After a long hiatus, over 3 years, I now have come to update this model since it was originally posted on Feb 2014. This barge model is way overdue and I apologize for not completing it. I am making some changes, more realistic changes that is. I will concentrate on the barge itself and not on the SRB recovery ships as was initially planned. I have chosen the ¨Pegasus¨ barge, which is the barge that transports the External tank on its way from the Michoud factory in Louisiana to Cape Canaveral in Florida.
To start, I have uploaded the blueprint I will use to design the barge in 1:144 scale to match my Shuttle stack. The real size barge dimensions are noted on the blueprint, 260 ft x 50 ft barge. When converted to 1:144 scale, the dimensions will be 55 cm x 10.5 cm if you use the metric system. This project will also include an improved version of the External tank.
And here are the first printouts of the parts that make the hull and ribs of the barge.
For this project I’m using foam board 5 mm thick (3/16″) and card stock 110 lbs. Here are the first pictures of the underside structure of the barge.
Here I have put the main deck (prototype) and an External tank as a test only. The final product External tank will have more realistic features.
The templates for the barge floor are cut and traced on foam board in order to have one single piece.
The front deck floor has been cut as well and glued firmly onto the barge skeleton.
More pictures. The cuts made to the front deck floor are the anchor pockets.
And here’s an overall view of the whole barge structure ready to be covered.
Here you can see the port and starboard covers of the barge. The second photo shows a closeup of the area. Notice the numbers and rusty markings.
This is still a prototype, so during this post you will see a lot of changes being made to the model.
Here is the barge with the port and starboard skin in place. Also the front part of the barge is almost complete. I had to change the color to match the real barge color, but it is an aproximate match.
Fit testing the front part of the barge. Still little work to be done on the sides. After this the whole bottom of the barge will be added.
Because the External Tank will be placed inside the barge, the barge canopy can be removed to see the inside. It has taken me a lot of decision making into finding a way to make the canopy removable and at the same time making the model sturdy enough, specially the barge walls. This post will show how I did it.
Here are photos of the canopy sitting in a specially designed structure to keep the shape. This helps during the assembly of the canopy when gluing the inner skin.
And here’s the floor being added. The nice thing about the model is the interior of the barge. The details are based on photos of the barge obtained from the Internet.
Work in process……