Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

23 September 2017

Zil 4906 - The Soyuz capsule [4] Finished!

Well, there it is. The Soyuz capsule completely finished.
Inner shield attached to the bottom, the skin nicely scorched and rough.

The rest of the story follows below.

I left you last blog entry with a trial of the inner shield of the capsule, I decided to print the definitive version on metallic coloured paper.
Placing the text and the locations of the rescue instructions was tricky and I trusted mainly on my eyes and the pictures I have seen of the backside.

The definitive version had a slight tint and the places where the pictograms needed to go.

It all came together very well. Almost no seams, although the photos suggest a big rim around every ring. It actually feels quite smooth.

For a moment, I was tempted to use a parody of the rescue instructions I saw online:

a very funny drawing made by Redditor u/Flatag
But of course that wouldn't do the build any right. So I copypasted the original pictograms out of a photo and lightened them up a bit, straighened the angles a little and just printed them out on thin paper.

Then I just glued them onto the shield itself.

While that dried, I created a thick 5mm inner strip in the underside of the capsule to reinforce it a little more. Inside this ring, I placed a reinforcement ring. This was also drying and I made the hatch for the slightly radioactive altimeter. I think it will be removed by personnel after landing but I don't know for sure. So I incorporated it in my build anyway.

Next step was to close it all up. So I did.

All was going surprisingly well. Now it was time for the finishing touches. The capsule is quite heavily scorched and burned on one side, just slightly discoloured to the metal skin on the side of the umbilical panel. It all has to do with the centre of gravity in the capsule. It is placed so, that the spacecraft automatically will put itself into this attitude when re-entering the atmosphere. Even when the automatic steering system would fail, the capsule would orient itself in this way. This leads to the most delicate side (the umbilical / periscope hole) is oriented away from the plasma clouds and therefore more protected.

The other side however is burnt to a crisp. The capsule's skin is rough and looks like sandpaper. And that was what I initially wanted to use but that didn't work well. So I did this:

Using black paint and birdcage sand (We Dutchies call it schelpenzand; shell sand) I made a structure paint I 'pushed' onto the capsule's hull.

To have a comparison with the original thing, below is a close-up photo of the Soyuz after landing:

Photo: © esa
So here is the only thing I still had to do, a couple of beauty shots of the Zil 4906 with the capsule on its deck:

And that's it! Maybe, when I have lots of room, I make it into a diorama, but not now. I have almost no space left on my shelves and need to get rid of older stuff, I'm afraid. 
But there will be more models coming! Up next is something from the past with wings. And propellers. More on that next time, perhaps.
For now, thanks for stopping by and see you next time.


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