MARS Center Shuttle -- Atlantis

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

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks. Yep, it's all paper, except for these things:

    1) The ET's nose spike (not shown in the photos yet) is a toothpick;
    2) The small piping on the ET is silver string;
    3) I inserted a square brass tube inside the ET's intertank, and that will be the forward SRB attachment points. I figured I needed something solid and straight so the SRBs would line up correctly;
    4) There's some basswood glued to the Orbiter's internal formers to keep them rigid;
    5) The LO2 feedline fairing (not shown in the photos yet) is carved out of basswood, but I haven't glued it on yet, so I may still try and make it out of paper.

    We sometimes forget that paper comes in lots of different colors and textures and types. A trip to my local art-supply store a few years ago was a real eye-opening experience, and when I looked through their books of various papers they had in stock or could order, it seemed like I saw something on every page that I could use on a model somehow.
  2. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Ok, the ET is probably 95 percent done, so here are some photos. As I expected, the aft orbiter attachment fitting was a bear to build; there are just so many different shapes and angles. But I found some good diagrams and photos of the real deal, and I was able to figure out the different sub-assemblies and take it piece by piece. All in all, I thought it came out ok.

    I may re-do the forward orbiter attachment fitting, but I haven't decided yet. (And yes, according to pad photos I found, the bipod legs are actually pink....) The geometry isn't 100 percent correct, but with the 17-inch LO2 feedline where it is, there wasn't much I could do. Something's off somewhere, but hey, once the Orbiter gets glued on, there won't be a lot of that you can see that well, anyway. Or at least I hope.

    And in the last photo, Atlantis isn't glued on. I just had to set it on the ET to see what it looked liked....

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  3. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

    Fantastic detail sir, I can say that this is indeed the best ET detail I have seen. This is purely Museum quality David. You are the king of paper model detail. The attachments are practically perfect. Did you get any pictures of the build in progress? I would love to know exactly how you did that. I am on the track of building the whole orbiter fleet and this is one of them in the plans. I would definitely love to make the ET and SRB stack for one of the orbiters. You have put so much work into this that I would love to know how you did it.

    Could you get some close up shots of the assemblies and the pipelines. From all angles.

    You have certainly blown us away and put this whole project on the 'watch list' for the space fanatics. lol

    I can't tell if it's real or not.
    Amazing work David!!!!
  4. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    Brilliant... just Brilliant... :-D

    I can see that this ET is a post STS-107 tank... :twisted:
  5. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    WOW. The details on the tank are amazing.

    Whats wrong with the forward attach point, why are you considering re-doing it. Looks amazing.
  6. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Alas, I didn't take any in-progress photos. That's just a habit I've never gotten into to. I know I should, as people here have shared so many of their techniques with me and others over the years. Maybe the next model....

    Anyway, here are a couple of close-ups of the aft orbiter attachment fitting. It is made out of cardstock of various colors, small pieces of basswood, parts of toothpicks and round paper dowels from Tootsie Pops. The pieces are pretty evident. The Tootsie Pops sticks were used in the large cylindrical thrust struts (one per side) and I used them as a basis to wrap colored paper (dark gray and tan) around to get the proper thickness.

    Fortunately, I didn't have to eat the Tootsie Pops to get the sticks. While browsing through a local store that sells industrial scraps and other odds and ends (largely for kids' projects) I came across a bag of un-Tootsied paper dowels. If you have a store like this in your community, I would recommend beating a path to their door to look for stuff. I can't tell you all the useful stuff I've found there over the years, and the one I go to, Art Scraps, in St. Paul, even has a decent selection of paper and cardstock. (Here's the website for the outfit that runs the shop I go to:

    Most of the thick pieces are laminated card stock. I hate folding stuff, so I glue laminations to get the thickness I need and then cut it to size and sand it to shape when the glue is dried. A couple of tips when doing it this way: Make sure the glue is spread evenly and completely, or the piece will de-laminate later. Clamp the piece while it is drying. It is generally best to cut the piece before the glue is entirely dried because it is easier to cut.

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  7. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member



    John John
  8. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks for the kind words, guys. Didn't accomplish a whole heck of a lot today, mainly because I think I was a bit burned out from yesterday's marathon and plus I had a gig tonight, so I had to rehearse a bit. (And for those who want to catch some of my music, you can check it out at Reusable Sold Rocket Motors) tomorrow....

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  9. exzealot

    exzealot Member


    Your build just gets better and better. Looks like your SRBs are going to be just as detailed and realistic as the external tank!

    Nice job!

  10. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    I'm not Worthy!!!
  11. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

    neither am i.
  12. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    A superb work of ART, David!!! It is impressive how you are accomplishing the super-detailed MARS shuttle.

    In fact, I've seen Sir Fortezza's shuttles finished, but not as detailed and beautiful as yours. And no wonder, since

    Kudos to you, my friend!!
  13. gpw

    gpw Member

    Wow, this is a phantastic build, David!!!. Its getting better day by day.

    Sensational job! :inw::inw::inw::inw::inw:
  14. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks, gang. I'm kind of stalled at the moment, scouring the tubes of the internets for good reference photos of the bottom of the business end of an SRB. Once I get those, I should have a clear idea of what I'm doing.

    I'm probably going to wind up using a small percentage of the Jim Spencer's fine SRB parts. I'm already using his aft skirt, but I've got some modifications to make to it. I didn't use his body parts, though (that sentence just looks weird....) because my enlarged versions of his fine work didn't scale out with the 1/96th-scale plans I was working from. Also, the "Loaded" markings on the side of his SRB's have the "L" upper case and all the other letters lower case, while all the photos of recent SRBs that I've come across have the "LOADED" in all capital letters.
  15. bill516

    bill516 Member


    Never noticed that I didnt use caps for the LOADED markings, but I wont feel bad about it no one else has either.

    Please stop using words like fine when referring to my model you'll give me a big head:oops:. Mine looks like it was made by someone who only had half a clue what they were up to, at the side of your MIGHTY FINE model.

    BTW the names Bill not Jim. :wave:
  16. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Ooops. I apologize for screwing up your name. I think I got it confused with a Jim Spencer I knew years ago. So I apologize, Bill.

    And your design work is very good. Having delved into what the ET and SRBs look like over the past few weeks, I can attest to the quality of your work and your eye for detail. And not everyone gets as anal as I do about how the aft attachment fitting longerons look.... But I've seen build-ups of your design, and they look very good. I just wanted to take it a few steps farther, and since I wasn't having to worry about coming up with parts that could be printed out and built by others, I could go a little crazy....
  17. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Mr. Hanners,

    Your SRBs with the laminations are outstanding. What a great build, and great ideas.

    Also checked out your Youtube link. Also excellent, and extremely enjoyable.

    Please keep up the "phantastic" work.
  18. bill516

    bill516 Member


    I'll let you off with 'screwing' my name up I've had worse things said about me over the years.

    I wish you luck with the search for details of the business end of the SRB I had a lot of trouble, the only decent shot I found was from one that is on display at Kennedy. I think people are a bit put off taking a pic from that end when it is lit.

  19. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

    just... jawdrop
  20. lancer525

    lancer525 Member

    I have to tell you at this juncture, that your modesty is just totally unbecoming. :)

    I am utterly and totally amazed at the extremely high quality and workmanship of your ultra-fine models, and I personally am envious of the great work you've done here.

    You know that recently I had a project involving the STS parts (I can't say more about it right now) and your help was invaluable. I am now thinking that the people who commissioned the models I did, got the wrong guy. You ROCK!

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