today and yesterday. Great to have a little spare time for the hobby. What did PK do? Well, for a start he put on some clamps for keeping the second stage in place. It needs to be said that in Alfonso's original model there is no separable second stage or Dragon. So I had to cut the clamps in half. I also did all the engines and because all posts up til now had the engines as front post pic, I'll do the same here.
More, lots more! after the jump.

21 August 2014

Wrâldsein - an inbetweenie of some sort

Let's start this post with some marginal history: In the late 1800s, the Dutch government decided on building five types of generic train station buildings all over the country. They were divided into classes, in which 1 was the largest and 5 the smallest. And although they were standardized, they all still had their own special features and shapes.

A classic example of a Waterstaat class 5 station: Kapelle-Biezelinge. photo: Wikimedia Commons
Waterstaat klasse 5 stations were small, had a central two or three floor building and two small wings. Some had an added single floor building on the left side and some also one on the right. Most of them are either demolished or rigorously changed. There are only a few originals left. I really think they look very pretty. I'd love to live in one.

I found a small model of it online and ordered it. I scanned it and reduced it to 50% of its original size. I wanted to build a generic one, not an existing station but something imaginary out of a time long ago.

After the jump, you'll find the build, a PK's blog exclusive!

16 August 2014

Apollo Command Module 1/12 is released!

The long awaited 1/12 Apollo CM paper model designed by Ken West finally has been released. It's the Block II version of the spacecraft with full interior, Boost Proctective Cover, Launch Escape System and it is also able to be taken apart to show the insides.
left to right: LES/BPC, Outer skin, pressure vessel, couches and heat shield.
Photo made by Peter van Dijk
This huge model kit has almost 130 pages of parts to offer. Over at Papermodelers a two-year thread bears witness of the long and elaborate process of designing and testbuilding the capsule. Billy Leliveld's testbuild showed an extraordinarily fine detailed interior with added chrome paper parts, finger guards for the switches on the control panel and even interior lighting. The capsule's hatch is a little model kit in itself. It is wonderfully detailed with all the latches and handles. It can be displayed in an open or closed position but has no working hinges.

The outer skin of the capsule was made from chrome coated paper.
Photo made by Peter van Dijk

The model now is downloadable for $18 over at Ecardmodels. For that price you'll be kept busy for at least a year, is my guess! Difficulty: 5/5 so not for the faint hearted and beginners. This is really a very very elaborate model. Every little switch is there.

Look how this one sublimely imitates the harsh unfiltered sunlight like it looks in outer space. The couches are removed in this picture and you are looking "up" into the tunnel between the Command Module and the LM. In the upper right and left corner you can see two of the working cabin lights Billy Leliveld added to his version. Hard to see on this photo but all the switches have finger guards!
Photo made by Peter van Dijk
But look at this beauty, Just look at it. This is what makes paper modeling so much better than plastic kits. The details. The size. The price. The fact you can make another one. And maybe try it in say, 1/24 or even 1/35.
For me, this is one of the best models that has ever been released. I'll be starting it soon. Promise.

Photo made by Peter van Dijk

05 August 2014

Falcon 9 v 1.1 (3)

Amazing how time consuming small parts can be. Two engines and an engine base, one and a half hour. Not much but hey, it is keeping on going further. That's a good thing.
Here is a picture of engine number three. Some more of the rest after the break.

04 August 2014

Falcon 9 v 1.1 (2)

Small progress. Several reasons I won't tire you with. Mainly work. And the summer heat. Oh shoot. Now I did tire you anyway. (-;
Anyway, like I said, small progress. I mainly did some detailing on the hull of the rocket and I made another engine. The second stage also is in a state of coming to be. All in all an enjoyable build. Tomorrow morning I hope to do some more.
Compared to tje previous appearance of the Falcon9, this one is really loooooong. Someone at the PaperModelers forum used the word pencil-rocket for these versions. And they really look like pencils. Sleek, very long and a pointy top. All made possible due to gimballing engines. Like balancing a broom on your fingertip, they move to keep the rocket go up straight.

Nothing much further to add in text though. I think the photos speak for themselves. More after the jump, as usual.

