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Old 10-14-2008, 05:02 AM
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Default Skills Assessment - 205

Completing this build required many skills not needed for most rocket kits. Congratulations on rising to the challenge.
  1. Basic model rocket building techniques - Experience gluing tubes and centering rings was a prerequisite for being on this project.
  2. Research - Known in NAR-sanctioned competition as "scale data", accumulating information about the sizes, shapes and colors of various parts of the prototype is necessary to accurize the model, something some builders chose to do.
  3. Building around a reference line - On most model rockets, there is only a launch lug line or a vertical plane of symmetry between a left side and a right side. The Saturn 1B had many parts and markings located at unique positions around the circumference.
  4. Building up hollow fins - Not really hard to assemble, but difficult to do well eight times (more for some, way too many more for one). At least the balsa parts were laser-cut - imagine having to cut these out of a sheet...
  5. Resin casting - While not required by the kit, some builders chose to duplicate the best fin with a mold for uniform quality.
  6. Forming and gluing paper shrouds - A bane for many builders. Essential skills include forming to shape without creasing, fitting into place and hiding the seam.
  7. Fabricating parts with launch lug and cardstock - Making the discharge tubes look good was hard; making retrorocket housings which looked good nearly impossible.
  8. Fabricating balsa parts - Namely the vector control jet housings and retrorocket housings for some.
  9. Applying tube wraps - Five wraps covered a large part of the surface of the tubes and had to be precisely aligned.
  10. Filling - Not just the paper tubes and balsa parts, but the gaps where paper shrouds or fins did not fit perfectly.
  11. Deciding when to attach details and when to paint - Builders used a number of differing strategies to try to simplify the job of masking. Let's hear how they worked out...
  12. Attaching details - Many of them.
  13. Masking - Challenging to say the least, with no two fins alike.
  14. Painting - A large model with a complicated paint scheme.
  15. Attaching parts after painting - The kit instructions are to glue everything first, but modern adhesives allow some deviation.
  16. Applying decals - Some big, some small, some long, all delicate. And all required attention to the reference line.
  17. Drawing straight lines on a curved surface - Namely the outline of the doors of the LEM shroud.
  18. Assembling plastic parts - The escape tower.
  19. Fabricating plastic parts - Replacing lost parts or for added details.
  20. Detailing - Extra details were optional but added by many builders.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:04 AM
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These are my experiences. I joined the team a week after they had already begun work. We were tasked to build ten of the models. Our policy was to match the SA-205 as much as possible and not preclude keeping the model flyable.
  1. Basic model rocket building techniques - We had no concerns in this area as we had all built many rockets.
  2. Research - Unfortunately, we did not thoroughly research the SA-205 before construction, so we had to redo a few things for accuracy and a few other things were left uncorrected.

    The Mighty Saturns DVD set proved to be valuable as an entire disc was filled with launch footage of Apollo 7 including many closeup views from tower and umbilical arm cameras.
  3. Building around a reference line - This was a continuing challenge as we had to repeatedly refer to the instructions and we did not get it right every time. In fact, we got it wrong at some critical times.
  4. Building up hollow fins - One of the team members was good at this and volunteered to build all of them. I'll leave it up to him to write about his experiences.
  5. Resin casting - We chose not to do this for the fins. Perhaps we could have made and replicated an accurate retrorocket housing if we had known early in the build process.
  6. Forming and gluing paper shrouds - We had a tough time with the tank fairing shrouds. We ended up adding pointed tips to the spacer strips (A) similar to the fairing supports (B) in order to provide a place to glue the narrow parts of the shroud then wound up cutting apart some of the shrouds and gluing them in place separately. Even so, we had to do a great deal of filling after attaching wrap #2 so that the fairing blended nicely.

