Schirra Mercury Capsule now available! FREE!

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by airbob, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. airbob

    airbob Member

    The Wally Schirra Mercury capsule at 1:48 scale (I think) is now available at my website for download and assembly...this design was from Surfduke's site and I did the external detailing ("louvering" )on this capsule. It makes a really nice model of the Mercury Capsule...and is done as a tribute to Wally Schirra who died earlier this year. Those of you who are interested in this kind of stuff, should enjoy this build..:patriot1::patriot1::patriot1: Happy Labor Day 2007!!!
    Link is here: Project Mercury capsule

    Attached Files:

  2. gpw

    gpw Member


    this Sigma 7 is again a fantastic mercury model. A great tribute to Walter Schirra.
    Thanks for making the kit available. :thumb:

  3. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Wally Schirra´s 'Sigma 7' Mercury Capsule

    Thanks, Bob,

    You did a marvellous job on the final rendering on the skin of the Mercury capsule. It looks so clean and three-dimensional now.

    It´s printed and just waiting to be built.

    All the best,
    Bengt :rolleyes:
  4. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Bob and Team,

    I just printed your Mercury also. I second Bengt's comments. Congratulations to everyone involved on this project. Outstanding job. The skin of the craft looks truly 3D, even on close inspection.

    I think Wally would be quite pleased.
  5. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Do I need to do anything special to print this out at the right size? When I print it out, the straight edge of the capsule measures 4.25 cm long, but when I have printed out the capsule from Surfduke's Mercury-Atlas (Rev. 2) -- also said to be in 1/48th scale -- the edge of the capsule is 3.9 cm long. Both can't be right, so I fear I've done something wrong with one of them.

    Any guidance?

    David Hanners
    St. Paul, MN
  6. the mole

    the mole Member

    I agree with David. Something is wrong. I cut out Bobs model and conpared it to my Revell 1/48 scale Mercury Capsule and it is closer to 1/48 scale than Surfduke's Mercury-Atlas. Which is right?
  7. airbob

    airbob Member

    capsule size?

    I'll be happy reduce or enlarge these capsule parts!...just give me a length for the long side of the main capsule on my Photoshop plate this measures just shy of 66 mm...I'll be happy to enlarge it or reduce it as consensus dictates!!! the way...I added the step-down area on top of the escape hatch that some of you who downloaded the plan on the first day of release...sign1
  8. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    First Cuts . . .

    Hi again, Bob,

    Thanks for the added band btw. the radio can and the recovery section - I will make a new print and add this important new feature.

    I´d like to share my first couple of hours on the 'Sigma 7'
    When I printed it, I first cut the whole plate in the middle into two files to fit two letter sized papers. Then I flattened the contrast considerably to even out the shingle pattern and make the whole capsule a little more medium metallic blue-gray. I highlighted the text, flags and '?7' emblem, though, and increased the contrast in those areas. Then I slightly recolored the thin red-brown band on the lower edge of the capsule (I have to work on it a little more, though, to make it a little bit more red and slightly darker).
    I have compared the result (on my printer) with photos of the capsules that are on public display and I am very pleased indeed with the result. In my opinion, this is definitely the best rendering of the Mercury capsule for a card model to date. This is how it looks now, with a 3D window added (two transparent foil window panes are next to follow):


    I would also like to make the lower attitude thrusters a little more 3D, so I have opened them up a bit - I will edge-color the cuts and add slanting gray edges/walls around them, so they will look a little bit like the original ones:


    I am also thinking of adding the white (or off-white) panels to the recovery section that were specific for Wally´s flight. More pics later on.
    I haven´t really bothered about the scale so far - I think I will measure up the interior to fit the 'skin' - we´ll see later . . .

    Thanks for making this fine Mercury capsule rendering available, Bob! Great work! It´s´a wonderful tribute to the memory of Wally Schirra.
    We will also of course need an orange-red launch escape tower but I guess we can always 'borrow' that from Ton or Erik for the time being.

    All the best from Stockholm,
    Bengt :wave:
  9. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Thanks for the offer to re-size, Airbob. My preference would be to make the long side of the capsule skin 3.9 cm, matching Carl's capsule. My plan is to stick this atop his fine Atlas, so in theory, this Frankenstein will all fit together....
  10. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Good Evening Everyone,

    I need some help from the Group.

    I've rolled the Main Cabin portion of the spacecraft, and am assembling the heatshield. If I center the Cabin on the almost completed heatshield, the heatshield appears to have a 2 millimeter margin all the way around that extends past the bottom of the Cabin. Is the heat shield out of scale with the cabin?

