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Old 10-14-2008, 06:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: North Tejas
Posts: 2,474
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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