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yvesvidal

Moebius 2001 XD-1 DISCOVERY - Polystyrene - 1/144 - Yves Vidal

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Posted (edited)

Folks,

 

This is the beginning of another project I have been trying to realize for a while. I recently got the kit from Free-Time Hobbies in Georgia, as they were having a very interesting sale.

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Like many of you, I watched the 2001 A Space Odyssey movie, in 1969 when it came out, fresh from the genius of Stanley Kubrick. I was just 10 years old and that movie created a life lasting impression on me. For many years, only resin kits of the various space crafts were available. Then Moebius decided to create a series of 1/144 based kits to satisfy the 2001 enthusiasts. XD-1 Discovery is the latest kit produced in 1/144 scale, not counting the enormous EVA 1/8 Pod kit that was recently released:

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The enormous Deep Space Exploration vessel driven by a psychotic HAL 9000 en route to the vicinity of Jupiter, has always attracted me and when the opportunity to build that magnificent model presented itself, I jumped on it. There are multiple videos and Blogs on the Internet of very talented modelers who have completed this beautiful model. I am not planning to even come closer to their talents. Instead, I will use the model in a different way to produce a piece of art made of mixed-medias as they call it in the artistic realms. I will provide more details when we get to that stage. 

 

In the meantime, let's take a look at the kit: 

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The box is very dense and literally crammed with parts: 

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Lots of the parts are the same as we have to build multiple bays arranged along the spine of the vessel. The instructions booklet is simple but carefully written and clearly organized: 

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On the Photo-Etched side, a few additional kits are available: one for the PODs bay and one for the main control deck. Not planning to represent the POD bay opened, I only purchased the Main Deck set from Para Grafix. Notice that even though the focus of the set is on the living area, it also provides the thrusters grills on the Propulsion Block  

DSC04181.thumb.JPG.e85afa14b165e6aee107efc2be39ca8f.JPG

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

As I mentioned in the introduction of the Blog, I will be using the model as part of a celestial art piece. As such I will not be using the traditional way offered by Moebius, to display the kit. Moebius offers three stands under the living area (sphere), Earth antennae module and the propulsion block. The long model rests on these three rather flimsy stands to be displayed horizontally on a flat surface. My model is going to be "suspended" on the side and I wish to only have stands on the propulsion module and near the living quarters. In addition, I wish to provide some kind of illumination on the thrusters and on the main deck. Therefore, we have to rethink a little bit the kit and stiffen it considerably.

 

In the Moebius kit, the two spines (realized by two metallic tubes of 4 mm) are connected inside the Earth antennae module: 

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The piece of tube in charge of the coupling (as provided in the kit), is way too short and not tight enough. As a result, the two rods are sagging and not straight. It is okay if you go with the three stands approach of the kit. However, if you plan to have support only on both ends of the vessel, the spine will sag and look more like an arch. So, we need to stiffen it up.

 

The following picture shows what I have in mind: 

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The top piece of tube is what Moebius provides in the kit. Then we have the two rods of 4 mm each. The brass tube I decided to use offers an additional inch of support on both sides and fits very tightly on the 4 mm rods. When lining up everything, the spine is straight and sturdy. The brass tube is #129 3/16 x 0.014 made by K&S Engineering and can be found in almost all Hobby Shops.

 

The two adjacent modules have to be gently enlarged to accommodate the extra diameter of the brass tube. This is done first with a bit of 4.5 mm and then fine-tuned with a round file (I do not have a 4.8 mm bit which would have been perfect. The coupling is very tight and will hopefully provide us with a "straight" vessel.

 

Yves

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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14 minutes ago, Dubz said:

Good Choice. In my stash too (together with the EVA Pod and PE's) 🙂

 

Dirk

Thank you Dirk. HAPPY NEW YEAR and all my wishes for you to complete the Sherbourne and to get started on some new 2001 Plastic kits.

 

Yves

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yves - Great choice for your "side project"! Quite the departure from your other build. Looking forward to watching this one go together. Other than the repetition, it should go together fairly quickly.

 

Would you be better off with a single, solid rod? you could still add the center tube to help keep it from sagging in the center. How long of a span is it?

