Gang-- I finally got off my butt and took some photos of my three latest, all in 1/96th scale -- a Proton K/Block DM, an Atlas IIAS, and an Atlas V Heavy Lift Vehicle. Here are the details on each: Atlas IIAS scratchbuilt The Atlas IIAS, introduced in 1993, was one of the workhorses of commercial space. The last one was launched last August, and it compiled a 100-percent success rate in the 30 launches of the series. There is no card model of the Atlas IIAS that I could find anywhere, but I figured I needed to add this important rocket to my collection. The model started life as the Atlas-Centaur 10 offered by Precision Paper Space Models at http://www76.pair.com/tjohnson/ac10ins.html, but with numerous modifications and additions to the first stage, a new Centaur stage and a scratchbuilt payload fairing. The first stage was printed on silver paper, and special white corrugated paper (painted silver) was used for the corrugated sections on the stage. The Centaur and adapter were made out of the corrugated paper and 65-pound stock paper onto which I had printed the insulation's orangey-red color. The payload fairing was scratchbuilt from 65-pound stock (I used an online shroud calculator to determine the dimensions of the cone part) as well as corrugated paper. To add strength and to insure straightness, the rocket's "skins" were applied around appropriately-sized model rocket cardboard tubes. I built the rocket as a "generic" Atlas IIAS, omitting any corporate logos. --------------------------------------- Atlas V Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) scratchbuilt Looking at the size of this thing, it is hard to believe this rocket can trace its origins back to the mid-1940s, when the U.S. government was trying to develop a ballastic missile. That effort resulted in the Atlas, and the Atlas V is the latest generation of that vehicle. The Atlas V family is based on the 12.5-foot diameter Common Core Booster (CCB), which is powered by a single two-chamber RD-180 engine. It also carries a stretched Centaur upper stage. Erik te Groen, who offers some beautiful Delta IIs on his website, http://www.lansbergen.net/eng/index.htm, has said he's going to come out with a Delta IV Heavy this year, so I figured I should scratchbuild an Atlas V HLV to go alongside it. Nobody offers a card model of the rocket, so I decided to scratchbuild one. I scoured the Internet for references, and found some decent photos of 400- and 500-series Atlas Vs, and some drawings of the Atlas V HLV. (I should note here that some of the drawings are contradictory in their details, so I will admit up-front that some of the model employs "creative gizmology," in Shep Paine's words. In particular, I couldn't find any decent references detailing the attachment fittings connecting the three CCBs, so I cooked up something akin to the fittings between the shuttle's ET and SRBs. Also, some drawings I came across showed the two strap-on CCBs with white interstage adapters between the CCBs and their nosecones, while other drawings omitted them. I added them, but I may change that later. Lastly, I've seen some drawings with the Centaur sporting the orangey-red insulation (the route I went) and other drawings with the Centaur done in white, with corporate logos and an American flag.) Each CCB is an appropriately-sized model rocket tube, covered with a copper paper that I found at an art supply store. To simulate the different bands and sections, I taped off horizontal sections of the paper and "scoured" alternating bands with a ScotchBrite pad to give it a bit different hue and sheen. The paper was then cut to the proper size and the "skin" was applied to the cardboard tube. I used an online shroud calculator to determine the dimensions of the aft transition structure and heat shield, as well as the nosecones on the two strap-on CCBs. All propellant feedlines, avionics pods and other bits and pieces are card or paper. The payload fairing was also built around a model rocket tube, and I used 65-pound paper for most of the construction. For the nosecone and boattail parts, I borrowed the similar parts from one of Erik te Groen's Delta II payload fairing noses and boattails, figured out how much larger they needed to be (in this case, 124 percent) enlarged it on a photocopier and then cut out the pieces. ------------------------------ Proton K/Block DM Classic Space Paper Models kit The Russians began working on the Proton on the 1960s -- the first launch was in 1965 -- and since then, it has developed into one of the world's most dependable launch vehicles. The Block DM is a four-stage version of the rocket, first launched in 1967. This model is a modification of the Classic Space Paper Models kit, which used to be offered online but the website has been down for the past few months for some reason. A fellow card modeler who had wisely saved a copy of the files e-mailed them to me, though. The model was built basically stock, except I used silver paper for the first stage, as well as the motors and turbopump housings on the strap-on fuel tanks. I also scratchbuilt the latticework interstage between the first and second stages, and I fashioned new and more accurate attachment fittings for the first-stage fuel tanks. The commerical payload fairing was modified from a Delta II fairing offered by Erik te Groen. I used black card stock for the pieces. The model is built as a "generic" Proton K, without the colorful corporate logos the rocket can sometimes carry.