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Old 08-08-2010, 12:24 PM
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Default Question re: Mercury escape tower

Before I glue this wrong I'd like to get some input on how the escape tower lines up with the Mercury capsule. How do the tower legs line up with respect to the markings on the capsule? And which leg goes where?



There's a protrusion at the top of the tower. So perhaps a better question is, where should it be rotated to with respect to the capsule? Thanks. Doug



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Old 08-08-2010, 01:10 PM
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The leg closest to the "protrusion" should be centered on the glass window, not the hatch JFK is looking in.



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Old 08-08-2010, 01:30 PM
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BTW, the protrusion (conduit?) looks like it needs a big trim job judging by the way it looks in the photo.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sams
Before I glue this wrong I'd like to get some input on how the escape tower lines up with the Mercury capsule. How do the tower legs line up with respect to the markings on the capsule? And which leg goes where?



There's a protrusion at the top of the tower. So perhaps a better question is, where should it be rotated to with respect to the capsule? Thanks. Doug


.


Hey, that is a nice looking Mercury capsule...
What kit is it from?
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pem Tech
Hey, that is a nice looking Mercury capsule...
What kit is it from?
It's from the recent 1/35 scale Estes kit, which, as I understand it, is a morph of the earlier 1/35 Centuri kit.

I have three in my stash. Interestingly enough, two have the capsule and tower molded in red plastic while this one was molded in white but is otherwise identical.

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Old 08-08-2010, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
The leg closest to the "protrusion" should be centered on the glass window, not the hatch JFK is looking in.
That's good input, Tim. Thanks a bunch.


Quote:
BTW, the protrusion (conduit?) looks like it needs a big trim job judging by the way it looks in the photo.
With respect to your pic, I agree. And most of the other pics I've seen make the section look cylindrical.

But I did find one drawing that not only shows it, but shows it big. (BTW, the other two capsules I have both have the big "fin". It's definitely not flashing )



Not sure the origin of this drawing, but it seems very close to the Estes kit.

Doug

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:03 PM
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You're definitely correct that it isn't flashing. It has nice sharp square lines. I've got a few Estes 1/35 MR's, both the Centuri rebadged version and the most recent with all the plastic junk and crappy peel-n-cuss decals, along with a Mercury Atlas that I haven't finished. They all have the huge conduit.

It makes me wonder if there was an early prototype or test version with a big conduit. I've never seen any MR or MA tower photos with a conduit that big.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sams
It's from the recent 1/35 scale Estes kit, which, as I understand it, is a morph of the earlier 1/35 Centuri kit.

I have three in my stash. Interestingly enough, two have the capsule and tower molded in red plastic while this one was molded in white but is otherwise identical.

Doug

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Yes, I believe the 'original' Centuri Mercury Redstone plastic capsules were typically molded in black plastic. I have some number of the early 90s Estes re-issue (same exact capsule....they owned the mold by then) and they are (were) molded in red plastic. Then.....the even later releases (like for the Mercury-Atlas kit) and the 'Liberty Bell 7' Mercury-Redstone kit were in white plastic (typically).

I think Centuri did a nice job on the capsule. As one can see from the various 'real' Mercury spacecraft photos posted in this thread that the tower legs and crossmembers are definitely over-sized (in cross-section diameter) in the Centuri version, but if molded to 'true-scale', those plastic members would have been probably way too fragile for a 'flying' kit and would undoubtedly have broken very easily.

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
As one can see from the various 'real' Mercury spacecraft photos posted in this thread that the tower legs and crossmembers are definitely over-sized (in cross-section diameter) in the Centuri version, but if molded to 'true-scale', those plastic members would have been probably way too fragile for a 'flying' kit and would undoubtedly have broken very easily.
That's the kind of re-engineering I like. I much prefer adaptations for improved flight worthiness over authenticity.

In the case of the Redstone (I was building the capsule to use with my Little Joe I, mission LJ-5b, and I ended up working on the Redstone, too ) I realized too late, after joining the two lengths of airframe, that there's a huge space there for the chute and wadding to fall way down in. So I've decided to add a bulkhead in the upper half to keep the chute, wadding and shock cord in the upper section of the rocket. This is one of those improvements I feel are merited over keeping it strictly stock.

Heck, come to think of it, I don't own hardly anything that's strictly stock

Doug

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Old 09-07-2010, 07:43 PM
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Got to agree on the use of stuffer tube. I revise the airframe to include a gap between the engine unit and the propellant section where the nuts were accessed. Also punch holes in the upper tube to represent the fill/drain valves. This entails a section of joiner tube between the two sections and a stuffer to clear the gaps.

If I can get my act together I have a set of PE fittings for the valves and pull out covers to be printed. Any interest?
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