A letter from Yuri Gagarin…

While visiting the Cricova winery near Chisinau, the guide described Yuri Gagarin’s visit, and I thought this was worth blogging.

Cricova Entrance
Cricova Entrance

The Cricova complex is built into 120 kilometres of caves, where the temperature and humidity is stable at the best level for storing wine.

Continue reading “A letter from Yuri Gagarin…”

Private Viewing, Visions of Space 2

On Friday 9th June 2017, I went down for the opening night of “Visions of Space 2“, This is the first time I have been to see my own work on display in a a gallery!

This is a joint effort between the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the British Interplanetary Society, and the Wells and Mendip astronomers.

Wells and Mendip museum
Wells and Mendip museum

Continue reading “Private Viewing, Visions of Space 2”

The Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 2

The first part covered the background and references.

This part will cover the actual CGI model building.

As is clear from even a casual glance, the main challenge was going to be making sense of all those struts. Doing them indiviually would not be practical so I had to understand the various repeating patterns and symmetrys in them. If you look through the structure at an angle, it can seem very complex:

Lovell radio telescope
Complicated stuff!

But from other angles the patterns are a lot clearer

Lovell radio telescope
Distant view from the side

Continue reading “The Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 2”

Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 1.

Despite the difficulties of my N-1 models, I consider the most challenging mesh I ever built in terms of level of detail to be the model of the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

One major advantage compared to most of my projects is that I was able to visit the real thing, and get a large number of reference photos. Plus I had some useful help from the staff, who were kind enough to provide accurate overall dimensions of the major elements.

faceonm Continue reading “Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 1.”

Cosmonauts exhibition at the London Science Museum

Various photos…

Here’s a selection of photos from the “Cosmonauts” exhibition at the London Science Museum.

Laika

laika

This shows the arrangement used for for the ‘space dog’ Laika. Laika (meaning “little woofer”), was a stray found on the streets of Moscow. The scientists later said that what they learned was not worth the life of a dog.

Spacesuits

spacesuits

On the left is the suit proposed for exploring Mars, and on the right the “Orlan” EVA space suit. Continue reading “Cosmonauts exhibition at the London Science Museum”

Soviet LK Moon lander

The London Science Museum “Cosmonauts” exhibition had some truly amazing original space hardware from the dawn of the space age. For me the clear highlight was the LK Lander, their equivalent of the Apollo LEM.

The lighting was coloured which made getting the colour right a bit tricky!

This was a one man craft, and the cosmonaut (probably Alexei Leonov), would have had to stay in his pace suit the whole time.

lk1

This view is from directly in front, and you can see the window the cosmonaut would use to see where his craft was headed as it came in to land. On the right is the round antenna, (with a star on), used to communicate.

lk2

Here you see the right side of the lander. Note the blue hatch, and the ladder underneath it. Continue reading “Soviet LK Moon lander”

Some photos from when Alexei Leonov visited Moldova

When I visited Chisinau ion Moldova in September, I visited a small cosmonautics museum. They have an impressive collection of photos of cosmanauts visiting Moldova from the early days of the manned space program.

Here are a couple of photos of the first man to walk in space on his trip!

leonov-moldova-2

The Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank

Whjen I decided to try and make a mesh of the iconic Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, England, I knew it would be a big task!

I think this is easily the most complex mesh I have ever created. I visited the real radio telescope, and took hundreds, and hundreds of photographs, from every angle I could.

It was really tricky to work out the symmetry of the repeating elements, and it took a bit of trial and error to get it right.

As if that was not demanding enough, I also had to keep the polygon count under control, while trying to include every bolt I could see.

lt-hdr-2

lt7-VEG-gold-mauve-pc-propz

I had a bit of help, the nice people who work their very kindly sent me some basic plans with the key dimensions marked, so I had a firm foundation to build on.

The end result is rigged, so I can rotate the base and tip the dish into any desired position.

Cosmos Museum, Chisinau, Moldova

On my last visit to Moldova, I was lucky enough to go to the Cosmos Museum. Not a conventional museum, this is set in a scheel, where children are encouraged to make accurate models of rockets, (at ;least the older ones!)

The lady who runs it, Mrs Lubov, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and was kind enough to show me the collection of photographs of cosmonauts visiting the city.

They have a pressure suit, lots of samples of space food, and full size detailed plans of Korolov’s “GIRD09” liquid fueled rocket!

I sent them a large print of a set of N-1 rockets, in the hope it will help inspire the next generation.

cosmos-museumI think the children are very lucky to have such an enthusiastic and well informed expert they rto encourage and help them!