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Moonraking an old Towa 60mm

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#26 Kasmos

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Posted 27 June 2020 - 11:00 PM

Now I get the title referrence.

 

While I can appreciate the craftsmanship, I think they're way over the top gaudy. tounge.gif

Dare I say, in a corny sort of way.


Edited by Kasmos, 27 June 2020 - 11:01 PM.

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#27 GreyDay

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 07:40 AM

Now I get the title referrence.

 

While I can appreciate the craftsmanship, I think they're way over the top gaudy. tounge.gif

Dare I say, in a corny sort of way.

Some of the earlier scopes with coloured tubes and polished accents were really nice. but i have to agree that there's shiny and there's TOO shiny. For example, classic cars with lots of chrome look nice but a fully chromed  car just looks gaudy. a polished scope and finder looks okay but when there's as much polished aluminum as the "Altered Carbon" example it's a bit much on the eye.


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#28 serrurier

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:20 AM

Now I get the title referrence.

 

While I can appreciate the craftsmanship, I think they're way over the top gaudy. tounge.gif

Dare I say, in a corny sort of way.

 

Some of the earlier scopes with coloured tubes and polished accents were really nice. but i have to agree that there's shiny and there's TOO shiny. For example, classic cars with lots of chrome look nice but a fully chromed  car just looks gaudy. a polished scope and finder looks okay but when there's as much polished aluminum as the "Altered Carbon" example it's a bit much on the eye.

Indeed!  It was an easy reference for "unpainted metal telescope" — my SS 151 will never be mistaken for a Bond villain's superweapon.  I prefer the homebrew/rat rod aesthetic of the tinkerer.



#29 Garyth64

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:50 AM

Here is my unpainted metal telescope:

 

Grab and Go 3.jpg

 

60mm x 700mm lens.

 

I like the touch of black.

 

I buffed up the aluminum tube as best I could, but I could not turn it mirror like.

 

Grab and Go 4.jpg

 

It's not "Moonraker", but I was inspired previously from those scopes.

 

There is a thread here on CN, where another was really inspired by those scopes.  I will try and find it.


Edited by Garyth64, 28 June 2020 - 10:52 AM.

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#30 Garyth64

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:54 AM

Here is the other thread:

 

https://www.cloudyni...er#entry9493069

 

The same guy also worked on a 6" refractor:

 

https://www.cloudyni...er#entry9965833

 

Impressive!


Edited by Garyth64, 28 June 2020 - 10:56 AM.

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#31 GreyDay

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 12:32 PM


I buffed up the aluminum tube as best I could, but I could not turn it mirror like.

 

A friend used to polish up alloy wheels etc for a living, the process to fine polish is tedious. Thats probably where half the cost of a Moonraker lies, the other half being the fine engineering.

 

I have a couple of scopes that could do with a repaint that i might have a go at polishing :)



#32 Kasmos

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 01:21 PM

It's not the highly polished metal that gets to me, but rather the extra fluff.  Stuff like the excessive turning of grooved rings in tubes, cells, brackets, and thumbscrews, along with a lot of drilled holes. I'm just more of a fan of cast components than of machined billet. You might say more analog or organic in form. That's a big reason why I'm a classic telescope guy.

 

It reminds me a lot of what goes on in the custom car and motorcycle scene. Crazy good craftsmanship coupled with bad or over the top design. Billet aluminum was once all the rage. Lately there's been a backlash in the form of reintroducing old school type custom cast parts which (IMO), is good to see.

 

That said, wasn't there another guy in the UK that made custom scopes similar to Moonraker but with a more tastefull restraint, or is it he same guy?

 

About polishing. Some types/grades of aluminum will polish up better than others and can vary in color as in grayer or brighter. Billet will usually polish cleaner while cast pieces (especially sand cast), can be hindered by having pores and pits.

 

Anyway, I have no problem with custom polishing and painting. It could be a lot of fun!... and that's why we do this stuff.


