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Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

28 November 2016

N1 - Fairing troubles

The last part of the build often is either tedious or hard. Both are true in this build, unfortunately.
The N1's fairing needs to be partially transparent to show all the goodies inside. I wanted to do this with a piece of plastic sheet of some kind. Then the question rose about how to do it. Either a nice window in all of the segments, a little wider than the 'holes' I made in the inner pieces, or say, take the outer fairing and make 50% transparent. Both options have something for them, the first for its aesthetically pleasing appearance, the other for its more educational purposes.
This is what makes it quite troublesome to realise. And as usual, I am not afraid to tell you about my 'failures' (or, more euphemistically, "misadventures in a quest to build a perfect paper model"). 

Looking good, eh? No. it isn't. No. really, it isn't. It just is a nice photo.

I first decided to just shorten the whole width of the fairing’s wall to have it replaced by transparent plastic sheet. Not the whole 50% idea but about 30%.
To keep it in place, I used strips of powerful double-sided vinyl tape. This was a good idea, the plastic sheets were firmly attached to the paper card parts. Were it not that the plastic was quite sturdy. A lot sturdier than I anticipated. It distorted the structure and made it an oval shape, not circular as intended. This led to the use of some temporary reinforcement circles placed in the structure to let it get used to its shape. It worked satisfactory but the tapered part which had to go on top was not so willing to conform.

I thought I might solve the troubles by using some weight on top while it settled.
Meanwhile, I had also done the fairing’s insides. I used aluminium metallic paper with drywall mesh lain over it as some kind of structural reinforcement. It all looked wonderful, but the mesh obviously wanted to remain flat and wouldn't hold on to the paper so I decided to use some CA glue to deal with that.
And that was when I made a stupid mistake.

I forgot CA glue fumes tend to mist over transparent areas when is isn’t well ventilated. And because I had the top part of the structure topped off with a weight to let it set tightly, the fumes of the CA couldn’t escape and when I got home that afternoon, the whole fairing window was misted. It took a one way trip to the rubbish bin. End of attempt one.

But, almost all of the top part of this rocket has been made twice, so I guess the fairing couldn’t be an exception to this rule. After three tries, I abandoned the first idea and tried the 50% option. And that one too caused lots of fitting troubles. (a pun with me almost getting a fit is too obvious so I won't make it). I managed to find thinner and more flexible plastic sheet at the art shop, together with acid-free transparent double-sided tape. Better for paper. Now at the start, this all went fine. I took caution with CA fumes when ti applied it to the stubborn mesh and nothing fogged over. Kept all measurements as exact as possible ant still... it didn't want to fit. I must admit, I used some nasty words here. But they were in Dutch, so most of you probably won't understand them.



The small piece of mesh closest to the camera already is loose again. Glue tabs on straight cylinder won't set to the mesh-and-paper combination of the cone. The double-sided tape keeps loosening at the top edge of the cylinder (lower left). I tried the bands over the transparent part to camouflage the glue tabs but it was just a little too narrow to have a nice fit and above all, the bottom part of the cone wasn't flush, however hard I tried to make it like that. Aaargh.

Now how in the world can I attach this to the bit below?

Quite expensive tape, being just under 9 euros, but repositionable up to 72 hours, acid free, and transparent.
I have started this model back at 20 November 2015. So a year and a week ago. I have made stuff in between, I know, and I often have put the N1 aside. Now I really want it out of my system but it doesn't really cooperate. Overall, the results looked nice, but I have spent so much of my expensive and hard to find silk gloss photo paper for these failed efforts, I got a little frustrated. No, very. So I guess I have to put the N1 aside again for a little while. My plan is still to have it finished before the year is over but for now, I have to take a little distance from it. Perhaps in my mind I come up with a better plan.

In the meantime, I have some other stuff I want to make, so, perhaps there will be some inbetweenies following soon. The overall fun isn't gone, just the fun in this particular build for the moment.
See you soon,
--PK
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