Mercury-Atlas model conversion

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Raptor 2

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Purchased a Horizon model of the Mercury-Atlas and planning to convert it to a flying model. Just started nutting out how I’m going to do this. Have down sized the diameter on a tube from a parchment paper dispenser to fit inside the atlas plastic tube. This should protect the plastic from the hot ejection charge. Still have to glue this together. Glued together the lower section of the model and cut an opening thru for the engine mount. Using ideas from Peter Always model rocketry book on constructing the engine mount and plastic fins.
 

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Saluki

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I'll be keeping an eye on this build thread. I'm a sucker for a PMC build.
Good luck.
 

Raptor 2

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Cut out the .04 thick clear plastic fins and epoxied them to the engine mount. Cut the plastic airframe at the separation line and constructed the coupler tube. Still have to cut the inner liner tube at the separation line.
 

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Raptor 2

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Glued the card tube to the inside of the two airframe sections and secured with rubber bands. Will run some tamiya thin cement in the plastic seams after the glue inside the tube has cured. Glued the coupler tube to the upper section along with a shock cord mount. Glued two plastic parts in the bottom section for the plastic engine bells. Added the engine hook to the mount.
 

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bguffer

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This thread/video may interest you:

Bob
 

Raptor 2

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This thread/video may interest you:

Bob
Hi Bob

Found the video interesting. Gave me a good idea of what I'm up against. A lot of decal work but I can delete some of the rear end capsule work as I'm thinking it won't be required in the flying model. Nice job by the way on your model even with the lumpy black spray paint on the capsule.
 

Raptor 2

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Glued the engine mount to the lower plastic section with RC modellers Canopy glue. Made four card stock masking guards for the clear plastic fins. Will be spraying the lower two plastic sections with metallic aluminum finish and the upper air frame with Rustoleum bright coat metallic finIsh.
 

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Raptor 2

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Completed adding the details to the lower sections and main airframe. Started working on the capsule and escape tower. The tower was extremely difficult to handle and is not yet completed. Have decided not to go with this on the flying model and will melted the “Big Joe” Atlas 10D version of the model which does not require the escape tower as it has a boilerplate capsule. Spray painting next up.
 

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Raptor 2

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Spray painted the lower section. Had to remove sustainer engine details on main air frame and replace with details for the details for the Big Joe model. Put holes in body tube for the LOX pressure line.
 

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bguffer

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Completed adding the details to the lower sections and main airframe. Started working on the capsule and escape tower. The tower was extremely difficult to handle and is not yet completed. Have decided not to go with this on the flying model and will melted the “Big Joe” Atlas 10D version of the model which does not require the escape tower as it has a boilerplate capsule. Spray painting next up.
You might check if Real Space Models would sell you their tower parts separate from their Little Joe (I) kit.


The tower itself is much easier to build, and i wish all the kit manufacturers used the etched metal approach for their towers. The escape rocket/nozzles still is a bit of PIA.

Like you, i wouldn't risk the Horizon Models tower during launch.
I would probably launch with only the prominent decals applied as well, then apply the remaining, less-prominent decals after a successful launch. Maybe not that great of advice, coming from a person whom never converted/planned to launch their kit.

If i remember correctly, i actually skipped a few of the decals, and a few of the very tiny plastic parts. The etched metal assembly that goes under the capsule, i could never get on correctly, so i skipped that as well.

I also found the Horizon Models towers to be PIA to build, and out of the two i built, neither ended up completely straight.

Bob
 

Raptor 2

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You might check if Real Space Models would sell you their tower parts separate from their Little Joe (I) kit.


The tower itself is much easier to build, and i wish all the kit manufacturers used the etched metal approach for their towers. The escape rocket/nozzles still is a bit of PIA.

Like you, i wouldn't risk the Horizon Models tower during launch.
I would probably launch with only the prominent decals applied as well, then apply the remaining, less-prominent decals after a successful launch. Maybe not that great of advice, coming from a person whom never converted/planned to launch their kit.

If i remember correctly, i actually skipped a few of the decals, and a few of the very tiny plastic parts. The etched metal assembly that goes under the capsule, i could never get on correctly, so i skipped that as well.

I also found the Horizon Models towers to be PIA to build, and out of the two i built, neither ended up completely straight.

Bob
I’m impressed with the detail provided by the Horizon models and the number of decals in the kits. You did an amazing job on the escape tower on this although the arrow at the top looks like it’s wilting. Could be the angle of the photograph. The tower is quite delicate. Nice job all around!
I’ll fly the Big Joe version of the atlas and construct the mercury capsule for a static display if it turns out ok😏
 

Ez2cDave

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Watching this build with great interest !

Dave F.
 

Raptor 2

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Larger decals placed. Will wait for these to dry and then apply a clear coat before I attempt to install the lox pressure line over the United States decal and the decal for the pipe. Not looking forward to that as it involves glueing on painted surfaces and the pipe decal may prove difficult.
 

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Raptor 2

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Thanks for the compliment Aerostar the. Have glued the lower two plastic sections to the main air frame,added the shock cord and more decals. Still have to add a clear coat before attempting to put the lox piping over the US decal. Another daunting task. I’m stalling😏
 

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Raptor 2

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Raining out today so got a chance to complete the painting of the Big Joe capsule and completed glueing the Lox piping and hand painting in the lettering over the pipe. Ready now to conduct a string test for stability and add weight to capsule as required before glueing the capsule to the air frame.
 

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