1/24 Scale Little Joe for the World Championships

James Duffy

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Thought you guys might get a kick out of this...

Last summer my daughter, Campbell, qualified to represent the US as a member of the Junior team at the upcoming World Spacemodeling Championships. She spent several months building an Estes 1/100 Saturn V kit for the qualification event, and I shared video of the event at that time. For those of you who missed it, here's a link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mCfsQYqkMs

After she qualified for the team we discussed her options for the model she would fly at the World Championships, and I pulled down off of the shelf various tooling and jigs I created years ago for a 1/24 scale Little Joe model that was never completed. Campbell has always been intrigued when I made resin parts for my own models, so the thought of casting her own parts appealed to her. I showed her how to mix resin and pour parts, and the results turned out pretty nicely. So, we pressed on and I introduced her to vacuforming, again, yielding some pretty respectable parts. This process repeated itself over the span of over half a year, and included escape tower construction, fiberglass airframe manufacture, mold creation from new master parts, sanding, masking, airbrushing, and more. Tonight we reached a bit of a milestone as she sprayed the last bit of paint on the fins, then stacked all of the parts for the first time. Yet to come is the attachment of some minor detail parts, parachutes, and dry-transfer decals. Owing to the delicate nature of the dry transfers Campbell will not add those until we arrive at the contest site in late August.

She did all of the work on this model herself, though admittedly with a reasonably competent scale modeler looking over her shoulder the entire time. We estimate that we've shared a total of about 300 hours on this project, and had a blast the entire time. During the process we created additional parts that were shared with the other members of the Junior team, and all three young women representing the US in the Scale event will be flying similar Little Joe models. (At least one of the other dads is a member of this forum, so hopefully he'll share the great work his daughter did on her model.)

Next will be Scale turn-in day on September 1, and scale flight day will be September 8.

James

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JPVegh

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That is incredible work. Truly amazing.

Good luck Campbell!
 

pick1e

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Very cool. Why can't the dry transfers be applied and clear-coated over to protect them?
 

TheAviator

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I've been helping one of the other team members roll her fiberglass airframes (Rachel N.) and I had the chance to examine some of your work in person. The quality of the capsule and the escape tower just baffles me (especially when Mike said that the tower was made from Plastruct!) Nice work to the both of you!
 

sandman

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Emma LJ 1.jpg Emma LJ 3.jpg Emma LJ 2.jpg Emma LJ 4.jpg
Emma, member "Gus's" daughter, is also going to WSMC.

James did the parts for Emma's model too.

Look at the detail this young girl did on hers!


The last pic is Emma with her boiler plate.
 
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Micromeister

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Outstanding Work! Great to see our young folks getting into Scale modeling in such a Big way! Where the heck are the young men..LOL!!!!

Absolutely beautiful detailing. Makes me proud to see what's being tought. Great job James! GO USA!
 

James Duffy

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Why can't the dry transfers be applied and clear-coated over to protect them?

A very good question! A clear coat would indeed provide some degree of protection to the dry transfer markings, but it would also dull the silver paint a bit. Applying the dry transfers is a pretty simple process so we've decided to defer that step until we arrive in Slovakia.

If the finish were any non-metallic color we would probably do exactly what you suggest and cover the markings with some sort of acrylic protective coat.

James
 

closet astronaut

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Really cool! I have two daughters and can't get either one interested, at least in building. My youngest does the launching, ie pushing the button, and likes running to retrieve them and my oldest does some of the filming, but I have to twist her arm to get her to go. Both of mine are real girly girls but I guess thats ok to.
 

JStarStar

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Some awesome looking scale LJ's there. Internats scale competition is truly the 'big leagues' of rocketry craftsmanship.

Good luck to all our team members! Play the SSB a few times!
 

Disaster_Guy

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Excellent work by these young ladies. I only wish that I could get that level of detail (or at a minimum straight paint lines). Perhaps my youngest will develop some skill as she gets older and can do something similar (as well as the finish work for her old man).
 

mdoering

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What a great experience for all involved. That's 300 hours of father daughter time she'll never forget. I have two boys, 5 years, and 11 months. I'm getting back into rocketry in the hopes that it becomes a hobby we can share for many many years, and my goal is a BALLS worthy rocket by the time my oldest hits HS.

Hope the "turn in" went well on Saturday and hope this coming Saturday's launch is successful! Good luck!
 
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