Yogi's - building for the classroom

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Retired_for_now, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Thought I'd give you glimpse of how my obsession got restarted. Always been a builder - plastic models, a few original simple paper ships/forts, and dime models from the cereal box. That evolved into carpentry and boat building - useful things.
    While designing a straw rocket launcher and associated science lessons for local educational programs, I started designing winged "straw powered" projectiles for the aero lessons. A quick internet search for paper airplanes brought up several paper modeling sites. With a little head scratching on how to attach the straw "engine," I had two pretty good fliers.

    Fiddler's Green Cub via the Civil Air Patrol and NASA shuttle glider - both from 20lb paper printed at two pages per sheet (about 70%).
    Straw Rocket Airplanes.jpg

    Also built a Cub to plans for friend who owns one.

    I found Jon Leslie's Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center gift shop - and Roland's little 1:288 ARES I was perfectly sized for launching (built in 20 or 60 lb stock). The kids' (and teachers') reaction was astonishing. First, it was cheap and easy enough to replace that they could go hands on; and, as I handed out a few printed plans sheets they saw they could build their own.

    That led to building a few more varieties - 1:200 to fit the launcher - of current man-rated rockets. Soyuz TMA (Landsbergen) and Chinese Shen Zhou/Long March (from U-don).

    A short period of insanity ensued - ...

    To be continued
  2. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Reality eventually reared its head. There needed to be some theme if we're going to keep this educational (rather than just building for me - then again...). So far, all the models are simple to encourage the kids to try one themselves. No tiny parts by the hundreds (except where I reduced the printed plans). Once they see they can do it they can then move up to the myriad of fantastic productions y'all are posting.

    Anyway, I decided to group the manned launchers into a rocket garden. It's 1:200 scale - no good reason except the Soyuz and Long March were scaled to that when I fit them to the launcher - so I had to jigger the scales. Upscaling Roland's ARES I was fairly simple. Kit bashing Lancer's Jupiter 232 Direct into an ARES V involved stretching the core and upper stage and redoing the core engines. I also included a Saturn V (simplified build of Ton's design) for perspective. I used Alphonso's AXM Shuttle, rescaled again to 1:200.

    To further show the evolution of Orion, I then did a set of manned capsules (without the Vostok and Voshkod - a significant oversight but I hadn't found Leo's site then). These were done at 1:100 or 1:96 and culled from Precision Paper's Mercury; Ton's Gemini, Saturn/Apollo, and ARES/Orion; MARS Center's Soyuz (LITTLE PARTS - ARGHHHHH!), and a very simple Shen Zhou from Hong Kong (Yuki Yuji had a better one posted in the past but it's been pulled).

    Along the way I did Paragon's CV-22 and Paper Replika's MQ-1 just because.

    I'm a pretty good data-rat for an old fart, so by now I had a long list of paper/card model sites. I'm also another space geek (spent a lot of time staring up at the moon in July of 1969) so I started on significant space probes. To be continued ...
  3. David H

    David H Member


    The school bus is a cool touch.

  4. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Learned that from Jon Leslie. It gives the kids an idea of the size 'cause they all know how big a school bus is. Bus from papertoys.com
  5. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Retired ...

    Excellent job on the models, and I especially like your ideas.

    Keep up the great work.

    ps Jon Leslie's site is an unsung treasure on the internet.
  6. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    The saga continues

    One of my educators leading the teacher workshop is a MESSENGER fellow (NASA outreach program for the latest Mercury probe), AF Association member, and American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics member, as well as a school teacher. She provided the NASA MESSENGER model as part of the workshop handouts I was building. Needless to say, the basic box was disappointing - so I built her a better one.

    The exploration of the solar system is the most exciting (and important) human activity - so I decided to build a "tour" with at least one current or historic probe for each body.

    Again, the basic ESA SOHO (solar observatory) model was a box with poor detail - so I redid it. Still just boxes and cylinders but a lot closer to reality. Still, it's a telescope and not a space probe. NASA is planning to send a probe in 2015 - the Solar Probe Plus - and the documentation is available. So...

    Mercury was done with MESSENGER, so Venus was up. I did the ESA Venus Express, but decided we needed the Magellan because of its significance (first detailed map of the surface of Venus). Couldn't find anything other than one commercial model - and I was unimpressed with its accuracy and detail. So, found the drawing and dimensions and ...

    Yes, the madness continues.
  7. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Mars Attacks!