    As for the LEM shroud, we cut off the overlap area and used it to back the butt joint between the edges of the shroud. We spent way too much effort filling the joint between the lower edge of the shround and the second stage tube not realizing at the time that a color boundary will help to hide it.
  7. Fabricating parts with launch lug and cardstock - One of the team members did a good job on the discharge tubes. We opted to make the retrorocket housings out of strip balsa as nobody wanted to do it as the kit instructions directed.
  8. Fabricating balsa parts - Our retrorocket housings were originally pointed at both ends as suggested by the kit instructions until the Apollo 7 footage clearly showed the aft ends to be square. So we cut ours in half and extended them with more strip stock, giving us many spares.

    Using a drill instead of a dowel did a much better job on the nozzles of the vector control jet housings.
  9. Applying tube wraps - This is where I contributed my share of mistakes to the project. I got confused and glued two of the wrap #4 upside down. Fortunately, the texture of the wraps does not really show on the finished model and many of the flat spots still lined up with detail parts.

    The techniques for applying the wraps varied among team members. Mine was to apply Elmers Glue-All to the tube, spread it out with a finger and after cleaning my hands, started the wrap by carefully positioning one end, then working it down around the tube. This allowed me to get it consistently tight. The only thing I would do differently would be to thin the glue a bit so it would not try to clump up so much.

    We found some wraps to be too long around the tube circumference and some too short. Overtrimming some of the long ones made them too short, giving us yet another gap to fill.

    Wrap #1 or #2 was too wide. We trimmed wrap #2, but in hindsight, maybe it was wrap #1 which was oversized as there was a flat strip along its lower edge below the corrugations.
  10. Filling - There was Fill and Finish dust all over the room when we were done, much of it on the tank fairing.
  11. Deciding when to attach details and when to paint - We decided to paint the tank tubes white and black before assembly to avoid some expected difficult masking later. But four of the models were built with the tanks 45 degrees off or so we thought. After turning those black tanks white, we realized those were correct after all, so we had to make the other black tanks white too.

    The discharge tubes and vector control housings were attached after painting. The retrorocket housings should have been as well so that we would not have to mask around them.
  12. Attaching details - I shaved a few layers off of the bottom side of the tunnels on the second stage where they overlapped the wrap to make them lie flat and eliminate the gap between the tunnel and the bare tube.
  13. Masking - One team member turned us on to Tamiya yellow masking tape. It is pricy, but worked wonderfully. Liquid masking film did not want to cooperate for us. Blue painter's tape just did not want to stick to itself, but worked OK.

    This turned out to be one of the most time-consuming tasks. We double checked each others' work to catch most errors.

    It turned out that masking the tanks was not as difficult as we had feared - copy paper fit well between the tanks. The decision to attach the antenna panels after painting greatly simplified tank masking.

    One side of the POS III fin was wrong in the instructions - a team member faithfully duplicated the error to the amusement of the rest of us.
  14. Painting - I did not have confidence in my ability with a rattlecan, so deferred to other members of the team. This was not the time to be learning.

    We chose to spray on black paint instead of using a brush.
  15. Attaching parts after painting - Mostly with CA, though Aleen's Tacky Glue was used on some parts since these are going to be display models.
  16. Applying decals - I used scissors to trim close to the markings and made no sharp concave corners. I avoided the knife as the slightest nick would cause a decal to tend to tear. Once I learned that lesson many years ago, decalling had been easy and fun for me. Instead of fishing them out of a bowl of water, I found that using a puddle on a cutting mat was an easier way to wet the smaller markings.
  17. Drawing straight lines on a curved surface - Nobody felt like doing this freehand, so we found some 1/64" wide trim tape. A cut down copy of the LEM shroud pattern made a great template for marking the base of the doors. We should have used it for gluing on the latch pads as well.
  18. Assembling plastic parts - The wire from the Testors plastic cement was a great way to apply a tiny bit of glue.

    Having two of the tower legs split made for a stronger part when assembled, but special attention was needed to make the ends fit properly into the holes in the BPC and escape motor skirt.