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Posted (edited)

I have added still another aluminum tube around the brass tube. Over killing? probably, but now the rods are very secure and perfectly straight. I suspect that the main spine will not sag at all, when the vessel is supported on each end. Tubes are glued with epoxy two components glue: 

DSC04188.thumb.JPG.b065fe74a1edaab4b54bedbf410d53fd.JPG

And here is our spine assembly with the first two bay holders: 

DSC04189.thumb.JPG.125405d51f7930e301fe0ce0d4d78225.JPG

Yves

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

A tube in a tube in a tube. That should be hell for stout.

 

Wait, I just realized this is still on MSW. Does a "space ship" constitute a ship? Curious minds want to know.

 

(Yes, I know it's in the non-ship section!)

Edited by Katuna

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Katuna said:

Wait, I just realized this is still on MSW. Does a "space ship" constitute a ship? Curious minds want to know.

Katuna,

 

I thought about placing it in the Ship Model Kits section.... after all, it is a space Vessel, very comparable to a submarine. But then, I wanted to be a good citizen on this forum and not risk the wrath of the Forum police. 

 

In the meantime, I count on you for picking up the pace on the Trumpeter Submarine build and keeping our audience entertained with underwater topics..... 😉

 

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Moving "rearward", with the atomic engine thrusters and the rear spine: 

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The rear rod/tube needs to be cut off exactly 11 mm, to rest on the internal rib of the central thruster. inside that long spine, we will have to pass two wires for the various lights as will be explained later on. You could avoid cutting it and it will be alright. In my case, an LED and its wiring will be installed to the right of the tube, in that little cavity. This will simulate the reactors firing to propel the vessel during its long journey to Jupiter.

 

The picture below shows the antennae unit (left), the four rear bay holders and the atomic engines block (before gluing).

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The rear tube is now glued to the antennae unit (coupler) with Cyanoacrylate glue. Don't put too much glue, be sure about what you do or use a slow curing glue. I had just enough time to push it to the mark on the rod, before the glue took over... It was a close call.

 

Below picture shows after gluing: 

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Perfect alignment must be obtained to have an antennae vertical with the engine block. I used a small bubble level as well as my eyes for making sure it is correctly aligned: 

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There is a tiny bit of rotational flexibility in the spine but not much actually. Finally, a coat of Vallejo primer is applied on the rear spine: 

DSC04194.thumb.JPG.6c894bb41c54c431e59356e7048d4633.JPG

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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On 1/2/2020 at 7:58 AM, yvesvidal said:

Katuna,

 

I thought about placing it in the Ship Model Kits section.... after all, it is a space Vessel, very comparable to a submarine. But then, I wanted to be a good citizen on this forum and not risk the wrath of the Forum police. 

 

In the meantime, I count on you for picking up the pace on the Trumpeter Submarine build and keeping our audience entertained with underwater topics..... 😉

 

Yves

Jeez buddy, thanks for the added pressure! Just kidding you. Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping to jump back on it. I have someone on another forum that is going to laser cut a bunch of round flanges for me so I can start on the piping in earnest. I shall endeavor to pick up the torch and carry it proudly, if not slowly : )

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The thrusters are almost complete. Inside each one of them, there is a flickering yellow LED. After trying these LEDs on my bench, I realize that the current drawn by each one of them, varies constantly because of the flickering. Therefore, they cannot be serialized or daisy chained. They operate at around 3 volts, under 10 mA each. Since the whole enchilada will be powered with a source of 12 Volts DC, it is necessary to drop about 10 Volts in a resistor. 1 KOhms is perfect for that purpose.

 

First, the lower shell of the rockets are glued on the rear bulkhead: 

DSC04196.thumb.JPG.1211d3ae769051edd0ca4b11af23acfa.JPG

The main rod is being opened in three places: Ground wire, Plus wire and the two tiny wires leading to the central LED. The holes are done with a round file, then semi-round and finally a bit of 2 mm, to provide a less sharp opening for the wires.

 

The rear bulkhead has been reworked: pins on each side, have been shortened and drilled to allow wires to go through. The inside of the thrusters is painted black, to simulate the intense heat and combustion taking place in them.

