Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

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.

I couldn't help myself. I had to tinker a little with the heat shield and add a honeycomb texture to the surface. All parts of it were desaturated and almost whitened out. I printed it on brown paper.

Underneath the brown paper I put 270 gram black card which I cut simultaneously with the brown. This black paper will become the inner liner.

And that is what you end up with: a ring. Which is nice. For now.
Let's get the instrument panel out, then, shall we?

Three layers of paper give the panel a lot of depth but at 1/20, which is 60% of its original intended size, some holes are very very tiny. But I got them all.

Stage two. Layer one cut out and glued to layer two.

Stage three. Layer two cut out and glued to layer three. Added meters and the bigger turning knobs. All that isleft now are the toggle switches, the safety guards for some of them and the finger guards of all the open toggle switches. Yes, I am going to try and make them, too. Some detail shots below.

And this was the final result of day one.

And I leave you all with a little trick I developed today myself. Thin strips are often a drag to cut out, especially when they're curved. The paper tends to ripple and buckle underneath the pressure of the knife and it is easy to get a wobbly end result. It also increases the risk of cutting yourself in the finger. I did so a couple of days ago. It heals quickly but the cut is very deep. I needed to put pressure on these strips I wanted to cut out but I didn't want to risk another cut in my finger and I wanted to keep the pressure on my finger as low as I can. So I took half a clothes peg and used it, flat side down, as an extension of my finger to get as close to the blade as possible. My middle finger simultaneously kept pressure at the back end of the cut. By doing so I kept the paper flat and pressured, and I was sure I wouldn't cut off another part of my body. Perhaps you'll find it useful one day.

Well, that's it for now. See you soon!
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