Scale Model Communication Satellite
Additional Notes for Assembly
An attempt has been made to manufacture this model so that no sharp instruments are required for assembly. In some instances, however, it might be necessary to use the pointed end of a toothpick or other object to open or widen entry slits and holes. Here are some additional Assembly Notes that provide a few tips that might make the construction of this model satellite go more smoothly. Read this list in its entirety before beginning.
- 0.5) When folding the main housing, pay less attention to where the 'fold lines' are and more attention to forming a true "square" box. (All other fold lines are correct and should be followed.
- 1) Make sure all slit cuts on the satellite body are fully open for tab insertion. This can be accomplished using the sharp end of a tooth pick.
- 2) Use a "white glue" such as Elmer's Glue for this construction. Use a toothpick or other such tool to help spread small amounts of glue on each tab. Also, using the "stiffener toothpicks" is generally not necessary and things go much smoother without them.
- 3) Have a bowel of water and damp rag available for minor glue clean-up. Soft cloth seems to work better than paper towels. Wipe the glue off your fingers often. The slight gloss finish allows a small measure of damp wiping of glue off the printed surfaces.
- 4) The tab of the "shelf" on the spacecraft body folds outward away from the upper arrays, and the tab then slips inside the body where it is glued completely out of sight on the finished product.
- 5) For sharp, crisp creases at dotted lines, bend the cardboard over an edged object such as a ruler, then press the crease between thumb and finger. It is also helpful to first "score" the long folds with a hard but dull object (like the blunt edge of a finger nail file) by sliding this dull edge along the dotted lines using a ruler to keep your line straight. For advanced users, score lightly with the pointed rotation arm of a compass.
- 6) When assembling the AKM (Apogee Kick Motor), if you glue a 5/8" washer to the underside out of sight, you will create a counter weight to an otherwise top-heavy model. You will then be able to hang the space craft from the ceiling by strings and it will keep upright.
- 7) The tower tabs and folds are the easiest to come out of alignment, depending on how exact and crisp the bends are made on the dotted lines.
- 8) It is helpful to gently widen the hole in the end edge pieces of the solar arrays and in the spacecraft body for insertion of the dowel. A point at the end of the dowel works good for this.
- 9) Use a dowel that penetrates the body of the spacecraft and is continuous into the two solar arrays. Limiting the length to 23" or less ensures it will not be too long.
- 10) The sizing of the wooden dowel is important. This model was made for use with a 1/8-inch diameter dowel. With a 1/8-inch dowel, the array arms should wrap completely around the dowel. Try first wrapping the piece around the dowel to curve the paper. Then glue one edge to the dowel and let it dry. This first edge should be identically oriented on the dowel on each side of the spacecraft body. After this has dried, glue the remaining paper flat to the dowel surface.
- 11) For gluing the dowel inside the solar array, put some glue just inside the small hole in the solar array edge where the dowel slides through. Let this glue smear along the length of the dowel and on the inside surface as the dowel enters the array. Hold the dowel in place against the inside of the array so it dries centered inside the array. Orient the arrays identically on each side of the spacecraft body so the solar panels face the same direction.
- 12) The brackets will assist in holding the dowel fast to the spacecraft body and holding the dowel fast to the solar arrays. However, NOT gluing the dowel or bracket to the spacecraft body will allow the solar arrays to swivel, as they actually do to track the sun.
- 13) To obtain the slight concave curve of the antenna surfaces, gently form the curve first, then glue only 1 tab at a time as you work your way down or around along the edge piece.
- 14) If any tab becomes out of alignment with the entry slits, the tab can be glued flat to the surface out of sight beneath the piece to achieve the same placement.
- 15) The use of toothpick stiffeners is optional and usually not necessary, but may be handy in adding rigidity to the various pieces if the satellite model will be handled often.
RETURN TO The Scale Model Satellite Page