Category Archives: Space Models

Gemini reference book for model builders at “Space in Miniature”

Space in Miniature (SIM) is Michael Mackowski’s website devoted to space modeling.  He  includes a series of books and reports  in which he “covers various topics in the area of building scale models of real spacecraft”. He has just released a new book about modeling Gemini spacecraft:

Building Gemini Reference Book for Model Builders is Published

Lunar Rescue Gemini. Credits SIM

The ninth installment of the Space In Miniature (SIM) series of reference booklets for spacecraft modelers is now available. This 72-page soft-cover booklet describes in detail how the author, Michael Mackowski, built nine different models of the Gemini two-person spacecraft. These include some standard NASA versions as well as some proposed Gemini variants that never made it off the drawing board.

Gemini XI with an Agena. Credits SIM

While there already is a Gemini book in the Space in Miniature series, SIM #2, that volume did not have any detailed how-to articles. The new book is loaded with over 200 photos of work in progress of the following model projects:

  • Gemini IV
  • Gemini VII
  • Gemini XI with Agena
  • Rogallo Wing Capsule
  • Manned Orbiting Lab (MOL)
  • Big G
  • Winged Gemini
  • Lunar Rescue Gemini
  • Gemini to Mars

All are in 1/48th scale except for a 1/24th scale Gemini IV and a 1/72nd scale Mars mission concept and use a variety of kits and scratch-building. This book documents those builds, including how to correct the old Revell kits, and presents a bit of background on the “lost Gemini” projects that were never built. The result is the largest SIM book to date, covering a unique collection of nine historical and theoretical Gemini models built over a span of four years.

Gemini EVA. Credits: SIM

This book is printed in black and white on coated paper, and is available both as a hard copy book as well as a full-color pdf file. This guidebook will be a unique resource for the serious space modeler. A hard copy of SIM #9 – Building Gemini sells for $12 plus shipping, while a pdf download costs $10. A combination package of both the hard copy and digital version is available for only $15 plus shipping. To order, see www.spaceinminiature.com or send an email to mike@spaceinminiature.com. The other titles in the SIM series are still available.

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See also the SIM Galleryspace modeling reference materials, and SIM Paper Models. The latter includes free instructions for the Mars Insight lander:

Insight Lander Paper Model at SIM
Insight Lander paper model at SIM.

LEGO releases Apollo 11 Lunar Lander + An ISS model wins fan vote to become official LEGO kit

LEGO now offers an NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander kit in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon:

Celebrate man’s first moon landing with this LEGO® Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander building set—developed in cooperation with NASA to mark the 50th anniversary of a historical event that captivated the world. This collectible model features a highly detailed replica of Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module, plus a depiction of the lunar surface, complete with crater, footprints and a U.S. flag. The descent stage comes with gold-colored landing pads and panels, opening camera and laser hatches, and a ladder, while the ascent stage has a detailed interior with room for 2 astronauts. Finished with an Apollo 11 Lunar Lander nameplate, this display model makes a great centerpiece for the home or office and provides a challenging and rewarding building experience full of nostalgia. Includes 2 astronaut minifigures with NASA decoration and golden helmets.

The 1000+ piece kit is aimed at advanced builders who want a display quality model and collectible. Here are some reviews:

A hobbyist-designed LEGO model of the International Space Station has also won a popular vote at LEGO IDEAS to become an official LEGO kit:

LEGO ISS Model
LEGO ISS model designed by Christoph Ruge. Credits: LEGO Ideas/Christoph Ruge

From collectSPACE:

The International Space Station has won the honor of becoming an official toy in the LEGO universe.

The orbiting outpost topped a fan vote of more than 22,000 LEGO enthusiasts to be the Danish toy company’s next real-life spacecraft to be made into a toy brick model. The space station received more than 45 percent of the votes cast — 10,438 votes to be exact — in the LEGO Ideas 10 Year Anniversary poll held May 20 through June 4 on the company’s website.

“An incredible achievement in [the] short fan vote period. It continues to show the huge desire for space and space exploration among the LEGO Ideas community,” wrote Hasan Jensen, a LEGO Ideas team member, in a blog post announcing the winner on Tuesday (June 4).

The International Space Station (ISS) model, as designed by Christoph Ruge of Germany, was up against three other set ideas that had qualified and then been passed over by the LEGO production review process. LEGO held the fan vote to mark the 10th anniversary of its LEGO Ideas website, which invites enthusiasts to propose new sets. Projects that reach 10,000 supporters are reviewed by LEGO for possible production and sale.

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LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 Outer Space Model Rocket
for Kids and Adults, Science Building Kit (1900 pieces)

The impact of “2001: A Space Odyssey” + A Discovery One model

The Studio 360 public radio program had a very interesting recent program on The impact of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

A half-century after it was released, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still supplying light amid the darkness. It’s considered not just a great film but an important and influential work of modern art. An astonishing marriage of sound and image, man and machine, there’s nothing simple or obvious — nothing monolithic — about it.

