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Scratch built SS 2001 Moon Bus

joeb

Alphans
Hi everyone, I thought I'd start sharing progress shots of my latest build, a studio scale Moon Bus from 2001. I've been working on this, almost continuously, for about two years now. I started by making molds and casting copies of the many kit parts that detail the hull. Then I went on to the landing gear but had to stop when I ran out of RTV and polyurethane. This hull is the third version. The first was scrapped early on due to a construction flaw. The second was scrapped much later because the whole design was reworked for better accuracy. I have loads of pictures that lead up to these and will post them later. Hope you enjoy.

Joe
 

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Pro Mod

Forum Supporter
Great looking model Joeb.
Looking forward to seeing the rest of the photos.
Looks like you've got a good workshop as well.
 

joeb

Alphans
Here are some more pics. These show the building of the four VTOL engine well sub assemblies. Some are captioned and some aren't but most are self explanatory.

Thanks Pro Mod. I have been fortunate over the years to be able to put together a nice shop. It's small but serves me very well.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
These are the rest of the engine well assemblies.
 

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joeb

Alphans
This series of photos show the landing gear well construction.
 

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joeb

Alphans
And the rest.
 

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joeb

Alphans
Thanks Fun Pod, I'm glad these pictures are helpful. Here are still more showing the construction of the lower half of the hull. Others will follow.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
Thanks McTodd, this is a one off model. I do however have molds of most of the kit pieces and plan on making ones for the major landing gear components. I may also mold up parts of the front of the hull and maybe the rcs pods because I want the whole model to be plastic on the outside. Some day I hope to be able to mold up something as big as this but that is beyond my abilities right know. Here are more pictures of the lower hull construction.

Joe
 

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McTodd

Alphans
Fair enough, it does look very large! I shudder to think what the cost of RTV moulding rubber would be for something that size...

And I must echo ProMod - nice workshop! I'm dead jealous...
 

joeb

Alphans
The model is big McTodd, it should finish up at 33 inched long. If I was to make a copy of the hull I would probably have to make the mold and the casting in fiber glass and I've never worked with that before. I know it's likely no harder to work with than RTV but I'm not going to try a new technique on something this big. I'll experiment with fiber glass on a later, smaller project. Here are more photos

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
These pictures are of the three interior bulkheads being made and of the lower hull going together. I decided to make them as two halves because I didn't want to depend on them to determine the width of the hull. I wanted to be able to clamp the lower hull halves in their proper positions and just put the bulkheads in place. If they were off it didn't matter, the hull halves were where they were supposed to be and I could bridge the gap between the bulkheads with some MDF and after the glue dried I could unclamp the hull halves.

I made each bulkhead half in two pieces because it was easier to make sure the intersection of the top and bottom angles fell in the right place. I had to make sure the the width of the top and bottom piece was correct so when combined it was the overall bulkhead height. Then I had to make sure the angle on the miter gauge was set correctly. After that it didn't matter where I cut each piece as long as they were all cut the same. If I made the bulkheads in one piece I would have had to be much more careful setting up to get those angles to meet where I wanted them to.

I hope this makes sense.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
Here are the rest.
 

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I look forward to seeing how you deal with the underside.
I saw how Martin approached it in Bowerhouse, but it sure looks like a lot of work.

B.P.
 

McTodd

Alphans
The model is big McTodd, it should finish up at 33 inched long. If I was to make a copy of the hull I would probably have to make the mold and the casting in fiber glass and I've never worked with that before. I know it's likely no harder to work with than RTV but I'm not going to try a new technique on something this big. I'll experiment with fiber glass on a later, smaller project.
That is BIG! I completely sympathise, I've not worked with fibreglass either, and to be honest I'd rather not if I can avoid it. Your project's looking mighty fine, good luck!
 

joeb

Alphans
The bottom was a lot of work B.P. The biggest problem was finding the correct angles for the saw blade and miter gauge to be set at. After that I had to make sure that I took into account the 1/16 inch styrene sheeting that was going on later before I made any cuts. There was a lot of thinking and a lot of “miss steps” involved. I'll post some pictures of my earlier attempt so you can see how I changed the building technique. Meanwhile these pictures are of building the upper hull sides.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
These shots are of the window frames.

Joe
 

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