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#33 GreyDay

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 02:28 PM

It's not the highly polished metal that gets to me, but rather the extra fluff.  Stuff like the excessive turning of grooved rings in tubes, cells, brackets, and thumbscrews, along with a lot of drilled holes. I'm just more of a fan of cast components than of machined billet. You might say more analog or organic in form. That's a big reason why I'm a classic telescope guy.

 

That said, wasn't there another guy in the UK that made custom scopes similar to Moonraker but with a more tastefull restraint, or is it he same guy?

 

Anyway, I have no problem with custom polishing and painting. It could be a lot of fun!... and that's why we do this stuff.

I'm in total agreement, all the "fluff" can be distracting from the overall look, a bit too Fritz Lang (Metropolis) for me. Same guy making the moonraker's made a lot of really nice scopes usually 60, 76, 100mm all long focal length tubes with polished brass or aluminium parts. He started working on fast ED Apo's shorter fatter tubes which is when all the "fluffery" started with extra rings for astrophoto guiders etc. other UK manufacturers are

IR Poyser and Thurstan -Turner & Cruickshank-Inns of London.

 

I love the notion of taking something old and broken and giving it a new lease on life, just as the OP has done in this thread. A lot of work involved for some projects :)


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#34 Garyth64

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 02:45 PM

I like the extra "fluff".  To me it's what makes the scope unique and cool.  It's like a work of art.


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#35 serrurier

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 02:55 PM

Excellent shares. 

 

When finished, my project will fall into the "understated" category, although I see the merit of both stances (Garyth's and Kasmos').


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#36 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:34 PM

The good thing about Mark Turner at Moonraker is that he'll make you whatever you want. This one is mine.


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#37 serrurier

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:44 PM

The good thing about Mark Turner at Moonraker is that he'll make you whatever you want. This one is mine:

 

post-89285-0-81781900-1507405673.jpg

Wild combo!  Tell me about the pointy doodad — carry handle?


Edited by serrurier, 28 June 2020 - 10:47 PM.


#38 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 11:27 PM

Yup. Just a carry handle. I couldn't completely restrain Mark's enthusiasm. I didn't think that I'd use it, but I actually do.


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#39 Kasmos

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 04:03 AM

I can't remember where I found this one.

Custom 60:700.jpg

Clean and simple


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#40 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 08:06 AM

It's not the highly polished metal that gets to me, but rather the extra fluff.  Stuff like the excessive turning of grooved rings in tubes, cells, brackets, and thumbscrews, along with a lot of drilled holes. I'm just more of a fan of cast components than of machined billet. You might say more analog or organic in form. That's a big reason why I'm a classic telescope guy.

 

It reminds me a lot of what goes on in the custom car and motorcycle scene. Crazy good craftsmanship coupled with bad or over the top design. Billet aluminum was once all the rage. Lately there's been a backlash in the form of reintroducing old school type custom cast parts which (IMO), is good to see.

 

That said, wasn't there another guy in the UK that made custom scopes similar to Moonraker but with a more tastefull restraint, or is it he same guy?

 

About polishing. Some types/grades of aluminum will polish up better than others and can vary in color as in grayer or brighter. Billet will usually polish cleaner while cast pieces (especially sand cast), can be hindered by having pores and pits.

 

Anyway, I have no problem with custom polishing and painting. It could be a lot of fun!... and that's why we do this stuff.

Chris, I think the 'other guy' you talking about Is Richard Day of (now shuttered) Skylight Telescopes. Mark and Richard are both exceedingly nice guys and either would make pretty much what you wanted provided they had the materials, however each had a signature look. Mark's Moonraker's are really working art designed in the Steampunk vain and generally shiny highly polished aluminum or nickel-chrome. Richard's scopes were much more period-specific traditional Victorian-Edwardian designs in period colors and brass, and looked like Calverts or Cookes. I personally like them both and see them both as unique in what is available today. Mark is still very much in the business to my knowledge but sadly, Richard has moved on. They are both CN members, Richard Day posts here as ukcanuck.


