Friday, 30 July 2010

Hubble Progress 3

Here are some more progress pictures of my Hubble Space Telescope PaperCraft model;

This is the first section cut out of the lattice work that supports the Secondary Mirror. Cutting the lattice sections out was one of the fiddlyest jobs of the whole model.

This is all four lattice sections temporarily held togethor by the first ring. Just visible is the cut I accidentally made in one of the lattice sections. I haven't been able to repair this as the glue keeps coming undone and it springs apart!

This is the second ring in place.

This is the third ring in place, with all the lattice sections now glued in place permanently.

This is the lattice work glued in place on the Primary Mirror housing.

The Interior is finished at last! Note the Secondary Mirror glued in place at the end of the lattice section. I forgot to take pictures of the Secondary Mirror as I built it!

Reverse angle view of the completed Interior of the Telescope.

Now onto the exterior of the Telescope! More pictures to follow as I progress with the second half of the project.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Hubble Progress 2

Here is the latest progress on my Hubble Space Telescope PaperCraft model project.

I have completed the Axial and Radial Instruments and Primary Mirror housing. For the mirror, I used a small piece of normal household kitchen foil, which gives quite a nice reflective effect. So far, the fiddliest parts have been the 'Fixed-Head Star Trackers', the black camera lens type pieces on one side of the 'Axial Instruments Bay' (the main body).

I found it quite difficult to get the curve right on the cone shaped parts. A user on one of the forums I visit regularly gave me a couple of tips to use the next time I need to curve a cone.

This shows the completed Radial Instruments on the left and the Axial Instruments on the right.

This shows the two sets of instruments temporarily put together.
These 2 show the Fixed-Head Star Trackers glued to the Axial Instruments Bay.
This shows the Axial and Radial instruments with the Primary Mirror assembly glued to the bottom (the top in the completed model).

This shows the kitchen foil used for the Primary Mirror.

I made quite a major mistake with the Primary Mirror. The ring it is mounted on is supposed to fit around a disk that the instrument section glues to. The disk was slightly too large and I had difficulty fitting the ring around it, hence the ring being distorted. Stupidly enough, I didn't think of trimming the disk slightly to make the ring fit!

This shot brings us up to date, with the lens assembly added to the previous sections

The next job to be done is the lattice work that holds the Secondary Mirror in place over the lens assembly, that will be covered in my next update.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hubble Progress 1

Here are some pictures of the progress I have made so far with my Hubble PaperCraft model.

This is the 'Axial Instrument Bay' which is mounted at the bottom of the telesope interior.
Just visible are the wire handrails I had to use to replace the tiny paper ones with.

At the moment, this part of the model is upside down, it will get flipped over when it is attached to the telescope.

This view gives some idea of how fiddly this model is. You can just see the thin cardboard strengthening strips at the top and sides of the model.

And Now For Something Completely Different!

I've been getting 'model making withdrawal symptoms' lately, but due to financial restrictions, I'm not able to buy any new kits. Therefore, I decided to try an alternative. A few years ago, my parents bought me a fully working PaperCraft model clock. I managed to build about 75% of it before losing patience with it because of having to cut out all the fiddly gear teeth.

Recently, I happened to pay a visit to the Hubble Space Telescope web site. As well as all the spectacular photos the telescope had taken of distant galaxys, nebulae etc, there is a section about building your own model of Hubble. There are 3 different versions to build. The 1st version is a low detail model, made from all sorts of houshold and DIY materials. The 2nd version is a basic papercraft model, designed for beginners and, again with low detail. The 3rd version, the one I decided to have a go at, is a highly detailed 'expert' papercraft version. This comes in two sections; the exterior of the telescope, with the solar panels, antennae etc, and the interior of the telescope, with the mirros and lenses of the telescope itself and the various other instruments which allow Hubble to take such spectacular pictures.

I've downloaded and printed the templates and instructions for the two sections and have began work on the interior section.

These are the two cover sheets for the exterior and interior sections of the model, along with some of the tools I will be using to construct the telescope.

This is the cover sheet for the exterior section.

This is the cover sheet for the interior section.

I will post more pictures and progress reports as the build goes along.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tips and Tricks. Part 4; Aftercare and Displaying your models.

This delayed post is a result of lessons I have recently learnt in the aftercare of my model collection.

The first and most important lesson that I have learnt is about the vinyl tyres that come with some models. I recently discovered that the vinyl tyres on a couple of my models had cracked and in a couple of cases had split right the war through. Quite by chance, while visiting another site about model making (sorry, I don't remember the web address), I learnt that this is due to a chemical reaction between the vinyl of the tyre and the styrene of the wheel rim.

So, how do we prevent this reaction occuring? It turns out that the solution is actually quite simple. We put some kind of barrier between the tyre and the wheel rim. An example of a suitable barrier would be to coat the wheel rim with a 50/50 solution of PVA glue and water.

One of the vinyl tyre splits shown circled red

Another problem that can occur, especially with some of the more recent models that have been released, is the real rubber used in some tyres. As we all know, rubber perishes over time. But what causes rubber to perish? UV light is the answer, i.e. daylight. So the simple solution to prevent rubber tyres from perishing, is to keep your model out of direct sunlight. But what if this isn't possible? Again, some sort of protective coating or barrier is neded. The same 50/50 solution of PVA glue and water can be used to coat the rubber tyres. This is quite handy as one of the methods used to weather tyres, is to mix diluted PVA glue with plaster powder and paint!

The second major enemy of any model collection is dust. I'm sure I'm not the only model maker who has this problem. We can't all afford to buy expensive display cabinets! My models are all displayed on open shelves in our bedroom. So how do I deal with the ever present dust? With a very soft brush, a gentle blowing action and plenty of care to prevent small parts being snapped off!

I've heard from some people that they use cans of air, the same ones which are commonly used by electronics technicians to clean circuit boards. However, I can't help being a bit scepticle about this method. For one, I can't help thinking that the powerfull rush of air can do as much damage as a clumsily used brush. For another, how does it cope with the stubborn dust that blowing alone won't get rid of?

In my opinion, gently sweeping away the dust with a soft brush, whislt blowing the loosened dust off is the best method of cleaning models.

The last major enemy of models, is the over handling that can occur when admiring your own handy work! Unless you spend extra money on some sort of sealant to prevent damage to the paint work, the only solution is to leave them alone! 'Look but don't touch'! If you really must handle your models to get a closer look, use something that will prevent the oil from the skin of your fingers getting on the model. I know this may sound daft, but buy a pair of white cotton gloves, similar to the kind that archivists and museum staff wear to handle exibits.

After all the hard work and effort we put into our models, we want them to last a long time. We want to be able to admire our handy work, in some cases we want other people to admire our handy work! These few tips, hopefully, will go a long way towards ensuring that your models last a long time and look just as good as the day you sit back with pride and say 'there, that's another nice model I've built'!

Friday, 9 July 2010

YouTube Channel

Check out my YouTube channel, it's at

There are 4 videos that I have posted so far, all of them are slideshows of my Military Model collection.