1/4 scale Mercury Capsule

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Mercsim, May 28, 2007.

  1. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    Okay... I'm getting ready to start building the Antenna Fairing, as soon as the paper I've ordered comes in... Whew!


    Am I right in thinking that you've done a vacuum-form molding for shingles for this model? I would like to do the Antenna Fairing with the same molded shingles I intend to use on the rest of the model, but I have a specific paper in mind from which to create them. If I remember aright that you've done this, would you be willing/interested in taking a crack at it for me? I'd be willing to compensate you for the use of your equipment and time...

    Keep your fingers crossed, gang! I'm about to take a hell of a ride!
  2. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    Football season is almost over and I'll get back on this project. I have been slowly working on the website and will give it a fresh new look with more pictures. I have asked Colin to help with a mold for the Antenna Fairing skin and we'll see how that goes. I bought enough plastic to make the ton of 1/4 scale shingles I mentioned. I talked to a local friend about having a plastic molding party one day and we are scheduling it.

    Scott: Make sure your printer prints the files at the proper size. There is a test page somewhere. Tim's printer missed and his model is slightly smaller. This has caused some issues with plastic parts fitting. Send or post photos as you build it!

    Scott Todd
  3. Hey Scott, welcome back. I hope I have sparked your interest again. You have another fan, Lancer is interested in doing what we have done. I think I would like to try and do the top of the antenae fairing again. Your mold looks better than my crude one. I will wait until you send me the fomed one and make a mold from that. Are you making molds for the Antennae fairing skin itself? The one for the top looks great how did you make it? But I am looking forward to finishing the inside cabin as well as the heat shield. Were you going to make the airbag version or the pre-deployment version? I can't remember. I suppose we should resurect the old 1/4 Merc thread if we continue this.

    Lance, how bout I teach you how to do it yourself? Scott has promised a set of shingles for those who build his model. I don;t know if that is still good for those just starting out. He may want to re-consider that promise. But in any event I think we can work something out for you. I am anxious now to get her going again. I still have the molds for the outer surface of the Antennae fairing. They were the most difficult to make. I dont know if Scott is making those or not.
  4. Scott, I forgot to read your entier reply. I forgot about the size issue. But if you will recall I solved it on the main part of the capsule but the Antennae Fairing is smaller. But you won't notice it. I am not about to make that over unless you make the forms for it. Then I will.
  5. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    My plan is to have molds for the exterior of the Antenna Fairing, the top, and the de-stabilizer flap. Then the entire capsule exterior will be plastic and the structure and interior will all be paper. The heat shield will be attached. I suppose someone could scratch their own airbag and build it separated. I'll do the design one day for the retro pack. If I get rolling and enthusiastic, I'll do it in paper also.

    I did promise shingle sets to the first few builders to need them. I would really like to see one or more in Museums. I have promised a 1/4 scale model to one Museum so far but it will probably be an exterior only model. We'll see....

  6. I'm with you o the museum thing. I have promised mine to the San Diego ?????????Aerospace Museum. I would really like to see where it would be appreciated. It might even inspire more people to take up the hobby. Who know's Scott maybe you could package the model and get it in the gift shops. I would be happy to check that out for you. We can talk about that once it is finished.

    Is the model you are donating going to be a cutaway so they can see the detail under the shingles? Seems a shame to cover that all up. I envision clear shingles (unpainted )over 1/4 of it. What do you think? That is how I plan to do mine.

    Meantime, let's get it don. If I can help you in any way let me know. Were coming up on fire season again so hopefully we will survive this one too. Every year they get closer and closer to where we live.
  7. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    Tim: I'd love for you to teach me how to do it myself, but there's no way it could happen that way. I already thought about trying it myself, but I have neither the facilities nor the equipment (shop vac, place to set up, anything like that) to do it. I live in State housing, (I work for a State government) so I can't put anything like a vacuum-form table up anywhere. There just isn't room for it, and I'd have to get permission, which isn't likely.