29 July 2014

Falcon 9 v 1.1

Some time ago, SpaceX redesigned its successful rocket, the Falcon 9 to be more versatile. It got a new engine section and some legs. The squared three-by-three structure of the engines was changed into what SpaceX calls the Octaweb; one engine in the middle and eight placed evenly around it. This made the bottom section round instead of square and thus more streamlined. The lowest part of the first stage also was equipped with four extendible landing legs. These are folded up against the hull in flight and are deployed when the stage returns to the surface, balancing on its centre engine like a broomstick on a hand. The purpose of it all is to make the rocket eventually land on the launch site. for now, two more or less successful efforts have been made to land the rocket on the surface of the ocean. It of course toppled after settling down but that was intended.
The older version now is awaiting display in the National Space Museum in Lelystad, so I had room to build a new one.
The only available v.1.1 of the Falcon is the free downloadable one from AXM and it happens to be a very nicely detailed and well designed one, too. Enough left to superdetail and always a good fit.

Hopefully this will be a project I will finish, something I haven't been able to do since winter last year. Herschel, Planck, parts of a GeeBee race plane and the ill-fated 1/96 Saturn V are all boxed and shelved and waiting for a continuation. This one might see the display shelf first, I think. Here's where I am now.

More after the jump.

18 July 2014

Soon: Back to normal! (I hope...)

Heat wave hitting Grunnen at the moment.
Spent days in the tiny office trying to master a DVD of the new film that looked "great", then going for "acceptable" and after that didn't seem to work out, almost giving up. So far for "pro" applications in FCP7. Why it looked so bad on the consumer set we have in the office I still don't know but at home everything looked better. And finally got something more than acceptable.
This all to show that the post-post production almost never goes smooth either. Luckily all we have to do now is just wait for the première next week. Hopefully with some audience attending. It still will be hot, according to the forecasts.

As for the modelling stuff, I have tried to start something earlier this month, but I couldn't get myself to do anything papery at the moment. It is something that should not be obligatory anyway. I guess it is hard for me to be building models when all my creativity has to be used to work on post production.

Let me end with telling you there are a lot of projects simmering in the big creativity cooking pot in my head, There will be - amongst other stuff, in random order and subject to change - a new Falcon 9 V. 1.1 (AXM) 1:100, I'll try my skills on Johan Scherft's hummingbird 1:1, and an addition to the shuttle fleet with Challenger STS 61A.
Really, I regret there hasn't been a lot of new model stuff going on here right now but one only has one brain and a limited amount of creativity to spend. I still am reloading from this monster job the last months. I truly hope the efforts pay off in the response we get from the audience.
See you soon!


19 June 2014

Time to reload

Well, it has finally been finished. The long documentary film me and my partner have been working on for two years has left our office today to go into post production treatment; sound-wise, that is.
Time for us to take a little break after two years of full throttle working on several projects at the same time. At some point there were five we had to deal with. That is a lot for a two-person business, I can tell you that.
So, it's time to get some well- deserved rest and reload. After my return we can start the editing process on a new project we've filmed in Cologne last winter. But that will be a lot easier than what we did with this last one.
At this time there aren't any paper model projects on the table, there are three started projects that I put on the shelf indefinitely and of course I also have some ideas brooding in my head.
We will see what I will come up with after my much needed break. Your guess is as good as mine!
Here's the trailer of the documentary I worked on. It's mainly in Dutch, of course. It apparently is impossible to embed it or I just am too stupid to get this right. Or both.

In short, it's about four people involved with the Groningen Conservatoire; one teacher and four students in different years.  We have followed them through one and a half year of lessons, learning processes, contests, stress, concerts, breakdowns, frustrations, but also the joy of making music. They talk about their ambitions, their fascination with music and how they developed themselves the time we've followed them.
Hopefully we will manage to get a version with English subtitles in the nearby future so we can show it abroad.

That's all for now, see you soon!

25 May 2014

Ship ahoy! It's the Kapitein Kok!

