Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pic of the Day: NASA's badass Saturn V S-IC

This is a time-lapse shot of one of the Saturn V first stages being put together at the Michoud Assembly Facility just outside of New Orleans. I found it at Heroicrelics. He's got a much larger scan of it there.

Boeing's full-scale item has much better detail than my Revell 1/96 kit...

...but then theirs cost a lot more and was made of stronger stuff.

I haven't done anything with mine since December of 2011, when I scribbled my last review of the kit. In the past few weeks, I pulled the model out, looked it over and decided that I can work with it.

I'm still not thrilled with Revell's design decisions, where each of the three stages are made of solid styrene end-caps joined by rolled-up styrene sheets. There's an ugly, very visible overlap, especially on the upper half (click on the picture and look along the left side). I didn't use enough clothespins to clamp the thing together.

The other big issue is that the "systems tunnel" (the long pipelike structure on the left, used to clamp the rolled-up sheets into a cylinder) is in two pieces, which don't meet in the middle. There's another such tunnel 180 degrees around on the stage. At this scale, that's a one-foot gap in each of them.

Time for some surgery. I'm going to cut both systems tunnels off, glue them up separately, and re-install them after trimming the excess sheeting off. Hopefully the sheets don't just tear themselves loose when the pipes are removed.

This should be a lot simpler than the approach I was going to use when I first saw how jacked up the thing was. I was going to throw some plastic filler in the gaps and try to sand things smooth.

I'm playing it smarter with the remaining two stages. I'm going to roll the sheet sections up and put them into hot water so they'll stay rolled, then glue them up a little at a time to their end-caps and trim off any overlap. Since each stage has at least one systems tunnel intended to clamp things together, I'll arrange the sheet so that the tunnel covers the seams.

Pre-repair pics of the stage are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment