Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

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.

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