Contact (day 37)

I didn’t get anything done yeaterday and today’s work maybe isn’t the most compelling… But it is a necessary step. In a previous day of work I did a rough sculpt of the cockpit hatch and set up the canopy that sits above the hatch. That was just the first step, of course, the parts need further refinement, so today I worked on that.

I started by checking the sculpt I’d done for the hatch and the surrounding frame: I was pretty sure it would need work since it was not only a rough sculpt, but I’d actually had to rework it to make it center better:

In the process of trying to correct the sculpt, the cockpit frame part came loose from the styrene plate I’d put down to block out its position… So I had to go through a whole process of re-attaching it and making sure it was properly centered (as well as possible anyway…) Lots of gluing, checking, breaking it apart again and starting over. As part of this work the guideplate for the cockpit frame also came off and I had to re-position and re-attach that… Which is a bit tricky since the centerline on the cockpit block is a bit vague in places. (Lesson for the future: always clearly establish the centerline!)
I also filled in the area behind the top end of the cockpit canopy: previously the canopy part had always been “floating”, suspended by the epoxy putty of the cockpit hatch that had been sculpted around it, and by a ball of clay stuck to the top end to hold it at the proper position relative to the chest block. As with a lot of aspects of the cockpit hatch, I don’t know exactly how the area behind the canopy should be filled out. I’m kind of figuring this out as I go. For now, the space is just filled with a new 4mm-thick block of styrene, including a grid-printed plate to provide a centerline (hopefully a correct one…)

It hasn’t been the most productive couple of days, but it is progress…

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