    For that little ring in the tower, practice inserting it several times, apply glue to the four pads in the tower then do it one more time to fix it into place.
  19. Fabricating plastic parts - One of the tiny service module thruster nozzles vanished on me and before I could contribute one from my personal Apogee capsule, a team member made a replacement from scrap sprue material. Thanks, Jack!
  20. Detailing - Silver Monokote stuck to the service module wrap looks great, especially after satin clear is applied.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:49 AM
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I'm not sure when everyone else got started, but I know a few of you got a head start on me and I am sure a few of you started after me, but I received my kit on Sep 17. I was also in the middle of building a Semroc VF-261 for the October Sky Festival. I added a canopy to it and made custom decals, so that project had to get finished before I could dive into the Saturn.
  1. Basic model rocket building techniques - No problems here.
  2. Research - Everything I know about SA-205 I learned from all of you on this forum.
  3. Building around a reference line - I had started a Saturn 1B last year but never got past the step of adding the LEM shroud, so I used it as a model where I marked up wrap seams, black areas and white areas in pencil.
  4. Building up hollow fins - This wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, and perhaps some RC airplane experience helped here.
  5. Resin casting - I have no idea what this is but it sounds pretty cool.
  6. Forming and gluing paper shrouds - Tank Fairing shroud proved to be a bit of a challenge, but Fill n Finish hid any flaws. The LEM shorud on this one worked perfectly, specially compared to the disaster I had on my first attempt. The only difference? This time I followed the directions!
  7. Fabricating parts with launch lug and cardstock - With a little Fill n Finish my Discharge Tubes came out nice, but I scrapped the Retro Rockets and used balsa instead.
  8. Fabricating balsa parts - My first attempt at making the divots on the Vector Control Housings resulted in crushed balsa grains. For my second attempt, I tipped the dowel slightly and rotated it around to press smaller portions at a time. This worked better than trying to plunge the dowel in.
  9. Applying tube wraps - I laid the wraps face down on waxed paper and smeared a thin layer of Elmer's Glue-All over the entire back side with my finger, then applied it to the tube. This was way easier than I had thought it would be.
  10. Filling - Fuel Tank Fairing and LEM shroud both received a good amount of Fill n Finish.
  11. Deciding when to attach details and when to paint - I went back and forth quite a bit on this decision, especially on whether to attach the Fins before or after the paint. At one point I was convinced I would pre paint the Fins before assembly to the rocket, but I was concerned about being able to align the demarkation lines and having gaps where the Fins attach. I ended up attaching the Fins first. I know this made masking more difficult but it all ended up fine. I attached the Retro Rocket Housings, the Tunnels and the LEM Latch Pads before painting. All other details were applied after painting.
  12. Attaching details - For parts that attached to the main tube (Discharge Tubes, Retro Rocket Housings, etc), I laid a piece of sandpaper around the main tube (grit side out) to use as a sading block to get a raduised mounting surface that allowed them to fit more snug to the tube.
  13. Masking - Masking the Fuel Tank/Fairing/Fin area literally took several hours. I used Model Masters masking tape for the main edges and used Frog Tape to cover the larger areas. Before spraying black I "sealed" the taped edges with a litght coat of white.
  14. Painting - I used Rustoleum Painter's Touch Gloss White and Gloss Black spray cans, and Model Master brush on paint for touch up and details. I do have an airbrush, but I didn't think I would have had time to use it on this project, and I knew that I wouldn't have had any issues with masking tape pulling off the paint below if I used the Rustoleum.
  15. Attaching parts after painting - I used CA on the Vector Control Housings, but that fogged up the black paint behind it. All other details were added with Aleen's Tacky Glue.
  16. Applying decals - I used lots of Micro Set and Micro Sol applied with Q-Tips. In addition to the standard kit decals I made waterslide decals for the LEM shroud lines and the Service Module. The SM decal was the hardest as it was a single decal that wrapped around the entire SM. I also made decals for the Fuel Fill Ports on the LEM shroud and the little rocket vents at the top of the Escape Tower.
  17. Drawing straight lines on a curved surface - Before I decided to make decals for this, I was planning on using a body tube (or making one with paper) to slip over the LEM shroud to use as a straight edge. The decal idea was definitely the way to go for this.
  18. Assembling plastic parts - I used Ambroid ProWeld plastic glue which allows you to assemble the parts first and brush it on to the joint. It uses capilary action to seep into the joint. It dries almost instantly too, and it has no nasty odor. It's great stuff!
  19. Fabricating plastic parts - Didn't do any of this.
