Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

25 November 2015

Ariane 5 1/96, pt. 24 - the fairing [3]

Getting quite busy on the rocket shelf.
Well, that was something, the past days. Hours of work and thinking down the drain. At least, for a great deal. The Ariane is on the shelf now, together with its peers. But I am not happy with it. Everything below the fairing looks wonderful to me. It's precise, tightly fitting and unblemished. It looks very close to perfect to me. So a fairing with very visible seams and a bad fit is not the crown on this job. And this is a bad faring ogive. The parts of Mark Cable which are taking up the top part are great, but the transition between his top and the cylindrical part of the fairing sucks. I redid it five or six times but I couldn't get the measurements just right. I finally took the one that looked the least bad and used it in the ogive. But the cone is crooked. It is not elegantly curved. Grmbl.

It kept on lingering through my mind, while I was taking a walk through the park this afternoon with my girlfriend. It has to be done differently. It needs to be good looking. I haven't spent that much time on the rest of this build to leave it there with a messed-up fairing.

So I started thinking the unthinkable, at least, unthinkable for me. 

[more after the jump]

Here are the reasonably successful fairing parts. So far, so good. Now the ogive part of the fairing, that was another story. The rings (which I cut in half for obvious reasons) were not fitting well and the edges were not looking good either. Besides, the longer the fairing parts were out of their moulds, the more wobbly the grooved sides of the straight ends became.

Oh bother.

For Pete's sake, no.

Well, that does it. *sigh*
Nothing to be done about that. I decided to go with the idea of the two options: one for shelf display (closed and one piece) and one for demo-display (one half fairing, showing the inside.) But like I wrote before, the closed fairing looked awful.
The half shroud used was the best one of the two, using the best one of an older fairing ogive. The outside of this particular fairing half wasn't that important but it still looks reasonably well. The detailed inside will provide enough eye candy to distract from an ugly seam on the outside. 
Besides, it will be pointing away from the spectator.
So no matter what, I need to redo that shroud to my likes. But I have never designed a shroud. How to do that? Petals? That would mean even more seams and a lot of figuring out on how to draw the curves and on how many curved petals I should need. That just was a step too far for me. I am awfully bad at maths. But.
I suddenly had a microscopic epiphany. I drew an on-scale cross section of the ogive and divided it into several 'logically placed' horizontal parts. I then measured these cross-sections and made separate parts using the online shroud calculator. Now I have made a first printable sheet for the new fairing.

Measurements all are in millimetres. I don't know yet whether they're correct or just getting me further down the path to nowhere. That is something for tomorrow.

Looks impressive, doesn't it? At least to me it does. I still am not certain about the smallest part. 
It might be incorrect. We'll see. At least it gave me back a little of my confidence in getting this rocket finished.

It will be in plain white paper (200 gram/m2, of course). I might try to tinker a little with it before I make a final version.
That is for tomorrow. Or the day after that. We'll see.

Thanks for your patience, I never said it would be a short build.
See you soon.
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