Again, PK has deviated and built a non-space paper thingie.
And again, this build was meant as a birthday gift from the start.
In his younger years, a friend of mine worked on board of a river paddle steamer in the Amsterdam area. This ship was called the Kapitein Kok. (Do I hear you anglo's laughing? It just means 'cook' in dutchiespeak).

Built in the early years of the 20th century and looking quite pretty. In conversations this ship often was mentioned and when I saw that Zeist Bouwplaten offered a model of this very ship I decided it would be a nice idea to surprise this friend with a model of his beloved ship on his birthday.
Here's a photo of the finished product, the build will be shown after the jump. Prepare for a lot of photos again. (will this gazillion photos in posts be a new habit? I don't think so..)

19 May 2014

Clear Skies, Wubbo.

Yesterday I was saddened when I read the news that Wubbo Ockels had died.
Ockels was the first Dutch astronaut and that is what he will be always known for. But after his one and only spaceflight in 1985, the last full journey of space shuttle Challenger, he gradually changed into a person who saw the Earth as the spaceship of humanity - and of all of the rest of nature. And that it needed to be saved.
He invented and innovated countless ideas on how we could be more environmentally friendly and how to save our planet.
I met Wubbo twice. The first time I was eight. It was not long after it was announced he would be training to become an astronaut. At that time I started to read all the books I could get my hands on about spaceflight. I wanted to become an astronaut. I still have that dream, by the way. Wubbo was the man who showed me that you didn't need to be American or Russian to become an astronaut. And he was very friendly when I talked to him. I don't know much about what we talked about. I was a little star struck, I think. I might have told him I also wanted to become an astronaut.

In 2005, he suffered a severe heart attack. He recuperated well and continued his work. The second time I met him was somewhat thirty years later, in 2007, when he gave a lecture at the university here in town on his spaceflight. After some memories on his flight, he almost exploded into his fiery sermon on how the earth should be saved. It was very inspiring and he really reached me with his talk. Not much later he got the news he had  a very aggressive form of kidney cancer. He said he wasn't ready yet to leave but I am afraid nobody is. But he had a message he needed to get across and he did this wit an enormous passion.

What he told at his lecture was in short that we all are astronauts. We all are astronauts of spaceship Earth. It is the only spaceship we know and we cannot risk losing it. We need to take care of our spaceship.
He was a very important human being. I hope he still will get his message across.
Now his second spaceflight finally has started, I can only wish him clear skies.

Vaarwel, Wubbo.

18 May 2014

Verne and Verity - pt. V - Finished *Huge photopost!*

Well, there. It is done. Today I finished making the little people and placing them on the diorama. I gave the base another layer of transparent acrylic paste and let it dry. After that, I painted the white heads on the waves and the rotor wash. Need I say more?
Nah. Just look at the photos. They have all been made with my phone, it appears to be quite okay for this role. I am not going to make that a habit but I thought it was a nice experiment for this build anyway. Here's one, after the jump you'll find a busload more!

17 May 2014

Verne and Verity, pt. IV

The process of getting all parts together is on its way. The capsule and its flotation collar are glued to the water surface, the dinghies are yet unglued and awaiting their final placement. The Sea King is finished. It really was a joy to build. Very easy and well-fitting parts. There were some small things I changes, like the wheels in 'up' position and leaving out the wheel bay itself.
I still have to find a way how I am going to attach the helicopter to the diorama. I have ideas but I must work those out.
Here is a shot I made with my phonecam. (and more after the break, of course.)

15 May 2014

Le Corbusier's chapel in Ronchamp

Last summer I had the chance to get away from it all for a week. I stayed in France for a week in a little farmhouse without any television or internet. Wonderful. Before leaving home I found out there was a very significant architectural landmark nearby; The chapel called "Le Notre Dame Du Haut" in Ronchamp, made by le Corbusier. I have a little weakness for architecture and I always loved seeing photographs of this building so now the chance to go and see it was there and luckily my travel companions thought the same about it.
The chapel was the most impressive building I have ever beheld. It moved me. I am far from religious but the serenity and spiritual atmosphere of the chapel was almost touchable and really added to the experience.
But overall it was the shape and the construction of this white concrete structure that did it for me.