  20. Detailing - Didn't do much of this either - due to my lack of knowledge about Saturn details and my lack of time.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:53 PM
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  1. Basic model rocket building techniques - I'd consider my general skills somewhere between "adequate" to "good enough"...
  2. Research - Found some good websites, but really have to say "thanks" to Chan for his contributions.
  3. Building around a reference line -Trying to keep up with which view I was looking at in the data, versus which view I had of the model, was often difficult. Having to look through progressively-out-of-focus-tri-focals only added to the frustration.
  4. Building up hollow fins - I'm a wuss. I managed ONE good fin, and decided immediately to resin-cast all of them. I was trying to do two models at the time, so that would have been 16 fins.
  5. Resin casting - I also resin-cast some of the other details on the model, such as the retro rockets, the APU/thruster housings, and the dump-thrusters. This was the only way to achieve consistency with multiple copies of the same item. Since we were told these would be "display models" and not "flight models", I stopped worrying about the final weight.
  6. Forming and gluing paper shrouds - Learned better ways of doing this for the second model, but not in time to make the first model really look its best.
  7. Fabricating parts with launch lug and cardstock - Not really the problem, as such. In fact, it was the best way for the retros. The APUs were larger than what the balsa parts would have produced, so I used a length of BT-3 and some scrap balsa to produce a more to-scale shape and size. It came out only moderately larger than it should have been, meaning it looked much closer to the real thing. The APUs were round, not rectangular...
  8. Fabricating balsa parts - Worked better for the dump-thruster than trying to use a piece of launch lug, actually.
  9. Applying tube wraps - Not so bad, once I figured out to only apply the spray adhesive to the back of the wraps, and not to the tubes. The 3M-90 grabbed faster than 3M-77, but it seemed to hold better, too. Use thin CA around the edges to seal the wrap to the tube, BONDO to fill the joints.
  10. Filling - Had to use far too much, I thought, but BONDO spot putty turned out to be the best choice for its quick set-up time.
  11. Deciding when to attach details and when to paint - Just depended on the build sequence. Some parts had to go on before painting, while others could have been added afterward. This was very much an "it depends" issue, and it has affected my thinking on how to complete the second model.
  12. Attaching details - The number wasn't so bad, but having time to develop all of the important ones was the bigger issue. Some items were easy, but others took several attempts before getting them right. This ate away at the remaining time for some of the lesser details. There were many details that should be on this model, but aren't for this reason.
  13. Masking - Should not be done in one pass. This model needs several sessions to get the masking done well. Do the booster in one pass, with the S-IV-B and spacecraft sections protected in kraft paper. Do the S-IV-B in the next pass, and the spacecraft in the last pass, wrapping the other parts for protection.
  14. Painting - See the above entry on "MASKING". Since the base color for the model was white, I just sprayed white Kilz as both a primer and a color coat. While not producing as "smooth" a finish as a true color coat, it reduced the finishing time substantially. The final coats were going to be Future Floor Finish, anyway, which took care of the gloss coat and sealing the decals. It also feathered out the touch-up painting so that everything tends to blend together. Not perfectly, but not absolutely eye-popping-noticeably, either. Spray the Future with an airbrush, straight from the bottle, at 40 PSI.
  15. Attaching parts after painting - Probably the best option. It makes the masking job easier.
  16. Applying decals -Do one at a time, and use a setting solution / solvent for getting the decals to snug down like paint.
  17. Drawing straight lines on a curved surface - I used strips of self-adhesive label stock to duplicate the door edges, instead of trying to mark them with a pen. They llook better from five feet away.
  18. Assembling plastic parts - The Apogee capsule was the saving grace of this project. If we had been required to fabricate the capsule, per the original kit, I think most of us would still be trying to finish them. The original version is not something one wants to contemplate with only six weeks available time.
  19. Fabricating plastic parts - Alumilite starter kit. Hobby Lobby with a coupon, $70 - 40%. Grab a second box of casting rubber on a second trip with another coupon, $30 - 40%.
  20. Detailing - When I saw those hold-downs on the bottom of the fins, I knew I had to add them. They're so noticeable in profile, that the model looks strange without them. Most of the other details I worked on were just improvements on the kit-supplied items and could have been left as-is, but since I had the Alumilite handy, I just went with it...
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2008, 07:44 AM
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[1]Basic model rocket building techniques - probably not an issue here. Shooting to finish my 500th model as a BAR sometime later this year.

