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Old 05-08-2018, 09:35 PM
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axm61 axm61 is offline
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It came out beautiful. Excellent work.
Alfonso X. Moreno
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:23 PM
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dhanners dhanners is offline
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Thanks for the kind words, all. You guys have provided lots of inspiration and help over the years.

As far as forming complex parts goes, my tools and approach are definitely low-tech. If experience has taught me anything, it is that an extra few minutes spent pre-forming a piece saves me from hours of frustration later.

The photo below shows the four forming tools I use most, aside from brass tubes, knitting needles and dowels used for forming cylinders. These four are things you can pick up at most any art-supply shop. They are resting on a computer mouse pad, which is used as a flexible backing surface for most of my forming techniques.

The green plastic tool on the left is the one I probably use most. It works great on structures like nosecones or, in this case, the ET's nose and bottom sections, as well as the Orbiter's forward fuselage. The key is to make sure the parts fit well and to use butt joints. If there are joining tabs built onto the piece (as with Alfonso's models) I cut them off and make my own joining strips out of paper that is lighter than the kit piece. If you use a paper that is the same weight as the kit piece, you'll leave a faint impression of the joining strip when you start burnishing the seams.

On a structure like the ET's nose, I assemble the pieces and let them dry. Then I place the piece on a clean sheet of paper on my cutting mat and use the long curved side of the green tool to burnish the seams, rolling the piece as I go. (I learned to put the piece on a clean sheet of paper after realizing the cutting mat often had dried glue or other gunk on it that got picked up by the piece during burnishing.)

After the initial burnishing, I'll switch to one of the "spoon" ends of the red-handled tools. And, for that matter, a clean spoon would work, too.

The ball ends of the red-handled tools work great for forming parts like the Orbiter's nose cap of the tips of the SRBs. I cut the piece and glue it, then use the ball ends to shape the piece, using the mouse pad as a backing. For larger hemispheres or rounded pieces (like a dish antenna, say) I have an assortment of steel ball bearings I can use for shaping and burnishing, depending on the size of the piece.

This is all pretty basic stuff, so I'm sure I'm not telling anybody anything they didn't know.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:15 AM
Algebraist Algebraist is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to explain you methods David. I have learnt a lot.


Normally the most advanced tech I use is a pencil.

Last edited by Algebraist; 05-09-2018 at 12:16 AM. Reason: spelling corrections
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