MARS Center Shuttle -- Atlantis

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by dhanners, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

  2. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member


    I'd be EMULATE THIS!!!...

    anyways, i'd recommend the use of AXm resized shuttle stack.

    much MORE accurate and realistic than mars's, i think.
  3. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Which Shuttle Stack for The Marscenter Shuttle?


    Interesting that you brought this up. Are you saying that the AXM shuttle stack in 1:144 scale is more detailed than Bob Spencer´s 'Update 2.0' 1:100 scale shuttle stack from 2004? Just check out the detailed SRB booster engine nozzles and fairings on that model. He made this detailed ET & SRB stack specifically for the STS-88 Endeavour mission, to go well with Raimondo Fortezza´s Marscenter Endeavour STS-88 shuttle model (from 2000).

    From what I understand, The AXM shuttle stack versions are a result of a much more elaborate and dedicated reserach work, to map out all the individual details and changes, and the AXM REFERENCE page is now in no doubt the yardstick for us all when we like to re-create a specific shuttle mission in card.

    However, the colors of the External Tank are a subject for endless debate, and they have indeed varied a lot over the years. I personally think that Bob´s ET looks like a case of really bad sun tan or a bright red Danish sausage, whereas Alfonso has done a much better job of recreating the very light rust brown to light orange cover color applied over the foam surfaces of the ET, especially in the updated ET version.

    Bengt :thumb:

    Pictures from left to right:
    1. Bob Spencer´s Update 2.0 1:100 stack, 2. AXM 1:144 stack diagram (STS-30), 3. STS-30 Atlantis on the crawler, May, 1989:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The road goes ever on . . .
  4. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    The debate over the ET color is one that has raged among modelers for years. It all depends which mission you're modeling, how long the vehicle has been on the pad, the weather conditions, the lighting conditions of the photos, etc. I'm going to end up painting mine (physically, not electronically) since I'm going to be using a textured paper for that as I did on my Delta IV scratchbuild. (Photo below)

    While I may use the LHVCC or Alfonso's models as guides, I'll probably be scratchbuilding the ET and RSRMs.

    This does bring up a question, though -- Does anyone still have an active link to the MARS Center shuttle? The ones I bookmarked don't work anymore, and the one on the LHVCC website don't either. I've got the thing saved to a CD somewhere, but it'd be nice if I could find an active link....

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  5. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member Link

    Hi David,

    True, the Kelvin° color temperature (time of day, sunny, hazy or cloudy sky) is a very influential factor, when you are trying to determine the correct rust-brown or brown-orange color of the ET.
    The color and texture on those Delta IV tubes look very good indeed.

    Apparently, the English Marscenter modeling page 'died' in August this year but the Italian page still remains, under this address:

    They also have a rather nice info page (in Italian) regarding, among many other spacecraft, the Atlantis orbiter:

    Keep up the good work,
    Bengt :thumb:
  6. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks for all the links and encouraging words, gang. They will be very helpful....
  7. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

    best o' both card shuttle makers!

    ok its good to know one's version has an improvement of the other......

    well before you start shuttle stack, may i ask what mission are yout going to model?

    i may recommend then that you use parts from both card designers and resize them for your scale...

    details and specific SRB parts from Bob's, and alfonsey's corrected colours and SRB cone patterns.

    like what i say, you can use the best of both to produce an incredibly accurate, superbly detailed model.....

    so, what kind of paper do i use to emulate the thermal blankets in 1/144?
  8. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I haven't decided which mission I'm modeling. Haven't thought that far ahead. It'll be one of the more recent ones, so Atlantis looks pretty much the same throughout. Once I get the Orbiter done, then I'll start collecting research on the ET and RSRMs. I can only handle one thing at a time.... :)

    The paper I'm using is some sort of textured craft paper. It's fairly heavy stock -- I wish it were a bit thinner -- but it's not too difficult to work with. I wound up lightly sanding the OMS pods and they look better; the sanding reduced the edges of the paper that appeared to be lifting up.

    Next up is the mid-fuselage, but I'm thinking of ditching the MARS Center payload bay doors and building my own that will make the doors a single piece instead of two. Since I'm building my Orbiter with the PBDs closed, it just seems to make sense to lessen the number of parts I have to deal with. And since I'll be putting AFRSI blankets on them (and the panel detail on the MARS Center PBDs are wrong and/or overstated anyway) it just seems easier to make my own. I'll attach those to the fuselage sides then, in theory, the whole assembly will fit onto the frame that the wings fit over. In theory....
  9. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Marscenter 1:72 Atlantis Build

    Hi Shin_kazama,

    Thanks for your interest. Perhaps we shouldn´t drift too far away from the subject of David´s thread here, but since you asked what mission I am planning to model and it is going to be one of the Atlantis shuttle missions, I will, in short, give you my options:
    Originally, I have planned to build the 'old' Atlantis in the STS-30 mission from 1989 (see photo above), with the Magellan Venus probe in the cargo bay. I have that model in the Betexa 1:72 kit (which replicates this mission) and it is a very detailed and fine model. I will probably use thin metallic silver duct tape and gold foil on the probe, where applicable, as well as broad duct tape on the insides of the cargo bay doors. I will also use the flight deck interior from the Betexa Atlantis model.

    The two other options that I have open are the ISS Destiny lab module or the ISS Quest airlock (missions STS-98 and STS-104, respectively), but that means I have to decide before I mount the wings, because I will have to use the NASA 'meatball' logo instead of the 'worm' one, a decision which affects both wings, as the NASA logo switched places and the pattern above the ailerons and flaps is dark grey or black in the older version. These two ISS modules are available from Marscenter as very detailed 1:100 scale models. Furthermore, if I model the older Atlantis orbiter, the 'belly' will be a bit darker (not so light grey, but rather brown-black).