[2]Research - I was caught a little off guard/overconfident here. I've built a fair number of Saturns, but all would be considered "sport scale" versus "true scale", and hadn't studied the variety from mission to mission in enough depth until this specific project. After getting a little too "committed" to semi AS-205 and semi-generic on this, I picked up some better reference material to fill my knowledge gaps. The more I study, the more I am truly amazed by the achievements of the people involved in the Mercury and Apollo programs.

[3]Building around a reference line -Being anal-retentive helped out here, along with NARAM experience. I was very familiar with the critical need to pay attention to "position [x]" orientation points, and even used a cheapo laser to align corrugations, fiddly bits, etc.

[4]Building up hollow fins - I can completely relate to everyone's pain here, but I had previously built a few of the Semroc, plus have a good deal of paper modeling experience, so really have the built-up fins down to a smooth process at this point. It still takes time--careful cutting, scoring of fold lines, filling of joints, etc., but it's not nearly as difficult.

[5]Resin casting - I'm a wimp here, didn't cast anything. This, and vac-bagging are right up at the top of my list of skills I want to learn, and I typically set a goal of hitting 1-2 new ones each year. Maybe 2009 will be the year I learn to make my own fiddly bits from resin...

[6]Forming and gluing paper shrouds - Generally not a problem for me, something that tends to be one of my strengths. In fact, for the first of the 2 of these I turned in, I was even cocky enough to align the seam at about a 45-degree offset so that it was NOT covered by one of the black lines. I'm betting no one's going to spot the seam without a magnifying glass of some sort. On my second one, though, I got a little sloppy and there were some minor wrinkles that I didn't have time to work down, so you can tell it was a formed shroud.

[7]Fabricating parts with launch lug and cardstock - Ugly. These tend to be glaring beacons that scream "I'm really just a basic model, not a real rocket". It never dawned on me to make the fairings from balsa until catching the tip on one of this project's threads, and next time I'm going balsa master and resin casting...

[8]Fabricating balsa parts - I did a few, but time constraint prevented me from really going nuts here.

[9]Applying tube wraps - Not an issue. I think this is oe of those things that take 1-2 "practice builds" to get under your belt, then they all go well.

[10]Filling - I'll admit to being way too lazy and bailing on trying to fill around the fluted shroud/tanks (I do the offline build/paint, then assemble method). Also, I've noticed on my first few of these that I wind up with annoying hints of spirals on the interstage body tube despite multiple coats of filler. I finally figured out this time around that it's not the seams I'm filling that are showing up, but those dark lines that on a raw tube don't look like seams but some sort of glue line. When I rub my fingernail across them, there's a slight dip but nothing sharp like a seam, so they don't take putty/filler very well. I wound up hitting it with a heavy automotive primer and then completely sanding down before I did any wraps, an that seems to have made all the difference in the world.

[11]Deciding when to attach details and when to paint - I worked off a marked-up instruction booklet where I'd applied a rule of thumb--any detail that is completely a different color than the surface it's mounted against is painted offline, attached at the end. I've experienced the CA smoke/run problem on other models, so generally either use a microscopic applicator tip or switch to white glue applied with a toothpick. For most of these details, the strength of the bond is not that big an issue.

[12]Attaching details - See above.

[13]Masking - I'm never completely satisfied on this, and always seem to be trying new materials and techniques. One thing I seem to be settling in on--green Frog tape tends to minimize bleed on smooth surfaces, but is high tack and therefore must only go on after a couple days' cure. Frisket film (sort of like a sheet of Scotch tape) is excellent, especially working with air brush, but very expensive. It's especially good for complex patterns, curved surfaces, etc. (outstanding on the service module). One other thing I've leanred--no matter how well you THINK you've masked, always shoot one more coat of the base color over the top of the mask job. That way, any bleed will be the same color as the base and seal off future bleed.

