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Gábor Szabó
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X-15 for Christmas (with many recycled components)

December 13, 2018 · in Aviation · · 23 Comments

Hi All!

At the end of the year I again built a christmas model; I fortunate enough that the people around me not just tolerate my passion but it seems they actually like my little stuffs - so I occasionly build models as gifts for them. This idea came from an earlier build (not published here yet) from an earlier christmas when I built a little Apollo return module (as a diorama) for my GF as a christmas present because she is a quite big fan of spacecraft and space age (she even bought "The history of aeronautics" book with the foreword of Buzz Aldrin). I really surprised back than how much she pleased with the little Apollo diorama so this time I choosed this "nearly spaceship" just because the looks really cool. Sadly there are no any decent mainstream kit about this amazing machine (O.K. I know about the Special Hobby stuffs but they are mostly OOP and beside this I really hate their mixed media approach, especially in smaller scale). This thing is made from the ancient X-15 kit I picked up in a supermarket or a toy store (I didn't remember clearly) and the scale is a "one to whatever" (actually the box says 1:130) as usual for really old kits - or space themed kits. It's really small. I picked up a metal picture frame and begin to play what can I do to make this little kit more interesting. Accidentally my mini torchlamp keyring and my wireless mouse are broken at the same time - before I throw out them - at the same time - an idea formed in my mind: the fancy blue led from the keyring would be a good for the rocket exhaust while the on-off switch from the mouse woud fit in the opening of the stand Heller supplied to the kit. With some fiddling I figured out that this actually could work so I took out my soldering iron and you can see on the pics what I did. I made a battery tray from styrene and I had to cut a door for the batteries but otherwise the kit is build OOP. As the Heller kit is a strange mix of the three ever built X-15 I didn't want to achieve absolute hystorical correct set up but make a scene with the "feel" of tet glorious age of aerospace research with more emphasis on aesthetics. That's why I painted this ship with that much contrasts - but I used metallic blue colors hope recalling somehow the original inconel skinning of the original ships). I used plexiglass for the base and I drilled an 5mm hole in 45° for the plexiglass rod into it. This served as the base of the X-15 and the illuminated exhaust also - I think the pics tell you the story better. I put a PS manipulated picture about the sunrise below the plexi and practically the scene was done. The cool thing is about it when you turn on the light the plexi rod leads the light into the base and illuminates the photo too - I cound't take a good picture about this effect but when you are in a darker room it looks quite good 🙂 Hope you like it and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Cheers, Gabor

37 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. There's only one word to day about this build.


  2. Outstanding presentation, sir...I love it!

  3. I have always had an interest in the iconic X-15. Yours is one of the best presentations of it I've EVER seen, Gabor!


  4. "First Man" should have hired you in the modeling unit. 🙂

  5. Great execution! I love the pedestal and the electric touch with LEDs!

  6. Very inventive, Gabor.

  7. Blast Off !
    Looks every inch the space rocket - great work Gabor!
    Love the base - sets it off beautifully!

  8. Very cool. Great idea and masterfully done.

  9. I like the quality of the execution as well as the "recycling" philosophy behind the idea: a cheap/outdated plastic kit, two broken devices, a piece of Plexiglas... et voilà, a wonderful presentation of the mythical X-15. Well done, Gábor!

    • Thank You Peter! In my opinion we throw away too much things - with perfect parts in them. Waste of time, money and resource. In this case it was more of a play with things around me than a conscious stand out for a greener environment but yes I like the whole recycling idea in general.

  10. quite ingenious effect

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