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Old 22-03-2010, 04:00 AM   #1
JMChladek
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Default Shuttle model with a twist (Moonraker)

I've finally found a project that commands my full attention. Remember a few years ago when I built a 1/72 scale shuttle stack for a local museum?



Well, I've started another one using the Monogram kit with ET and SRBs as a basis. But this time rather then doing it as a real shuttle, I am doing it up as Moonraker 6 from the James Bond film.

Of course I could have done it in 1/144 scale as I have examples of the Airfix and Revell kits in my stash, but I think going bigger is the better way to go as I have a surplus shuttle kit to do it with and I've wanted something big in my display room. Plus, I want to see if I can finally break out of my bronze streak at Wonderfest. This could be the project that finally does it.

Work started with the nose thrusters. The Monogram kit has plugged thruster ports. While they are perfect for a normal shuttle on the pad with the Tyvek covers, the studio models had open ports. My solution was to drill the ports out, then fill them with Apoxie sculpt putty:



Then I mashed a sharpened pencil into the ports to shape them with the proper thrust chambers at the proper angles.



And of course, like my last shuttle, I opted to stick a couple pilots into the cockpit. Reason being is although I don't light my models, the cockpit windows act as a skylight when the orbiter is in launch position on the ET and SRBs. So I wanted something more then just a couple of empty seats as the interior will at least partially visible.





The pilot figures were resin casted from the seated astronaut pilots in the 4D Vision shuttle (ironically a man and a woman as well). An Alumalite casting kit was used to make them, although it wasn't easy as it took quite a number of tries to get a pair of astronauts and some backups I could use. But after a small amount of cleanup and some paintwork (with help from a black pen) I ended up with some decent figures of Bond and Dr. Goodhead.



The contrast rather nicely with the suited astronauts I used the last time:



As it is, right now I am doing the final touches to the model before I seal up the payload bay. Then the main seam cleanup can begin on the orbiter. The ET and SRBs are going to also be modified to represent the studio model more closely. That means less detail on the boosters and removing the rough texture from the External tank (and the intertank). That should go well though.
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Old 22-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
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Very nice, but why sealing up the payload bay????
Shouldn't you be adding dozens of love couples...??

Your astronauts look great! Perfect!
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Old 22-03-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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JMChladek, thanks for sharing your work in progress MOONRAKER.
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Old 22-03-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
Lee S
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Always wanted a Moonraker shuttle in 1/72nd!!!
You're going to need this for the base :-)
http://patchesnpins.com/J_B_001.jpg
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Old 22-03-2010, 04:52 PM   #5
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If I were to do the couples in an open payload bay, they would all have to be grabbing their throats and turning blue as they die from lack of oxygen.

Thanks for the mention of the patch Lee. I might use it, although I do plan to scan the Drax logo on the outside of the Airfix box to make a decal from it. Patches can look so much nicer though if applied properly.
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Old 22-03-2010, 11:30 PM   #6
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I look forward to seeing the finished results, Jay. I must say the crew in their yellow outfits perfectly capture the look of the film.

Keith
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Old 24-03-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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I do hope the dark tiles will be brown instead of black. I always remember that about the Moonraker shuttles, the SFX team painted them brown so that they would show up against a black sky background.

Seeing this reminds me that I saw a blu-ray release of Moonraker at the store the other day and almost bought it. Think it's time to correct that oversight.

Great project. I hope to see updates as it progresses.
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Old 24-03-2010, 10:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_trek View Post
I do hope the dark tiles will be brown instead of black. I always remember that about the Moonraker shuttles, the SFX team painted them brown so that they would show up against a black sky background.
Actually both brown and black tiles were used. Brown was used on the underside while black and gray shades were used topside. The numbers will be brown as well.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:08 AM   #9
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Minor update time. Things have progressed a little slowly due to other commitments around here. Plus I just got back from four and a half days in Florida watching STS-131 blast off for its pre-dawn mission to the ISS.

Anyway, first we have work done to the cockpit windows:



I shifted the inner borders out a little bit to more closely match the Moonraker studio model shapes a little better. The Monogram kit IMHO makes a perfect model to do a Moonraker from, but it does need a little work.

Next I moved onto the wings as I filled the hinge splits and recesses with Milliput, then sanded them smooth:





I did the same to the tail fin as well, although I haven't shot pictures of it yet.

Next I added the payload bay doors. This was tough as the fuselage halves flexed inward a bit and required a bit of reinforcement inside to get the walls more or less straight. I also removed the original Monogram hinges, filled the open holes and added three studio model door hinges per side, just like the launch stack model.



