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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Nov 23 '13

I`ve been holding this one back from the old site in anticipation of the new one so here goes.....

 

In an attempt to break a two month bout of modeller`s block I`ve dug this out of the stash....



I`ve got several almost-finished projects on the go so I`m hoping this build will pull me out of the doldrums.

 

I`ll start with a parts run-through for anyone unfamiliar with the kit....

Chrome parts....most of these will be either stripped or replaced....the clear nose is an option I won`t be using either....




Asteroid-type base...deep enough to hide the battery for the lights....




Some nice decals although all the small ones appear to be generic aircraft stencils....I may invest in the aftermarket sheet for this...




Solid nose cone will be going in the spares box too....



Lots of fuel/LOX tanks...




The moulding is typical `70`s fare with some fine raised details...the moulds are in pretty good shape, probably because it hasn`t been reissued since then...




Habitation and hydroponic modules...expect some lighting in these....




The brass upgrade set...typical high quality from ParaGrafix...note the antenna arrays and the long truss assembly...




So, on with the build....

 

The etched truss ready for assembly...it can be assembled without any special folding tools...




I used the kit part that the etch replaces as a former to fold around....




The plastic part was removed and the long joint held tofether with tape while CA glue was run into the joint...




The finished truss...it`s remarkably strong...




Note the end plates folded in and glued...


Strangely the three engine bells are moulded with solid bases so require hollowing out and the trailing edges thinning...




The truss was test fitted into the central core assembly...one odd thing about the kit is the complete lack of painting guidance other than the front and rear of the box...going to go for red for this assembly I think....





 

I decided to blank off these openings in the rear engine section as you can`t see anything behind them anyway...I used small sections of Evergreen strip....




Blanks completed....




These are parts that will be used on the build but which I`ll paint so I set them aside to de-chrome...




These are chrome parts that are either replaced by etched brass or that I intend to replace with aluminium rod so these are headed for the spares box...




The only piece I`m using off the chrome sprue as it comes is the mirror for the telescope...




Parts to be de-chromed were set in a glass dish...




Parts were soaked in neat household bleach, a process which normally removes chrome within about ten minutes....not this time, the bleach had no effect after an hour so I resorted to foam oven cleaner...still no joy, the MPC chrome is pretty much bullet proof....




A last effort to de-chrome involves soaking the parts in Coca Cola which I`ve heard will work....maybe....



 

Meanwhile it was time to remove the moulded struts on the habitation modules...




These are replaced with brass parts although I`ll leave them off until I`ve done the seams on the modules....




I`m intending to light the interiors of the habitation modules so first job was to line the halves with self-adhesive aluminium tape...this acts as both reflector and a light block to prevent the light bleeding through the styrene....



Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Nov 24 '13

Well the Coke didn`t work either so I resorted to caustic soda....12 hours later it had worked on all bar one stubborn piece...I`ll scrape that back by hand....

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Nov 24 '13

Started work on replacing the soft-detailed chrome parts with sharper pieces made from sections of aluminium tube...

The main engine assembled...I used a section of the kit`s styrene truss to form a mounting point for the new brass one....

Side view of the engine a little washed out by the camera flash....

I cut some lengths of fine square-section Evergreen strip....

The strips were used to detail the inner wall of the rear thruster housing along with some aluminium tube....the strip locations were matched to the moulded strakes seen on the outside...

Small sections of sprue were used to link the aluminium pipes to the moulded-on pipework...

Test fit of the main engine components and truss...

The brass truss really adds to the realism and lifts the kit out of the toy category....

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Nov 24 '13

Main engine was detailed with brass wire to replace the styrene pipework...

First subassembly completed and awaiting light weathering....the main tanks are still to be added....

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
Contact:

Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Dave Rowe » Dec 1 '13
Good work so far Iain, the p.e. set looks like a great addition.
Dave Rowe
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Joined: Nov 28 '13
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Dec 3 '13

The aluminium tubing is a vast improvement on the kit parts. I also added some interest to the red tanks by wrapping a thin piece of aluminium tape around each end....

The bulkhead behind the red gridwork was sprayed gold to simulate mylar foil similar to that used on the Apollo programme...

 

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii213/jargonking/P1040161_zps8a66bc13.jpg

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Dec 3 '13

The bulkhead behind the red gridwork was sprayed gold to simulate mylar foil similar to that used on the Apollo programme...

 

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
Contact:

Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Dec 3 '13

The painted truss test fitted....I`ll leave it loose until final assembly to avoid damage...

 

Main engine module fitted to the truss....

I used Humbrol Metalcote Polished Steel for the main module and Plasti-Kote Chrome for the engine bell...

Is it just me or does it look like a dustbin?

I also added the larger tanks, again with some aluminium tape bandings....

I`ve decided to go for a very clean look on this build to resemble a NASA desktop model, the type you might find on the Mission Director`s desk....

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Ellenbethsdad » Dec 4 '13

Looks more like a farm storage silo to me mate......

 

pete

Ellenbethsdad
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Re: Pilgrim Observer Upgrade

Iain Costall » Dec 4 '13

Finished lining the hydroponics module with foil tape and installed the windows....think I`ll go with green lights in here....

Same deal with the habitation module...white lights in here with the odd window blacked out....

 

The nuclear fuel section....

Lined the forward module with foil tape ready for lighting....

The ParaGrafix set provides additional hatches...

Hatches installed....

 

Iain Costall
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 23 '13
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