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Digital models vs. plastic/resin models (was: OT: Collier's "documentary")

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  • roger70129@aol.com
    As the new owner of a TurboCAD program (ver 6.5) and already using it to (slowly) create some 2D and 3D models of spacecraft and launch vehicles, I feel
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2000
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      As the new owner of a TurboCAD program (ver 6.5) and already using it to
      (slowly) create some 2D and 3D models of spacecraft and launch vehicles, I
      feel obliged to weigh in on this issue. What we're really talking about in
      this forum are real-world, hold-'em-in-your-hands, high-accuracy plastic,
      resin, and metal models, with occasional forays into accurate paper models.
      My only purpose in tinkering with computer models is to help me understand
      how to make real models--and to illustrate articles I write about making
      real-world models, if the truth be told. I don't believe in giving IPMS
      awards to digital models, though if someone wants to create a new
      organization with its own awards for digital modeling, that's fine with me.

      Properly done computer models are incredibly valuable as instruction tools in
      building complex, difficult, and unique models. I remember a series of
      computer models someone generated for the Soviet N-1 moon rocket in a
      magazine article a few years ago, showing how it was put together from a
      variety of angles. The series made the daunting idea of making an N-1 much
      more palatable. The closer the computer model is to "photo-reality," the
      better for us modelers. A computer model can also be taken apart to show,
      with extreme precision, how a space model could be assembled in the best
      possible way. Plus, there's never the problem of missing data from government
      files ("Where does that conduit go once it.... oh, I see. That makes
      sense."), except for the digital model's creators, of course, who must build
      the thing.

      I would leave open the topic of digital modeling, so long as we can relate it
      to any spacemodeling project. Posting digital pictures of space models is
      fine with me, as this is just more resource material. I'm happy to pass
      around oohs and aahs to someone who puts a computer model of a 1952 von Braun
      circumlunar spacecraft into the vault, if it gives me information I can use
      for my own real-world modeling of the same (which I won't get to for ages, as
      it must stand in line behind a ton of other projects I have in mind--but I
      will download the pictures anyway for that future date!).
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