    Am I doing something wrong, or is the intention to somehow bend the circumference of the heatshield edge up to meet the bottom of the cabin? This would involve cutting kerfs around the circumference of the heatshield in order to form it. This seem strange.

    I'd appreciate any help.
  11. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Sigma 7 Heat Shield

    Hi Steve, (I hope it´s´OK that I 'butt in', Bob)

    I was thinking of doing it the other way round; if you look at my first picture above, I have left a white margin around the lower edge of the cabin. I am going to make small tabs all the way around it, that fold inwards. If you do it like this, you can quite easily trim off the access material of the heat shield with a fine pair of scissors, being careful not to cut into the cabin sides.

    By the way, I discovered while I working with my rolled cabin cone (and at the same time studying photos like the one at the top and bottom of this post) that it really is a 24-sided structure - the 'louver' corrugated shingle steel plate reinforcements are almost flat, and these areas cannot bend from side to side.

    Corrugated shingle steel plate cabin exterior, with port side thruster assembly:


    So, I scored all the areas between them very gently from behind with a knitting pin and bent them all very smoothly so the surface wouldn´t crack in a sharp bend. I think it looks (and feels) a lot more realistic.

    I also made an experiment with an extra part for one of the attitude thrusters; I noticed on the photos (see photos; the one below is taken from the 'SpacecraftReplicas' web site) that one of the two thruster assemblies actually is a slight outward 'bulge'', which house the two roll thrusters and nozzles. I compared it to the Atomic City Mercury Project 1:12th scale plastic model and it is very similar; there is only this prominent 'bulge' on the thruster assembly which is on the opposite (port) side of the hatch. The one just below and to the right of the hatch (starboard side) is fairly flat. My paper 'prototype' for the port side looks like this (part encircled in red) - and compare it to the Atomic City plastic model in the background:


    Starboard side roll thruster assembly - almost flat:


    Back to the cutting bench,
    Bengt :wave:
  12. londonbluemisty

    londonbluemisty Wayne P

    :wave:Here are a few photo's of my Mercury Capsule,a tribute to the LATE,GREAT 'WALLY SCHIRRA'.
    A big thank-you to Bob for the free download:thumb:


    Attached Files:

  13. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    Everyone is doing a great job on this model. I would like to help with a few clarifications...The capsule is NOT a 24 sided structure. The panels were formed, with the dimples, in a conical shape. I have spent lots of time around many of the capsules and this is very obvious when you are standing next to one. The panels are a Nickel alloy (Rene 41 If memory serves me correct). They are not steel. All the MD manuals refer to them as 'shingles'.

    The roll thrusters are different on each side. The side Bengt shows on the model is the Automatic side with the 1 and 6 lb thrusters. This side bulges on SOME of the capsules. The Atomic City model represents SN 15 which is the unflown capsule at the Udvar-Hazy center outside DC. Some of the capsules didn't show as much of the bulge, if any at all. Remember, this was an experimental program and every capsule, while similar, was different. The roll thruster in my photo is the manual side with the single 0-6 lb thruster. There was very little if any bulge on this side on most capsules. Its interesting to note on some of the unmanned capsules, the holes were not even drilled in this panel as there were no manual thrusters needed. The distance between them (width) is different as Bengt points out. This was to accommodate the extra thruster on the Automatic side.


    This is a sketch of mine to help with the scaling aspects. For disclaimer purposes, this is a sketch of a model I am building to resemble a Mercury Spacecraft and in no way, represents actual dimensions of the MD design. Having said that, their should be sufficient dimensions to make your model any scale you want.

    I reference a link to the 'Mercury Familiarization Manual' on my website. Its a must have for any Mercury enthusiasts. Its a large file (almost 500 pages) but will help with all the points we are discussing.

    Everyone is doing a great job on the models and Bengt is certainly doing his part to help "keep the dream alive" in all of us. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  14. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member


    Thank you for the clarification re. the structure and shape of the Mercury capsule and for taking the time to explain in great detail.
    One´s assumptions and deductions aren´t always right - I assumed the plates were made of steel, for example. I stand, as so many times before, corrected.
    I was aware of the fact that the Mercury capsules evolved and developed throughout the program, from the early unmanned capsules, over the 'Ham' capsule and the manned capsule with the two port holes (Alan Shepard´s 'Freedom 7') to the 'final' version with the 'astronaut´s window' (from Gus Grissom´s 'Liberty Bell 7' and onwards).
    However, I didn´t know that there were different designs of the roll thrusters. I had noticed only a couple of days ago, though, that they were different in shape and, most notably, in width. I opened the lid on the box of the (as yet unbuilt) Atomic City model to check it out, and sure enough, the difference was obvious. It was really interesting to learn the facts behind this difference. On the photos of the 'Freedom 7 II' capsule there are for example two small nozzles or outlets on each side the (wider) Automatic roll thruster side (which accounts for the extra thruster), whereas on the Manual side, there are only one nozzle on each side. On all issued card models of the Mercury capsule to date, there is no difference in width (or height).