This is one of the photos I took at Ronchamp. 
it is actually the most cliché position to photograph the chapel, but it is for a reason. 
This spot actually shows one of the most impressive angles.

In the shop I bought a little photo book about how the chapel was made and about Le Corbusier himself. But I also bought a postcard sized paper model of the building. This I scanned (so I could leave the original intact) and printed out in the same size to make it.
It is not the most accurate model of it, but is is very small and therefore a funny little thing to make. It is a little present for a good friend of mine, who also happens to be an architect.

 more after the jump.

12 May 2014

Verne and Verity pt. III: Black and white

Hi there.
Time for the already finished Jules Verne diorama. This one actually was quite simple to do but took some time to dry. First step was to try and mimic the copperplate effect in 3D. This proved not really hard to do but finding a nice angle to let the halftone pattern do its job in Photoshop was a little more work.
I found a picture of the ocean from straight up above it. I dragged it through Photoshop and this was the result:

More after the jump!

Verne and verity (2)

Second entry on this little build. Today was a very nice day off so I could just sit and mess around with this all day.
There was a little progress today, I didn't do much with the helicopter, just added the tail surfaces and started a little on the wheel bays/ floats. I also started on the capsule itself.
The underwater parachute came out wonderfully.
Here's some photo stuff to look at. More on the 1869 part tomorrow!
More pictures after the jump, as usual.

11 May 2014

Here's one for you: Verne and verity.

I finally appeared to have a little time on my hands the last few days to start something new - and small.
A long time ago already I made a marine diorama depicting Liberty Bell 7 attempted to be picked up by a Sikorsky UH 34 Sea Horse, call sign Hunt Club. By that time I already had this one I am doing now in mind. So you guessed it, It’s a sea diorama with a space theme (what else?). More specified: it will be a capsule pick up. But this time not just one but two. One hundred years apart.

The spacecraft pick up from Jules Verne's book
Sometimes fiction - or fantasy is not that far besides the truth. It just take a little time for it to get real. Take for instance one story of a certain Mr. Jules Verne from around 1869. His two-part novel on how people took a trip to the moon and back got reality in exactly 100 years. Not only that, but he also had a good guess at where the launch site would have been. In Verne's book it's Tampa, FLA, the real location, Cape Canaveral just under a two hour drive away from there. Okay, Tampa is at the other side of the peninsula but we'll forgive him for that. Just like the massive gun he thought up to shoot the three men to the Moon. Enough banter.
It's time for a little build again.

 Here’s part one of the building of what I think will call “Verne and verity”. It all will be around 1/200 in scale. The set will consist of two little frames side by side, one showing the pickup of Apollo 11 in 1969, the other showing the same situation one hundred years earlier, in 1869 where men in a row boat approach the returned projectile.

Frogmen jump out of the helicopter to help the Apollo 11 crew.  

The parts I will use are Gary Pilsworth’s Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King (already with all the right markings on, which is nice) and a heavily reduced and modified Apollo CM by Carl Hewlett, a.k.a Surfduke. The row boat and Jules Verne’s projectile will be my own make.

01 May 2014

Just a little update let you know I am still here and working my ass off to get stuff ready for their deadlines. One film practically done, two to go. It will take some time, still. I am afraid the serious building stuff has to be postponed until after July. Perhaps a little sooner. Even the weekends are filled with other things to do. On the other hand, last year was very productive, so I shouldn't complain.
There are some spectacular things coming up in the paper space model community, I am eagerly awaiting the release of Ken West's Apollo spacecraft. A capsule in 1/12, with a complete interior and a launch escape tower. It also is able to be taken apart to show what's inside. It really is one of the most detailed and beautiful space models ever designed.
UHU02's LM also is a beautiful piece of art. Enough to keep me busy for some years! So with that in mind, allow me some slack for the time being. I am just as eager as anyone to get my paper modeling back on the tracks again. I just need some time and some peace of mind to get me going again.
As a consolation price,  this month I will show you some stuff I made earlier this year.

See you soon!

12 April 2014

1/96 Atlas V available at AXM now!