    I also have this pile of 60-65lb textured paper that is just screaming for me to do something with it. It's Strathmore Art paper, 19" x 25" with this really interesting texture. Almost dimpled, but they're all in regular lines, I don't know how to explain it. I could try to take a photo, but I'll have to get some batts for the camera. I test printed a page from the construction drawings, and one can just make out the lines on it.

    The reason I wanted to have you do it, is that I'd prefer paper shingles. I am exceptionally thankful that Scott has offered plastic shingles, and I just might end up going that way if I can't put this Strathmore paper to use. Any way I could get you to reconsider?
    (Insert begging here) Please?

    In any case, I'm not far along enough for it to matter, except that I decided to start with the antenna fairing, and it has external shingle in the construction.

    Oh, and one thing I am going to do to add to this whole construction process, is design a set of plans for the LET. I know that Scott is working on the heat shield/retro package, so I figure I'll work from the other end.

    Also, I think we already have resurrected the 1/4 Merc thread...
  8. Wellllll, I'll tell you what. I am not promising anything. But when I actually get the full set of shingles (Ineed them for the molds) I will see how it goes. Once I am set up it really doesn't take that much longer to make another set. So let's see.

    Meantime, Scott do you have all the shingle molds made?
  9. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    Tim, that's good enough for me.

    I'm waiting with bated breath for my paper to arrive. I've cleaned off a good workspace in my den, my cat has been banished from the room (much to his displeasure) and my creative juices are flowing.

    I found this great sampler pack of colored cardstock on the net, at Dick Blick Art Supplies, and it has 144 different colors in it. Apparently, it's one sheet of the entire ColorMates palette. Will be bloody great for adding detail to the spacecraft...

    As soon as I get started, I'll start a build gallery.

  10. col. kurtz

    col. kurtz Member

    sounds good guys look forward to this project going forward. id love to build this and donate it to the duxford museam here in the uk:thumb:
  11. SEBRET

    SEBRET Member

    looks awesome. would be interesting to try.
  12. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    I have all the molds for the capsule except the hatch. I e-mailed Colin and he said he would help finish the computer models/molds. He is the MOST AWESOME friend anyone could have! I wish I could re-pay him somehow but he is one of those guys that has everything. I need to thin down my RC collection...I'll have to see what he needs to fly...

    I'm really excited to get going. I have 3 weeks of football left and we are trying to buy a new house. I'll see if I can sneak in a little time to run a few sets of 1/4 scale shingles.

    I agree about the clear shingles for a display model. You know how much time is involved in making the capsule. I have thought about trying to get the paper laser cut. That is something we could work on together. I know some of the science kits made of paper are laser cut. This could make this a viable kit for gift shops. If it could be done, I can supply the files in any format.

    Scott, The Antenna fairing is made so the skin just slips off. Go ahead and make it like it is and once we get the plastic shingled exterior, you can add it later. This is a great place to start. Another good thing to do is the instrument panel and periscope. It actually makes a cool display model by itself. Tim added some 3-d features to his and it looked really good. Photos are on my site.

  13. lancer525

    lancer525 Member


    Are you still willing to provide sets of plastic shingles to builders? If so, what would I need to do to order a full set, including the antenna fairing and hatch when it gets done?


    I've just discovered your most excellent thread on Vacuum Forming Paper, and having read it, along with already having some SpaceBags, I think that I would be willing to give it a go myself, if I knew that I could whine and beg for help from you. LOL I could use Scott's set of plastics for the molds, and lay them up in the SpaceBags and still use my Strathmore paper!

    My scissors and Excel blades came yesterday. I have been working on scaling the LET so that I can come up with some plans, but I've got a few dimensions I'm concerned about, so does anyone out there have detail drawings, blueprints, or other specs on the Launch Escape Tower for Mercury? If so, I'd love to have them.

    Excitement is building!