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#41 serrurier

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:21 AM

Chris, I think the 'other guy' you talking about Is Richard Day of (now shuttered) Skylight Telescopes. Mark and Richard are both exceedingly nice guys and either would make pretty much what you wanted provided they had the materials, however each had a signature look. Mark's Moonraker's are really working art designed in the Steampunk vain and generally shiny highly polished aluminum or nickel-chrome. Richard's scopes were much more period-specific traditional Victorian-Edwardian designs in period colors and brass, and looked like Calverts or Cookes. I personally like them both and see them both as unique in what is available today. Mark is still very much in the business to my knowledge but sadly, Richard has moved on. They are both CN members, Richard Day posts here as ukcanuck.

I can't find any images online of Tim Wetherell's completed garden observatory, with its zodiacally-painted dome panels that could be lit red at night.  The only pics out there show the enormous fake Victorian scope that went inside.  He fabricated at least three telescopes in this stylistic idiom (though the linked one was largest) before vanishing from the web.


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#42 Kasmos

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 03:37 PM

Chris, I think the 'other guy' you talking about Is Richard Day of (now shuttered) Skylight Telescopes. Mark and Richard are both exceedingly nice guys and either would make pretty much what you wanted provided they had the materials, however each had a signature look. Mark's Moonraker's are really working art designed in the Steampunk vain and generally shiny highly polished aluminum or nickel-chrome. Richard's scopes were much more period-specific traditional Victorian-Edwardian designs in period colors and brass, and looked like Calverts or Cookes. I personally like them both and see them both as unique in what is available today. Mark is still very much in the business to my knowledge but sadly, Richard has moved on. They are both CN members, Richard Day posts here as ukcanuck.

Thanks Terra,

I knew the name was Sky-something. That clarifies some confusion as they were much more to my liking. I use to have his website bookmarked and one day found it was gone. 

 

A couple of things about Steampunk. It not all bad, but more or less don't care much for things that don't ad to function. Also, as with many customization trends, everyone starts doing it and sadly most can't do it well. It's like what's seen within custom trends with vehicles where every backyard mechanic starts doing it, which leads to many nice original examples being destroyed.

 

Oh well, it's just stuff and... To each their own.


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#43 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 04:00 PM

I can't find any images online of Tim Wetherell's completed garden observatory, with its zodiacally-painted dome panels that could be lit red at night.  The only pics out there show the enormous fake Victorian scope that went inside.  He fabricated at least three telescopes in this stylistic idiom (though the linked one was largest) before vanishing from the web.

The scope you have linked never went inside Tim's garden observatory. That scope was sold (to another CN member and now resides in the US) when the Wetherell's moved from Australia to the UK. Tim constructed another beautiful Victorian-period scope that is shorter and more portable for his observatory. You will find pictures of the new scope and observatory in a Sky and Telescope article published a couple of years ago. Both Tim and his wife are outstanding artists.


Edited by Terra Nova, 29 June 2020 - 04:01 PM.


#44 serrurier

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:49 PM

The scope you have linked never went inside Tim's garden observatory. That scope was sold (to another CN member and now resides in the US) when the Wetherell's moved from Australia to the UK. Tim constructed another beautiful Victorian-period scope that is shorter and more portable for his observatory. You will find pictures of the new scope and observatory in a Sky and Telescope article published a couple of years ago. Both Tim and his wife are outstanding artists.

There's no accounting for taste, Terra, though I perhaps would have opted for a tone somewhat less hostile in my opening sentence to a stranger.  Again, de gustibus non est disputandum.  Thank you for the recap of public facts: all very true.  The October 2017 Sky and Telescope you're talking about is no longer accessible and was evidently never archived by a third party.  As it stands, Tim's public website has died, perhaps the victim of an unannounced and wholesale migration to Facebook (where one shot of the red-lit interior appears) — but even his presence there is only a pilot light by comparison.  Likewise for Asia.  Note the large casters on the pictured, sold, scope: if memory serves I saw it and the smaller diameter staged inside the zodiacal dome.  However, I am (a) not above being wrong, and (b) do not find it a point worth dissecting further.  A tangent, actually.