    So, Earth/Moon was up. Which of the 100s of active space objects (and thousands over time) should be next? I couldn't decide and so, gave it a pass 'til later (this retirement thing is great!).

    Mars was easier - lots of active probes in the news. Did a quick Rover (E. te Groen and Ton) with a couple of detail modifications, then a Polar Lander (1:24) with the science deck and solar arrays changed to better match the Phoenix Lander (JPL model). Both were "given" away quickly to a local High School aviation program - instructor planned to use them as examples and offer the students class credit for finding and building their own (or another aerospace vehicle).



    Replaced the lander with a 1:12 scale version to more closely match the 1:15 scale of the Rover, again modified with some additional detail.


    Of course, the real star today is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The only model out there was a JPL aero-box, emphasis on box. So, I created one (plans posted at Jon Leslie's).


    That seemed like enough for Mars, and the NEAR mission that orbited, photographed, and landed on the asteroid Eros always fascinated me. So, I built the little JPL box and added enough detail so it looked a bit more like the probe. Had to do two here also since the first one was quickly claimed.


    While I was doing the small bodies, I found JPL's gorgeous Deep Impact (now EPOXI for a second rendezvous). Something about slinging a big copper slug into a comet at the speed of heat was just too cool. Not only was it great science - it was smashing things just to see what would happen.


    A note on displays. I tried to locate the most representative image and an explanatory graphic from the web. That was printed on card stock and either folded into a base (rover/lander) or glued to a thin board/plywood. Spacecraft are easy to attach - rockets with a vertical dowel up a nozzle, spacecraft by slipping a flat part (usually solar array) into a split in the end of a thin dowel.

    Not done yet ...
  8. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    To oddly go ...

    Garage is too dang hot to keep workin'. Back to the net.

    A spacecraft for Jupiter was easy, NASA JPL has a very nice Galileo. I did add a few 3-D pieces, mostly instruments (little boxes). The Pioneers (10 & 11 by Ton) also make a nice contrast here for the different generations of probes. The Pioneer was actually the first probe I built after doing several rockets - perfect starter with good detail but not too many parts or fiddly bits.



    Saturn was also a no brainer with Cassini - both the simple and "complex" models from NASA JPL. The complex model is not very - but there's plenty of information available to add instrument and other detail (so I did).



    Uranus and Neptune are still mostly blank, with only the Voyagers having done a flyby. I spent a lot of time staring at Ton's Voyager - it's beautiful but also complex (and even more so if I downsized it to 1:48 to match the rest of the probes). My courage failed me, so I did my own Voyager, not much more complex than Ton's Pioneer (I also had many of the parts already done, since the Magellan Venus probe was built with a lot of leftover Voyager parts). Posted at Jon Leslie's LHVCC e-gift shop. Forgive me Ton, I will do your Voyager justice (eventually).


    The no-longer-a-planet Pluto does have a probe enroute - the New Horizons. Vaughn Hoxie did a nice model (will find and repost the link to his new location) that can be easily modded to add a little more 3-D to the instruments.


    And, of course, the Pioneer and Voyager probes also cover the outer reaches on their interstellar missions.

    So, we turn back to the small blue marble ...
  9. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

  10. gpw

    gpw Member

    Excellent job :thumb::thumb::thumb:

  11. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Round a small, unregarded planet in the unfashionable outskirts of the Galaxy

    So, back home again.

    Still keeping to the simpler models that aren't too intimidating - I started in on the local spacecraft. Doing the NASA Great Observatory telescopes (and others of significance) seemed like a reasonable theme.

    So, did Ton's intermediate Hubble in 1:48 (following in the footsteps of many posted build threads here). I did kit-bash the bump plates and grapple fittings from Ton's expert model.


    Followed that with CSIRO's International Space Station from Alphonso's (AXM) site. I did modify it a bit with more, smaller tabs - seems to give a better shape to the cylinders.


    Decided to follow that with the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope (1:48 ). Found and built NASA's model - frankly not very impressed. There is little printed detail and the construction is a bit wonky. Also seems to be some mismatches - almost like they had a couple of updates done by different folks. Worst are the sunshields - size changes were not consistent - I did them in 20lb paper (simulated fabric) but they are WAY too distorted.


    Still, it provides a good contrast to the Hubble.


    Currently working up a revision - will add in detail printing and fix the measurement problems, then post on completion.

    And of course, whenever I need a break I build a few more small rockets for the launcher.

