Author Topic: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)  (Read 2219 times)

Dave Winfield

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IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« on: February 04, 2017, 11:48:53 AM »
I was contacted by a nice fellow who has a great interest in this conceptual Spacecraft: the IXS Enterprise Warp Drive Spacecraft.
Since the vehicle doesn't actually exist, the look of the craft is represented in CGI by an artist who apparently worked in collaboration with NASA.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/123021064@N05/sets/72157644113972600/

My friend expressed a desire to have a scale model of this craft, but unfortunately none have existed until now.
Aaron Murphy (Murph's Models) created a paper model version from Rademaker's designs, and I have been asked to build it.

Actually, I am being paid to build it.

I don't personally have an interest in this model, even though I am interested in Space Travel and Spacecraft.
I made it clear that I would only build it "if someone paid me", which worked out well for my friend!

I'll also be honest, I have some reservations about the Model itself.
Although I like the subjects that Aaron Murphy produces in paper model form, I think he has a simplified and rushed style
and in the past, there have been fit and assembly issues with some of his models.
The only reason I bring this up, is because I felt the need to cover my own ass, by explaining all this to my customer.
I can only be held responsible for my own mistakes...and not anyone elses.
And since I am being paid to assemble this model, its only fair that I keep my client completly informed.

Having said that, I like the look of the model (from what I have seen) and I will put all my efforts into making sure
it goes together as best as possible. And I will take whatever additional steps to make sure that happens.

...
I'm not in a big rush with this build, so I can't say how long it will take...
but my first step is to get the Printing done and spray seal the Model Sheets.

And that means sorting out the actual build scale.

Since being informed that the finished model is almost 36" long, my Customer and I decided to scale down the model.
This might improve any fit errors and make the finished model easier to transport.

After first considering a 50% scale reduction, I decided that some Parts appeared to be too small to work with comfortably,
and so I settled on a 70% reduction.
This still gives me 2 Pages per Cardstock Sheet printing, but its not so small that I can't deal with the parts.



...



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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 12:00:34 PM »
So, I had more free time last night... and I decided to go ahead with some Parts cutting and building,
just to get a feel for the model.

I decided to start  with the Nose/Cabin structure...which is also the first thing in the Instruction Diagrams.



...
As it happens, most of the needed parts are on one sheet, so this is where I started cutting.



...
First assembly is the internal box brace for the saucer section of the Nose.
Its a bit thick at the ends.
I might cut off the folded end tabs.
I'll check the fit inside the Saucer parts and make a decision.



...
After cutting out the top and bottom Saucer parts, I was confused as to how they connect (at the edges)
and how the rear is all connected.
Murph doesn't number his parts...and there are no part names or identifications.
(He also doesn't indicate fold lines, which can be a little frustrating)

Anyway, I eventually figured out the edge strips (found on a different page)
and how they fold and connect at the rear to finish the Saucer section.



...

The reduced scale has made these parts a little difficult to work with,
but with some careful scoring, careful folding, and patient gluing, I will eventually get them formed and assembled.

And then, we will see how they connect to the Saucer parts.

I've already got a small problem...the thin edge strip is shorter than the radius of the angled strips (the Saucer edges).
Not sure if I can hide this small gap or what will happen.



...

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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 12:09:15 PM »
And work stops as fast as it began! LOL

I have quit building for now, until I get some more information.
After starting to assemble the Nose/Saucer parts, I realize how small this model might be.
Maybe too small?

I'm not sure the original scale length is as much as I was told.
I'm not sure that my build will be 70% of 36" long (or thereabouts).

My build should be in the 24" range, but based on the parts I have printed, I don't think its going to be that big?

I just want to verify the original scale size and dimensions, and be sure that my build is not too small.
I don't have a problem with continuing at this scale but if I have to upscale my build, I need to do it before I go any further.
I will unfortunately lose the current work, and waste the sheets I have printed.

...
I have asked another builder of this model, for the actual dimensions of the finished model.


