Saturday, September 7, 2019

Work in progress vol.28: Apollo lunar spacecraft (UPDATED !)

Apollo Lunar Spacecraft
US$ 150,00 plus shipping
Injected plastic model with waterslide decals; Extra parts made from 3D printing by 
This is Revell´s very old Apollo Lunar Spacecraft in 1/48 scale. It goes back to 1967, so it is as old as me! The model is based on a block I spacecraft, so not a lunar flight capable spacecraft. I decided to update it to a block II, but not to the point of putting every little detail. For that kind of project, i have the Dragon kit. But i like classic kits, and this one builds into a nice replica. You can do the hole spacecraft and the Apollo-Saturn adapter that contained the Lunar Module. I intend to build it in sections. For that, the launch escape system (LES) should include the blast protection cover (BPS), not represented in the Revell kit. Also, the docking probe is missing and the umbilical protection for the service and command module is misrepresented. To solve these issues, i bought from Shapeways tree parts: the BPS, the docking probe and the umbilical cover device. Other than that, i used Bare metal foil to represent the Mylar cover of the command module and some plastic rods for some scratch built parts. Let's see what i can get from this nice old kit!

1) The kit parts:

2) The Command module:

The overall surface of the kit is completely smooth. Only some subtle raised panel lines are visible.

To improve the detail, i added some detail to the portholes using plastic stripes. 

For the Mylar cover, i used 3.5 mm stripes of bare metal foil. The actual Mylar cover is less evident on the real spacecraft, but i liked the effect. However, it shines like the bare metal, but is not like a mirror, and this is well represented here.

Next, i started the upper part of the command module. These two pictures shows the nice detail of the 3D printed docking probe.

This is the final upper part of the command module. I used a small disk of plasticard painted red to improve the fit between the kit and the 3D parts. 

This is the final aspect of the command module shell covered with Mylar.

After construction of the external part of the command module, i started the interior. Details are nice, and Revell's decals worked very well.

Some details were hand painted with Vallejo acrylics. Seat harness were done with decals, something several modelers don't like, but i found very practical.

The struts that hold the seats in place were done with plastic rod. I added some details as the crew hatch is large enough to show the interior and i decided to leave it open. 

This is the finished command module on it's stand. The hatch was placed alongside and detailed with some decals from my scrap box.

To improve the capacity to show the interior, i used two LED lamps and a 9 volt battery to illuminate the command module. I was pleased with the final result.
3) The Launch Escape System

The Revell kit places the escape rocket directly above and attached to the command module. The actual Apollo spacecraft used a blast protection cover over the command module that was jettisoned when the second stage of the Saturn V rocket was ignited. I found a nice part that was printed in 3-D to represent the BPS.    

The part was painted flat white after receiving a coat of flat black and light grey as the 3-D printing is very translucent. 

I highlighted the edges of the details with a black pencil to increase the perception of the details, something not usually seen on the real BPS.
Now the BPS cover is ready and attached to the LES. I created a new base and display for this part. 

The stack is growing fast. Now the service module is on the way.