Author Topic: Vanguard Rocket  (Read 3710 times)

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Fingers

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Vanguard Rocket
« on: February 26, 2013, 11:51:25 PM »
Another project for the Empire State Aerosciences Museum. This time they wanted a Vanguard Rocket. The General Electric Company used to have a huge rocket engine and fuel test facility nearby in the town of Malta, in Saratoga County in Upstate New York. The Vanguard and Hermes rocket motors were tested there in the 1950s. The museum wants to do a display dedicated to that facility, and this model will be part of that exhibit. Here's a couple photos of the finished product...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:53:10 PM by Fingers »

lastvautour

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 11:22:22 AM »
Excellent Vanguard. Can you give us the details of construction? What did you use on the metallic section of the rocket?

Lou

Oceaneer99

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 01:45:24 PM »
Nicely done model of the Vanguard!

Fingers

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 10:36:43 PM »
Excellent Vanguard. Can you give us the details of construction? What did you use on the metallic section of the rocket?

Lou

Hi Lou:

The model is all wood. Since I don't have a lathe, I used two different-diameter poplar dowels I bought at Lowe's. The tapered section in the middle was the tricky part. But Lowe's also sells prefabricated oak chair and table legs for people who like to "build" their own furniture without actually doing any woodworking. The pre-fab chair leg was tapered just right. All I had to do was cut out a section from the middle that was correctly tapered at either end, and assemble the works...

The metallic section is just wood covered in "bare metal foil" from Micro Mark. The rest is paint and decal material, with a coat of glass enamel.

lastvautour

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 07:27:15 AM »
Thank you for the data. A chair leg! If it works, do it. Excellent job on the finishing of your Vanguard.

Lou

cliff strachan

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 11:16:35 AM »
Your rocket is indeed very nice. If you guys promise not to laugh, I'll post a photo of a V2 I made more than a few years ago. It was probably one of the last models I made; that along with a Kingfisher. The Kingfisher may be interesting because it was made using cardboard for the wings and tail - following kits that by that time other woods were no longer available.
Cliff.

lastvautour

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 08:34:42 AM »
What scale is your Vanguard? I need it for the SMM model construction board

Lou

cliff strachan

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 12:37:55 PM »
I've posted a photo of my earlier built Kingfisher|  built about 1944 - as I threatened. But of prime interest is scale and how the wings, props and tail were made of cardboard as this was the accepted method of construction in those days as during the war balsawood was no longer available.

Cliff.

Peter

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 12:56:19 PM »
The kingfisher looks great Cliff. Did you have problems with the cardboard warping when you painted it?

Peter

cliff strachan

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 01:37:50 PM »
Again as threatened I've posted a shot of my V2 which I built ca. 1945. And again just for general interest:

Also just posted a last photo of my P47 that was also built about this time. The original plans were from Air Trails but scaled down to  1/96


using a pantograph from plans from probably a Mechanics Illustrated. I'm really having trouble with this new fangled machine. It  never seems to do the same thing twice

Cliff.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 09:45:57 AM by cliff strachan »

cliff strachan

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 01:59:07 PM »
Hi again Peter. Think  I answered but I probably didn't post it. No we normally didn't have a problem with paint as generally it was airplane dope. Dope seemed to have a certain longevity factor that perhaps current Solid Scale builders  may want to consider. However we were limited with respect to colours.
Cliff.

Fingers

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 08:31:54 PM »
What scale is your Vanguard? I need it for the SMM model construction board

Lou

Lou:

I think it's roughly 1/48 scale.

lastvautour

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 09:21:42 AM »
Thank you fingers.

Lou

Balsabasher

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 04:35:28 AM »
Despite their age some good subjects there Fingers,I love the V2 in particular,a very important subject as this could easily have had devastating results if things had gone in a different direction.
Barry.

Fingers

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Re: Vanguard Rocket
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 09:33:45 AM »
"Closing the loop," here...

It's been more than two years since I posted on this little Vanguard project. Well, back in the spring, the museum folks sprang a new surprise on me. The Malta Test Facility exhibit has grown in scope, and something "bigger and better" was needed, it seems. The original rocket model I built in 2013 has gone into a display case with a bunch of other, similarly sized, models of early rockets, like the Hermes. The museum has since come into possession of a number of original rocket motors and engines, which aree being refurbished for display, and to illustrate better what these motors were used in, it was decided that we needed a much bigger model of the Vanguard. Nearly six feet tall, to be exact! Quite a challenge...

I started olut with a large section of 3-in. diameter PVC pipe. I glued up a variety of wood pieces, and with my new lathe, I turned several additional sections to make up the upper rocket stages. The nose section actually was turned out of bits of mahogany left over from the Kinner engine project (Waste not, want not!). The black-on-white markings were made from commercial decal material. The entire project came in just under six feet, and will be mounted on a brick wall, with a painting of the rocket's gantry behind it. Guess who gets to paint the gantry?

All in all, a successful project. But I'm glad to be done with it!