12 May, 2012

Profile 66: Update - LGM-30G as flown by the 91st SMW

Here's the latest update.  It's about 40% finished.  Unfortunately though,  I'm probably going to do it all over.
Why?  Well, it may have been obvious to you all-along, but to me the question came a little late -   “How do you draw something that was never seen?!”
Think about it.  This missile is not like doing a proper winged warbird.  Nose art, paint schemes, mission markings?  They're utterly useless.   And it's not like the Missileers would ever get any particular pride out of a sharks-mouth or curvy pinup painted on the nose.
Instead, I'm sitting here trying to figure out Fungicide and Cork.  Yes.  Fungicide and Cork.

Let me explain.
Have a look at what I've managed so far.  But I'm a little confused about it.  See, a significant part of it was covered with cork - the same stuff that shoots out of champagne bottles.  How's that for irony?  But the similarity between missile and merlot doesn't stop there.  Both slumber silently in the cool dark until the hour of need, protected by cork against evil elements that work towards their demise.
To the wine, the evil element is Air.  Cork preserves the wine because it resists rot, doesn't shrink and prevents premature oxidation by keeping air out.
Air doesn't like missiles, either.   Accelerating through the atmosphere to 15,000+ mph, the pressure of high-velocity and heat generated from friction are extreme.  But the cork provides a physical barrier absorbing the brunt of such forces by slowly and predictably sacrificing itself along the way.   If you want a new word, the mechanical term for this mechanical self-destruction/preservation is called "Ablation."
However.  Standing vigilant in its concrete cellar for days, months (hopefully forever) the cork itself is subject to its own battle.  A battle against - of all things - fungus. 
Imagine this scenario; a fungus attacks a certain part of the nose and begins to eat it away.  Suddenly, launch-time happens, the missile goes...but somewhere around 200,000 feet, that portion of the ablative covering fails prematurely.  The result could be…well… terrible.

We can't let a mere fungus stand in the way of a nuclear exchange, can we?
(ha ha ha - more irony).
So, in order to protect the cork, a fungicide was added, resulting in a (as yet) mysterious green hue.  In other words, our nation's "second strike capability" may well have been teetering upon CORK FUNGUS! 
Right now, I'm being driven two notches below insanity trying to figure out what the green color was, how much cork covered 'what' and do it all in a fashion that doesn't demand sneaking into a top-secret facility with a digital camera.
I believe I need to open a bottle of wine as an ablative to keep myself from going crazy waiting for my sources to figure out what needs to be known.  Maybe I'm already crazy because I couldn't help but see what a Minuteman III would look like in "proper" livery!

he he.  I hope it makes you chuckle because the next update leaves no room for comedy.  Or mistakes.