Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

10 January 2015

Ariane 5 1/96, pt. 1

I realised that, apart from a very ancient little rocket, I didn't have any European rocket in my stable. So I decided to do one. And then of course the biggest one. Ariane 5.
Here's where I am now, more pics below.

Some background information on this European big one first.

Like the Saturns, the preceding Arianes (1-4) don't have really much in common with the much bigger number 5 except for the name.

Whereas Ariane 4, 3 and 3 were derivatives from their respective predecessor, Ariane 5 took on a completely new shape. Ariane's slender shape was traded in for a wide-bodied behemoth accompanied by two solid rocket boosters. The first launch of the Ariane 5 was in 1996, which went wrong after about half a minute of flight. The used on-board software was meant for the Ariane 4 and it wasn't properly rewritten for Ariane 5's bigger mass. So, BOOM. This happened one more time in 2002. But of all the 77 launched up until now that's a pretty good score, if you ask me.
Bigger payloads and even a small shuttlecraft were projected to be carried aloft on this big launcher. The shuttle, Hermes, of course never came to be, but the satellites and probes did. Even a full-sized re-entry demonstrator, a capsule that easily could have carried three humans was tested and proved. The roket also was upgraded a couple of times. New engine, bigger payload capacity, the whole lot. And it's a good rocket.
Nowadays, Ariane 5 still is ESA's workhorse, together with the versatile Soyuz launcher that also got a dedicated launch pad in Kourou.
Plans are made for an even bigger new Ariane 6 but they haven't yet decided on how big and which configuration it will have. So for now, Ariane 5 still is going strong.
Here's some more photos of my build.

I took Ton Noteboom's Ariane model as starting point. It has a very good shape and is good to tweak. The logos on the SRB's all were quite primitive though so I replaced them with the official logos of CNES, ESA and whatnot. I also gave the SRB's a little colour, say, broken white because the real stuff also is not really white. The SRB's were printed on silk gloss photo paper. The next thing was the engine. This Vulcain 2 rocket motor is quite a shiny fellow. I used two kinds of metallic coloured paper for it, one a little blueish, and one chrome coloured. I used aluminium tape to imitate the insulated parts on the engine bell.

Now then, the big hull. I used light grey card for it. I softly embossed the isolation 'tiles' into the paper. They shouldn't look like bricks. Only in the right lighting you can discern these lines. The colour of the hull is somewhat shady, it sometimes is depicted as creamy, but also beige and grey. I chose grey because of a couple of pictures I use for this build. The engine section has been made from light yellow paper.

Here the engine section and the engine bell itself are joined. The ribbed structure over the tapered end was scratch built and particularly hard. On both sides of the engine bell there were turbo exhausts placed. I also weathered the lower part of the bell a little because I presume the engine gets a short test run before actually lifting off. This test run leaves the engine a little charred. It is a nice effect and I used some model acrylics to make it. iron mixed with some anthracite and flat black. 

Up next will be the second stage and the fairing. After that, the two SRB's.
It will be a simple static model, no payload or detachable parts whatsoever.

So, here's where I am now, next time I hope to show you some more. See you and thanks for watching. Stay safe and be nice to one and other.


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