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Semroc Saturn 1B Build (12.11.2006 - ??.??.???)

I decided to start with the capsule first.

Below you can see the contents of the Apollo Capsule:

Step 2

I glued the nose cone and tail cone to the body tube as decsribed in Step 2:

Step 3

I have hit the first snag already :-(

There seems to be a problem with the shroud. I have cut it exactly as per instructions however it seems to be too short. If I were to over lap and glue it as the instructions state I will never ever be able to move in over the nose cone.

I'm going to stop construction right here until I get confirmation and SEMROC have a solution to the problem.

The continuation ...

I got confirmation from SEMROC that the nose cone was indeed slightly to large in diameter. SEMROC was find enough to send me a replacement.

I beveled the large ring then glued it, the adapter collar and nose cone together. The screw eye is also in place.

Next step is to apply balsa filler to the nose cone.

Step 3

Preparing the construction of the engine mounts. I have chosen the "Option A - Four Engine Cluster" version to give the flights more drama.

Step 4

First step is to glue the engine hooks on each of the tubes as described in step 3. To help with assembly I used the fiber ring sets to hold the engine tubes together. First I positioned them accordingly and then I gave them a small glue fillet on the top end so the engine tubes would stay fixated. After the glue fillets dried I generously added more glue to the complete engine mount.

In the last step I opted to use balsa instead of the recommended tissue. I cut out a star and glued it in place.

I will also add thrust rings (yellow) that will prevent the possibility of the hooks tearing up the BT-20 through the engine's thrust. The yellow rings are from ESTES and not part of the SEMROC kit.

Step 5

Cluster bulkhead and ring glued together. I used lots of glue to protect the bulkhead from ejection gases.

Step 9

Parts ready for assembly.

Steps 9-15

The center tubes were glued together and let to dry. Next step was to carefully glue the engine tube assembly to the main tube and lastly the 2 stars were glued in place.

Steps 16-17

At this point you will have to make a decision. Either paint the stuffer tubes now or after assembly has been done. I decided to paint later as I am impatient at this point and want to continue the build :-)

I cut 4 of the stuffer tubes exactly as described in the instructions (step 13) and then glued the tubes to star rings.

Steps 18-21

Next step was to glue the remaining 4 stuffer tubes to the body assembly and then the tank tube cover. One thing I didn't notice until all was glued was that one of the stuffer tubes was a millimeter too long. No big deal as I shortened it when the glue was completely dry.

As step 21 describes I glued the 8 spacer strips to the stuffer tubes. They will have be sanded down in order to have an exact fit for the tail ring tube.

Step 24

After test fitting the tail ring tube for perfect fit it was glued in place. In the last step the lower cap ring was inserted and a fillet of glue around all the joints was applied.

Steps 28-32

Note: There is an error in the dimension described in step 32. It should read 3.2" (3-13/64")!

I proceeded in preparing steps 28 through 32, meaning all body tube ends have been strengthened and sanded square plus the rings and shock cord glued in place.

Steps 33-35

I glued the upper body tube to the main body and then proceeded to carefully cutting out and gluing the LEM shroud together as described in step 34. After the shroud was dry I glued it on to the main body tube.

You know you're on track when coming this far and finding out that you're right on the spot :-)

It's starting to look like a real Saturn 1B :-)

Step 26

The 8 fairing supports have been carefully sanded to fit them into the joint between the tank tubes and the tail ring and then glued in place.

To be continued ...

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Friday 31st March 2023 - 12:00:00 CET