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AS-501 Flight

April 4, 2015. It’s been a long time since then, but that’s when my AS-501 model flew. Waaaaay back in March, I posted my previous AS-501 entry. In our last episode, we left the bird all in white. Here’s the reset of the story. AS-501 is, in the true sense of the word, unique. For […]

Next Up: Nose Cone Fit

The nose cone: it fits, but it doesn’t fit. The nose cone is a reasonably nice plastic cone, sized, at least roughly, for high-power tubes. They’re probably just about perfect for what appears to be the standard 2.56″ (65.0 mm) I.D. and 2.63″ (66.8 mm) O.D. tubes, with a 0.035″ (0.89 mm) wall thickness. I’m […]

Die Fledermaus Debut

I finished painting Die Fledermaus, added the rail buttons, and threw some epoxy onto the eye bolt on the nose cone to close it off.  The pictures: The plan had been to fly at the Ranch on Saturday (May 5, one of my favorite days to launch rockets, especially at the Ranch: the anniversary of […]

The Interlude and the Scroll Saw

I got a small scroll saw: small hobby size, nothing huge, nothing fancy. It fits on the workbench, with a nominal 16″ throat depth. It’s from Craftsman, got reasonably good reviews: in fact, from my combing and reading, about the best of anything in its general price class (I was not in the market for […]

Post-flight Analysis

During the first flight, there was very, very minimal damage: one small grass stain (star thistle stain, actually) on the CM, and one of the fins had a small separation just behind the leading edge. It was easy to fix the fin with a little 60 second epoxy. The launch was on a G80-4T (single-use, […]

SM EVA Hand Rails Built, other Details Added

The hand rails for the CM pilot’s space walk are now built. Soldering small pieces of wire togethre on that scale was a little harder than I expected: I’m a bit out of practice with that stuff, alas. But, they’re done, look at least okay (maybe even better), and are half painted. (Why paint silver-colored […]

Q-ball, Paint Touch-up, etc.

Q-ball’s painted. I mixed some gray (primer, as it happened) and flat black, painted on with a brush. Doesn’t look great under the OptiVISOR #7 lens, but looks okay, and looks fine with the unaided eye. When I masked the fin fairings, I left a small crescent masked that should have been unmasked, and it […]

Main Painting Done, and More

The main painting is done, most of the decals are on: we’re getting close! Still to go: an umbillical disconnet (painted: no decal for the IU’s—nor for the S-IVB’s or the SM’s, but those are done), some touch-up, painting the Q-ball (nose of the launch escape system), and eight little tiny drain decals. Some clearcoat […]

Interstage/S-IVB/IU Masked

Finally, I think I’ve found and masked all the little things that need masking on the Interstage/S-IVB/IU structure. The ullage rockets, the retro-rockets, the reflectors, the antennae, the roll pattern. I thought I was done yesterday, and then realized that there were myriad (well, not literally, but it almost seemed that way) small things on […]

Primed!