With no help from cinematic CGI, its vision of the 21st century and beyond seems uncannily prescient and profound. Before we’d even landed on the moon, “2001” showed us how privately operated spacecraft would one day take us there.

Life’s biggest mystery — our place in the universe — would be an empty question were it not for director Stanley Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke’s vision of what comes next. There is no “Star Wars” without the Star Gate, no “Close Encounters” or “Contact” without the monolith. HAL was a perfect preview/early warning of Siri and Alexa and our AI-dominated near future.

In Part One we look at the film’s origins in 1960s New York when Kubrick and Clarke first met. We visit Kubrick’s former penthouse apartment, where the two believed they saw a UFO, and then recall their trip to the 1964 World’s Fair. We explore the unorthodox production and try to discover how “2001” went from opening night bomb to counterculture icon. We’ll hear from effects wizard Doug Trumbull, actor Keir Dullea, film critic Carrie Rickey, “2001” scholars Michael Benson (“Space Odyssey“), Piers Bizony (“The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’“) and Jarice Hanson, as well as superfan Tom Hanks, who has seen the movie more than 200 times.

2001 Poster

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Here is a terrific scale model replica of the Discovery One spaceship in the movie:

Largest Scale Discovery One Prop Replica On Sale Now
HobbyLink Japan, in partnership with GomoraKick (Kaiyodo International), presents a
limited-edition 1.6-meter scale replica of ‘Discovery One’ prop featured in film “2001: A
Space Odyssey”

Discovery One Model - HLJ
Discovery One 1.6m long model from HobbyLink Japan.

Sano, Tochigi, JAPAN: Today, HobbyLink Japan Ltd., an internet retail business specializing in sales of hobby products and collectibles to customers worldwide, announced the exclusive US distribution rights for a limited-edition 1/10 scale 3D-CAD replica of the original ‘Discovery One’ spaceship prop made famous in Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed 1968 sci-fi classic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

The company, a leader in its niche for nearly 25 years, now expands its portfolio with HLJ Select, a new brand for premium merchandise, to better serve the acquired preferences of memorabilia collectors globally. In collaboration with GomoraKick (Kaiyodo International), HobbyLink Japan Ltd. proudly offers the ‘Discovery One’ spacecraft prop replica exclusively to the United States market:

Most precise, largest scale (1/10) replica of the original movie prop, measuring 160cm (approx. 5 feet 3 inches) in length

● Each single piece is created through Hollywood-class 3D-CAD printing paired with meticulous handcrafting by world-renowned Japanese modelers
● Individually-sculpted, unique spine module containers and side panels
● Superior detail in the piping, heat dissipation fins, and fuel tanks of nuclear engines
● Perfectly recreated antenna array based on original movie images
● Cockpit illumination via 4 remote-controlled LED lights
● Luxury acrylic display stand and photo-etched acrylic name plate included

For more detailed information on the ‘Discovery One’ spaceship replica, please visit
https://discovery-one.hlj.com/.

Discovery One Model - front - HobbyLink Japan
Front view of the Discovery One model. Credits: HobbyLink Japan

About HobbyLink Japan Ltd.: HobbyLink Japan Ltd. is an internet retail business based in Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Founded in 1995, the company started out offering Japanese model kits to international customers out of a small apartment in Tokyo, Japan. Today, HobbyLink Japan Ltd. operates a custom-built office and state-of-the-art warehouse in scenic Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, and offers over 120,000 hobby products including anime & action figures, model kits, Gundam products, hobby publications, and other collectibles at domestic prices, shipping to over 220 countries worldwide. In addition to retail sales (B2C), the company provides wholesale (B2B), third-party logistics and e-commerce services (3PL/3PEC). With a culturally diverse team of over 75 Japanese and international employees, HobbyLink Japan Ltd. was awarded the ‘Gold Trusted Service Award’ for ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ in 2018 by Feefo. Learn more at https://hlj.com/corporate-profile.

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Delta-v

Own a black hole simulated with carbon nanotubes

Here’s an opportunity to buy a “black hole” for display at home or office:  SINGULARITY – A simulated black hole by Singularity designs — Kickstarter

The display is “constructed from a carbon nanotube array which absorbs 99.9% of light in the visible spectrum”:

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Telescopes and Binoculars at Amazon

Video: First flight of BPS Space’s Falcon Heavy model rocket

I’ve posted a few times about Joe Barnard‘s scale model rocket projects that seek to emulate realistically the takeoff and landing characteristics of SpaceX rockets. Here is a report on the first flight of the Falcon Heavy model:

Find more about Joe’s projects at BPS.space.

You can also support his efforts at BPS.space is creating Rockets | Patreon.

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Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space.