David Hanners’ Gemini Recovery

This is an entirely paper model that I kit-bashed from a couple of the models offered by Delta 7 Studios on its “Project Gemini” CD. The model combines elements of the Gemini 4 model (the interior and open hatch) with the “Splashdown Gemini” kit (the ocean base, recovery nose) as well as some scratchbuilt elements, including the flotation collar, the right hatch and the base.

The stock “Splashdown Gemini” comes with a capsule with the hatches closed. I wanted to show off the fine interior that comes in the Gemini 4 kit (which featured America’s first space walk) so I figured I’d combine the two. The floating Gemini capsule, with its hatches open and flotation collar attached, always struck me as looking cool and very “busy.”

The Gemini 4 kit only features an open right hatch, though. To make the left side hatch, I used the “mirror image” feature on my HP Photosmart 1115 printer to simply reverse the parts from the right hatch.

But you didn’t open the hatches on a floating Gemini capsule until the UDT divers hat attached the flotation collar, so I had to scratchbuild that from yellow paper. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I couldn’t find a whole lot of research material on the flotation collar online. I found a few photos there, as well as in some books I have, and did the best I could. I did find that they had printing on them, so I found the appropriate font and set it and print it out on yellow paper. Then I cut and scored and folded and glued (I have new-found respect for guys who design paper models….) and added various details. The red and green stripes were made from colors that I printed out onto typing paper, cut to size and glued on. When I wound up with something that looked like a Gemini flotation collar, I quit. The base is made of heavy black cardstock. (If anybody has any good reference material on the flotation collar, particularly the rear, I’d appreciate a heads-up on where I might find it….)

This is my fourth paper model, and I must say I’m beginning to really like the medium.

David Hanners

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