[14]Painting - I'm mainly a rattle-can guy, but on the few occasions I've used an air brush (external mix/single action) I've been very pleased. That's always been using tiny bottles of Testor's paint, though. For one of these models, I figured I'd try the ready-to-shoot Createx black/white paints, and that turned out to be a botched experiment. They shot sort of a grainy, gooey consistency and went through what I thought was WAY too much paint, so I had a lot of sanding/rework and switched back to rattle-can for the black and white.

[15]Attaching parts after painting - There's no right/wrong/best approach on this, though I do get the sense that folks seem to have strong preferences. My preference is to follow the pre-painted modular assembly approach I learned from the Apogee Saturn 1b(that was a Heck of a choice for my first scale model...), but think I might try the other way next time just for kicks.

[16]Applying decals -Not an issue, I tend to do well. I clean all surfaces thoroughly with alcohol, use at least 2-3 Microscale products typically, and when I really want the finish to pop, I spray on a thin clear coat after application that tends to make most decals look painted on.

[17]Drawing straight lines on a curved surface - I assume we're talking upper shroud transition. My first Semroc is the one I gave back to Semroc to use as a display, and while they politely claim it looks wonderful, there's one of the 4 connecting lines on that shroud that looks like it was scribbled by a drunken epileptic using their toes to hold the Sharpie. After that one line, I've since printed out a shroud pattern that is about 3/4 the length of the shroud, and I wrap that over the shroud to use as a marking guide (as well as to position those 4 fiddly bits on the shroud itself.

[18]Assembling plastic parts - As much as I hate plastic model conversion, that has forced me to learn to work with plastic and not gob up the joints. In particular, I use brush-on liquid plastic cement that's water-thin consistency. It dries clear, and you simply can't spot even a trace of a seam or sign of glue on my towers now.

[19]Fabricating plastic parts - See above. This is a skill I totally lack and hope to eventually learn.

[20]Detailing - Totally wimped out on this. I had already built the first model and had it just about ready to ship before I learned about the seriousness of this celebration and project. I had hoped to put a little more effort into detailing and above/beyond on a second model, but lost too many days to household/life priorities and had to essentially settle for making the best "kit" I could rather than the best "scale model" I could.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:10 AM
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Mark II Mark II is offline
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I would add a 21st skill area:

21. Time Management
- getting the project finished and delivered on time. Insuring that supplies are on hand when they are needed. Accurately estimating the time required to complete sub-assemblies. Accurately estimating the amount of time needed to paint the project. Having the project ready to ship with sufficient time to arrive at the destination by the deadline.

Also, accurately estimating how much sleep you can sacrifice in order to complete the project.

Mark \\.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark II
Also, accurately estimating how much sleep you can sacrifice in order to complete the project.


Not only how much sleep you can sacrifice, but work, paying bills, doing dishes, feeding the guinea pigs, laundry....
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:42 AM
Sheryl@Semroc Sheryl@Semroc is offline
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Wasn't sure where to post this, but I did want to take this time to thank everyone for helping us with this project (I really don't want to even think how they would have turned out if the building of these Saturn's was left to us). To give up your time for us is so very much appreciated . Thank you again, everyone. This project could not have been accomplished without you.