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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 10:43:33 AM »
So, apparently the original IXS Enterprise Model is only 12" long?   COL

(COL = Cry Out Loud)

A Designer not test building their own models is beyond my understanding
but a designer not even knowing the basic dimensions of the model they've designed?!
I find that extremely frustrating.

Especially ...since I just wasted 8 sheets of good cardstock
and quarter of a can of Spray Sealer
and two hours of model work
as a result of a "guess" at the size of the model .

I will now be tossing this all away
and reprinting the model.

Fingers crossed that things continue on a better note.
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Vermin King

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 10:36:02 AM »
We're rooting for you.
There are no strangers in this world ...
Only people I haven't embarrassed ... yet

Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2017, 09:56:50 AM »
Now that I have established the actaul scale size of this model...
and established that I will be building at the intended scale...
I have started reprinting pages.

But not before going through the limited Instructions.
Murph provides some nice 3D drawings of the assembly,
unfortunately there are missing angles (of the assembly) that I would like to see.
There are also no Assembly Notes, or Part Numbers provided.
This means you have to think and study the assembly a lot more.
And to be honest, this is too much guesswork for me.

And as a result of studying, I have raised a few questions of my own.
mainly concerns about how things will go together and what I like and don't like.

One issue is internal supports and how they tie in with the assemblies.
I am concerned about the Warp Rings, which are assembled as 4 curved/boxed sections that are end/butt joined.

I'm going to see if I can use joiner strips and make smoother connections.
See if I can assemble the rings as whole rings.
But first off, I need a better internal support structure.

I have come up with an idea...I don't know how well it will work, but its built.
I used 1mm card and interlocking slotted parts.



I have noticed that the separate parts for the curved sections of the Warp Rings, are not consistent in widths.
And the measurements don't match the size and shapes of the internal supports.

This new internal Ring structure has been adjusted to match the outer parts...
although the outer strips are still not consistent, and I will have to try to modify them during cutting out of the parts.

...
Then, there is the question of how to assemble everything.
Joiner tabs are provided to attach the angled Warp Ring strips to the inner and outer Ring parts.
but there doesn't seem to be anything for that middle seam?

My intention is to assemble the inner and outer Ring parts and sandwich the internal structure in-between.
Make my final connection that center seam.

So, I have gone ahead and created some edge Joiner strips, that can be attached to one side of the Ring assembly.
They'll be folded and glued to create the final edge seam.



...
I'll come back to the Warp Rings later.




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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 10:10:44 AM »
Starting again with the Nose/Cabin/Cockpit/Saucer thingy...

I cut out the two edge Parts for the saucer and started forming the shapes.
The increased scale (back to the original) helps a lot.
That narrow edge strip is a little easier to score and fold.
Still narrow, and a lot of tabs to cut!

I have noticed that the curving edge strips are not consistent.
They get wider as you follow the curve from one end to the other.
This looks like an artwork issue...I'll try to compensate as much as I can during cutting.

There is also some overlapping artwork (Tab lines visible on the edge strips)
and a lot of wiggly/sloppy artwork lines. (Odd for CAD design and digital artwork)


...
I noticed the first time I assembled these parts (at the smaller scale),
that the narrow center edge strip was too short at the ends.
My assembly seemed to be good, but its possible that I contributed to the mis-fit.
So, I am leaving some extra material this time.
And I will try to trim the ends flush if necessary, once the part is formed and glued.



...
Its not the cleanest connection, I did my best to cut the ends to join up,
and I used small joiner strips on the backsides of all three faces.

It will have to do.

I am now concerned about the rear joined section.
I think it needs to be fitted to the Saucer parts and connected last.

There doesn't seem to be an explanation for how to assemble the upper and lower Saucer parts
with the edge parts...and the internal support...and close it all up.
I think I need that rear opening to have access to the interior and get everything together.

I will cut that joiner and leave the back open for now.

This is where a Test Build by the Designer , and some notes on a method of assembly, would come in handy.



...
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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 10:35:17 AM »
Continuing on with the upper and lower faces of the Saucer section.

