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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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

Dented Wraps, Aging Eyes

The bane and boon of aging eyes. About 20 years ago, I first noticed that my near vision was starting to go, ever so slightly. (I had a hard time distinguishing the pins of a min-DIN8 connector.) The eyes are now to the point that for all the fine construction work and fine finishing work, […]

Specialized Techniques, Ullage Rocket Scars

Building the Apogee Saturn V requires all these specialized techniques that I’ve not used before. Letting CyA wick to seal the edges of the thin plastic wraps, feathering epoxy clay to smooth over joints that don’t meet quite perfectly, and who-knows what else in the offing. I had to come up with one of my […]

Attaching the Wraps

Most of attaching the warps isn’t so bad: it’s fairly straightforward, following Tim’s instructions, using thin CA and an applicator tip. But, it seems that if there’s any radial stress (stress perpendicular to the surface) on the warp when the CA is applied, there’s a chance the wrap will crack at that spot. Small crack, […]

Practice, Practice, Practice

The Web abounds with stories of doom and gloom from people trying to attach the vacu-form wraps to the Apogee Saturn V. Rocketeers bemoan melted stringers, torn wraps, problems getting the CA to wick the way the instruction video describes—and on and on. What to do? Tim shows an alternative, using a particular double-sided tape. […]

Trimming Plastic

To model Apollo 15, I have to remove the 4 ullage rockets from the Interstage wrap, and then patch the holes. Tim Van Milligan of Apogee Components recommended cutting patches from a second wrap; the question then became just how to get the patches to fit and to look good. My first attempt: cut a […]