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  #11  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:15 PM
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When I started planning this build, I wondered what I would do about the RCS thrusters. I wasn't crazy about trying to make the quads after the fun I had with the Saturn 1B clone. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Apogee Apollo capsule comes with them! I'm not a Little Joe II expert, but I think that capsule is way too detailed for a Little Joe model, but I don't have the heart to sand it smooth. I looked at available pictures on the internet, and I'm not sure for this particular round. It says it flew with an actual space capsule, not a boiler plate, but it was probably a Block I capsule and I'm pretty sure this is a Block II since that flew all the manned missions from Apollo 8 and on.

The good news is the tower is to scale and pretty easy to build (especially compared to K-30!!!) The bad news is the tower is to scale...those struts aren't beefed up for flight like the 1/100th scale models. The Apogee video mentions not gluing the tower to the capsule so it can be removed for flight, so I may do that.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:36 PM
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Again, taking a tip from the 1/45 "Tips and Tricks" I painted some of the parts before assembly. Taping and masking the upper body allowed me to primer and paint the silver bottom. I used Duplicolor Acrylic Lacquer throughout.

I assembled the LES nozzles into the shroud piece then painted the whole thing black. I used the tips of toothpicks to mask the holes the tower will glue into. Makes clean up super simple.

edit: I shot this photo before I sanded the white primer on the LES motor tube, so there are fuzzies that came off later!

I was really pleased with my putty work around the fin/fairing joint!

Now for decals...
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:29 PM
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Originally I was just going to print out the K-30 decal, but realized it wouldn't look right since it was for the QTV flight. I thought about converting the wraps George Gassaway posted in the "Tips" TRF posting:

SM
BPC
LES

Then I decided to just scan the decal in my 1/45 kit. I scaled it 45/70 and printed on regular paper and discovered the SM did not fit. I realized that the BT-70 model is not 1:70 scale but 1: (154/2.217) or 1:69.46 scale. I re-printed the decal and the wrap fit great!

Lining the SM decal was tricky for me on the 1/45. Using George's wrap as a guide was a big help. I applied the LES motor decal before gluing it to the tower so all I had to do there was make sure it was on straight. I still managed to get some wrinkles in it, due to the really thin decal coating (Krylon Acrylic Clear as recommended by the decal paper supplier).

Applying the capsule decals on the detailed Apogee capsule was a bit of an eye opener for me, as I now see why the patterns are layed-out as they are. Some are going over thruster openings, another is wrapping around the CM/SM umbilical cover.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:30 PM
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The SM decal has the locations for the RCS thrusters. I assembled per the Apogee DVD, and painted the nozzles Testor's Flat Steel. I trimmed around the rectangle on the decal, and scraped off the paint down to the paper tube surface. I poked a hole through the tube to hopefully form a glue rivet. I used the thick CA to glue the RCS quad to the tube.
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:41 PM
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The Apogee capsule does not have any provision for attaching a shock cord. I was thinking of gluing some scrap styrene inside to make some type of anchor like the 1/45 capsule has, but I didn't trust my plastic-smithing skills. I knew I was going to have to add clay nose weight for stability, and then decided to make a cap out of 1/4" plywood. The clay would go in the nose tip (I'm not flying with the LES tower) and then I would glue the cap with thick CA and add an epoxy fillet. A standard screw eye in the wooden plug and voila!

I drew the cap with a compass, cut close to the line with a bandsaw, then finish sanded it on a bench top disc sander. I'm really proud of the fit I achieved! It makes a nice "pop" when I pull it out of the shoulder. The plastic cone has a slight taper on the ID, so I sanded a taper on the cap.

I added the clay (0.82 oz) then glued the cap in place.
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2019, 11:01 PM
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According to the Estes instructions for the 1/45 LJII, the balance point should be 6.25" from the bottom of the body tube (including motor, parachute, and wadding). Scaling that to this model puts the balance point at 4.05". In the "Tips" thread a discussion took place about the CG location and George Gassaway stated "The known-to-be-stable CG location for the Little Joe-II is at, or above, the "N", in UNITED STATES (if the lettering is applied in the proper location)." This puts it closer to 4.23", so I went for that. I balanced the model ready-to-fly with a C6-5 and then added nose weight to move the balance point to about 4.23" and it came out near the "N".
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:50 PM
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OK here is the finished model. I didn't glue the LES tower on to the capsule, it will be display. Paul's vacuform parts really jazz up this model!
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  #18  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:51 PM
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Here is this model next to my original K-30 model...
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:52 PM
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Finally "Mini Me" photos...
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2019, 01:33 PM
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Here is the CAD drawing I created to align the fins and tunnels. Although the model is nominally called 1/70th scale, the true scale should be 1:69.46 scale (154/2.217). This CAD drawing is using the true scale. The Estes K-30 model is based on the QTV version (see George Gassaway's excellent ALJII pages or the Apollo Historical Brochure that was packaged with the Centuri 1/45th model and is now re-printed and comes with the Estes 1/45th model) and according to the instructions the tube is a BT-70H which was 7.15" long. By my ciphering the QTV body was 516.8", so the scale length should be 7.44. So if you have the kit and want to dress it up with these parts you will probably want to substitute a longer body tube.
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