1:100 scale Model of International Space Station (ISS)

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The story 

Gamla Model Makers was commissioned by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide 20, and later - 5 more 1:100 scale models of International Space Station (ISS) for NASA Headquarters and three Space Centers.

Modeling an actual spacecraft is one of the toughest challenges for model maker. Complex subjects such as space stations and satellites are usually consisting of large modules connected with fingernail size joints as the spacecraft exists in an environment with no atmosphere and no gravity. Models of spacecraft, however, should withstand the gravity, therefore they should be heavily reinforced.  Never before our crew was so inventive in order to represent the ISS realistically, highly detailed and to make it durable and properly functioning.

The models represent the latest configuration of International Space Station identified as "Approved configuration as of July 2008" and full set of active logistics vehicles, including Space Shuttle, CEV "Orion", ATV "Jules Verne", JAXA HTV and Russian "Soyuz TM" and "Progress" orbital ships. All logistics vehicles along with selected modules (MLM, MRM1, MRM2, MPLM, Mobile Servicing Base with Canadarm manipulator) were produced as separate components which are attaching to a space station through magnetic connection. Having separate logistics vehicles and modules allows to demonstrate multiple reconfiguration and docking options.

In addition to separate components we made a number of components articulating.  End truss segments, each one of main solar arrays and HRS radiators are rotating. Mobile Servicing Base is sliding along the central truss segments. All major robotic arms are articulating in multiple points as well. 

Actual fabrication of the model took over a year. After first four models were produced and tested in the field we had to upgrade reinforcement and articulation points and replace several components with modified ones in order to achieve required durability and functionality.

We created a full set of digital tooling for the entire model including logistics vehicles and separate components and massively used SLA and other rapid prototyping techniques. Our 3D digital model reflects the experience of building the ISS models, contains the most effective reinforcement and articulation features, has enormous level of detailing and will allow us to produce additional models in 1:100 or any other scale fast and effective.

We designed fully custom transit case to store each model and protect  them during transportation. A case has a main compartment to store the model itself and detachable bottom compartment for separate components, a base and a set of tools required to assemble/disassemble and to maintain the model.




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