R7 Vostok
 
 
This is the rocket that boosted Yurij Gagarin and his Vostok capsule into orbit 12 April 1961.
 
The first stage consists of four boosters strapped around a central booster. The second stage includes the small Vostok capsule. The white parts are the ice covered parts of the cold fuel tanks containing liquid oxygen.
 
The R7 rocket used for space flight was developed from nuclear ICBM's by Soviet Chief Designer Sergey Korolev. It is basically the same rocket that put Sputnik into space and which still today is considered one of the most reliable and widely used boosters.
 
The scale of the rocket is 1/48 which makes the model about 83cm tall. The model is completely scratch built from paper/card and balsa. The panel lines visible were made by gluing pieces of card on the cylinders. This also makes the whole thing more sturdy. The aluminum rod visible just below the Vostok stage held the whole thing together while putting into place the truss frame. After that, it wasn't really needed anymore, which I found out too late. But at least it's partially obscured by the truss work and fortunately does not disturb the overall appearance.
References like photos and technical drawings can be found on the web, although there are not many of them. Mail me, and I can send you what I've got... One of the best sources (and my original inspiration!) is the beautiful model made by Vincent Meens. Check it out here: Vincent Meens' homepage. While you're there, have a look at his outstanding work on a 1/10 Lunokhod Moon rover!
 
The thumbs below show some of of the stages in building the model. Click on each image to view the larger version. The booster looks a little too blue in some of the pictures. Ironically, it's a question of lighting... the model is actually painted grey. Many pictures show the real thing to be green, but that is commonly accepted as being an artifact of the film used! The true color is grey as you can see in this picture . (I don't remember where I got the picture from, but if you're the copyright holder of the picture, please contact me if this violates your rights!)

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