Since the launch (get it?) of my two SpaceX scale models, the DRAGON-M3 and the DRAGON-MS, I’ve had a lot of people ask “Which SpaceX scale model should I get?”
So I decided to compile a list of the differences between the models. The following is an overview of the features and capabilities of these two models.
To start, it should be stated that the new DRAGON-MS model has a ton of additional and upgraded features that aren’t available on the DRAGON-M3 model.
Here are some of the following.
Exterior refinement and improvement differences between the DRAGON-MS and DRAGON-M3
I took the opportunity to rework and improve the exterior of the DRAGON-MS SpaceX scale model in a few ways.
First, I implemented a soft capture system design based on the NASA docking system – which was used on the real SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Their soft capture system docks the spacecraft with ISS, and also includes a backup hard capture called LIDAR and Navigational Doppler Radar (NDR). SpaceX’s soft capture is based on the NASA Docking System (NDS), which was developed and built by Boeing.
Additionally, I also made the DRAGON-MS more modular. All pieces are removable to have a look at the intricate details inside! This includes a new removable entry hatch, removable outer body to reveal interior of the spacecraft, and a removable main hatch on the ceiling. Exterior windows on the DRAGON-MS SpaceX scale model also got an upgrade compared to the DRAGON-M3.
Comparing interior enhancements of the new SpaceX scale model
Now the exterior of the DRAGON-MS is more modular, this gives you greater access to enjoy the new interior!
To start, I decided that it would be cool to show off a giant monitor. So I fixed it to the floor, not the ceiling as it would normally go in the real spacecraft. I decided to fix it to the floor instead of the ceiling as I wanted to show this feature once the outer body panel has been removed.
The DRAGON-MS includes four fully adjustable seats. The seats can be adjusted to incline and recline, with each seat able to spin 360 degrees around the x-axis. I really wanted to replicate their movement as per the real ones! For example, the seats are tilted backward before lift-off and raised upward close to the monitors.
Added extras and bonuses
I also explored the possibility of completely redesigning the trunk for the DRAGON-MS compared to the DRAGON-M3.
I reproduced the Trunk’s exterior as closely as possible—replicating the number of radiators, solar panels, and their locations around the trunk. I also added my own personal touch by designing a secret compartment.
If you twist the bottom of the Trunk ever so slightly, the bottom of the trunk will slide out smoothly to reveal its secret compartment. The magnet on the Heat Shield of the Pressurised Crew Section will also make the trunk pop open.
To finish, all main parts are totally redesigned, such as the heat shield, body panel, ceiling, floor, and thruster. This is so they can be fitted together without having to use super glue. I also created a super cool stand to hold and display the SpaceX scale model horizontally.
What about the old SpaceX scale model, the DRAGON-M3?
You might be thinking, “With all these improvements in the DRAGON-MS, what advantages does the DRAGON-M3 have now?”
Well the main one is that the STL file for the DRAGON-M3 is now free to download. Enjoy! Head to the DRAGON-M3 product page, download the free SpaceX scale model STL file, and make it yourself on your own 3D printer.
Will you be printing your own DRAGON-M3 SpaceX scale model? I’d love to know how you get on!