Building Leo's Buran

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by dhanners, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    As some of you may have noticed, Leo Cherkashyn -- with a bit of constructive and kindly prodding from Bengt -- has re-done his Buran to make the tiles darker and improve the accuracy of what is already a very nice model. Given that they went to all that trouble, I figured I better start building the thing, with the aim of replacing the Buran that I currently have perched on my Energia.

    I've posted a photo to give you an idea of the color differences between the old and the new. One of the key visual elements of the Buran was the stark contrast between the black tiles and the white areas of the vehicle; it always seemed to me that in photos, the black tiles looked much darker than even new HRSI tiles found on the U.S. orbiter. I'm glad Leo's new model captures this much better than the old version -- at least the way my printer printed out the pages.

    (I should point out that the rivets on the window framing in the first photo are A) in error and B) something not on Leo's model. His original version didn't have the thick black window frames, so I colored them in with a Sharpie and while I was at it, I added the rivets. It was a bit of "creative gizmology" on my part, but Bengt dug up some photos showing that the real vehicle didn't have them. Leo corrected the window-frame issue on his new version of Buran, one of several things that make the new version much better than the old.)

    I've also posted a photo of my start on the model's internal structure. This is one aspect of Leo's model that I really like; once it is dry, it is very sturdy and provides a good basis for the rest of the model. I do intend to add a bit more bracing to the upright formers. I might glue some pieces of balsa wood to them to keep them straight.

    The frame was built mostly per the instructions, except I cut off most of the folding tabs used on the parts. I just find that it's easier to work without them, and pieces can be fit more precisely without them.

    With work and everything, I'm not sure how rapid my progress will be on this one, but I thought I'd at least get started....

    Attached Files:

  2. THE DC

    THE DC Member


    Appreciate your starting this thead. I've thought of doing the Soviet shuttle for some time, so your examples will be interesting.

    Where is the link for the kit?

    Keep sending the pics of your build process and comments on what to expect!

    The DC

  3. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

  4. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Here's a bit more progress. I've got the wing tops glued to the top of the frame; once they are comfortably dried, I'll pull them taught and blue them to the bottom so they'll have the right leading edge curvature.

    The other photo is of the midbody skin, but you're seeing the inside of it. I've added long strips of balsa to keep the sides straight. And I won't be using the internal cross-wise braces. To use the balsa strips, I had to cut corresponding notches out of the fuselage formers. The piece on the right is the rear, and I've also glued pieces of wood to it to keep it nice and flat.

    Attached Files:

  5. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Well, I've run into a couple of problems, one of my own doing and the other a possible issue with the model. I may wind up starting over.

    When I print out the fuselage sides/payload bay doors piece (page 3) the small white areas just outside of the rear RCS extensions have a brick pattern on them, or at least seem to on the copies I printed out. Hence I didn't cut them out. I cut the small slivers that didn't appear to have a brick pattern on them, and then discovered that when I glued the rest of the RCS extension assembly on that the whole thing comes out wrong. There's too much paper and when you glue on the rear of the fuselage, it doesn't fit right. If I cut out the larger areas, everything works.

    Also, my improvised system for providing more strength inside didn't work like I had envisioned, so I may go back to the drawing board with it. A bit of advice here, though -- the three pieces that provide the shape for the fuselage sides and top of the payload bay (h11, h13 and h14) really have to be made out of strong cardboard or laminations of cardstock. They'll take some jostling when fitting on the fuselage, so they have to be tough so their edges and sides don't deform.

    The bottom line is, I will probably start over. I wasn't crazy about the way my wings turned out anyway, so it's just as well.

    As I often say, that's the nice thing about cardmodeling: You screw up, you just print out new parts....

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