Vega launcher 1:96 scale – AXM version

I have embarked on designing selected rockets from other Space Agencies, beginning with the Vega rocket.
Vega is an expendable launch system in use by Arianespace, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency.
The Vega rocket is the smallest of all 3 European launchers. Learn more about Vega here.
Seven European countries contributed to the development of the Vega rocket: France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Vega rocket is 30 meters tall, and at 1:96 scale, that’s about 12 inches tall (31 cm).
At the time of this post, Vega was launched for it’s 9th launch (VV9) from Kourou in French Guiana, South America, launching the Sentinel 2b satellite, a twin satellite from the Copernicus constellation. The Sentinel 2a was launched previously on a Vega on mission VV5 in 2015.

This post will serve as an assembly manual, too. All the photos shown here are from the Vega prototype model. Important: to assemble the model, align the seamlines of the rocket parts.

Front view of Vega

Rocket side that faces the umbilical tower

Side views

The umbilical on the fairing

The small conical structures on the cone segment are the retro rockets from the first stage. The retro rockets on the prototype look a little bigger when compared to the final Vega model.

Although this model is very easy to build, the engine section has its complexity. The P80 nozzle is a moving nozzle, that moves with the aid of two electro-mechanical actuators in the real Vega rocket. These actuators are fixed to a special skirt that surrounds half of the nozzle. There are not many photos that show this area in particular, but during my research I was able to put this puzzle together by finding 2 photos that show this area during the assembly of the rocket.
The following photos will explain:

This is the floor of the engine section of the rocket

Engine section with the floor part added

This is the skirt that will be glued to a “sleeve” that will cover the upper part of the nozzle

Here is the complete skirt and nozzle together

Ready to be glued to the floor of the engine section

Nozzle added to the rocket

Another view

The model is available at my website here for free download. Enjoy!

Next European rocket: Ariane V

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17 responses to “Vega launcher 1:96 scale – AXM version

  1. Thank you very much for a fantastic model! As usual, your decals are really beautifuly made. It will be great to have this ESA’S lightest current launch vehicle stand next to the Ariane V in the same scale. Are you perhaps even considering to do a European Soyuz launcher?
    Once more: Thank you very much!

    • Hi Stefan. Yes, I will release the Ariane 5 and the European Soyuz. Most of the decals and drawings are Vector graphic easy to rescale.

  2. Again a really cool model, will the releases of the Ariane V and Soyuz be corresponding with their next launches? and what made u decide that the 1/2 stage skirt and fairing are yellowish? in real life they are white. And once more really cool model

    • Hi Arco,

      All my models, including this one are based on real closeup photos. The closeup or high resolution photos show the difference in color. At times, depending on the light on the photos, is hard to tell.

      Ariane V is yellowish with the exception on the skirt of the solid rocket booster, which is white.

  3. Amazing model, will you release a 1:144 scale model, or would it be too small to reasonably build? It’d be great to have it scaled with my other models (Excluding the Falcons).
    Thanks!

  4. Well done.
    I can just confirm the fairing and the skirt are definitivly pure.
    The “yellowish” color is maybe an effect of the photos, but no doubt, it’s white on the real launcher.

  5. You can see the fairing with logo here : http://www.csgpreparationlancement.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Pose-logos_035.jpg

    Seeing that, I beter understand your point of view. In fact, the logo are pure white, and the rest of the launcher is just a very light off white, due to the difference of materials (fairing paint is applied on a rough cork). But it’s not that yellow, it’s just a very light off-white.
    Additionnaly, if you choose a light off-white for the fairing, you can also use the same color for all the other stages, not only for the skirt.

  6. Just a little last comment on the P80 : this is a solid rocket motor, there is no external tiles. You represented the same tiles as Ariane 5, which is cryogenic.
    Yes, the P80 has some reliefs, but not like a brick wall as you represented.
    For example look at this : http://www.csgpreparationlancement.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Transfert-P80-en-ZLV_045.jpg

    (but this paper model remains a very good representation which inspire me, at 1/100 in metric scale).

    • You’re very thorough!
      Perhaps I darkened the drawing too much, but there are lines in a pattern. I have a lot of photos that show the same “brick” pattern.
      If you look closely at that photo you can see the brick pattern.

  7. Yes, I know, but these “bricks” are just large panels which are not as regular as the tiles you’ve represented.
    Look at that photo which is the transfer of a P80 mock-up (for test) : http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2010/11/p80_first_stage_transfer_from_the_booster_integration_building_to_the_vega_launch_zone/9808691-3-eng-GB/P80_first_stage_transfer_from_the_Booster_Integration_Building_to_the_Vega_Launch_Zone.jpg

    On the real flight P80, everything is covered by a white painting. Lines and panels are just marked by very smooth relief lines.

    (look at my mail adress)

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