Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Tuesday 12 June - Space Shuttle Discovery

Again this post is mainly for Sir Hugh ( since he has shown some interest in my plastic modelling activities.

In the beginning

The first sign that problems lay ahead

The orbiter more or less completed

And the finished article:

Discovery - Orbiter, external tank and SRBs on the Crawler. The photo could be better

The exact colour of the' brown' external tank varied on the real shuttle. It was white on the first one (Columbia) to launch

And the real thing:

Note the much darker windows and escape hatches than on the model - the decals for these features on the Tamiya model are much more authentic.

7.8 million pounds of thrust at launch

Note the detail on the external tank not provided on the Revell model. It would have been on a Tamiya version! In addition, none of the models available provide the thermal protection tiles even as decals, something that seems an obvious thing to do. Apparently they are available from USA sellers. 

My next Shuttle construction will be a Tamiya 'Atlantis' as mentioned in my previous post but I have another USS Voyager, a Grumman F-14A Tomcat (Tamiya) and Concorde also awaiting construction. Not until autumn and winter nights though and by that time I'll have a second blog dedicated to model building.

My calf muscle is now completely back to normal so hills - at last.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Revell Space Shuttle Discovery, External Tank, Solid Rocket Boosters (SBRs) and crawler

This initial post is really for Sir Hugh at who requested a photograph or two showing work in progress. More details will follow for anyone who is interested.

The Orbiter Discovery in post 1998 decals

Commomly referred to as the Space Shuttle, it is more correctly the Spaceplane or Orbiter. The whole system (Space Transport System or STS) comprising Orbiter, External Tank (ET) which holds the liquid oxygen-hydrogen fuel for  the Orbiter's main engines and the Solid Rocket Boosters (SBRs) is the 'Space Shuttle'.

The ET and one SBR

There is still some touching up to be done on the Orbiter, ET and SBR, including another coat of paint plus clear matt to be applied to the ET. The second SBR is painted and awaits decals. I haven't started the Crawler - the transporter which takes the STS to the pad.

As said in the previous post, the quality of the plastic and fit on this model are both poor - not Revell's usual standard. I did what I could to rectify it but there are certainly areas which were beyond what I could do properly without buying styrene strips and doing a full repair - something I'm not sure I have the skill or knowledge to do anyway.

However, I joined the International Plastic Modeller's Society (IPMS) and went to the Scottish National Show in Perth at the end of April departing with lots of tips, not to mention various glues, tools, sanding sponges, micro brushes etc. The standard of models on display, both at competition level and in general, was extremely high and I saw several models built using kits made by Tamiya of Japan. Theses are very high quality kits so.....

I've bought Tamiya's F14A Grumman Tomcat (think film Top Gun) and Tamiya's Space Shuttle 'Atlantis'. In fact it's just the Orbiter but in incredible detail with all sorts of payloads, docking system and so on. These Tamiya models are more complex to build than Revell or Airfix - even the pilot figures for the Tomcat don't come assembled - so I'll have to up my game - especially since they are more than twice the price of Revell! They also tend to be to a larger scale.

Most people I spoke to at the show use airbrushes to paint their models whereas I hand-paint mine (for a start I don't have a small vented booth for airbrushes and I haven't a clue how to use one) but there's no doubt that with the right level of skill the finish is better than by hand, or at least by my hand.

I'll post full photos once Discovery is finished. Thereafter I plan to start a separate blog for posts regarding modelling since I'm aware that it doesn't fit well with the subject matter of this outdoor blog - not that I've posted much recently on that front which is not likely to change soon given my calf muscle injury.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Friday 25 May - calf

Well, I should have been posting this from the highlands telling of hills, glens and the superlative scenery of the western seaboard.

Alas, a few days before we were due to leave we took a walk through Corb Glen and on the return journey I felt pain in my right calf muscle. It didn't seem too bad initially, then after a couple of days it did a quick spiral downwards. Physio says no hills until at least the end of June, so all hols have cancelled including our usual trip to the Lake District. July and August, are not the best time for the highlands but they will have to do.

To add to the woes, the motorcaravan's water heater was damaged by the severe frosts of winter so needs to go to Dyce caravans for the whole of the first week in June. I've drained down caravans and motor caravans for about forty years without any problems so I'm at a loss as to what has gone wrong this time. Anyway, we had planned to take the tent with us to Dyce (Aberdeen for anyone unfamiliar with Scotland) and have a few remote camps during week - we'll have the car with us so there are (were) lots of possibilities.  Not now of course. Naturally, the weather has been stunning of late and is set to continue fine.Of course it is.

I've pushed on with building Revell's Space Shuttle model, Discovery, along with liquid hydrogen-oxygen tank, SRBs and the crawler. Discovery itself and the tank are complete but in terms of fit and quality of the plastic, this is possibly the worst model I've ever built, requiring lots of filler and sanding.

That's my moan over. Have a lovely summer everyone.

Speaking of sanding, my next job is to prepare the railings at the front door before applying Hammerite.Just how I like to spend summer days.

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