    I am planning to do the entire ET & SRB stack, but with the possibility of opening up the cargo bay doors (on hinges, as proposed by 'ekuth') - that´s why I have to decide on a wing & fuselage pattern early on. I am thinking about using Bob Spencer´s stack, upscaled from 1:100 to 1:72, as a 'base' but I am planning to do the ET in colored-thru card with the correct light brown color, to avoid the white joints, which would otherwise have to be edge-painted and I will most certainly use a lot of the dedicated detailing from the proper AXM stack, as well as the MLP from AXM, as a display base.

    Best regards,
    Bengt :thumb:
  10. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

    you can avoid white areas by doing away with the tabs(if you use AXM's ET/SRB) and use improvised paper connectors instead.
  11. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

  12. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Pages and Pages of Quotes

    Hey Shin_kazama,

    IMHO, your quotes are a bit long . . .
    That is not what I meant - what I was referring to is the fact that when you cut paper or card that is colored only on the surface (ink jet or laser printer), you will get a cut that is white (the paper base).
    On the other hand, if you use card that is colored- or dyed-through the entire depth of the card, you eliminate this problem altogether. Another option, which David mentioned above in his thread, is of course to hand-paint the surface. If you build for example the shuttle SRBs, which are mostly white, there is no problem, but with the darker color of the ET (or a black model like the X-15), you will notice all the white paper joints if you don´t paint them.
    (Please don´t quote all this - just reply).

    Best regards,
    Bengt :thumb:
  13. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    My beef with the MARS Center shuttle RCC panels is not so much their color, but the uniformity of their color. On the real vehicle, there are subtle differences in the color of each section. Some are newer than others. Also, there is some subtle detail on each panel, particularly a feature that looks like an elongated octagon.

    My plans for the RCC sections -- and it'll be awhile before I get to the wings -- is to maybe physically paint some of the sections. I'll also be replicating the T-seals with thin strips of gray paper.

    It was a light night of work last night. I just did the beaver-tail flap, but I ditched the kit assembly instructions and pieces and made a Franken-flap. I also added the flap's attachment fittings at the sides of the rear of the engine section, a feature which isn't on the kit. And even though I've sanded the AFRSI blankets on the OMS tiles and they look even -- and the surface appropriately rounded -- in real life, the edges still seem to stick out in photos. They don't look as stark in real life, and I'm not quite sure why my photos seem to accent the seams.

    I did begin work on designing the new payload bay doors last night; just some simple work drawing some lines using the "Draw" function in Word. But I'll be adding some detail to the doors (there are some raised sections) and then add the AFRSI blankets and hinge areas, then I'll attach them to the fuselage sides, which will get the same treatment. The kit's parts and instructions are now just pretty much sitting around as references for me; I ditched the assembly process a long time ago....

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  14. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

    since we all are paper modelers, its un avoidable to end up with seams,but these seams can be minimized by careful cutting and precise adjustment of parts while the glue dries.

    building papermodels with less reliance on model included tabs, and more use subtabs, seams would minimize with little painting.

    sometime i just make the seams look like its a panel or something.

    as with thickness seams(when gluing a small part etc), i try cutting the edges so it would flush with the model.

    when i show photo of my ET of my AXM stack, i hope to demonstrate my simple technique....
  15. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

    well i dunno if this may work,but here it goes...

    maybe just using strips with either scored, or lightly penciled tile patterns, instead of separate tiles, maybe good idea..

    and i notice some AFRSI tiles on your model still is quit flat, even with much sanding, there are still some 'stealth' like facets which also acentuates the faceted edges.

    i just dunno, if that would help or worsen your work....

    but i hope it would work.
  16. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks for the advice. The flatness is still largely a function of the camera angle, and I hope these photos show the curvature a bit better. Despite the compound curves up front, the OMS pods aren't perfectly rounded structures....

    Attached Files:

  17. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Yet another night where I didn't do much in the way of construction, but I did spend part of the day at an art-supply store and elsewhere getting paper, doing research online and whatnot. I did build new OMS engines out of a dark gray paper and they look better than the first version. And I glued to cardboard and cut out the pieces that will make the internal frame.

    I was too quick to cast aspersions on the MARS Center shuttle's payload bay doors, though, and I will probably wind up using the kit pieces, although with some added details. I came across some photos that show the PBDs to good effect, including the one below. There are a couple of things to note.

    First, if you look at the panel detail near the bottom of the photo, you can see there are cracks or some sort of nonlinear lines in the reusable felt surface insulation.

    Secondly, you'll note that the PBD expansion joints are offset, i.e., they don't line up on the PBD centerline. I don't think I've ever seen a modeler do this correctly -- including myself on at least five previous styrene shuttle models -- and I just noticed it yesterday and I've spent close to three decades looking at photos and drawings of the shuttle. Maybe I noticed it before and forgot, but the photo shows is pretty well. It's going to require some juggling in my work, but it can be done.

    Attached Files:

  18. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    So here's my first pass at the payload bay doors. I may tweak them, and they don't yet have the curvature that they'll have on the finished model. The curvature is one of the challenges of the model because the PBDs have a different cross section at the front, near where they meet the crew section, than they do at the rear. There are compound curves at the front, and I'm going to wait until the crew section is done before I figure out how to make everything fit....

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  19. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

    They look pretty good, Nice job on replicating them. Can't wait to see them finished.
    Yea and I also found it weird that there was a different curve in front than in back.
  20. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    Those PBDs were a pain in the butt for me... Great job of replicating those sir!!!

    Um, by any chance, if you revised the panels on the doors on your computer, can you put it in the downloads section? :-D

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