Now I am in the seam cleanup phase on the model. So a lot of filling and sanding is in work before I can begin painting. I also have to do work to the SRBs and ET as well, but I have collected all the supplies I need to finish this. Only major thing I need is decals, but now that my primary system is back up and running (it had a crash last month and needed a new motherboard and chipset), that shouldn't take long at all.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:15 AM   #10
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JMChladek, Moonraker SSO is coming along good work.
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Old 14-08-2010, 04:14 AM   #11
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Minor update time:

I am back to working on this after a few month hiatus. While it is a grind, I've found that daily work on it has a pleasure all its own. Right now the orbiter is sitting in the paint booth with its second coat of flat white paint drying. I need to add at least one more coat to it, then I can begin the "black" tile work to it (i.e. brown). I may do the orange stripes first though, depending on what mood I am in.

Sanding the texture off the ET was a major pain in the SSMEs! I don't think I'll ever try another one with a smooth tank again unless I use a Black & Decker belt sander on it. It was the one thing that put me close to burnout on the project. It has a primer coat on it though, so hopefully it will only need some minor touchups before I can progress with the paintwork on it. Thankfully the ET doesn't need much weathering since it is the disposable item from the Moonraker stack. The SRBs are also close to paint work as well.

I'll get some more pictures posted once the paint work has begun.
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Old 25-08-2010, 07:24 AM   #12
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Okay, things are still going slowly, but improving a bit. I just spent two nights fighting with ALPS printer drivers, installing them on an older system in the other room. But it works now. This means I can print decals again. In the mean time, I masked off and sprayed the orange coloring:





The color I used is Floquil UP (Union Pacific) Light Orange in their RR color line. It seems to be the closest match I've found for the orange/yellow shade used on the studio models. Masking work was done with a combination of Tamiya and Aizu brand masking tapes. Aizu is essentially the same stuff as Tamiya, but it is available in 1, 1.5 and 2.5mm widths. It came in very handy for doing the white trim stripe in the rear part of the orange band. Next step will be to mask and paint the gray RCC and wing panels. Then, hopefully if those go well, the brown bottom tile areas will be applied next.
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Old 30-08-2010, 02:21 AM   #13
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Well, I got most of the brown LRSI tile sprayed on last night except for the tail section. The color used was Tamiya XF-10 flat brown. The gray RCC nose and wing panels were done in RAF Medium Ocean gray. It seems maybe a tick too dark, but seems to look the part. Some weathering should help to alter its coloring a little. I just need to do some minor touchups and spray the tail with its edge trim and then I can move onto the black for some of the thruster areas, the main engine areas and the cockpit window frames.





I've also had a go at designing my own Moonraker decal art using all available resources (artwork from a friend, DVD screen caps, model decal sheets and even the Drax logo off the Airfix box). This is but a small sample of what I've got for my model so far as the sheet will also include all the stenciling I can see for the SRBs and ET as well.

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Old 30-08-2010, 02:17 PM   #14
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This is turning into one beautiful model JM ! When i made a Shuttle model years ago i tried to simulate the tiles by adding a lighter base coat and then spraying a darker colour through mesh patterns. It wasn't entirely succesful and was a pain to mask, but the effect was pretty good given the scale. I am following this thread with much interest !
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Old 30-08-2010, 02:19 PM   #15
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Looking very good so far, Jay.

Keith
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Old 30-08-2010, 02:42 PM   #16
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Its coming along very nicely, looking really good.
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Old 30-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #17
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Well, concerning the tiles, I have settled on just drawing them on with a very fine line mechanical pencil. It will be tedious, but ANY technique used for tiles will be tedious as the Moonraker TPS pattern isn't based on actual shuttle patterns (sort of based, but very simplified). I have a flexible ruler that can go around some pretty tight corners and the shuttle is rather slab sided. So it should work.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:51 AM   #18
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Moonraker's looking great...Nice job.

(I know what you mean about Wonderfest... I was "Bronzed" too!)
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:18 AM   #19
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That looks like a very tidy build and a beautiful airbrush job so far. Looking forward to seeing the detailing coming together on this one...
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:41 AM   #20
JMChladek
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Well, now she's really starting to come together in the paint. I put on the black areas around the nose last night and also trimmed the tail in brown:







The black shade used was Testors Model Master Aircraft Interior Black, which is slightly grayer in shade then flat black. I still need to add black around the rear main engine area. Then it will be some minor touchup work in spots and fixing a couple detail flaws. Then I can move on to drawing on the tile detail. At least now it is really looking like a Moonraker.
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