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Wiring is neatly arranged, as much as possible. None of the plastic parts are glued yet....the wires are holding everything together.

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The lug on the top of the picture (right side of the engine block) will be the negative side of the holder. The green wire brings the - to the front module, through the rod. The yellow wire feeds the rear engine block with the + side, coming from the holder that will be located near the front sphere or living quarters of Discovery. Verification of the diodes: 

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It flickers well and provides a sense of these atomic reactors being ignited by HAL 9000, to complete his precious mission....with or without anybody alive....

DSC04201.thumb.JPG.3f4f0776a64b2c3ba4b83b4bce15e979.JPG

Yves

 

 

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5 hours ago, yvesvidal said:

The thrusters are almost complete. Inside each one of them, there is a flickering yellow LED. After trying these LEDs on my bench, I realize that the current drawn by each one of them, varies constantly because of the flickering. Therefore, they cannot be serialized or daisy chained. They operate at around 3 volts, under 10 mA each. Since the whole enchilada will be powered with a source of 12 Volts DC, it is necessary to drop about 10 Volts in a resistor. 1 KOhms is perfect for that purpose.

 

First, the lower shell of the rockets are glued on the rear bulkhead: 

DSC04196.thumb.JPG.1211d3ae769051edd0ca4b11af23acfa.JPG

The main rod is being opened in three places: Ground wire, Plus wire and the two tiny wires leading to the central LED. The holes are done with a round file, then semi-round and finally a bit of 2 mm, to provide a less sharp opening for the wires.

 

The rear bulkhead has been reworked: pins on each side, have been shortened and drilled to allow wires to go through. The inside of the thrusters is painted black, to simulate the intense heat and combustion taking place in them.

DSC04197.thumb.JPG.6ed047dfd817936f2d949eb97c0946ee.JPG

Wiring is neatly arranged, as much as possible. None of the plastic parts are glued yet....the wires are holding everything together.

DSC04199.thumb.JPG.977a04cd3fd6dd88b2413455458bfc6a.JPG

The lug on the top of the picture (right side of the engine block) will be the negative side of the holder. The green wire brings the - to the front module, through the rod. The yellow wire feeds the rear engine block with the + side, coming from the holder that will be located near the front sphere or living quarters of Discovery. Verification of the diodes: 

DSC04200.thumb.JPG.c87d271641425737970c6dd19db2a84e.JPG

It flickers well and provides a sense of these atomic reactors being ignited by HAL 9000, to complete his precious mission....with or without anybody alive....

DSC04201.thumb.JPG.3f4f0776a64b2c3ba4b83b4bce15e979.JPG

Yves

 

 

The yellow, along with being true to the movie, is such a nice change from the reflexive use of ion blue all too common in h'wood of late.

 

(Even if the physics of using a reactor to accelerate water as reaction mass suggest the result would be a neon magenta color high in the violet end of the visible spectrum--which would be a modeling nightmare.)

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Posted (edited)

Moving along with the completion of the propulsion block. Lots of parts, but the fitting is exceptional. This kit is very well engineered.

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This is the anchor which will be used to hold the model from the rear and to feed the negative side of 12 VDC. It is a 3 mm special nut. I will try to show a picture of the part, later on.

DSC04205.JPG

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Propulsion block more or less completed. The only things remaining to be done are the exhaust plates with the PE grills.

 

In the meantime, I have sprayed the sub-base using Tamiya German Grey: 

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Hopefully, this color will provide some depth and delineate the various panels, when spraying the light gray and white on top.

 

Yves 

 

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17 minutes ago, popeye the sailor said:

does this include decals?   if not....have you looked at decals for Star Trek,  or Star wars models........perhaps something along these lines could give it more exterior detailing.

Popeye,

 

No decals on this kit as the original prop from the movie did not have any. 

 

For more exterior "contrast", the AZTEC set provides some masks that add "camouflage like" patterns to the vessel. I am not a big fan of these and like the Stanley Kubrick's purist lines of the Discovery. I will paint some panels as in the movie, but will stop there. No weathering either, as there is no air, and very little dust to attach to this kind of machine in Space.

 

Yves

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