Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

12 August 2016

Rocket revue!

Hi friends.
Take a good look at these rockets. All of them are in 1/96 scale:

Left to right: Ariane 5, Bumper-WAC, Soyuz FG, Atlas, Delta II, Proton-M, Titan IIIe
They will be leaving my house. All of them will be moving to a new home: 
The Dutch National Museum of Spaceflight in Lelystad!

The Ariane 5, Soyuz and Titan have their payloads displayed.
I already have two models there, the Nationaal Ruimtevaartmuseum (NRM), the Curiosity landing diorama and the first version of the Falcon9. Now these babies are going to join the rocket garden of the museum, so lots of people can look at them and hopefully will be pleasantly surprised when they find out they’re made of paper. I will describe them all in more detail below.
Recently, the NRM made a new setup in their exhibition area in the Aviodrome, the big aerospace museum in Lelystad, the Netherlands, and amongst it is a new display case for their rocket models. And now they asked me for some more of my models to be displayed.
I of course was happy to let them have them.

The smallest rocket is the Bumper-WAC and is a model designed by Niels Knudsen. I made one years ago already and it still is a nice little model but I remade it for the museum. It is a little straighter and it has a few more details. The one they'll get is not the White Sands version but the second one launched at the Cape in 1950, which was the first successful launch from there.

The Soyuz FG is one of my all time big favourites. I have always been proud of this model and I really will miss her. The model was designed by Leo Cherkashyn. The Soyuz spacecraft is a design by Alfonso Moreno.

The other big favourite of mine is the Ariane 5. This really is one of the best models I have ever made. It is almost 100% accurate and the colours are so good. Also, Herschel and Planck are two little scale models themselves. And all of the elements are detachable and demonstrable. Based on a couple of models available on the web, mostly the one of Ton Noteboom’s, but I tinkered with it so much that I consider it to be almost a scratch build. I am a little sad to see her go but thinking about the amount of people that now will lay eyes on all of them is a big comfort and makes me smile. 

The Herschel Space Telescope sits on top of the SYLDA inner fairing.
Inside de SYLDA is Planck, the other space telescope of this mission.

The Titan IIIE hopefully will be displayed with (half of) the fairing off, just like the Soyuz and the Ariane. The Titan is based on the model designed by Mark Cable. The Centaur was based on the Atlas V - Centaur model made by John Jogerst. The Voyager inside is too good to be missed. All made from paper and sewing pins, it really is a little gem, I think.

Voyager on top of its STAR kick motor, resting on the twin-engined Centaur upper stage.

Sewing pins. Great stuff to make trusses out of. (-;
The silver Atlas is a good one too. It was a tough job to get it together with that type of paper. The Mercury on top is still a pretty little beauty. This model was designed by T. Johnson.

The Proton-M still needed to get finished. I never came to finishing the fairing because I planned the Nimiq-5 satellite as a payload to be on board. It was standing there for years already without the proper finish and just a temporary makeshift fairing on top. So I started this weekend with finishing it. Now the fairing will be more or less permanently attached to the upper stage but I don’t mind. The rocket looks so much better now. All of it, of course was designed by Leo Cherkashyn.

Also, the museum asked me to lend them my Delta II MER-B Spirit mission. This is the one in the group picture at the top of this story. This specific one is based on a 1/72 design by Erik te Groen which I reduced to 1/96 and enhanced by adding some extra ribbing and panels. However, I recently discovered it has become discoloured because it caught a little too much sunlight, I'm afraid. And that's not right. So I made them a new one, just because I think this one actually fits the Dutch museum better. (and they agreed!)

This one is also designed by Erik te Groen but is based on another of his range of Delta rockets. I just changed the logo of the original mission to that of IRAS and I had to change the flight number triangle and stars. But the rest was the same as the original 3910 rocket. Just for the fun of it, I also put a little model of IRAS on top of the launcher.

 And following that same track, I also have prepared another little surprise for the people of the museum. I thought it would be nice to give the rocket garden another one to make the Dutch touch complete. I tinkered a bit with this rocket, designed by Eric Muñoz and made a tiny launcher which also definitely belongs in the collection there!

Sshhhh... They don't know this yet....

To be sure the models wouldn't discolour that easily, I gave them all a nice coating of semi-gloss varnish with UV-protection. This hopefully will keep them from getting pale.

I have decided that although most of the models are on loan, the two Dutch launchers are a gift for the NRM guys they can keep. Just like this little fellow, which I have provided to give visitors a sense of scale:

This bus is printed on matte photo paper. It leaves you with a really amazing, super sharp deep coloured print.
All of the models will leave august the 28th to Lelystad. I will try and make some photos of the event.

- PS. How do you transport so many launchers in a regular car?

Well, like this, perhaps. 

Thanks to having cats, I had these cat food boxes laying around and they appear to give enough support (along with the painter’s tape for shake-prevention) to get them to the museum. They are quite sturdy but parts of them are rally fragile. The fact that some of them are easily taken apart into separate stages makes it a little easier.
I still need to drive carefully, though. And I'll take some glue along with me.

See you next time, I will hopefully have some new stuff I will be working on and of course the report of the arrival of all the rockets at their new home.
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