Surfduke's Skylab - An Ongoing Research Project

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by jparenti, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    Well, I've been inspired to attempt to tackle one of Surfduke's instructionless models -- the giant 1/32 Skylab. I believe he was working on some instructions when he stopped posting. Since then, I've only been able to look at it and shake my head. Many of the parts are recognizable from photos of the workshop, but as far as how to assemble it...
    I found a website with plenty of decent pictures and diagrams (http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/index.php), but I need your help.
    So far, I've test assembled a few of the parts, just to get a feel for what I'm dealing with. I have some recognizable pieces... and I'm also having to do a lot of guessing. My biggest problems are the truss segments (for the Apollo Telescope Mount, etc.) and the outer skin of the S-IVB (specifically, how to put the pieces together in the correct spatial configuration).
    Anybody want to help me tackle what looks to be a great model of a much-neglected part of US space history? :mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  2. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

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    Looks like a great model and I wish I could help, but i dont think there is much I could do. When I get the time after I am finished building the ISS, I would like to take a crack at the Skylab model.
  3. Hans Christian

    Hans Christian Active Member

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    I want to see this one as well!!! :-D

    Best of Luck sir!!!
  4. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    Well, a little progress here and there. I decided not to waste the cardstock on building the outer skin of the workshop until I know exactly how it goes together. And by studying old pictures, I think I've gotten it. (Note that I's using a B&W printer for the prototyping, so there's no color yet.)
    Here is the bottom section of the workshop skin and lower skirt wrap before being rolled into a cylinder, where you can observe the order in which to assemble the sections:

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  5. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

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    Looks great!!!
  6. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    Okay, now. I need some help from you folks. What can I use to simulate the gold color on this model? It's a very shiny color, seen here on Skylab B in the NASM. I had a couple sheets of very shiny gold adhesive-backed paper once years ago, but I don't know where to find it now. Any ideas?

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  7. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

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    Well, I am not trying to take a large leap here, but I think that it is really just silver and the 'gold' you are seeing in the photo is just the reflection of the dark hallway behind the camera. The darkness is 'changing' the observed color and making it seem gold.
    Don't take my word for it, Just wait a little bit for a few more answers and see if they verify my theory.

    ------------
    However, if you want to make the Skylab look like the one that launched, here are a couple good pictures for your use. By the looks of it, It didn't have a silver cover. Just the black thermal coating on it, and I also believe the model was made for the inflight configuration where the Black coating wore away during launch and was left with a brownish color in it's place.

    http://www.staynehoff.net/9-skylab-94.jpg

    http://www.staynehoff.net/9-skylab-97.jpg
  8. dhanners

    dhanners Member

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    Keep in mind that covering tore off during launch, necessitating some serious on-orbit repairs once the first crew got there. From Astronautix.com:

    The external solar/meteoroid shield ripped off during ascent, tearing away one solar panel wing and debris jamming the remaining panel. Without the shield internal temperatures soared to 52 deg C. Launch of the first crew was delayed for 10 days to develop procedures and crew training to make the workshop habitable. Repairs by subsequent crews led to virtually all mission objectives being met.

    And if you go to to the Astronautix site, they have photos of Skylab on orbit with the metallic covering. It's hard to tell from the photo whether it is a silver or gold tint, in my opinion.
  9. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    From what I have been able to tell from various sources (the most definitive being the book "Skylab: America's Space Station" by David Shayler), the color is in fact gold. When the meteroid shield was ripped away, it left the gold colored covering (as far as I can tell from my book). The sun then caused heat damage to the exposed section, as evidenced by crew photos. As far as how to model the damage, I'll have to do more research. I've already figured out that I will model both sunshades and the broken wires from the lost solar array, too.
    The workshop in the NASM is the backup article. As far as I know, it was identical to the flown article, with the exception of small modifications to avoid the same problems that occurred during the first launch (sealing of an instrument duct I believe).
  10. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

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    haha, Exactly the reason I wasn't making any final conclusions and allowed others to put their word in. Ah well, I tried.
  11. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    No problem at all. This is what I need -- fresh eyes. I've been looking at this thing for so long I'm bound to overlook something. I need comments, questions, and speculation. :)
  12. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

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    There is a sticky back covering made for model airplanes that all space modelers should be aware of. Its Monokote Trim sheets by Top Flite. Most hobby shops carry it. It comes in many colors including Aluminum, Chrome, and Chrome Gold (shiny). It usually runs about $4 a sheet and is 5x36 inches.

    I always keep just about every color on hand. It comes in handy...

    You can also find Gold and silver foil at most Craft stores.
    Scott
  13. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    Bingo! Thanks Scott. That's exactly what I need. :)

    My progress on the airlock/MDA is coming along. My big ugly part is the truss sections supporting the airlock inside the forward shroud and the ATM. I believe it's not going we'll. Thus far, I can't figure out the way Carl intended to put it together. I'm still working on it, and possibly a way of replacing the parts in the kit with something stronger.
    I still need to decide on the interior. Carl intended to do a full interior, but it was never fully finished. I may need to figure that out next...
  14. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

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    How about just exposing one section of the interior. While searching around earlier. I saw prints of the inside and it showed what looked to be 3 sections inside. Why not just complete one section and have that showing.
  15. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    That's not a bad idea. I could build a section of the outer skin to be removable (or transparent) to show just the living quarters, and then detail just that section. Carl did the walls and floor and ceiling, so all that would be necessary would be some storage lockers and equipment.
  16. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    Multiple Docking Adapter/Airlock Module

    (Pardon my pictures -- I don't have my camera with me. I'm using the BlackBerry.)

    First steps on the Multiple Docking Adapter and Airlock Module. Notice the radial configuration. I'm certain I got it wrong, but ah well. It is an easy piece to build, and requires nothing but the basic skills. The detail work will come next.

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure I attached the hatch wrong, but it fits and should work fine, considering it will be barely visible when the model is done. (Early US space program buffs will recognize the hatch -- it's a Gemini capsule hatch, reused in the Skylab AM design.)

    [​IMG]

    This is what Carl must have intended for the struts. However, I will have to modify the design a bit on account of my stubby fingers and difficulty with counseling infinite patience. :) I will be using paper lollipop sticks, which are the same diameter as the intended finished struts included in the model.

    [​IMG]

    More to come, with an actual camera this time. :oops:
  17. underwoodl06

    underwoodl06 Member

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  18. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    That will help immensely! :D. It will give me more perspective on the forward truss that is giving me so much trouble. Thanks!
  19. jparenti

    jparenti Member

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    And here we are: the workshop skin assembled in correct order, in glorious laser printed color! :cool: Gold colored sections will be covered in reflective gold foil later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And at long last, thanks to a pl**tic modeler :)mrgreen:) who built a 1/48 Skylab and found some research I didn't have, the correct radial orientation for the MDA/AM/OWS is known and can be assembled thus! I have the David Weeks technical drawings of the station on the way to me now, so that will be a big help, too.

    [​IMG]

    My final hope for this project is to produce instructions that can be posted with the model so anyone can access and build this model as close to what Carl intended as I can manage.
  20. gene1772

    gene1772 New Member

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    Great Job!

    You are doing a great job on Skylab, you got much further then I did. I tried building that about a year ago but got a little frustrated with the lack of good references material and put it to the side. Take lots of pictures, I would really like to add that to my collection.