Hi everyone, PK here.
All is well here, just awfully busy without a lot of spare time for paper stuff. I have made some things and I am doodling a little here and there and now and then but it is not the stuff I'd like to show.

However, on another note, Alfonso Moreno, the designer of those beautiful shuttle stacks and the ISS model (THEE ISS model, I'd say) has released the long awaited 1/96 scale version of his pretty Atlas V launch vehicle. Yay!
I have been waiting for this one a long time and it looks very cool. Lots of details and, which is particularly great, added uncoloured version pages for printing on metallic paper types.

So, go over to AXM, enjoy the photos and then get this one and build it. It's free.
I will as soon as I have the time.

© AXM paper models / Alfonso X. Moreno

03 March 2014

Still here!

Hi people.
Don't worry, I really am still here but I also am very busy at the moment.  Job related stuff, as usual.
I might take some time to find myself back in this schedule and find the time to show you new builds and stuff. I am working on a little side project again, of which I will show you some pictures later on this spring. I also am not forgetting the Saturn V because I think it is also time to revive that project as well.
For the time being, please bear with me and be a little patient. There is still so much to come to build and show you. 
See you soon!

23 February 2014

Project 1186C

image: © Jared Zichek
In honour of The Royal Society of Putting Things on Top of Other Things I present to you: Project 1186C - a great what-if.

Back in the late forties, early fifties of the last century, the Cold War just had started. It happened to coincide with the birth of the jet age and also the birth of the space age, although the latter merely existed on paper by then.
Those times, it seemed, were the perfect playground for experiments in design and adaptations of techniques in the aerospace business. The military often came with assignments that were close to ridiculous, if you look at all the things they wanted.
The new aircraft had to be able to fly twice the speed of sound, and cover thousands of kilometers on one tank of fuel.
Not taken aback, the aircraft companies often responded with just as ridiculous designs. Huge nuclear powered bombers with parasite jet fighters under their wings, Jet engines bolted on aircraft’s fuselages at the weirdest places, flying pancakes, flying wings and of course, the most amazing designs.

Douglas came with this weird contraption. An X-3 Stiletto derivative mounted on top of a huge cruise missile. To guide it to its target and then unhook the bomb, ignite the huge engine and bolt back home. Of course, project 8611C never has been built. But it looks awesome. In reality, the X-3, meant to be insanely fast, was equipped with miserably underpowered engines. It could not even really reach the speed of sound. Only in a dive it just past mach 1 a little.
The X-3 always has kept that look of fenomenal speed, even if it just stands still. And together with this long jet-engined flying needle/submarine it makes for a spectacular model:

I just took the liberty to change the nationality to Dutch because I think it would have been pretty awesome if the Dutch navy would have had these instead of the Sea Fury and Seahawk.
The only thing I really changed about the model was using metallic paper here and there. So I had to cut parts a little different here and there. I made the engine tubes deeper and used aluminium tape to give the leading edges of the wings a metallic appearance. The build was fairly easy and without any troubles. The Stiletto was a little tricky because of the thin backbone and the small breastbone part between which the engine section had to be shoved in. Also, the grey colours of its belly didn’t line up at all. It started good at the nose but the cockpit unfortunately was way off. I recoloured the model entirely blue.
However, I still think the model is a looker. And it was a fun build.

The model can be found and downloaded for free over here:

More images of the Stiletto and project 1186C after the jump.

05 February 2014

Watchers of the Skies: Planck [2]

The times are filled with loads of stuff to do. At the moment we just have started the actual editing of not one but three documentary films that all have to be finished in the summer. (a link to the trailer of the biggest one will follow soon.) So you can imagine I do not have seas of time to work on my model stuff, even though I'd love to. 

Anyway, I did make some progress the last week. Planck is a nice little model, and I am using two different designs and kind of kitbash them together. One is John Jogerst's kit, a very fine and easy fitting model. The other is one I downloaded from the ESA website. It' much simpler but on some parts the graphics are better. So I use the best of both and of course a lot of scratch building.
After a couple of days, I found the thermal shields of the probe were too thick, they were made up of three thick layers of paper and it just got too bulky for my taste. So I redid then using just one layer of paper in which I carefully removed some gloss top surface to mimic the petals' separation lines. The bottom side was covered with petals of aluminium tape. These looked so much better.
Here's one photo, the rest of the pictures are as usual after the jump.

