Scratchbuilt Titan 4B in 1/96th scale

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by dhanners, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I've added yet another launch vehicle, a scratchbuilt Titan 4B in 1/96th scale. (Those l-o-n-g Minnesota winters are good for something, although today it is supposed to be in the 50s....)

    Anyway, the details:
    Titan 4B
    Cassini/Huygens launch vehicle

    All the recent hubbub over the Huygens and Cassini got me thinking I should build a Titan 4B, the launch vehicle that sent those probes on their way. I couldn't find any Titan 4Bs in 1/96th scale, the scale that I prefer to work in, nor could I find any in card, the medium I prefer to work in. So that meant scratchbuilding one.

    I started by using various online sources to determine the dimensions of the major components of the rocket -- the Titan centerbody, the Centaur G upper stage, the Uprated Solid Rocket Motors (USRMs) and the payload fairing. Once I had done that, it was a matter of heading down to my local hobby shop to check out if they had any model rocket tubes in diameters that approximated what I was looking for. They did.

    The tubes were cut to the appropriate size and then covered with card "skins" I made myself. While looking through paper at an art supply store, I came a across a bright metallic paper-backed material that I thought might work well for the Titan centerbody; that gleaming metal on the rocket is one of its most striking visual elements, and it is hard to replicate in card. Most card models of Titans (including my previous ones) wind up being printed out in a grayish color. The silver stuff came in large sheets and I cut it to 8.5x11 pages and run it through my printer so I could print the vertical "US AIR FORCE" down the sides of the rocket. (I had designed that using the "draw" function in Word.) The star-and-bars is a decal from my spares box. I also found some gold paper for the gold sections of the rocket. I designed other sections of the "skins" and utility tunnels on my computer and printed them out onto 65-pound and lighter-weight white and silver paper, as appropriate.

    From there, it was just a matter of using an online shroud calculator to build the various truncated cones that make up the nose and boattail of the payload fairing, the tops of the USRMs and the USRM nozzles. I built all the various details from card or laminated card.

    In photos I have of the rocket, there appears to be some sort of instrumentation (?) leads snaking around the USRMs in numerous places. I replicated these by dipping thread into a mixture of white glue and white acrylic paint, then sticking them onto the USRMs.

    Yeah, the rocket has a couple of inaccuracies; I know what they are so there's no need to point them out. (And if you don't know what they are, I ain't tellin'....) But I think the model captures the "feel" of a Titan 4B, and it makes a nice addition to my collection.
  2. Atomsk

    Atomsk Member


    Your rocket models are quite spiffy lookin' :)

    I've been waiting for someone to come out with kits of many of these subjects. Is there any chance you're thinking if "kitifying" any of the models shown in your gallery?
  3. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I don't know if "kitifying" is a word, but it certainly should be. Either that, or "kiticize."

    Whatever the word, I have in the past contemplated trying to figure out some way to offer the models, since there are a lot of talented builders online who generously offer their designs and I'd like to be able to give something back to the hobby. I have a few constraints, though. For one, I have only limited access to a computer these days. And the computer that I do have access is old and slow, and so adding some spiffy CAD or whatever program would probably stop it entirely. I am looking into fixing these issues later this spring, though.

    The other thing that has given me pause is that the combination of papers I use may not be available everywhere, and so it's hard to come up with a single, simple design (ala Erik te Groen's Delta IIs, for example) that a modeler could download on a few 8.5x11 sheets. There may be a way around this, but I'm not sure what it is. Yet.

    I appreciate your sentiment, though, and thanks for the kind words.

    Next up: A conceptual manned Mars lander in 1/96th scale....

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