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Kev's 1:48 'Voyager' Unmanned Space Probe. Options
Kev the Modeller
#1 Posted : 03 September 2020 15:34:10

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Hello all,

I've been very quiet for the last few months, mainly due to being horrendously busy with my work commitments and having a work/life balance that was all work and no life! I know I have other builds on here that need finishing and I will get back to them but I need something fresh and quick to get my mojo working again so I've decided to post this build up and not being a huge model it should be completed in a short period, then I'll get back to my other builds as I've said.

I've been interested in real space and astronomy for most of my life and have wanted this kit for quite some time. It usually retails around the £40-45 mark (if you can find one in the UK, they are usually only available direct from Japan). I found this one brand new on Ebay in the UK from a model shop for a 'Buy-it-now' price of just £24.99 plus p&p, so I snapped it up! I also added he Eduard PE set for it which meant that I had gotten a much better detailed kit for the same price as a standard one - a bargain! I have made a small start to this before deciding to post a build diary for it, so some parts aren't on the sprues in the photos of the kit contents below:







Included in the kit is a golden and somewhat tongue in cheek Alien figure who appears to be showing a middle finger salute to us mere earthlings!:



The kit includes a card that shows what the finished model will look like (when built OOB) and some text in Japanese, which is not good but the picture is useful reference material nonetheless:



The Eduard PE set for this kit. Note the long and fragile boom sections that come in two halves and need to be twisted 120 degrees along it's length - that'll be fun trying to keep it straight!! Blink:



Some reference material:



The build begins with the main 'Bus Housing Electronics' assembly:



To which has been added the first PE brass parts to enhance the detail:







Along with the 'Housing Masts' and various other details:





Next up was to tackle the 'Optical Calibration & Target Radiator'. The kit part is very basic, lacking in detail and way too chunky, so I decided to use the PE replacement parts. However, when folded they looked too thin when compared to reference photos, so I sandwiched a piece of 0.5mm plastic sheet between the two PE sides and am quite happy with the result, it being more 'in scale'. The photos below show what I've done along with a comparison shot between the original kit part and the upgraded version:









A couple of shots of the assembly in place on one of the housing masts:





That is where I am at with this build so far. I don't think this'll be a long build, just a mojo improver before I get back to finishing a few of my stalled builds.

A bit of information about the Voyager Probes can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_program

Here is an interesting site which shows the current distance from Earth of the Voyagers 1 & 2 in real time. They are travelling at tremendous speed and both have crossed the outer edge of our solar system's Heliopause and are now travelling through 'interstellar space'!!:

https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/

Thanks for looking, all comments and criticisms welcomed.

Kev.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
darbyvet
#2 Posted : 03 September 2020 16:59:53

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Nice pick up Kev.I have see a few of these with the etched detail set and they build into a really nice model.Will be watching you progress


Carl

CaptnBirdseye
#3 Posted : 03 September 2020 17:10:06

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BigGrin Great find Kev, and turning into a great model. The JPL website is fascinating to read, and those distance calculators boggle the mind ThumpUp
delboy271155
#4 Posted : 03 September 2020 18:29:23
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Wow Kev, Blink Blink

You said something small and to me that means that etch is going to be a fiddly bit of work. I`d lend you my eyes, but you won`t find your table let alone the etch. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

As an obscure "sort" of subject its good to see and I hope it encourages others to diversify just a bit and generate some new interest ThumpUp ThumpUp.

Some nice additional info too. Thanks.


Looking forward to some more.BigGrin


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tigerace
#5 Posted : 04 September 2020 14:30:33

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Great stuff KevBigGrin love the subject BigGrin and a great start Drool Drool



Regards PhilCool
COMING SOON =1/72 Italeri diorama`s Battle for the Reichstag and Stalingrad battle at the tractor factory 1/16 Trumpeter King Tiger with loads of extras ON THE GO= refurbishment of 1/25 Tamiya tiger 1 , amt Star trek kits and space 1999 models

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Kev the Modeller
#6 Posted : 05 September 2020 10:38:27

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Many thanks for looking in and your kind comments Carl, Graham, Derek and Phil, always greatly appreciated.

