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Scratch built SS 2001 Moon Bus

joeb

Alphans
I finally made time for an update. This week I've been busy with work and life's mundane tasks. Last week end I did not get as much done as I wanted to. When do we ever, right? Any way yesterday I finished up what I started last week. I'm working on the rear bulk head and it's going well. I'm attaching photos of the studio model, the red circled area is the area I'm on now. The most difficult thing was figuring out how to incorporate the two cut outs ( blue circles). Once I got going however, it wasn't has hard as I thought it was going to be. I like when that happens. I hope I have more instances like this. Now it's on to the rest of the bulkhead. I don't have a plan of attack for that yet, so I'll just have to stare at the model for a while until something pops into my head.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
The rest of the photos.
 

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Lee S

Alphans
Following this one carefully! I would love to build a replica too! If you happen to offer any castings of the pieces you make, PLEASE let me know!
 

joeb

Alphans
Lees S, I'm glad your following this build, thanks. As far as making parts available, I'm not ruling anything out right now. If and when you decide to tackle a Moon Bus, let me know and I'll try and help out. I'm finding this build is a lot easier than my Eagle in many ways. I scratch built the shoulder pods which turned into an exercise in tedium. I had to do every thing at least four times. The hardest part was fighting off the boredom. There isn't much repetitive work on the Moon Bus. I didn't get much done last week end. I only had Sunday to work on it and I was tired and not really into it. I started to layout the next part of the rear bulkhead and soon realized that I was going about it the wrong way so I called it quits. I'll come back to it when I'm more in the mood.

Joe
 

joeb

Alphans
I finally made some progress on the rear bulkhead today. After over coming a mental block, ( the latest of many with this model) things just zipped along and I finished this operation. I also prepped the next operation so hopefully I can get right to work tomorrow. Here are more pics, enjoy.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
I got a lot done this week end. First off, last Sunday I turned two acrylic bushings for the “tail lights” sockets (circled in blue on the photo). A lot of these hole's sides will be seen and I didn't want it to be MDF so I made these inserts. This weekend I bored the holes for the “tail lights” using a forstner bit, sorry no picture of that. I also trimmed the upper back part to size. It's smaller that the hull because that edge has a radius. I intend to make the rounded edges from wood or MDF and then make urethane castings of them and then apply them to the back. While checking some measurements I discovered that the right side edge with the inside radius was off by a 1/16”. I've been good about holding a 1/64” tolerance but a 1/16 is too much so I had to fix it. Fortunately the edge was too long so all I had to do was re router it. I then had to apply new edge plastic and sand that flush. I don't mind these easy to fix set backs. The two back parts where glued together and then covered with plastic. The reason I covered both sides, knowing that you will never see one was that this piece is going to sit around for a few weeks maybe, before I can attach it to the hull. If I only covered one side it would most likely warp because of uneven moisture absorption before I could attach it. I also made a router jig for the two cut outs for the refrigerator door parts ( red circles).

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
I've taken the rear bulkhead as far as I can for now. I was reviewing what needed to be done next and soon realized that before I can attach it there are a lot of other things that have to get done first, and at the head of the list is the whole front of the Moon Bus. I still don't have a definite plan for that so I see a lot of trial and error ahead. Before I move on to that however there is a bead detail that surrounds the rear door that I want to make first. You can just barely make it out in this photo. I'll post progress on that next time.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
Last weekend I didn't get much done but this weekend I did. I finished the buck for the the part that will eventually become the bead detail that surrounds the rear door. It took me three times to finally vacuum form it right but I got much needed experience in the process. The first time I used the wrong thickness plastic, 1/16 instead of 1/8. I convinced myself that it was 1/16 and only checked the size after the part was formed. The second time I didn't raise the buck up enough on the vac former for the 1/8 thick plastic. The third time everything was correct and I got a useable part. I used a radius gauge to scrape the edge round. I'll sand it smooth later. I only need the sides of the part everything else will be cut away. I also began formulating a plan for making the top part of the cockpit. I think I'll be able to vacuum form that as well. The circled area in the photo is what I'm talking about. In case I don't post again soon, Happy Holidays everyone.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
Well it's taken me a few weeks but I finally finished shaping the top edges of the hull. Nothing was very hard about any of it I just wasn't spending a lot of time working on the model. The purpose built sanding block ensured that the edges would be consistent. The actual sanding was the most time consuming because I had to stop and clean the clogged sand paper. The paper also wore out quickly and had to be changed often. I'll probably have to have to go over them a little after the primer goes on but for now they're done. Hope everyone has a Happy New Year.

Joe
 

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Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Vac forming

There is a plan to build one yourself to a semi pro standard:

http://www.build-stuff.com/1001plans_hobby_vac.htm

I have a great book about all types of DIY vac formers that can be made at home. Some are really easy to build and operate from the standard house hold or shop vacuum cleaner.

There is a really good one that uses two vacuum cleaners to evacuate the mould box so you can draw quite large moulds. The only real draw back is in the thickness of material that can be formed. They can pull 1.5 mm styrene to a depth of 75 mm (3") without problems.

The parts suppliers are based in the USA but if there is enough interest I will look for European based suppliers. Chris and I have just finished putting together a price list for HIPS (Styrene) and PetG (clear canopy material) to offer to forum members at special rates.

I will break these posts into their own thread so we don't hi-jack Joe's superb Moonbus build.
 

joeb

Alphans
Thanks Dave, it really is great little machine, I highly recommend the plans and heating element kit. The built in oven is what makes this machine. You don't have to worry about heating plastic in the kitchen oven and possibly creating a “domestic incident”. I use a cheap venturi pump connected to my compressor to evacuate a ten gallon air tank. Then I throw a valve and dump the air under the form into the tank. I can get the tank down to a vacuum of 21 or 22 inches of mercury but it's difficult for my eight gallon compressor. A shop vac could easily be used but I'm guessing it would draw less. The plans show four or five different vacuum set ups for a variety of budgets.

Joe
 

joeb

Alphans
We are finally getting winter temperatures here ( still not a lot of snow, thankfully) which means the basement shop is really cold. When ever I want to work down there I have to “suit up” with multiple layers and old snow boots. I always feel like an astronaut preparing for an EVA. Any way I haven't spent a lot of time working on the model, but these last couple of weekends I managed to make good progress on the cockpit top. My first attempt at shaping one of the corners wasn't right because the lay out was wrong so I rebuilt it with Bondo and re worked it using the correct layout. So far the blank looks good but I still have a lot of filling and sanding to do before I can make a vacuum form mold with it. I also came up with some ideas on how to make the rest of the cockpit and nose. They may or may not work but at least I have a starting point which is good.

Joe
 

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joeb

Alphans
Lots of pics with this update. Here are the rest.
 

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NeoGoglu

Alphans
Your model is coming along nicely,
this whole thread is very informative
and inspiring, thank you some much
Joe for giving us your tricks and hints.

BTW, it's much colder in Montreal
and all my tools are in my non-heated garage,
i wish i could work in my basement too, LOL
 
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