1/4 scale Mercury Capsule

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

  1. Hey Scott....excuse my ignorance but what kinds of molds are these? what materials are you useing? It looks like clay, are you hand molding clay then bakeing it? I've been studying the molds for the shingles and thinking about useing wood and routing out the indentations the soaking card stock, placeing it on the wood molds then drying. I don't know if it will work, it's all about experimentation.
  2. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    Hey Closet Astronaut If you use plastic wrap as a release on the mold you can soak brown paper towels in a white gue mix and and get a more stable part.it will also mold better than card stock.You will get paper mache shingles.
  3. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    The molds are all wood. Its actually MDF. The apparent rings are where several pieces of 3/4 inch sheet were bonded together before machining. The parts are cut on a friends CNC router. We use another friends CNC machine for the full size molds but they are the same material. The MDF is easy to work with, doesn't warp, sands easily and repairs easily if dinged.

    The computer modeling was done in Solid Works by a Certified Professional user. This project would not have been possible without his help. He is mentioned on my website...

    I'm going to try the paper towel trick. I have some plastic parts I can use as molds for the paper. I'll post some photos and results when I get to it. Thanks for the tip Paul. If you havn't checked, my site is being re-vamped. It currently is bug free and has all the files available. I should get the aft bulkhead files done next week.

    Here is a higher res shot of a shingle made from the wood mold.


    Attached Files:

  4. ovation

    ovation Member

    MDF dust is awful stuff,I used to work with it,its got that Formaldehyde in it,
    We always had to wear masks,but I still use it as its good stuff :mrgreen:

    Those shingles are looking really good,Im still "finishing" my Atomic city model bit by bit,The more detail I put in .. the more I find to do :rolleyes:

  5. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    your welcome Scott I did check your sight and I,m getting ready to start again (For the first attempt was destroyed) the model.What are the finished dimensions of the model.I was thinking of increasing the model to 1/2 scale.Also the main shell parts are missing I,m only getting the instructions on all three tabs on your sight.If you sandwich the paper mache between two shingle parts you will probly get good results.
  6. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    Thanks for the catch. I fixed it. I will do more work and get it polished up later. I want the photos of each section to be active links and some other things. I will also re-arrange things and put up some more stuff to make the flow of building the model a little better.

    The diameter is 18 inches and the main structure stands about 20 inches without the Antenna Fairing. Half scale would be fun and challenging. You will need to use #110 everywhere. I don't have any plans on making shingle molds in that scale so you'll be onyour own there.

    Let me know how it goes...

  7. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    so full would be 6 foot 8 by 6. If I use a sandwich of poster board and 110 and give it a light coat of resin I might be able to go full .My girl friend (Strawberry on this sight) wants to do a model with me .That would be a good one.
  8. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    ..might be able to go full...Now there is a man after my heart...This is the whole point of this model!

    I suspect some readers have not looked at the FAQ page on my site.

    "This site is going to be the starting point for all things relative to building a full size Mercury Capsule replica."

    I have pointed this out before and I keep telling people this in e-mails. I really had no interest in building an engineering model from paper in 1/4 scale. However, I saw it as a means to validate all the parts, construction methods, processes, etc. For every part I make in paper, I have a full size drawing of the part to be manufactured for the full size model. In fact, most of my design work is done in full size and scaled down to match the paper model.

    I have spent hundreds of hours visiting capsules, scaling photographs, creating drawings and computer models. Because I started from the inside out, just guessing always causes problems so I have worked hard to get things right.

    I haven't addressed this on my website yet but if you start a full size model, even if its paper, build a fixture to hold it first. I also find it had to imagine building a large one without the 1/4 model to use as a guide/reference. Good luck and keep us posted. Let me know if I can help.

  9. Thanks for all the info....Paper air..Scott. I'm finishing up the M 200 sniper rifle, tough build but I learned alot from it, should be posting the last of the photos in the next few days. I want to start on the capsule next, tired of burning up ink cartridges on all these larg dark colored parts, I plan to start on the main body first, it looks alittle easier than the antenna.
    I'll post photos of the progress, Thanks again gentlemen.
  10. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    Hi Scott I need a size check.I printed out and cut out the Main upper recovery flange.I,m geting an OD of 25 1/8 inches is that correct.Or am i off thanks Paul
  11. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    The main recovery flange is 7.16 on our paper model which would make it 28.64 vs your 25.125. I don't know why there is a difference.

    I printed the part our (Card14) and measured it. Its between 7.14 and 7.18. I have done lots of testing with printers and saving PDF files with different programs and for some reason, the pages get deformed slightly. I don't know if its the printer, the programs, or what. Some printers are better than other.

