Apollo CM & SM 1:24th Design/Build Thread

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Carl (Surfduke) Hewlett, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks for the kind words, Bengt. The big "hump" on the bottom of the SM -- the thing the SPS nozzle attaches to -- is really the only part of the kit I had difficulty with. The actual structure has a multitude of compound curves, and after three tries, I just couldn't get the kit part to work right. I'm sure it can be done, but it eluded me.

    So here's what I did: I cut two rectangles of 1/8th-inch thick basswood that are the approximate size of the hump, then I glued the rectangles together. Once that was dry, I cut, carved and sanded to make the thing the approximate shape of the hump, except for the two fuel & oxidizer fills and drains, which are those two bumps on the SM's -Z and +Y axes. They'd be added later with paper.

    Once the hump was the right shape, I glued silver paper to it, then cut slices so I could curve the paper and glue it down to make the compound curves. Once that was done, I trimmed the excess paper off the bottom of the hump.

    Next came that spiderweb-looking stuff. (I have no idea what it is.) I did that with silver thread. I cut several pieces of thread to length then applied each individual piece. (This took awhile, to say the least....)

    With that done, I made the fuel and oxidizer fill and drain bumps. Those were made with silver paper, and I just kept using trial-and-error to get the right-shaped pieces. Once those assemblies were completed, I glued the finished hump onto a piece of silver paper like the paper that I made the hump out of. If you look at good photos of the real SM, there are two different sheens of silver on the bottom. The hump and an oval area surrounding it (the outline of which is accurately represented on Surfduke's part) is shinier than the surrounding silver. I used one type of silver paper on the bulk of the SM, and this shinier silver for the hump and the area around it.

    After all that was dry and glued to the SM, I made the raised circular structure in the middle that the SPS nozzle is attached to. I figured the dimensions (large diameter, small diameter and heigth) and then fed them into an online shroud calculator, and it told me how big of a piece to cut. This piece and the detailing on it was made with a metallic gold paper I found at the art-supply store.

    The High-Gain Antenna was relatively easy. I'd urge folks to check out their local hardware stores for those paint strainers. I only needed a couple of them for the netting (they cost 19 cents each) and once I colored the netting with a black marker, it looked just fine.
  2. Carl (Surfduke) Hewlett

    Carl (Surfduke) Hewlett Active Member

    Yes It Strokes, (LOL)!

    Yes Bengt! I stand with mouth dropped open, everytime David does His magic! I wish I had His skill, & eye for detail.

  3. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Aw, shucks, guys. I think the only thing I really bring to the table (besides years of plastic modeling in a former life) is that I like to experiment by using different papers. One trip to the paper section of a well-stocked art supply store will really open your eyes to the types of papers that are out there and have plenty of applications in what we do. But I can't design worth a lick, and there are a ton of people here whose work I have long admired and found inspiring.

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