@ Derek - I hope that it does encourage others to try different subjects, which will be good to see and good for the diversity of the forum too.


Next update should be along later today.

Kev.
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Coser
#7 Posted : 05 September 2020 11:01:32

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Great looking build so far, love the detail the etch adds, following with interest.
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Markwarren
#8 Posted : 05 September 2020 14:18:04

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Great subject, something very different. Will be following with interest.Love Love

Mark
Kev the Modeller
#9 Posted : 05 September 2020 19:30:47

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Thanks for looking in and your kind comments Coser and Mark very much appreciated as always. ThumpUp

Kev.
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Kev the Modeller
#10 Posted : 05 September 2020 20:14:51

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Hello all,

Next update!

I have progressed onto building the 'Meter Unit Mast' also known as the 'Science Boom'. The PE set includes parts to construct a replacement for the rather odd solid plastic boom provided in the kit, which although I can see that it would be far easier for the manufacturer to mould them as solid parts with relief detail, it just looks completely wrong to me so I've gone with the PE boom, notwithstanding that it will be a lot fiddlier to build ... but worth the effort!

Normally I would just fold the PE and run some thin CA glue along the edges and corners to bond it, but I thought about how fragile this might be especially as there is quite a lot of other parts to fit to it, being various scientific instruments for the mission. I wanted to strengthen the PE joints to make them more rigid, so hit on the idea of adding lengths of 0.4mm brass tubing (from Albion Alloys) in the corners where they wouldn't be easily seen outside of the framework. The lengths of tubing were initially just glued at the ends to tack them in place and then thin CA glue was allowed to 'wick' along the entire length (capillary action) by dipping a scalpel edge into a puddle of glue and then just touching it against the tube where it meets the PE framework. It worked a treat and the boom is now much stronger and more rigid!

Photos below show the sequence of gluing and then folding, adding a tube at each corner of the framework. Last fold was just bent as much as I could on the folding tool and then carefully finished by hand to get a neat joint:











The finished boom - all very neat and square ... and strong!:



A comparison shot between the solid plastic kit part and the much more refined PE part - no contest!:



With the plastic supporting frames added at the inboard end:



I then added the various scientific instruments along the boom using PE replacement parts where I deemed them to enhance or improve the overall look:













The boom was then test fitted to the 'Bus Housing Electronics' to check for overall alignment. There's still a few small pieces to add along with a few scratchbuilt details that I'll maybe add, though I won't be going over the top with that as I want this to be a fun build. A few more small PE and plastic parts have been added to the main housing since my last update and which can also be seen in the photos below:









I'll be building all of the various booms and sub-assemblies in a way that means I can leave them removable to facilitate easier detail painting, after which they'll be permanently glued in place.

That's where I am currently at with this build. Thanks for looking, all comments and criticisms welcomed.

Kev.


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Plymouth57
#11 Posted : 05 September 2020 20:37:50

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Beautiful work Kev!Cool Cool Cool
I love space themed models, I've been looking at a couple of card models of the Hubble and just wondering!BigGrin
Looking at those booms, I wondered if it would be possible to create a transparent acrylic core from clear rod which would 'take the strain' but still look hollow?
An RC large scale model of Spirit/Opportunity or Curiosity would make a great partwork! (working cameras and science booms etc)Drool

This is a great model coming together!

Robin.
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
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Markwarren
#12 Posted : 06 September 2020 09:21:23

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The PE parts really enhance this kit tremendously. Looking very good Kev, great work.Love Love

Mark
roymattblack
#13 Posted : 06 September 2020 10:34:44

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It's looking really great. It makes you realise how intricate and complex the real thing is.Love
delboy271155
#14 Posted : 06 September 2020 11:18:00
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WTG Kev, BigGrin

All looking very good and your right, brass etch wins every time in my book.

