First Project: Saturn 5

When you complete this, I would like to see an animation of the lift off. If you had a shot from the tower with camera shake, pieces of paint falling off and would be great. I wide screen shot of it lifting of with the big timer they have a cape Canaveral would be good to.

I’m subscribing to this one. I grew up on Merritt Island, near Cape Canaveral, and remember the windows rattling in our house during launches of the Saturn missions.

First off, thank you all for the kind words/encouragement.

@ Kemmler: I appreciate your concern but engineering fidelity is still my first priority. That said, I have been giving some thought to final renders and when the time comes you and I can discuss finer points of lighting and composition till we’re both blue in the face. :wink:

@ macktruck6666: I have no real plans for animations at this time as any serious rendering of that sort is currently beyond both my and my computer’s capabilities. That said, Intend to throw this up on BlendSwap once it’s done so if you want to take a crack at animating it by all means do so.

…now that the niceties are out of the way here’s a progress report.

The S-IIC’s Gribly bits were annoying me so I decided to step back and knock out the first interstage adapter.

The interstage adapter was a ring 196 inches long and 396 inches in diameter that ensured adequate clearance between the second stage’s 5 J-2 engines and the S-IC’s propellant tank. 4 solid rocket motors around it’s perimeter (and some strategically placed explosive bolts) provided the kick to separate the spent first stage from the rest of the launch vehicle at the completion of it’s burn.

You may recognize it from one of the Apollo program’s more iconic images.

Below is a shot of the complete launch vehicle. The 2nd interstage adapter is still a simple cylinder object but the launch vehicle’s basic outline is complete.

Just a quick side note:
The 2nd and 3rd Stages of the Saturn 5 were fueled by a cryogenic mixture of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. As the fuel was pumped into propellant tanks ice would form on the rocket’s exterior (like condensation on a beer-can). On liftoff the heat and vibration from the main engines would cause the ice to fall away producing the “chips” and trails of steam that you see in all the launch videos.

Okay, animate that then. You might be able to use one of the free online render farms.

Work continues on the 2nd Stage. I’ve modeled the 2nd Interstage adapter and added the J-2’s heat-shield and additional griblies to the aft thrust structure.

I also did a quick test render just for fun…

Are you going to do the moon lander or the inside of the command module?

I haven’t decided if I’m going to do the Lander and CSM yet but If I do It’ll probably be it’s own project.

Ok, Yesterday I whipped up a quick boiler-plate model of the Apollo CSM and Launch Escape System. This is a low-detail model so that the rocket can be rendered from a distance. I intend to make a more detailed model for rendering interiors/close-ups at some point but that will be it’s own project along-side the LEM (Lunar Lander).

Here is a shot of the CSM along with the ASA adapter for attaching it to the S-IVB 3rd Stage.

And finally the complete rocket…

All it needs is UVs/Textures and some animation rigging and I’ll be ready to stick a fork in it, and call it done.

The Saturn 5 has received it’s first coat of paint.

Still an incredible machine even after 40 years. =D

This is really great work. Keep it up!


Minor update,

I found some quality photos and technical drawings of the F1 engine which I have spent the last couple of hours recreating in blender.

On a whole this mesh should be much more accurate and easier to texture than my initial effort.

Very nice-looking models, really fill me with nostalgia. I was on the beach south of the Cape when these babies were being lofted, saw all the Apollo’s through 14 (iirc) and followed the rest on TV when we moved to TX. I would dearly love to animate a launch some day, it’s great to hear they’re going up on BlendSwap.

Will you also be modeling the crawler and launch tower/pad?

I’ve uploaded my F1 engine mesh to Blendswap

Here’s an image of the on the S-IC’s base with the new engines installed.

Version 1 of my Saturn 5 Launch Vehicle is now available on BlendSwap

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