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Old 06-05-2017, 08:12 AM
aeppel_cpm aeppel_cpm is offline
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Default Mercury Atlas painting question

The Estes Mercury Atlas is finished all bright and shiny, but as I look through old photos, it looks like not all the Merc-Atlases were so polished. It looks to me like some of them had a white body. Is that true? Or is it just a trick of the lighting in those particular photos?

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Old 06-05-2017, 09:19 AM
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The white was frost build up due to cryogenic oxygen. All the Atlas rockets were stainless sheet metal.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:57 AM
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Some good photos of the all-natural metal Atlas booster:

http://www.siloworld.net/CONST/Atla...eum/page__3.htm

A bit of scrolling will be in order.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
The white was frost build up due to cryogenic oxygen. All the Atlas rockets were stainless sheet metal.


That makes sense. So I shouldn't paint one white unless I fill it with dry ice to get that nice vapor plume around it.

Thanks for the pics, John.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:38 AM
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There have been discussions in scale competitions on whether to do portions in white to simulate frost. I don't compete so I have no clue whether it gained points or took them away.

You can see the sheet metal under the frost in this shot.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...C_1961%29_1.jpg
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:01 PM
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I painted my scratch built so it wouldn't show finger prints Plus I didn't have the shiny mylar...

Soyuz is the same way...you have to decide whether to model it sitting on the pad empty or in launch configuration.
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:17 PM
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Personally, for maximum "scalishness", rather than painting the booster and reducer I would wrap it with strips of chrome Monokote adhesive film.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffyjeep
Personally, for maximum "scalishness", rather than painting the booster and reducer I would wrap it with strips of chrome Monokote adhesive film.
I think that's included in the Estes kit. IIRC, it comes with some chrome monokote sheets.

Doug

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Old 06-06-2017, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sams
I think that's included in the Estes kit. IIRC, it comes with some chrome monokote sheets.

Doug

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Yes it does. It comes with a sheet of both straight and curved pre-slit chrome strips. I don't think it's Monokote adhesive film though, it's something thinner.
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:47 AM
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Like this. Yes - very thin. I haven't worked with monokote, so I can't compare, but this felt like Mylar with an adhesive back.



I'm working on another couple of Atlases. Not quite as detailed. The 1/100 is coming along.



I'm still thinking about how much of an Atlas GATV I want to make. Just the adapter and upper stage, and fly it with the Estes 2111 booster? Or build a whole new booster? I think I can get the equipment pods replicated by thermoforming. The booster pod skirts will likely have to be cardstock. I'd love to have the vernier motors 3D printed - but don't have the CAD skills. So any 'clone' is going to be substantially less detailed.

I'm going for fun, rather than competition scale, so I'm not really worried. Just pondering how much effort to put in.
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