Got a bit done over the weekend, and I believe I may have finished the off the last of fiddly details. I know, I know, can't be true! Well, may not be; There are a few other things I'm thinking about adding, but they are very minor things like bolt heads, rivets and panel lines. We'll see...
The last detail I wanted to add was the attachment tabs for the main fins, These kind of show up in a couple of pics of both the Zeus and Spartan, but unfortunately, not in any close detail. I guess that could be seen as a problem, but I decided that it was an opportunity: an opportunity to just make it up! Here's a pic of the real deal that shows the brackets:
It looks like the brackets are welded to the fin skins and bolt to the booster skirt, a lot like other missiles and rockets of the period.
I know that anyone who has followed this thread will be shocked, but I decided to make the brackets out of 1/64" plywood. Here are all of the pieces cut out and ready to glue to the fins. The strips on the right were going to be the base of the bracket that fits against the tube, but it proved to be too thin (I used 1/32" balsa instead):
I made a little tool to make sure that the main bracket parts were all glued in the right place.
The rear brackets were glued just about even with the fin trailing edge and the balsa base pieces added:
Everything was glued with medium thick CA. Any glue that oozed out was wiped with a paper towel to form a "weld seam" around the perimeter of the bracket.
When all was said and done I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. When everything is painted they will stand out a bit less than they do now, and I think they'll add a nice bit of interest to the thing. Just need a few bolt heads to finish them off!
As I said above, I decided to make the bracket bases out of 1/32 balsa. After much deliberation I decided to make the bolt heads out of (you guessed it) 1/64 ply. I was looking for a real bolt that would actually look like a bolt, but in the end I used a hand punch to punch out a bunch of tiny little discs to represent the bolt heads.
Here are the balsa bases and bolt heads:
The bases were sanded to fit the and glued to the tube:
Doesn't look too bad...
No pics of the tediosity of gluing all of those stoopid discs to the balsa bases... Decided to go with four "bolts" on the main bracket and three on the aft. (The pics I have of the real birds seem to show three on the main and two on the aft, but I decided to use a bit of artistic license.) Here are a couple of pics of the finished brackets. I apologize that they don't show up that well in the pics, but you may be able to get an idea of what they look like:
A bit of sanding and cleaning and it will be time for the first primer coat on the booster. I must admit that I harbor a bit of fear over that proposition! Maybe it won't be quite as bad as I think, but there are an awful lot of fiddly surface details that will probably require a bit of clean up before final color. Fingers crossed!