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The A-3 was one of the early versions of military rockets developed by
Germany. Although the four rockets launched in 1936 were not fully
successful, they did prove the liquid oxygen / alcohol propulsion design
and the use of carbon exhaust vane control.
Running a resin casting and decal aftermarket firm single-handed (and
part-time) doesn't leave a lot of time for modelling, so models I build
for my enjoyment tend to be small and quick projects. I like
scratchbuilding and am interested in rockets and bombs, so this seemed
like a natural. Having a small lathe is a definite advantage for a
project like this.
a dimensioned drawing reproduced in an old book on the history of the
V-2, so I made a simplified drawing scaled to 1/48, chucked a length of
acrylic rod in the lathe and started turning.
Making ogive nose cones is more a matter of working by eye, although
there is a method to give some guidance.
Measure the nose shape diameter at regular distances from the tip.
turning the nose, make a series of steps, then use a rough rasp to smooth
out the steps, finishing with a fine file and sandpaper.
You actually use the files more than the cutting tools this way, but it
goes surprising quickly.
I made the top and bottom halves of the rocket separately, then glued
The fins were made from plastic sheet, and the tail ring was turned on
the lathe. Apparently, this ring was intended only to support the fins at
launch and fell off afterwards.
the A-3 was smaller than the later V-2, I wanted to add a figure to the
base to give a sense of size.
I went to the spares box (never throw anything away!) and found a
figure of a guy holding a clipboard ... sounded perfect for a scientist /
technician. However, he was wearing a jacket, and that didn't seem quite
right. I decided to modify the figure to wear a lab coat.
Now, I am no figure modeller, and this was a new experience for me. I
mixed up a bit of epoxy putty, rolled it out and wrapped it around my
figure. It started out looking like a skirt, then a kilt, but eventually I
carved it into something acceptable.
The figure was painted in enamels ... I admire figure painters but
can't match their skills, so it is good from far, but far from good.