Building the Delta 7 Mercury-Redstone 8 (part 1)

The July launch theme for our club isn’t just Apollo 11 or Saturn V but US Manned [sic] Space Flight, so I decided to put together something that’s been in my build pile for quite some time.

Delta 7 Studios, evidently the nom de commerce of one D. H. T. Shippey, has been in business since 1999 selling paper models. I’m not sure how active Shippey’s been lately but the site’s still there. There are downloadable models available in a number of categories including Gemini spacecraft. There’s also a page describing Mercury models, including the Mercury-Redstone rocket, but no links to buy them.

Somehow or another, though, at some point in the last few years, I did download a copy of the Mercury-Redstone 8, Gus Grissom’s rocket with the Liberty Bell 7 capsule. [MR-8 was the rocket designation; MR-4 was the flight designation. Not my idea.] I’m not sure what site I found it on. I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to pay for it.

So before saying anything else: I don’t want to infringe Shippey’s IP. I’m using the download only for personal purposes. I have no intention of sharing the file with anyone else. And I would like to offer to pay for it. Unfortunately the Delta 7 site seems to give no way to get in touch with Shippey. I sent an email to but that didn’t work.

Maybe I should pay for one of their other models and then not download it?

Now, this model was not designed as a flying model. But it’s evidently 1/96 scale, and the Mercury-Redstone was 1.78 m diameter, so the model diameter is… 18.5 mm. Printed on cardstock and rolled around an 18 mm motor, the printing aligns pretty much perfectly! So with some modifications it should work just fine as a cardstock flying model.

The body tube is printed in two pieces, and I’m not sure why. Maybe just to make them easier to roll and glue. I used glue stick to hold them together, and wrapped rubber bands to keep the edges down while setting.

The two halves get glued together with a coupler. For this I used white glue. To keep them aligned I rubber banded them to an aluminum angle.

Then I glued in a thrust ring. No motor hook; I’ll friction fit the motor. A hook would have to be external, hence ugly. It’d move the CG backwards. And it’d put more ejection stress than I’d like on a small area of the cardstock body tube.

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