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George Johnson
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747 and Enterprise Orbiter 1979 ALT version

November 15, 2015 · in Aviation · · 13 · 3K

This is one of those models that I always wanted to build. I found the 1/100th scale Tamiya Orbiter model at a hobby shop in Florida. I ran into the a couple of months later and picked it up right away. I can't remember who makes it, and it wasn't a very good kit, either. Lots of fit issues. Anyway, I found an engineer at the Kennedy space center who graciously enough, climbed on top of the 747 and took photos of the attachment mechanism for me. The version you see here was used in 1979 for the Approach and Landing Tests (ALT). I made the NASA "worm" logo using Adobe Illustrator and printed it on decal paper. I also made the vertical stabilizers on the back and a few other little things. This thing took me over 13 years to complete. I'd work on it, get bored, work on it some more. II used Alclad paints on it twice because the finished cracked a few months after the first attempt and looked like an old oil painting.

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8  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Nice job on that build, George. Musta been a bear to find the CG for the base mounting.

  2. A sharp looking model combo, George.

  3. Very fun! Great work on it as well - NMF looks really good.

  4. Smart!

    What a monster it was.

  5. Really very nice. Of course there is now (the result of all your hard work) a 1/144 747/Space Shuttle kit from Revell with all those parts you had to make. 🙂

    Funny story: In May 1982 I was up at Edwards AFB to get my high-altitude card for a flight I was going to make (with the Wild Weasels, best rollercoaster ride ever), and was walking around the base (back in those innocent days) and behind a hangar, there sat the Enterprise, nearly derelict, with the hatch open and a ladder. No one was around, sooo... I think I am the only modeler who ever sat in the pilot's seat of the Enterprise. For about 10 minutes before I decided it was time to disappear before they disappeared me.

    • Thanks, Tom. That Revell kit has been around for a long time and it's not much of a challenge. This one is, unfortunately, 44% larger, though. Very cool story, too. That must have been a thrill.

  6. Very cool subject and immaculately presented!

  7. Thanks everybody. I appreciate all the comments.

  8. Really nice combo

  9. I like it very much, great!

  10. Nice one George, just found this one. I am attempting a similar build with the Revell 1/144 kits at the moment.

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