21 January 2014

Watchers of the Skies: Planck [1]

I have mentioned before how I am fascinated by deep space probes. I still can't tell you exactly why that is, but part of it must be that they're far away and all of them are pioneers. And I also have a fascination with pioneers. 
Some of them just head out and will forever roam away from their planet of birth, like Voyagers 1 and 2 and Pioneer 10. Some stay a little closer but also travel unspeakable distances. Lots of them pass Earth more than one time again to gain speed to catapult themselves into another orbit or trajectory to a planet, comet or some other celestial body.
Special ones are designated to spend their working life at the poetically named Lagrange points. These specific spots in the neighbourhood of a planet or moon are exactly where the gravitational pull is more or less cancelled. An object placed at such a point will travel around the sun with the same speed as the Earth and moon and will look stationary from the viewpoint of as well the Earth as the moon. Such points are ideal for stationing or observation.

Lagrange points around the Earth and its Moon.
Let's take point L1 for example. An object there always will be at the same place between the Moon and the Earth. By doing so it will be at a predictable spot so you can easily fly towards it and, for example dock. Imagine a journey to the moon and a little further than halfway there is a docking station. There you can get off and transfer to a moon taxi that will bring you to the surface. The ship you came with refuels and returns to Earth. Beyond the orbit of the Moon you'll find L2. It also is a very precise spot with a very precise purpose. Here, the moon cancels out the reflections of light coming from the earth. The object practically always is in the shadow of the moon*. So, no hindrance of excessive light. At such a spot you also could have a special kind of observation platform, like a space telescope.
Planck is such a space telescope. It was built by the European Space Agency to be placed there and survey the galaxy around us. 
In 2009 Planck was launched, together with its brother telescope, Herschel, on top of an Ariane 5 from Kourou. Planck was placed at the L2 point and there observed the phenomenons of the universe, mainly things like the cosmic background noise which is used to determine the age of the universe.  Planck was operational until august 2013. After that, it had run out of cooling fluid for its telescope parts and it could no longer function. It then was put into a parking orbit around the sun, to keep the L2 point free for successors and was powered down.

Well, that's just a little tip of the iceberg. Lots more to tell about Planck. But I started with a model of the telescope. And that is what this blog is about. Paper models.
Here's where it started, more after the jump.

*"practically always in the shadow of the moon": of course this is only partially true. In reality, the probe orbits in a special "wobbly orbit" around the imaginary Lagrange point, so it also can catch some sunlight to power its equipment.

14 January 2014

A small milestone

When you are a model maker, there is just one real problem you run into at a certain moment. Space. Or rather, a lack of space. In my case, I have a tiny 4 by 3 meter room I make my models in. And because the room is small, my models are too. And they more or less never leave that room, unless I want to make some pictures of it.
Gathering dust under a plexiglass hood.

I have nowhere else to put them. In my living room they would certainly be destroyed by my little but ferocious feline housemates.

I can haz Falcon?

A little while ago, I got into contact with the Dutch National Space Museum.

-Now bear with me for a moment. I know the Netherlands are not the biggest spacefaring nation, especially not when you compare us to the US or Russia but we do actually have quite a history in space engineering, we even have built two satellites and there are three astronauts who were born in this little country. (I think we might score quite well on amount of astronauts per square km of country, heh heh heh!). Nowadays, we closely work together with other European countries in the ESA, but forty years ago, in aerospace engineering, we actually were state of the art on our own.

Anyway, I told the people of the
National Space Museum (NSM) about my models and sent them some photos and they got enthusiastic about maybe having some of my models in their collection. For a pilot, I was asked to come and bring along  two models they had chosen.
Today was the day.

10 January 2014

Black Arrow 1/96 [3]

There it is, the little rocket that could but wasn't allowed to.
The nose cone is painted, there were some blemishes when I glued it all together. That sometimes happens. Of course there is a little surprise under its shiny red surface. More on that after the jump.

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