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76-inch Orion III spaceplane

Thought I'd share some images of a 76-inch long scratchbuilt model of the Orion III spaceplane from 2001:A Space Odyssey that I've been working on in my spare time since late October. When completed, it will be on loan to the Museum of Science Fiction in Washington DC and will be on display at a promotional exhibit at Reagan National Airport starting in July. Before it is taken to DC however, I will be taking it to Wonderfest in Louisville, Kentucky the last weekend in May where I will give a little presentation showing the various stages in it's construction. Anyway, as far as the model goes, the fuselage was created using vacuformed shells derived from urethane foam patterns, and the wings were fabricated from 1/8th-inch acrylic sheet (aka plexiglas or Perspex). The model weighs about 20 pounds and will also feature interior passenger cabin lights, engine lights, wingtip strobes, and landing lights. The lighting system is being made by Lightbenders. Hopefully, I'll have the painting done in the next few weeks...
 

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Boldman

Alphans
Love the scalloped leading edges to the wings and the panels lines look suitably fine and the panel shading you've achieved in that last pic looks superb! Also like the ribbed effect in the engine exhausts.

Would you consider vac forming some more? :)
 
I don't think I'll be making any more vacuforms for the Orion, but if you're interested in a resin kit, I hear Scott Alexander aka Captain Cardboard will be coming out with a studio scale kit. I believe it's about 42-inches--mine is considerably larger at 76-inches.
BP
 
Unfortunately, I just found out that the Museum is going to need the model in the middle of May, so I won't be taking it to Wonderfest as originally planned. I will however have drawings, patterns, molds and castings for the presentation.
 
More pictures, more pictures......!

BP, this is marvellous - look at the delicate shading and the detail. Don't suppose I'll ever get to see her for myself so, if time permits, please post more photographs of your progress on this beautiful model. Thanks for letting us see her - you're doing a fantastic job.

Kindest regards

Patrick
 
OK, OK, here's one from tonight's painting session. I don't think I need to tell you how time-consuming this is, but I'm pretty happy with the results. Now I can flip her over and start working on the underside. Sounds kind of kinky, eh?
BP
 

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Got a little work done last night and will try to complete all the paneling in the next few days. Once that's done, all that remains will be the black areas, then graphics. These will be accomplished with custom made dry transfers. Getting close now...
 

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saturnapollo

Alphans
BP.

Brilliant work as always. Having recently built two Moebius Orions and panelled them, I can appreciate what you are going through. An excercise in patience!

Keith
 
Thanks Keith. The entire model has been painted using custom mixes of DuPont Chromabase paints and the paneling was accomplished with six different shades. I ended up adjusting a couple of them after I received new images of the Aries (that was recently sold at auction) from Rob McFarlane in LA. According to Rob, Doug Trumbull confirmed that similar paint mixes were used on both the Aries and the Orion. The timing could not have been better. I have to also say that both Simon Atkinson and Piers Bizony have been a great help on this project, offering encouragement and previously unseen images of the Orion that were critical in making this model as accurate as possible.
BP
 
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Hopefully, I've gotten reasonably close, but it's really impossible to get 100% accuracy, especially since the original studio model no longer exists (but that's what we thought about the Aries too and four decades later, it turns up to go at auction for $344,000!). There are a lot of things that I could only guess at because there simply aren't that many good images to use as reference. After all, it's just my interpretation based on available references.
BP
 
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