It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.   Robert H. Goddard
The Orion III Spaceplane
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This model will be instantly recognizable to fans of the classic Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey as the Orion III -- the iconic shuttle that ferried Dr. Heywood Floyd to the orbiting Space Station V. The original motivation for me to build this model was a notice on modelermagic.com that the Museum of Science Fiction had posted seeking modelmakers to help them with upcoming exhibits. When I found out they were also looking specifically for a large scale Orion III, I knew it was something I really wanted to build as I'm a big fan of 2001 and the designs of the various spacecraft. Technically not a "replica," my Orion III model is probably more accurately described as a "large-scale  re-creation," since it is actually much larger than the original model used in the film. The requirements of the museum exhibit dictated that the Orion III needed to be at least six-feet long and the final model came in at six-feet four-inches in length (including the tail spikes), with a thirty-eight inch wingspan. The primary references used for this build were Adam Johnson's book "2001: The Lost Science" and Piers Bizony's "Filming the Future." In addition to Simon Atkinson's drawings, other references included frame grabs, books and magazines, various web resources and even other models. The model's fuselage was built from vacuformed ABS sheet derived from urethane foam patterns, while the wings were made of acrylic sheet, just as the original models' were, and panel lines were cut in with a special scribing tool.  A full interior was created with modified 1/32nd scale figures serving as passengers and crew (including figures representing Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick), and the model also features an LED lighting system designed and created by Dan Vincent of LightBenders. The Orion III was painted using custom mixes of ChromaBase automotive paints. I would like to acknowledge contributions made to the project by some of my co-workers at ScottModels -- Kevin Carroll, John Minor, Carl Andry, Karl Libecap and Jack O'Dom. I would also like to thank both Piers Bizony and Simon Atkinson for their support and encouragement throughout this project as well as providing additional reference materials. The Orion III Spaceplane appeared as a special exhibit at Wonderfest 2015 sponsored by the Museum of  Science Fiction. I also gave a presentation documenting the entire process and this can be found in the Process section of the website. Thanks to Steve Dreyer of the Museum of Science Fiction for putting this together for me. Photos by Tony Walsh Main image composite by Andrew Creighton
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