    Paper Rockets.jpg

    Therapy in progress ...
  12. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    James Webb Space Telescope re-do

    Got the first re-do of the James Webb (AKA next generation) Space Telescope done. Fairly easy, I tried to stay with the same parts list as the NASA version so I don't (lazy) have to rewrite (LAzy) the instructions (LAZY). I still need to do some work on the graphics detail - decide whether to try for photo-realism (paste scans), fine graphic detail, solid colors, or "cartoons" to highlight various functional blocks (like a CAD diagram). Any thoughts from the crowd?


    Que es mas macho?

  13. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Kkkkkk-kepler, lookin' for the aliens

    Finished up the Kepler at 1:48 (half-size print). Kepler just launched, it's an IR telescope designed as a planet finder. Fiddled about (as usual) adding little boxes and bits to fill out the 3-D effects.



    I think that's the new theme for the telescopes - planet finding. Was thinking of doing the NASA Great Observatory series, but the set looks like it would need a lot of work to fill out the 3-D bits. Still thinking about it ... ... ... ...
  14. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    A Little Lateral modelling

    Took a short break from the real space and telescopes to do this one -

    Fiddler's Green BeeGee. Goes together nicely with a little trimming on the wing root fairings. Haven't added the flying wires yet ...

    And then the US launched the latest lunar mission, Lunar Recon Orbiter and LCROSS impactor, designed to both map lunar resources and stir them up for a look with the impactors (9 Oct splat down). NASA/ASU has an LRO model posted (1:30 scale) but not the rest of the mission. So, we burned a few more brain cells - and rescaled all to 1:48 'cause I'm stuck in that rut/scale.


    Not sure if I'll get back and do the Spitzer space telescope or wander off and do a few more of the current crop of moon probes (Lunar Prospector, JAXA Selene, ESA, Chinese have one, India also). Still have to rebuild the dock, too.

    Quiet time for the schools - I do have a July meeting to plan next year's activities so will distribute much of this latest batch as bribes - I mean teacher incentives. Still have to work up a display for the Solar System tour and maybe a new Race to the Moon for next school year.

  15. Maico Shark

    Maico Shark Guest

    Well somebody has to model Virgin Galactic's mothership. With the groundbreaking of the worlds first spaceport in Las Cruces New Mexico June 18th, I should think a renewed interest in space is imminent.
  16. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    The race back to the Moon

    Working on a couple of rocket gardens (per some not so subtle requests/envy - see avatar picture) and filling out the Moon race set. Couldn't find anything on some early (and recent) probes so cobbled something together.

    Starting the rocket garden (note, reducing Ton's Gemini-Titan to 1:200 will highlight "fat finger" issues - others are Delta 7's Mercury Redstone and a Real Space Mercury Atlas via the wayback machine).

    Moon set so far, still need to work up the Indian Chandrayaan and Chinese
    Chang-e (as well as some Japanese probes available from JAXA)

    New designs are posted with the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center (jleslie48.com) - free models from a non-profit educational institution. Enjoy.

  17. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Diggin' in the garden

    Making some progress with the rocket garden. Keeping it non-work by varying the builds.

    Up to the Saturn V so far (with a few more Vostoks and Soyuz to make).

    And the box to keep them out of the way until I get the bases done and deliver them.

    Here's a range of Soyuz types in 1:200 (some detail obviously omitted):
    Early Vostok by Leo, MARS Center's Soyuz, simple Landsbergen Soyuz, and Ton's Soyuz.

  18. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member


    Wonderful collection!

    I'm going to see if my nephew is interested in building the stomp rocket. Looks VERY cool.

    Keep up the great work.
  19. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Thanks for the encouragement Steve. Plans for the stomp and straw rockets should be posted here shortly (real space and toys under downloads).

  20. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    First Harvest in the (rocket) Garden

    Well, barring a choice of the ARES V, Jupiter Direct, or Shuttle C I've got one set done for the rocket gardens. Added the Fiddler's Green/Delta 7 Shuttle orbiter on a 1:200 tank/srb set by Roberto Falorni (LHVCC), all in card, and a Long March/Shen Zhou (U-Don's) done in plain paper. That's the manned launchers (I know, ARES V etc. are cargo carriers and not manned but the Constellation program seems to be a set).


    Yogi (still waiting for 1 Vostok, 3 shuttles, 3 Saturn V, 3 Long March, and an ARES I to ripen - and the bases to build ...)

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