 

Thanks Terra,

I knew the name was Sky-something. That clarifies some confusion as they were much more to my liking. I use to have his website bookmarked and one day found it was gone. 

 

A couple of things about Steampunk. It not all bad, but more or less don't care much for things that don't ad to function. Also, as with many customization trends, everyone starts doing it and sadly most can't do it well. It's like what's seen within custom trends with vehicles where every backyard mechanic starts doing it, which leads to many nice original examples being destroyed.

 

Oh well, it's just stuff and... To each their own.

The problem of dilution is a deep one — as when digital photography flattened the learning curve and every second person became a self-described "photographer."  Being a commercial illustrator I'm fascinated by what I call "style sources" and do as much as I can to track them down when trends develop.  Almost invariably there can be identified a proximal "first."  Patrick Nagel is unacknowledgedly responsible for Craig Drake's career (and many others), for example.  Separately: it's impressive how many fashion trends start not with television and movies (which help to popularize them) — but with musicians!  I'm encouraged that the iron grip of "MCM" (mid-century modern) is beginning to loosen, now that Mad Men is over a decade past. 

 

To me, "steampunk" and "bad stuff" are conflated: as a consequence I avoid the term.  I think Tim's work was simply "Victorian," or pseudo-Victorian, regardless of labels he himself applied to it.  Art I admire that probably qualifies as "steampunk": the books Anti-Ice and The Difference Engine; Harper Goff's designs for Disney's 1954 production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

 

I can't remember where I found this one.

Clean and simple

A handsome graphic rhythm of black and metal; will avoid cabled slow motion knobs on mine but I admire the efficiency of this arrangement.

 

You know, I do have a TeleVue Pronto lying around . . .



#45 Chuck Hards

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:53 PM

UO 80mm Kit Scope, with polished tube.  I painted and textured the focuser with catalyzed automotive paint.

 

006a.jpg

 

 


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#46 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 06:54 PM

There's no accounting for taste, Terra, though I perhaps would have opted for a tone somewhat less hostile in my opening sentence to a stranger.  Again, de gustibus non est disputandum.  Thank you for the recap of public facts: all very true.  The October 2017 Sky and Telescope you're talking about is no longer accessible and was evidently never archived by a third party.  As it stands, Tim's public website has died, perhaps the victim of an unannounced and wholesale migration to Facebook (where one shot of the red-lit interior appears) — but even his presence there is only a pilot light by comparison.  Likewise for Asia.  Note the large casters on the pictured, sold, scope: if memory serves I saw it and the smaller diameter staged inside the zodiacal dome.  However, I am (a) not above being wrong, and (b) do not find it a point worth dissecting further.  A tangent, actually.

 

Sorry if you thought my reply terse. I didn't care for the snide tone of your inquiry. However, regardless of my tone I tried to give you the information you desired. As you know that they are on Facebook, why don't you contact them and ask for pics. They are quite nice people.


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#47 serrurier

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:20 PM

UO 80mm Kit Scope, with polished tube.  I painted and textured the focuser with catalyzed automotive paint.

 

attachicon.gif006a.jpg

Adore this.  Any pics on a tripod?



#48 serrurier

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:36 PM

I can't remember where I found this one.

attachicon.gifCustom 60:700.jpg

Clean and simple

Forgot to ask, Kasmos — is this one in your collection?  Or is it the pic you don't remember finding?



#49 Kasmos

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:13 PM

Forgot to ask, Kasmos — is this one in your collection?  Or is it the pic you don't remember finding?

It's a photo I stumbled onto while doing a telescope search. 

 

If it were mine, I too wouldn't have used flexible control cables.


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#50 Chuck Hards

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:10 AM

Adore this.  Any pics on a tripod?

Thanks!  There's a shot of it in this post, from the 2017 total solar eclipse.  Right below the Unitron pic.    LINK


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