STS-1: The 5º slope to the stars 1/400

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Paper Kosmonaut, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Hello everyone. It's been a while since I posted some of my models here. But of course there are people here who are not posting with the neighbours' forum, so I thought it would be a nice idea to share this one with you all, too.

    It's my 1/400 rendition of Columbia while carried to LC39A for the first launch. I used AXM's model for it and also did some scratchbuilding.

    First up was the base plate. I like my models placed in a situation nowadays, I hardly build just a static model any more. I took an old photo frame I got from a thrift shop and removed the glass. Then I carefully measured out and build a frame for a slope of 5º. I didn't want to put it in a straight angle at the base plate, that would be too... well, straight.

    After that, I made some plaster and filled the base. After a couple of days of drying, it was sanded in the right angles and given an undercoat of paint. Then I took some railway model stuff like grass fibre and sand for stones and gave the whole lot a little more realistic appearance.

    Time for the paper stuff!
    I started with AXM's Mobile Launch Platform. After all, I needed it to stack my shuttle on so it was the logical step to start with.
    The first shuttle-MLP was somewhat simpler than today's MLP's appearance. However, after doing some research I found there were a couple of things I had to add. Railings, for example and also those auxiliary cars that provide the MLP with energy and fresh air and stuff while they take the ride to LC39.

    Here's the first batch of pictures:
  2. The building of the MLP part 2:

    In spite of its smaller scale it was very easy to do. I even decided to take the detailing a bit further. I thought the sides ot the platform could do with a little bit more depth so i cut small strips to accentuate the vertical bulkhead bars that stiffen the platform's sides. I then also reprinted the sides for an extra layer of cut-out tubings along the short side. Here and there I used some paint to camouflage the white edges of the paper.

    As usual, I use my sturdy 200 grams A4 paper and it sometimes is just a bit too thick. It gives small deviations in fittings and edges. In this model I could very well camouflage most of it.

    All the walkways did not give me any trouble at all.
  3. Part three of the MLP build:

    This is most of the scratchbuilding I did: creating the Auxiliary cars and the railings around the top deck. Nothing much to explain, I guess. The big white one is partially based on Alfonso's purge car he had going with the MLP but I found out it actually is more like a car than a container, as Alfonso assumed. It has six wheels and can be towed. the yellow aggregates are new and scratch. I designed something and used part of it for making them. Some silver card for the exhaust pipes.

    The railings I did by cutting out two small strips while keeping their sides attached to the paper. Then a third strip was cut into smaller parts to make the railings look like railings.:p A time consuming job but with a nice result.

    Lastly is the scaffolding they use to put under the SSME's for maintenance and check-ups. This platform is removed before launch, of course.
  4. Part four!
    The finishing touches to the MLP were made like some electrical wires for hoses to and from the purge cars and then it was time for the stack itself. This was just a nice straightforward build. Rolling the conical ends of the ET were a little tricky due to the aforementioned thick paper issue but I changed a little in the way things had to be glued by making my own inner glue strips instead of the overlapping ones coming with the model. Might not be a problem in bigger scales and different types of paper, I guess.
  5. Number five.
    Hmm. Those SRB's could use a little more detailing on the aft ends. Strips of yellow and black paper did the little trick.
    Then I build the shuttle itself. I have to admit, i didn't make any pictures of that build; since I did one right before that in my 1/400 ISS model - which is not finished yet - about which I do a thread over at the neighbours. So I figured, one AXM shuttle is like building another one.. I'll tell you, it was very easy and actually, this one was even simpler because the other one I did had to have its payload bay doors open.
    Oh well. if you want pictures of that, just ask.
    There was the stack. And it looks very good on the MLP. I added some black cables close to the blast hole of the SSME's because I saw that on some pictures of the real rollout.

    On with the crawler, then. The big parts were, just as the MLP, reinforced with some big pieces of beer mats. Good stuff to get things sturdy.
  6. Six!
    The trucks of the Crawler are quite detailed pieces of work. I tried to add as much of the parts I could but the little braking cylinders on front of each side of each truck were replaced by small pieces of cocktail sticks. The struts are also made of cocktail sticks. The rest still is paper.

    Since I wanted to show the stack crawling up the slope to the pad, I had to jack up the rear end of the crawler until it was level again. This also meant to put the trucks in an angle with the deck itself.
    It looked quite weird when I did this but on the base it all looked right again. And level.
    The walkways around the crawler's sides were reasonably simple and I decided the struts for steering the trucks could be made of brass rods. painted white, of course. Then I looked at the base and found it a bit too.. well, un-concretish.
  7. #7
    ...So this was the result. I think it is actually grossly exaggerated in size but it adds a whole lot of realism to the diorama, in my eyes. The sides of the slope don't look sandy any more but like the concrete slabs they are. Like I said, it is too much but hey, I like it.

    Time to put the whole shebang together, I guess. I hope you like the result.
    I sure liked building it.
  8. ovation

    ovation Member

    Great little model,a bit smaller than mine (wish Id built it smaller)
    good idea to include the crawler way too :thumb:

  9. I'll say it again.....incredibly cool, best one yet.
  10. Thank you all.
  11. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    In a word... WOW.
  12. AXM61

    AXM61 Member

    Didn't know my little crawler could do that!! ;-)
  13. asclepius

    asclepius New Member

    Very nice work. A lot of details. Looks great!

    Thank you, Kevin
  14. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Nice work! I'll have to use this as a reference if I ever build that crawler. :thumb:

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