I visited the UK’s National Space Centre, partly to get better references for a CGI “Skylark” rocket, and thought it was worth a blog entry. I’ll be publishing reference photos, for the benefit of other modellers, in a separate post.
It’s located on the outskirts of Leicester, and a bit of a pain to get to if you are not familiar with the local public transport system. Easy to spot by it’s distinctive shape, dominated by the Rocket Tower.
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:
But from other angles the patterns are a lot clearer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!