Cool Cool Cool


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delboy271155
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tigerace
#15 Posted : 06 September 2020 14:31:10

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Outstanding Kev Drool Drool lovely etch work mate Cool no what about that 1/48 Lanc LOL LOL LOL LOL



Regards PhilCool
COMING SOON =1/72 Italeri diorama`s Battle for the Reichstag and Stalingrad battle at the tractor factory 1/16 Trumpeter King Tiger with loads of extras ON THE GO= refurbishment of 1/25 Tamiya tiger 1 , amt Star trek kits and space 1999 models

So Much to Build,But What a Hobby!


Kev the Modeller
#16 Posted : 06 September 2020 21:07:22

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Many thanks for your comments Robin, Mark, Roy, Derek and Phil, very much appreciated as always. Cool ThumpUp

@ Robin - A fully working r/c Mars Lander would be a fantastic model and one which I would definitely subscribe to! Drool

@ Phil - The continuation of my Tamiya 1:48 Lancaster is one that I'm considering, though I was thinking that I might try to finish my Tamiya 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc first with the Lancaster after that? Maybe I should post a poll of possible build revisits to see what others would like me to continue with first? They will all be revisited at some point and each brought to a finish this time before I move onto the next, just not sure which order to do them in!

Kev.
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Coser
#17 Posted : 07 September 2020 11:00:38

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Great idea to use the brass tube as reinforcement. I'm sure that it's going to remove any chance of 'boom droop' and keep this model looking amazing for many years to come.

Looking forward to seeing the next update.

Gary
Current Builds
Eaglemoss: Ecto-1, BTTF Delorean [Installing Mods]
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AMT 1991 U.S.S. Enterprise Bridge [Installing Mods & Lights]

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Kev the Modeller
#18 Posted : 07 September 2020 20:08:36

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Thanks for your interest and kind comments Gary, very much appreciated. Next update coming later tonight! ThumpUp

Kev.
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Kev the Modeller
#19 Posted : 07 September 2020 20:40:35

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Next update on this build.

I still have a few small details to add to the main science boom, but will come back to that when I have finished all of the main sub-assemblies, at which point I will be going back and adding little bits of scratchbuilt detail to all of them just before I prime and paint them.

So, onto the next sub-assembly which is the RTG [Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator), the piece of equipment that produced all of the power to enable the Voyager probes to be self-sufficient in terms of energy and not needing to have solar panels to be able to recharge batteries, etc.

The photos below show the completed RTG which consists of just five plastic parts with no less than 22 individual pieces of PE added to improve the detail! The round white disc of plastic card is a replacement I made for the overly thick plastic kit part. There was a PE part for this but that was too thin!:









To this was added the supporting framework which also had a couple of small PE details added. The part that has the triangular stub on it was originally part of the solid plastic antenna that like the Science Boom, had the frame details integrally moulded. In order to fit the very long PE antenna later, I would need something substantial to fix it to, so I cut the plastic boom down to a length of just a centimetre and sanded the raised rib detail off ready to have the triangular PE slipped over it and glued later in the build. In the photos below the RTG isn't glued permanently to the framework to allow for easier painting later, which is why they are slightly out of proper alignment:













I then test fitted both booms to the main 'Bus Housing Electronics' to check for fit and alignment which is shown in the photos below, though because it isn't glued the 'Science Boom' appears to sag out of horizontal slightly in some photos, but that will be addressed at final fixing:













That is where I am currently at with the build, next up will be to start working on the large radio dish that is so characteristic of the Voyager probes.

Thanks for looking all comments and criticisms welcomed.

Kev.


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Markwarren
#20 Posted : 09 September 2020 17:40:04

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Very nice work Kev.Love Love You don’t realise how intricate, but robust these things are.

Mark
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