Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

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!
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