    In my card modeling, I strive for an accurate representation of the original subject, if it´s possible. This most of the time leads to extensive research, which is always very enlightening, educational and rewarding. Thanks to the new information gained from your expertise knowledge, I will try to make a new effort to make this model a 'first' as far as resonably accurate representation of these (and some other) details are concerned.

    The "Project Mercury Familiarization Manual" from 1962, which you referred to, is invaluable as source material for the detailing of a Mercury card model. I found, on pp 154-156, diagrams of the Automatic and Manual RCS thruster arrangements with explanatory text.

    So, thanks again, Scott, for taking the time to explain this so thoroughly. I follow, with greatest interest, the development on your web site of the 1:4 scale Mercury capsule card model project. The attention to detail here is amazing.

    Back to the printer for another print . . .

    All the best from Stockholm,
    Bengt :rolleyes:
  15. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    Bengt brings up an interesting point about the extensive research in building a model. This is exactly why I have modeled all my life. I really enjoy the research part the most. Building the model is just a way to verify my research or if you will, my final exam, that I got it all right. I can't even remember how many models I have tossed because, in the end, it was all about the learning or research. You can see my posts on the collectSpace site refer to this all the time. Its not about collecting 'stuff' for me as much as is it information.

    Keep up the good work Bengt. We need to 'keep the dream alive' for those young space enthusiasts who follow...

  16. airbob

    airbob Member


    GOSH! You guys are doing an outstanding job in building and modifying this capsule!....really strange to see the thing that came from my computer on someone else's desk......glad you like it!!!I'm humbled:rolleyes:....all can say is:
    Party on dudes!
  17. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member


    Thank you for the advice. I'm going to try it your way. Before I'd started cutting, I had noticed in your picture that you'd left the margin of white paper at top and bottom, and I had done the same. Great idea.
  18. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Heat Shields and Other Things

    Hi Steve,

    Glad you liked the idea. Actually, if you look at the real thing, there is a rim around the lower edge of the capsule that is sticking out a bit (the Atomic City 1:12 model shows the same). I am going to try a disc of thick card, with a diameter slghtly larger than the capsule crew cabin. I will color it with red-brown water color and then glue the heat shield (which I have recolored into a warm dark brown color) onto it.
    At the moment, I am busy modifying the bulging 'Automatic' thruster assembly (port side), the periscope door to the right of the hatch and the three C and S band antennas (the three rounded, white square shapes at the top of the cabin). They look like this:


    Last night, I also experimented further embossing all the corrugated 'dimples' or 'louvers' on the cabin with a steel pin, to see what it looked like - today, my thumb and index finger hurts a bit, so I´ll have to wait a while with the final version, if I decide to go down that road. The pattern is most noticeable on the areas where the white UNITED STATES text is situated and it kind of forces the capsule into a 24-sided shape again.
    I am also trying to find good photos of the recovery compartment of the 'Sigma 7', which had several plates with the purpose of re-entry testing dark and light heat-restitant paints. Has anybody found good photos of this capsule configuration? I´ve got a few so far - this is one of them, with Wally recovered from the capsule on the deck of the aircraft carrier - this photo shows the side with the dark panels:


    By the way, Bob, I tried to print your excellent Mercury capsule rendering in 1:12 scale and thanks to the fine resolution, this is no problem - it looks just as good as the smaller ones.

    All the best,
    Bengt :wave:
  19. George B

    George B Senior Member

    Hello Bengt,

    Here's a few photos of Sigma 7 I have....hope these help. I have others mostly of the interior. If you require higher res versions over 2000px x3000px PM me and I'll email them to you.


  20. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Sigma 7 Photos

    Hello George,

    Thank you so much for the photos - they display an unusual and exceptional clarity and resolution. They will be most valuable when detailing the Sigma 7 capsule.
    It seems the paint testing panels were removed for evaluation after the flight but there are lots of other interesting details, for example the periscope hatch in the third photo, the internal details of the top of the recovery compartment, yaw and pitch thruster nozzles, the color and shape of the C and S band antennas, and last but not least, a very good shot of what the metal in the heat shield looks like after re-entry, after cleaning.

    Thanks ever so much for sharing your fine photos.
    By the way, George, your 1:60 scale LUT is an impressive and very realistic-looking project. I can´t wait to see a Saturn launcher next to it . . .

    Best regards,
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