Project Mercury Launch Complex and Atlas rocket

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ProfKSergeev

Sr Member
Here I will document my descent into madness as I build a 1/24th-scale replica of Launch Complex 14 and a Mercury-Atlas rocket.

Note: This is studio scale in the sense that it's being built expressly for a film. In this case, a short titled T-minus about a fictional member of the Mercury Seven. Full disclosure: I am also the writer and--eventually--the director, which means I don't have to pay myself for any of this work. Isn't that great?

So, the goal--

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I started with a foamcore jig that would support the service tower as I built up.

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The Plastruct ABS stock was organized with this ad hoc system made from manila folders and fruit boxes.

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Jigs kept the components true and identical, while also greatly shortening the time it took to make them.

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Continuing to get jiggy with it ...

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I'm huge!

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Always be Knollin', yo.

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Twenty-three of the approximately 2,000 hand-cut pieces that have gone into the tower so far.

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Excelsior!

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Sawing little bits off of other little bits is what I do most days--AND I LOVE IT.

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I've cleared out Plastruct's warehouse a couple times now.

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Not a Dalek.

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These were perversely satisfying to make, but please don't ask me to do it again.

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Dave Queener of Cumberland Model Engineering is responsible for these beautifully machined "trucks" on which the service tower will roll.

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Building seven compound-angle miter boxes reminded me how much I enjoy life's simple pleasures, such as not building seven compound-angle miter boxes.

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The teeniest of them all. Her name is Gwendolyn and she loves me.

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The miter boxes were used to make these parts, which bridge two "layers" of the tower.

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In place.

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Currently fifty-six inches tall, but she's about to have a growth spurt.

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DaveG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Full disclosure: I am also the writer and--eventually--the director, which means I don't have to pay myself for any of this work. Isn't that great?

Well, as the Director it's great that you're getting your models built for free. On the other hand, as the model builder, it kinda sucks to be working for free!

Great work BTW! That is truly impressive. what's the overall height? Love the Knolling.
 

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ProfKSergeev

Sr Member
Thanks for all the comments, guys!

DaveG, right now it's just over 4 1/2' tall, but it'll end up on the north side of 6.

Started work on the upper section today. Copies of the original blueprints were generously supplied by a Floridian professor of archaeology (!). Without them, this project would have been slightly more impossible than it is now.

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ProfKSergeev

Sr Member
Thanks again for the comments, everyone! Time for an update.

I finished adding the girders and then slapped some ABS sheet on one side. This is what you'd see if looking up at the real structure.

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Here we see that same part flipped upside down (or rightside up, I guess) with walls added in 1/8" sheet styrene that's been braced in the corners with square ABS tubing,

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Starting to rough out the tippy-top of the tower.

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I only stopped because I tapped this guy out. Time to order another pint.

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joberg

Master Member
Ah yes!! The build with 200 000 pieces (and I thought that I was crazy with my Space Station:eek) Looking quite lovely and I'm just talking about the miter boxes!!
Keep up the good work; I'm eager to see the next update. No word on the rocket yet and what kind of SFX you're cooking for us, but I'm not worry...you're off to a great start!
 

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