Sheryl
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:55 AM
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Sheryl... You are very welcome! Thank YOU for including us!
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:42 AM
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  1. Basic model rocket building techniques - I've got enough experiemce here to know to READ the instructions first. After reading them, I developed a plan to accomplish the build, such as doing the details seperate from the main build, paint in parts, fins attached after painting, ets.....
  2. Research - I didn't do much here beyond using the Mark P. drawings. They were hard to follow to keep up with the positions but I think I made it.
  3. Building around a reference line - I had to do this with the Estes 1/100 Saturn V so it was something I was used to doing. What was hard was trying to keep oriented on the line after painting. Sometimes it was difficult to find the seam (not that it was hidden well).
  4. Building up hollow fins - This was my first attempt at this. I thought they turned out pretty good until it was time to attach them to the model. Gaps at the roots, didn't protrude straight from the body, etc. Because of the roll patterns, those defects aren't easily discernable...well, not at six feet.
  5. Resin casting - Didn't even want to attack something like this with it's added learning curb while trying to meet a deadline.
  6. Forming and gluing paper shrouds - I didn't have too much trouble with this except for the tank tube shroud. I could get a nice fit on one or two tubes but the rest had gaps. I had considered cutting it into peices and attaching but figured that it might create even more problems so just decided to use the Fill 'n' Finish which required a huge amount of time and I wasn't happy with the end results either. In hind sight, I think something like light spackling would have been better. Would dry faster and easier to sand.
  7. Fabricating parts with launch lug and cardstock - I only did this with the discharge tubes. I don't like how they turned out. These were one of the last things I made and wish I could have taken more time with them.
  8. Fabricating balsa parts - The vector control jet housings weren't difficult to make but getting a good depression was. I ended up using a paper clip and rolling it around to widen the hole. Then finished with a spot of black paint. Actually, it probably would have been better just to simulate the depressions with the black paint. I did make the retrorocket housings from balsa but I used the design in the instructions instead of going with what appears to have been the correct design (not rounded on the aft end).
  9. Applying tube wraps - I didn't have any problem applying the tube wraps but some of them didn't fit well. One too long, one too short and the corrugations didn't line up the way they were suppose to. I think I had to offset one wrap from the reference line by almost 1/4 inch to get the corrugations lined up. I used 3M-77 and didn't have any problems.
  10. Filling - Again, the tank tube shroud gaps were the most problematic for me. The gaps with the fins were filled with white glue that dried clear.
  11. Deciding when to attach details and when to paint - All the details were added after the painting was completed.
  12. Attaching details - I used Titebond White glue. It dried clear so anything that may have squeezed out of a joint wouldn't be noticable.
  13. Masking - Oh yeah...lots of fun. Since I put the details on after painting, I just had to measure and tape. I used Model Masters tape for where the break points in color were and blue painters masking tape everywhere else. The modeler tape was 1/2 inch wide so it made it easy to mask the white on the black fuel tanks. Of course, it would have been nice if I could have gotten them straighter and better centered. I did have some paint come up with the tape though that required some touch-up. But after pulling a couple of those, I started scoring the paint along the tape joint and had nice transitions after that.
  14. Painting - Did mine in sections. Lower fuel tanks and shroud as one and the upper section as another. Only two fins were to be solid colors so I took the best looking ones and kept one white and painted the other black. The rest I labeled the root 1, 1A, 2, 2A, etc. Then, one by one, I placed them where they would be on the model and marked the paint demarkation point in line with the body. Then masked the white, double checking to make sure the demarkations lined up and were perpendicular to the demarkation point on the body tube. I'm extremely happy with how these turned out.
  15. Attaching parts after painting - This is the method I used and again I used the Titebond White Glue since it would dry clear.
  16. Applying decals - I had some problems here with the long decals. They had a tendacy to streach when I was applying them. After the first one, I started to just inch them off a little at a time and that seemed to help. On the SM I printed two sets of decals, one on clear backing and one on white. I applied the clear decal first and then cut out the sections that were to be white and applied those over the clear. I could have taken more time with this too. I applied the decals to the fins before gluing them to the model.
  17. Drawing straight lines on a curved surface - Here I just made a lot of little dots measured from the tube/shroud joint. Then I used some thin trim tape and wrapped in around the shroud following the dots. The vertical lines were also made using the trim tape. The hinge details were added later and covered the trim tape joints.
  18. Assembling plastic parts - My fingers are too big.
  19. Fabricating plastic parts - Not attempted.
  20. Detailing - The only extra details I added was the decals for the SM. I wanted to attempt more but was afraid if I screwed something up, I wouldn't have time to fix it.
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Don
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