Von Braun 1956 Mars Mission

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Bhelliom, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    I really thought I'd posted this here, as well as at PM, but I don't see it in a search. So, time for a new thread.


    Inspired by an article in Finescale Modeler call "To Mars: In 1956!", I set out to build my own model of the Von Braun Mars Lander depicted in the article. The original was 1/160, but the published plans were 1/350. For the sake of space, I started with a 1/350 model. The three view is shown below, with the tanks and engine section of the interplanetary drive section attached.

    I've done 3 test builds of the wing so far, 1/350, 1/700, and a huge 1/144 sale version. Pictures of those to follow.


    Scott K.

    Attached Files:

  2. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    There have been many delays and distractions in this project. Upon further research, I discovered that the lander/cargo ship would be accompanied by a passenger ship as well. The '56 version of the mission is actually only one of several variations I discovered, but since I was already working on the '56 lander, stuck with this one for now.

    Ita been several years since I started this, and had gotten confused over the configuration of the tanks and their struts. Since the passenger ship was smaller and simpler, though similar, I decide to finish it first. This has helped correct and finish the struts for the lander.

    My first passenger ship, in 1/350, is nearly finished. It just needs the forward antenna, and some small beads for the smallest tanks. Kind of a rough build, fat fingers and failing eyesight didn't help. The 1/144th version is almost ready to print and test build. That one should look better.

    More, and hopefully better, pictures when I have them.

    Scott K.

    Attached Files:

  3. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Wow!! You really pulled this out of thin air! Great job, I'm happy to see it coming together, and so well. The drawings don't do the justice to the concept your models do. :)
  4. Rogerio Silva

    Rogerio Silva Active Member

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    HEY! That's really good, man, very detailed. Do you intend to add some textures on and release it?
  5. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Yes. I'm working on it as we speak.

    One question for people here. I was originally planning to make all tanks white, with a metallic finish on the rest of the ship. The parts pages look rather bland to me now. I need to look at the original paintings asain to see what colors they "really" are, but I'm willing to entertain suggestions. In particular, I would think the long, thinner tanks would be a different color than the spherical main tanks.

    The 4 "tiny" tanks that aren't on the model in the pictures above could be a different color as well. (They go at the front of the biggest tanks, and tucked in between the 2 big ones).

    I'm thinking maybe yellow for the small ones, and a metallic blue for the long ones, leaving the big ones white. What do you think?


    Scott K.
  6. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    You could always go for shades. They do a lot for depth. I can't see this model looking bad either in all white, or with flames and Shark's teeth painted on it! :)
  7. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Moderator

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    This is a really interesting model and concept. It does look a bit retro.
    As for painting it, I would suggest getting some inspiration from the old 1930's Buck Rogers and Flash Gordan ships.
  8. Rogerio Silva

    Rogerio Silva Active Member

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    Some ships and aircraft get those colors from a system, which is an international standard. Something like blue for clean water, red for fire extinguishers, brown for served waters, yellow for compressed air, and something like that. The list goes on.
    It would add some "reality" to the model, but of course, it's just a suggestion.
  9. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Here's what I've come up with, so far. I'm trying to match the concept paintings. I've also had a suggestion to add weathering, just need to figure how and where on it.


    Scott K.

    Attached Files:

  10. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    That looks great!! :)
  11. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I just finshed adding the metallic yellow, and blue colors to the requisite parts. I also added a sheet of reversed nozzles coloured black, for the inside of the engines.

    Now all I need is some ambition, and more cardstock, for the next beta build. I think the 1/144th scale version this time.


    Scott K.
  12. WeeVikes

    WeeVikes Member

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    Man, seriously impressive!

    The detail is staggaring!
  13. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Now I'm confused. My latest post here disappeared! Well, time to try again.


    A small update. Well, actually, a "bigger" one. I've started a test build of the "coloured", larger, 1/144th scale version. Sorry for the usual poor pictures. I'll take tomorrow's outside. The third shows the size difference between the two scales. The 1/350th also has the smallest tanks added, represented here by faceted beads, the only things I could find that were about the right size.


    Scott K.

    Attached Files:

  14. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Scale Comparison

    Now I can post what I meant to this time.

    I found myself wondering just how big the Mars ships would have been in real life, so I did a quick comparison sketch. The Lander with Interplanetary Drive section attached, is shown with a seperate Ascent Stage, next to a Saturn V, and the Passenger Ship. They sure thought big back then! The Ascent Stage rocket by itself is bigger than the Apollo S-IV stage.


    Scott K.

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  15. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    I don't know why they had the big wings though. It could have never gained orbit with that much drag!?! Of course, that's half the fun of those early designs. :)
  16. Rogerio Silva

    Rogerio Silva Active Member

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    Hmmmm...

    The only reason I could find that would (barely:cry:) justify those long wings would be the need to fly in Mars's thin atmosphere:confused:. Hey, I'm no aeronautical/space engineer!sign1
  17. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Sorry, I should have answered this sooner. The ships were to be assembled in orbit, so the size of anything wouldn't have been a problem. An earlier version of the mission had the wings strapped to the sides of the landing boat, with final assembly in Mars' orbit.

    Unless you meant the size of the fins on the Ascent Stage, Zathros? They do look rather big, now that I compared them to the Saturn V.


    Speaking of the thinness of the Mars atmosphere, I have a flying paper model in my collection somewhere called Aries. It was meant to be a flying Mars recon vehicle of some sort. If the atmosphere is supposed to be too thin for the big lander to fly, how could Aries?


    Scott K.
  18. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    It would be easy for me to say that I meant the smaller me, but I admit when I blather. I should have guessed it would be assembled in space. Brain drained! :)
  19. Rogerio Silva

    Rogerio Silva Active Member

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    I'm no engineer...

    Scott

    I'm no engineer, but I THINK that the larger the surfaces of the wings, the more suspension you'll get, since planes fly because of differece of pressure between the upper and lower surfaces of the wings, I GUESS. Problem is: the bigger the wings, the heavier they are, and so a solution for that would be needed.
    If Mars's atmosphere is thinner than Earth's, gaining suspension would be a bit of a problem, and you would need to develop high speeds for that (try taking off at the La Paz airport, it's 4095m-12285ft high!).
    But once again: I'm no spatial engineer, this is all I have learned from high school or my old times in the academy. I could be wrong, or worse: what I consider to be knowledge is obsolete!sign1
  20. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

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    Rogerio, what you say makes sense to me, engineer or not. I hadn't considerd the weight of the lander. I imagine the speed would be fairly high after reentry, though. Not sure how it would glide once they slowed down.

    Here's the ARES plane I was talking about before. This page also includes the glider download; http://marsairplane.larc.nasa.gov/platform.html


    Btw, hopefully I'll have a photo update of the Passenger Ship later today. Reality keeps intruding.


    Scott K.