Saturn 1B SA-210, ASTP

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by dhanners, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Mar 17, 2004
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    I posted some photos of my build-up of Precision Space Paper Models' Saturn 1B offering, modified to represent SA-210, launch vehicle for the American portion of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The details:

    Saturn 1B, SA-210
    Scale: 1/96
    Kit: Available free online from

    I've always liked the looks of the Saturn 1B; it just seemed like such a squat, powerful appearance. Plus, it exemplifies a bit of American (by way of Germany) ingenuity; if you need a bunch of fuel tanks for your rocket, just cluster eight smaller rockets together....

    This model represents SA-210, which launched the American part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The basic kit available free online comes as SA-205, the Apollo 7 launch vehicle, and I made several alterations and modifications to the stock kit to make SA-210.

    Visually, the biggest difference between the two rockets is that the RP fuel tanks on the S-1B (the first stage) are white on SA-210 and black on SA-205. So I converted the online files to Word files and, using the "Draw" function, designed new RP tanks. While I was at it, I added various details and used a more accurate font and size for the "UNITED STATES" down the sides. While I was at it, I decided to use the same process to make four new LOX tanks and incorporate additional detail into them.

    Also, SA-210 lacked black vertical roll bars at the base of the S-IVB. There is just a horizontal black band around the bottom, so that change was made, also. I used the kit part as a pattern to design a new "skin" for the S-IVB, incorporating a corrected font and size for the "USA," and I added panel detail.

    I used two different styles of white and black corrugated paper I found at an art supply store for the appropriate sections of the rocket, and 65-pound card stock was used for the rest. Aluminum foil was used for the skin of the Service Module. The SM's radiator panels and RCS quadrants were made from cardstock, while the RCS nozzles were made from the ends of toothpicks. Other modifications/"accurizations" include a re-working of the fins to give them an accurate shape and profile, scratchbuilding of the S-1B's vehicle hold-down assemblies and adding all the various fuel fills, drains, vents, antennas, various fairings, ullage motors, systems tunnels, umbilical connections and rocket motors. I added markings as well, including the vehicle coordinate markings "+Y" etc.) to the Instrument Unit.

    The rocket nozzles at the bottom of the S-1B were covered with "natural" aluminum foil and foil that I discolored by boiling it in water with some eggs. The S-1B's four outermost nozzles are flexible insulation mounts that resemble an inflated teardrop. (If that makes any sense....) I made those by carving a male mold of the mount out of wood, then I took typing paper soaked in a 1-1 mixture of white glue and water, cut it to the approximate shape, formed it over the mold then popped it off. When the glue dried, I had an accurate-looking engine mount. (For some reason, I failed to photograph the mounts I built for SA-210, so I added a photo of similar mounts I built for my SA-205 model to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.)

    I used the kit's Boost Protective Cover as a pattern to scratchbuild a new and more accurate version. I discarded the kit's Launch Escape System tower and scratchbuilt one that was more accurate and detailed.

    The only non-paper portion of the rocket is the aluminum foil on the SM and the S-1B nozzles. (I'll argue that the toothpick ends used for the RCS nozzles kind of count as paper, since they're organic in origin and wood is used to make paper....)

  2. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Mar 12, 2004
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    The amount of extra detail you have added to this is outstanding it realy looks great 8)

    I have built this model so I can appreciate the amount of work thats gone in to it, a very fine looking model

    Look forward to your next kit bash