Orion CEV, in 1/48th

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by dhanners, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thought I'd post some photos of my latest build, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, in 1/48th scale. Despite its relatively short life (and death), Lockheed Martin's proposed Orion capsule has gone through a number of design changes, but I wanted to model the latest iteration proposed by the company.

    Cardmodel designer extraordinaire Ton Noteboom offers 1/96th- and 1/48th-scale versions of Orion on his website (http://www.pe2tr.nl/) and I used his parts as templates to make my own. At my request, though, Ton did enlarge his 1/96th-scale Crew Module for me, since I like the design of it better than the 1/48th-scale version.

    Virtually all of the detail is scratchbuilt, and the model represents the latest iteration of the troubled Orion program, the one with an upper section of the Service Module that is quite a bit larger than the base of the CM. It looks as though the SM is trying to swallow the CM, in fact.

    The SM is made from two different diameters of model rocket tube connected by an adapter section. Of course I couldn't find model rocket tubes in the diameter I needed, so I took one that was in the middle and used it. For the lower, smaller-diameter section of the SM, I cut out a slice and glued the edges of the "new" tube back together. Rick Sternbach, of "Star Trek" fame, has a great explanation for how to do this with styrene tubes at his Saturn V Clinic at http://www.ricksternbach.com/SatV/Saturn_V_Clinic.html. I reversed the process for the larger-diameter section, making a lengthwise cut in the tube, then inserting a section to enlarge it to the proper size.

    For these operations, I use woodworking glue for the joints, backing the joints with spare sections of tube. I put rubber bands around the tubes as they dry. Between the rubber bands and the natural qualities of paper, the tubes assume a true circular shape when they dry.

    Next came the covering of the SM. All of the early artist renderings of Orion show it with a grayish SM. But after building my 1/48th-scale European Space Agency ATV-Johannes Kepler -- which is covered with thermal insulation blankets -- I turned to the real rocket scientists on some "real space" discussion boards and the consensus seemed to be that if OIrion ever flies, anything not covered by a shroud at launch would probably have insulation blankets on it. Since the current design has the entire SM covered at launch, I figured I'd cover my SM with blankets.

    To replicate them, I used two different types of toilet paper (Cottonelle for the ridged pattern and Northern for the smooth) as well as some textured art paper. The toilet paper was stiffened with a 50-50 mix of white glue and water. The lower portion of the SM also has eight large radiator panels, which I modeled in white poster board.

    I scratchbuilt the Low Impact Docking System and much of the details for the UltraFlex Solar Arrays. The only non-paper portions of the model are aluminum tubes used for the arms of the UFSAs. Everything else is paper of some sort. I also used three different types of metallic paper.

    Attached Files:

  2. Dopedidu

    Dopedidu New Member

    Whoa, awesome work!

    I wish i had those skills.
  3. Dino Josh Lee

    Dino Josh Lee New Member

    That is a great model you built there I'd like to work on one somwtime
  4. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Ton's model, which is in 1/96th scale, is really very good and I would recommend it to anyone. Orion may yet fly, in some form, and while it may not have been the shuttle follow-on that a lot of us had hoped for, it is a capable spacecraft. Some of LockMart's proposals for a crewed science mission to a Near Earth Object are very inspiring. We need to be exploring.
  5. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Beautiful, Beautiful model Mr. Hanners. The 3D effects and your labels really make this model stand out. It's really in the details.

    Congratulations on another successful build.
  6. SWA2873

    SWA2873 New Member

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