    For the size of paper parts we do, I haven't found it to be a real issue. I have mostly ignored the error. I just went and dropped an Antenna fairing into the top of my capsule model. Certain orientations its tight and if you rotate it, it gets loose. Looking at the gap change, it looks like .020-.040 or around 1/32 inch without measuring it. Again, for this model, it hasn't been an issue. I also noticed I DON'T have a recovery flange on my model :)

    Oops...You can see it on page 8 of the instructions....I had planned on this being a heave duty part to support the model in a fixture or to support an Antenna Fairing clamp if I ever got stupid and tried to fly one of these. I have often though about a Beach abort or Little Joe project with working Escape tower.

    Of course I have got side tracked about your question. You are not talking about 1/32 inch but more like 7/8. I don't know why. When I publish plans for the full size parts, they will be dimensioned instead of something as crude as tracing small computer printouts like we do with paper modeling.

    I added a few more PDF reference files on the Recovery page. Let me know if the help with general orientation. I also fixed a few links on other pages including the paper model cross section on the Plans page.

    If you really decide to build a big one from the paper plans, we probably should talk. It would be easier getting you the right info before I officially work on full size plans. I'll gladly give you my phone number. enough rambling for now...

  12. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    Hi Scott It was me I had the printer settings wrong.I already started with the panel. Picture 140.jpg

    Picture 141.jpg

    Picture 142.jpg
  13. Hey....I thought we were using paper, not scavaging parts from old airplane cockpits?

    Nice work!
  14. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    thanks closet astronaut it,s paper.Scott about Card 14 .I,m getting a mesurement of 6.75 on my printed out page.Which gives me 27 full.I,m getting 27.5 printed full I think I can live with that.I down loaded the maintenance and familarization manuals.I need a back side photo of the panels If you have one.Thanks in advance if you have one.Paul
  15. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    Awesome! A fan of capsule 7 I see....Of course it could be any of them through 8 but I suppose its 7, and full scale to boot!

    "I need a back side photo of the panels If you have one" I have several hundred...I'll see if I can pull some good ones of 7 and put them up for you. Maybe in a few hours...

  16. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    Thanks Scott no hurry I,m looking at YEARS of building.
  17. DWest

    DWest Member

    Scott, the idea of a 1/4 scale Mercury capsule is great. I checked out your site and found it to be awesome. I would love to build a model of this size and I do plan to start one very soon, I remember listening to the launch on the radio when I was a kid - a very long time ago, lol. Building a 1/1 scale capsule sounds even better. Maybe if I still have the ability to build a 1/4 scale model then I could turn my attention to the full scale project, it would be fantastic.
  18. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    Hi Scott hows the aft bulkhead coming along.I was thinking of starting there in the main body construction.It seams that is where most of the equipment sits on the capsule and there would be months of modeling enjoyment.And thanks for all your hard work and help.I would not be able to build a detailed 1-1 without the 1/4 scaled one.
  19. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    I added to the website. There is a new tab for the Aft Bulkhead. I wanted to do the batteries and other equipment but I decided to just post what I had and move on. I want to finish a basic heat shield and retro pack before I call it quits. If you can't look at the pictures in the Mercury Manuals by now and make little paper boxes, you need to go back to simple colorful models.

    I also added a tab under Paper Model for some videos I made several years back on edge gluing. They are a little dry but informative. Several people have complained over the years about the edge gluing. Once I sent them the videos, they all figured it out and wondered how they built models without it. Its one of those really simple things but a picture (or video) is worth....

    I posted up two new files in the Recovery section for the basic hatch I built. Its not as nice as Paul's but I really just wanted the basics. My full scale one will be functional. The paper hatch model (like all of them) was really just a way to draw the full size hatch drawings and collect all the info in one place.

    I'll get the heat shield and Retro Package done in the next few days or next week.

    So I added it up for the 5 major sub-sections. There are:

    61 pages of instructions including photos
    106 pages to print on Card Stock of various weights and colors
    1070 individual parts (not counting individual fasteners) to be cut, folded, and glued.

    I dug through storage and found all the 1/4 scale shingle molds. They all need a little work but I'll dig out the vacuum forming equipment and get some shingles made.

    We'll address Paul's situation when he gets there.

    Am I the sick one for doing all the research and design work or are you the sick ones for taking on the build :)


    Attached Files:

  20. PaperAir

    PaperAir Active Member

    Scott Thank you sir for all your hard work on this project.

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