I’m surprised to see I have not mentioned this yet here on my blog!
A few years ago Matt Johnson approached me with the idea of putting together a book on the Soviet moon rocket, the N-1. I had previously given him some references for making a flying model, and he thought it would be cool to put together a book gathering the research, and using my CGI to illustrate it.
Here’s what we came out with!
(The picture links to the store at ARA Press, where I think you can still buy a copy).
The concept, and my role
The idea was that it would combine a history of the program with a detailed modeller guide. If I had known the effort it would take I would probably never have signed up! But with the help of some Russian friends, notably Axenadart Schliadinsky, we set about it. Continue reading “N-1 For the Moon and Mars – Part 1”
One member of the group was Sergey Korolov, who went on to become the chief designer, and mastermind behind all the early Soviet space firsts.
This rocket is the GIRD-X, the tenth project the group carried out.
There’s only really one good photo, and Russian museum items have so many obvious errors, they are useless for reference. So the finer details in this model are somewhat speculative. (Though I think there are clearly some ridges and wider sections not shown in other plans or models I have found).
The Energia rocket was part of a family, apart from Buran and Polyus, no other versions flew. Energia-M was a cut down version, which got as far as a weight model – the colours and shape of my mesh are based on this.
But the original plan was to include a MUCH heavier rocket, the VULKAN.
This would have had eight of the boosters, and a second core stage that was basically an Energia-M.
I am working on this at the moment, though information is limited. The parachute packs on the boosters came after the Vulkan was cut down to become Energia, but I have done a version which includes these packs on the boosters. Seems VERY likely to me as the engines were designed to be reusable.
The boosters later underwent separate development, and evolved into the highly successful “Zenit”.
No updates for a while, but there are some new one to go in!
I recently bought a Russian Soyuz capsule mesh on TurboSquid. The textures didn’t really come in at all, (not unusual in my experience), but it was fairly straightforward to apply new ones, as surfaces were sensibly named. I was also really pleased to see that the orange seams were done with geometry!
Here are a couple of new renders, where I composited the mesh over Earth, using NASA photos taken from the ISS.
After some work on the base, (thanks to better references), cutting details into the lower hull, and adding a reflection gradient on the paint, I think this one may be done… The Mercury Redstone definitely fills a gap in my historic rockets line up.
It feels like I am on a bit of a roll with the rockets recently!
Now I just need to make some final renders to wrap things up.
Here’s a selection of photos from the “Cosmonauts” exhibition at the London Science Museum.
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.