Author Topic: Project AESOP 1/350  (Read 4156 times)

Offline Frank3k

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Project AESOP 1/350
« on: July 09, 2023, 10:23:09 AM »
I like flying saucer designs, so when Takom came out with their 1/350 Haunebu I, II, III kit, I had to have it. I no longer build NAZI crap but since these saucers are all fantasy, I made them allied post war designs based on discovered alien artifacts.

There are three saucers in the kit - small, medium and American sized.

Backstory:

In 1947, while surveying locations in Alaska for an early warning radar system, the US Army found the damaged wreck of a uncrewed alien spacecraft, embedded in a hillside and covered by snow and gravel. While most of the vehicle had been crushed by debris, a rocky overhang protected what was later determined to be the drive unit. Early radiocarbon dating of plant material found around the vehicle indicated that it had been embedded in the hillside for close to 7000 years.

While removing the remains of the vehicle, the cylindrical gravity shielding drive unit - which was mostly undamaged - was seen to levitate slightly when a generator was placed nearby. With the hope of using this alien technology, the Defense Department created  Project AESOP - Advanced Extraterrestrial Spacecraft OPerations. 

Full reconstruction of the original vehicle was not possible - the shattered crystaline substrates that seemed to control the vehicle could not be reproduced (later studies of the fragments in the late 2040s showed them to be some type of quantum computer), but a partially successful reverse engineering of the drive unit allowed the construction of a small test vehicle in 1950.

Since the science and engineering behind gravity shielding weren't fully understood in the early 1950s, the vehicle had to be circular in shape to allow the reconstructed drive unit's field to lift it from the ground. While strictly an atmospheric design, the saucer showed excellent acceleration and maneuverability. Control in yaw and pitch were done by three dishes pointing inwards under the drive unit. By varying the power, frequency and direction of the microwave emitters at their focus, the drive unit's field could be shaped and modified to allow directional control. It was also discovered that even with the directional controls active - as long as the drive unit was on - the vehicle was nearly invisible on radar.

This is the original design from 1950:



Flight tests showed that the rounded crew compartment was interfering with the shape and efficiency of the field generated by the drive unit. A truncated crew compartment was added in 1951, and flying from the Muroc/ Edwards Air Force Base, extensive flight tests were completed over the California deserts:



In 1952, George Adamski claimed to have photographed this saucer in flight from Desert Center, California. The US government saw this as an excellent opportunity to hide the project - in plain sight - so they  created the UIO (Useful Idiot Office) for Project AESOP to support and promote UFO conspiracies - they dumber and more outrageous, the better. This cover allowed the design and testing of larger units.

I haven't quite finished this model - I want to knock back some of the grainy paint texture and clean up some of the weathering. The underside looks awful:



The three disks are from a car kit that just happened to fit. I didn't like the three turrets included in the kit, but I may replace these. I used a PE hatch for the crew.

Here's the crew compartment with one crew member:




 

Offline finsrin

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2023, 03:34:58 PM »
Gives me flashback to when at Boeing.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2023, 08:43:37 AM »
The second saucer in this kit - AESOP II - is coming along; I may get to putting it together and even laying down a base coat of paint.

I really don't like the cylindrical crew compartment, so I looked for alternatives. Two good ones were a small plastic egg and the internal stopper from a bottle of 3D printer resin. Both are Polyethylene or similar plastic that won't take glue well, so I vacuformed copies.

This is with 0.20" plastic - too thin:



I redid it with 0.40" plastic and it worked much better. I used a dental vacuformer (they're relatively cheap and rugged).

In place, with a small observation window. I have some putty in the gap between the two plastics:





The crews working on the US version called it the "Mansfield" and on the RAF version the "Dors". I don't know why...




Offline Frank3k

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2023, 01:34:28 AM »
Almost done - needs decals, a figure or two and maybe a base:



Pretty big vehicle, when compared to a large truck (from L'Arsenal):



I added PE railings to the ramp instead of the kit railings, which were far too thick. I painted them red, like the handrails on the C-57D. I also blocked off the ramp well and added a hatch, although it's not visible in any of these pictures:



I added some inks to the clear acrylic. The variations aren't very obvious in these pictures, but they break yo the solid metal finish:


Offline apophenia

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2023, 05:07:44 AM »
Looking good ... and great choice of mods.

... The crews working on the US version called it the "Mansfield" and on the RAF version the "Dors". I don't know why...

The origin of many such nicknames are now lost in the mists of time.

On a totally unrelated note, when Diana Mary Fluck went into show business, she decided to change her last name. No idea why.
"It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes." - Agent Rogersz

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2023, 09:55:03 AM »
Quote
On a totally unrelated note, when Diana Mary Fluck went into show business, she decided to change her last name. No idea why.

Talk about Nominative Determinism...

Ramp and airlock door:


Part of the crew is taking a group photo (although I noticed that the photographer is aiming off to the side). One of the crew members is holding a "stick" which is just a support that I forgot to take off. I think these are NorthStar 1/350 3D printed sailors:

Offline finsrin

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2023, 12:44:51 PM »
It all works so well.   :smiley:  8)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2023, 01:54:14 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2023, 05:19:16 AM »
I'm finished with this build.

Top view:



The tarmac is a free 1/400 airport tarmac that I printed and glued to a piece of foam. The foam started to warp while I photographed this on the hot patio surface, but has since unwarped.

Both saucers:





I'm going to use the third and much larger saucer (and associated bits) for future projects. The landing gears in particular are nice.

Thanks for following along!

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2023, 03:24:20 PM »
Sweet set up  :smiley:
Makes me feel like I been there.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2023, 01:06:12 AM »
Thanks, Bill... maybe you were and they just blanked your memory...

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Project AESOP 1/350
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2023, 11:38:25 PM »
Quote
Part of the crew is taking a group photo (although I noticed that the photographer is aiming off to the side).
At that point, I had not quite worked out the bugs in my portable invisibility generator-the photographer caught a brief glimpse of one of my operatives sneaking up for a closer look.

Wonderful builds, Frank-I look forward to seeing what you do with the third saucer.