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New Stuff

With the success of our small X-15 and other kits I’m moving on to a larger X-15 after many requests. The paper print our is 1:1 and the actual size. It will be built exactly the same way as the smaller one using the same techniques.Monday I’ll start with lathing of the larger nose cone in balsa. This one will fly on G-H engines.

At the same time I working on the Falcon 9. I started yesterday with the lathe and got the basic shape minus the thrusters that in the pictures you can see me just start to put on. This of course will be finished and molded in silicone to make a resin capsule.  

I plan to make this as scale as possible and include the air brakes, landing legs and boat tail with the 8 little engines. Seen here are the actual brakes. 

The actual booster has a cluster of 9 motors. The center one will be removed and replaced with an Estes D-E motor.  

These were made by a 3D printer as an upgrade by another company for the SpaceX model rocket kit. I think brass etch for the brakes and vacuum form for the legs would be better on our kit. Or Eliot might brass etch them too? This way the could easily be bent to the curve of the booster. With the SpaceX kit the models legs are just printed heavy paper.

BTW our kit will also have the clear fins for flying. You’ll be able to remove these for display.As you can see their model has printed graphics to empathise raised details and with our kit there will be some raised actual details. It is my hope that the great Eliot Brown can brass etch some of these for us although the folded up landing legs might be best made as a vacuum form styrene part.

Either way it has begun. This is model making, This is scratch building and yes there will be videos.Thank you all for your support and I do hope you will enjoy watching us make these model spacecraft.


Time to launch

I have a rough prototype. It came out about 11 oz though a bit heavy for my tastes and can be made lighter. Tail cone piece will need to be vacuum formed. That will save a lot and the fins made from plywood. The resin is a bit heavier. Nose cone is OK but could be made lighter but the model needs nose weight to be stable as it is. But it should fly on a E12-6. We will find out next weekend.


Two fin version of the Starship will look like this…


Starship begins

Good Start to the Starship
Best I could do in the 4 hours I had yesterday. I spent most of that time at the lathe. Love the lathe I don’t need no stinking 3D printer. Actually that’s not true and for some small parts I’d love to have one although I’m still faster. If I had told it to make the nose cone and the tailpiece it would still be printing, 


These are just the the blanks. The balsa will get sealed and then primered. Details will put in and eventually when finished they will get molded in silicon and the final product made out of alumilite.

The recesses worked out perfect and the parts fit just inside the tubes. The fins have yet to have the landing pads added and today I need to make the hinge look filets for the fins to plug into.


Stuff at the Studio

And I’m starting on my first model kit for release today that I have done in a very long time. The work on the Starship begins. Fitting name really. Here’s some lightwave renders I did of my model.

I’m also working on a series of paintings rocket and space exploration related.

Been building rockets of course too and some rocket boosted RC gliders for the upcoming event “Roctober” Oct. 12-13 at Lucerne dry lake bed.

And I have been building a stick and tissue scale free flight BF-109. Still lots of work to do on her.


Maybe a model kit from me…

I’m slowly working a mid power “Bigdaddy” sized Star Ship based on the SpaceX Star Ship. I had thought of converting a Bigdaddy into one but it was too far off for my tastes. Open Rocket would not allow me the flexibility I wanted and being a film industry digital effects artist I decided to build a CGI model of my idea in Lightwave 3D my software of choice now since 1994.

I didn’t just want to make things to proportions with a body tube, fins and a stock nose cone with a paint job for the windows. I want to make the proper shapes and also being a scratch model builder I plan to master the nose cone with the proper canards with the scale filets. In addition to that I also plan to have the scale windshield made from clear vacuum formed PETG.

Likewise with the tail cone I will make the scale fins with the taper and airfoil, landing pods on the tips and the fin filets. I will also have 6 dummy engines with one big engine tube for an E motor.

For the small passenger windows those will mostly likely be decals. Main Body tube will be a 3 inch diameter cardboard tube. Nothing fancy there.

The masters will be molded in silicone. The cast parts from Alumilite hollow cast. I have successfully done this in the past when I made my “Hostile Projectile” kits 10 years ago. I had stopped making kits to take care of my late wife who passed in 2013 from cancer.

Here are some pictures and even a short CGI video test I did to see how the model looks in space.

If it flies well and there is an interest I might make a short run of kits.


Don’t forget we…


I finished the big girl!


The Dream…a short film in

The Dream…a short film in the making

“The Dream” is about a small boy with a dream of space flight and the ending would inspire any young person to reach for the stars and never give up.

I have been building the sets, acquiring set decorations, and of course Patrick. This model was made by Alex Kai and was purchased the CGTrader website. But most of what you see here was made in Lightwave Modeler.

It took some time to create the garage which was built like an actual garage in 3D space using Lightwave which is my 3D software of choice.

This project won’t happen overnight. Between making all the models, lighting, rigging and doing motion capture it will take months to do this 10 minute short film. The beauty of it is it’s all done in my “Studio in a Box”. No crew, no one to compromise with anymore then you would if you creating a painting on canvas. This is art.

Watch for updates here. Here’s a frame grab of Patrick and his garage. It is in in a very raw state needing much set decorations and the Rocket itself is still under construction.


Building Rockets. This one isn’t a model.

8-31-19 Zephyr Build update

This is a HPR rocket. It’s capable of over 300ft and gets there in about 2 seconds. Do the math. Rockets were always my first love since I stood in front of the TWA Moonliner at Disneyland in the late 50’s. Not to mention the “Man in Space) series they did with Wernher Von Braun.

I have built a lot of rockets but this is the biggest one yet and they will continue to get bigger as we go.

Progress pictures. The rocket builds fast but the finishing wok and fancy paint job always takes the longest. Body is filled and has primer. Lots of it to sand down smooth. Under it is filler to get rid of the tube lines. Nose cone is painted gloss black.

Next to paint the body gloss white.

May 2021

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