    (pun intended!)
  14. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    The drawings you want are done by David Weeks and sold by Realspace models. You shouldn't have any trouble finding them in Google or Yahoo. They are well worth the price. Buy ALL of them.

    While I think the LES is a cool piece of hardware, I don't intend on modeling it. Its interesting that the capsule never exists attached to it unless it is stacked on a booster. After stacking, the LES was added at the pad. It was jettisoned just a few minutes after launch. It s a quirky thing but I like modeling things as they existed at some point in time, such as on orbit, or after splashdown. I know some people don't care so good luck with the LES. It will be a nice addition to those modelers that want it.

    Many pages back I offered shingles to anyone that built the model to that point. You can't really 'order' them. If I were to try to charge for them, it would probably be in the hundreds of dollars. It takes a long time to set up each piece. Each mold is different and my machine is fairly small only allowing a few at a time. If I charged for them, someone would complain about shipping time, quality , price, defective parts, missing parts, and the list goes on....Its much more fun to just share. It could take hundreds of hours to build this model to the point of needing shingles. If you actually get there, we'll get you some shingles. It was never my intention to offer any of this as a kit or complete project. Besides, shingles would just cover up all that great work. I think covering half the model will make the best display. Keep me posted and send lots of photos...

  15. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    Excellent suggestion! I will do just that.

    I admit that I was thinking along the lines of having something else no one did, but after reading this, I have come to the conclusion that while my motivation for doing it hasn't changed, my reasoning has. Some guys will want the LET on their model. Some won't.

    Some of the paper came today. I'm expecting the rest of it by Tuesday or Wednesday. Construction starts the day the paper comes. Photos are, in my mind, part of the construction process. :thumb: You'll get them, and they'll be posted, probably on a weekly basis. I'm also thinking of adding to the construction manual, with your permission.

    Thanks, Scott! For everything.:mrgreen::mrgreen:
  16. woodhose

    woodhose New Member

    Very Cool!!!!
  17. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    I've started printing and building, and I am encountering the strangest phenomenon. Very frustrating at that.

    Whenever I print out any of Mercsim's pages, the printer cuts off the bottom 9/16" of the page. Regardless of how long the paper is. The only way for me to get the entire sheet to print, is to "scale to fit" which messes up the page. I've tried legal size paper (11"x14") and everything else I could think of, but I cannot get a full print.
    The red part in this photo is what gets cut off:


    I have an HP 4215 All in One printer. I suspect it might be the "Available Printing Area" thing, but I have no idea what to do about it.

    What other information would anyone need from me, in order to be able to help me sort this one out?
  18. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    Well, My wife just proved the old maxim that one need not know what one is doing, in order to accomplish something...

    I was starting to get REALLY frustrated with this, until she said "why don't you use legal sized paper?" Now, I don't have any legal sized cardstock, and the thought of having to buy more paper was really not something I wanted to consider. Until it hit me: Tell the PRINTER that it was using legal sized paper. After a test run, I discovered that if I told the printer in "Printer Properties" that it was printing on legal sized paper, it would print out the entire sheet on letter sized paper!


    I owe my wife a nice dinner for this one!
  19. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    I spoke too soon. I could only get one page to print that way, but all the rest I've tried are still getting cut off.

    Can anyone recommend a good printer to replace the POS I have now?
  20. I had the same problem. The only way I could fix it was to open the page in a program that allows modifications. Then flip the page and print it again. That way you get both ends. Another way is to cut and paste it to MS Word. Then it will print but you have to be careful you didn't change the scaling along the way. I measure each page to make sure it is correct. However I find the prior method is the fastest and I know it wastes paper but it saves time. I don't think Acrobat Reader lets you do that but I have a full blown version of Adobe so I can do it right from there. But most of you don't have that do the above is the only alternative way I know of. But it would be nice if the designers could address this issue. After all they have to print it too don't they? What is their solutions?

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