There is no indication of which is the upper or lower part.
They both look the same.
So why then, does the internal box support have a TOP?

And where exactly does it position?
There is no explanation of this, so I am guessing at a spot based on it shape and size.

I am having difficulty keeping these parts flat, they want to twist.
And I'm not sure the internal box support is sufficient to maintain an anti-twist across the entire surface.
So, I've decided to make up some flat inner layers, from heavier card.
I'll glue them to the inside of each face (upper and lower).

And, I'll make up a new internal spacer (to replace the box support).



...
I studied the Nose/Cabin parts at this point to plan a method of assembly.
Looking at the Glue Tab direction, I will be assembling from rear to front.
Shouldn't be a big deal.
I'll pre-form each hoop section first, then install the joiner strips.
I'm not a fan of the "all-in-one" Joiners (end strip and tabbed strip), but I'll give it a try.

But I have some real concerns about the assembly method of the Nose/Cabin and how it attaches to the saucer part.
I don't like the idea of cutting out a large slot (the gray areas) after the parts have been assembled.
There is no internal structure to help maintain the cylindrical shape.
Once I cut the assembly, it will want to flatten out.

But I will give it a try.
I have a feeling I will be adding/modifying parts here too.



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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 11:42:50 AM »
Apologies...I obviously did not notice the edge tabs, on the Warp Ring strips,
that connect the inner and outer assemblies.

I will still be using the new Joiner Strips that I created, since they will give me a tighter connection.

I am in the process of creating new Parts for the Warp Rings...redrawing the Parts in Coreldraw.
The rough bitmap lines are not consistent.
Many areas are jagged, wiggly...almost have a handdrawn look.
And, I noticed, on the outside face of the warp Ring, the artwork is incorrectly spaced.
There are details that should be evenly spaced around the Rings, and they are not.
So, by redrawing the Ring Parts, I can correct the artwork...and, at the same time, create inconsistencies in the drawings.

I don't plan on redrawing much, since I made it clear that I would be building the model as-is.
As it was designed.
But there are some things that I will fix, if they are easy enough to fix.


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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 12:42:06 PM »
So, I made up these inside plates, slightly smaller than the Saucer Parts,
to stiffen the Saucer which was already curving and buckling.
They are two layers of cardstock.



...
This meant the inside Spacer Block thingy would be too thick, so I created a new one...
and made it a bit larger to cover more area.
Should be able to slide it into the Saucer, from the rear, after the saucer parts are assembled,
because I don't know how to join the Parts otherwise.



...
I've attached the angled edge Parts to one side of the saucer.
Having access to the glue tabs inside makes it a lot easier.
I am really worried about how to cleanly attach the opposite side.
The entire assembly will be too narrow to get my fingers inside..



...
As you can see the first side has attached with minimal mess.
Its not perfect, but I think this will do as the top, most visible Saucer side.



...
While everything dries, I'll get started on the Fuselage/Cabin.

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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 12:57:04 PM »
Cabin parts go together like many aircraft fuselages, just rings attached one after another.
Everything okay so.
Although, I really don't like the dark outlines.
Why didn't the designer outline the white parts in a medium gray, rather than such a dark outline?
I wanted to cut off more of the connection edges, but I was worried about shortening the parts too much.



...
One more piece to go.
The fit of the parts has gotten a little worse.
The ringed sections are straight, but the nose is curving, so its getting tricky.
I really don't understand how I am supposed to cut out that gray area, after the final nose piece is attached?
Or, how the assembly will retain its shape without some internal formers?



...
Need to get the underside panels in place...
the bottom appears to be concave-ish.
This helps lock the shape, but I still thinks its gonna flatten out when I cut it!



...
I'm going to let everything dry for a day or so before attaching the nose cap.
Then it can sit for at least another day before I start cutting out that gray band.

I did make up some parts, to attach to the Saucer sides,
that might help support and locate the Fuselage/Cabin assembly.
Maybe it will help the assembly retain its shape?
I might also consider installing these spacers into the Fuselage assembly before attaching to the Saucer?




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