Card Model 1/48 scale
by David Hanners
The X-15 needs little introduction. Over the course of 199 flights, the three X-15s (serial numbers 66670, 66671 and 66672) set numerous records, turned eight pilots into astronauts and helped develop and test a variety of materials, ablatives and avionics that would be used in everything from the Saturn V to the Space Shuttle.
While most kit manufacturers seem to focus on the longer X-15A-2 (which, despite its world speed record, was a problem-plagued aircraft) I've always wanted an X-15-1, 66670, as it looked for its rollout and first flights in mid-1959.
Some years back, a cardmodel designer named Henry Yuen offered a 1/87th scale X-15-2. I persuaded another designer, Yukonjohn, to repaint the model (with Henry's kind permission) to reflect the first X-15 as it looked in the first few months of its career.
I enlarged the model to 1/48th scale and used 160gsm cardstock throughout. I added a number of scratchbuilt details, including the XLR-11 motors (using metallic paper) and the jettison tubes. I also cut the two vertical stabilators into their two sections -- the fixed portion and the moveable rudder -- and scratchbuilt the missing parts for each. In real life, you could see daylight between the fixed portion and the rudders, so I figured it is a feature I should add in 1/48th scale.
I borrowed pieces from Ken West's X-15A-2 card model (shrunk from 1/32nd to 1/48th) and used them for the interiors of the speed brakes and the skids.
Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2020 by David Hanners
Page Created 24 September, 2020
24 September, 2020
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