This model started as a redraw of the H-IIA that you can find at Paper Model World by Takahiro Kojima. He made it back in 2001, and he designed it to split into stages to show his son how rockets work. The model says 1/96 scale, but it was actually 1/144 scale. It's a fairly basic model, and there isn't much detail, but it builds up pretty well. I actually had made it a couple times (thanks to the cats...) and I always liked the orange color with the two solid rocket boosters on the sides. It made for an interesting model to go along with the rest.
But, me being me, I decided that I would recolor it and make a more detailed model. In the processing of doing that, I found that the model was the wrong scale. I also saw that Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) merged with to other aerospace agencies and changed it's name to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). To add to that, they now add decals to the rockets for the launch that they are doing. Well, that started a whole ball of wax, and now (a year later) I've finally finished the model. I was going to make a model of a specific launch, but when I saw that it would require more work and delay the model even more, I decided to just make a generic version and save the specifics for a later release.
Keep and eye out in the future for a model based on a specific launch. I already have a lot of source material, and some of the graphics done. I just need to make a few changes and it will be read to go.
Pictures and Download
So, the beta model revealed several things that I needed to either fix, or could make less complicated. The first thing I noticed was that this thing is big! Like bigger than I realized. It's over 50 cm (almost 20 inches) long when completed. That's big! It looks good on the shelf though. I also decided to try using cotton swab sticks for the attachment rods for the strap on boosters. They turned out pretty well, but they are slightly off color. I guess I could have painted them first, but I felt they were close enough. They are the same size and shape as the connecting rods that are made in the model, so don't let my change worry you.
The assembly instructions are based on the original instructions by Takahiro Kojima, but they have been modified to take in account the changes I made to the model. And I included a stand as well. It's similar to the stands for the Orbital rockets, and it works really well. I used a very thick piece of card stock for the base to give it some weight and strength, but laminating a couple sheets together should work just as well.
It made be a little hard to make out in the pictures, but I tried to simulate the coloring of the rocket due to the way the insulation is applied to the actual rocket. Depending on your printer, you should be able to make it out well enough. My next version will have a little more defined coloring.
As you may have guessed, instructions and some building notes are included with the model. I recommend that you print this on regular white paper, around 24 lb. So, now that you got this far...