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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 […]

Fins and Nose Cone Prep Work

Most of the recent work has been on BAAH-1’s paint prep. Not quite all, but most. The balsa nose cone takes an enormous amount of work to get it as smooth as I want it.  I don’t need a polished hardwood furniture-grade finish on it, but I don’t want all the lathe pits and typical […]

RCS Nozzles, other Details

Those RCS nozzles are awfully small–but tiny paint flaws look awfully big under a #10 Optivisor lens! Though it feels good to be closing on completion, there’s still so much detail work left. Painting the nose cone atop the launch escape system is upcoming, with a bit of a challenge to mask it well. And […]

Unmasked, Masked, Unmasked, Ramasked…and Painted!

The SM is inverse masked, masked, masked, unmasked, and painted; the S-IC fin fairings are, too (roughly). The SM is silver; there are several white radiators around the SM, some near the top edge, some near the bottom. The top radiators are fairly small, and there are lots of them. The SM was painted white, […]

Painted and Unmasked and Looking Great!

I thought that starting with the Interstage/S-IVB/IU would be easier than starting with the S-IC/S-II: the S-IVB unit is much smaller than the S-IC unit, and it made at least some sense that it would be quicker, easier, and a good place to check out masking technique. I was wrong. I was very wrong. The […]

Masking Transitions

It’s easy to mask off a cylinder, whether the dividing line goes around or lengthwise or even diagonally along the cylinder (assuming it’s a straight line to be masked). Masking a conical transition, though, is a different story: though the line around might look straight and parallel to the ends, it’s not: it’s really curved, […]

Fits over Fit

Time to mask the roll pattern and other details. First step is laying out the roll pattern: determining where on the S-IC and on the S-II the different things are black (and silver), and what portions of the S-IVB are black. Apogee supplies a template for masking the the S-II/S-IVB transition: it has cut-outs that […]

Ahh, White is Done

The white paint is done. Time to let the paint dry—for a couple of days, maybe even a few—then mask and paint black.

Almost Ready to Paint White

Priming’s done. The previous post shows pictures before and after the first coat of primer. Intentionally, it was a pretty light coat. After letting it set, I sanded the primer to smooth, then painted a second coat. That second coat is now drying; I expect to sand on Monday, spray the base white color coat […]

Primed!