Well here it is. Just one picture of the completed stack because the rest will hopefully be in the Real Space issue of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Modeller Magazine.
A last minute dash and spending a few late nights in the model room and I managed to get it to this stage. As those who have been following this build will know this was not my original build concept and so I will now change tack and go back to building it on its side with the engines of each stage exposed.
But in the meantime at least I know that I made the deadline and had something worth publishing.
Not seen in previous posts is the Blast Protection Cover (the bit just below the escape tower) which is a vacuformed part. The Command Module would sit below this.
Decals were VERY thin and a job to put on, especially the large ones which had a tendency to fold over on themselves. And they didn’t take Deca-Sol well. Fortunately I managed to wash them before it took hold.
Have managed to get the roll pattern onto the stack but masking wasn’t that great and I’m not very happy with the result. The ribbing makes it quite difficult to get a nice tight fit on the tape and there has been a bit of spray got underneath. I have touched it up a bit but still not 100% happy with it. May need to think about re-masking or possibly using sheets to black decals (might be able to run a sheet through the printer to get a completely black decal).
Working ever closer to the top!! Now reached as far as the Service Modules. The one which comes with the kit is a Block 1 version (as explained in my previous post) and I had to sand off all the details which were moulded on. This was really confusing because the plastic retains the appearance of the moulding even after it has been sanded off. So it isn’t until you get a coat of primer onto it that you can really tell whether you have got a smooth surface or not. The radiator panels were added back from the New Ware photo-etch to represent the Block 2 version of the CM. The CM will get a coat of aluminium spray paint now and the radiators will be hand painted in with some white paint.
So now seems an appropriate time to start masking up the rest of the stack to get a coat of black paint to form the roll pattern. I have made a start on the first and second stage, and the interstage, masking it up with Tamiya tape. And watch the Revell instructions as they are wrong. The include a continuous black band around the bottom of S1 which doesn’t seem to be present in the real thing. The main parts of the stack will be masked with something a little cheaper (possibly some cling film or paper). Only a week to go until the deadline for the magazine article and as you can see there is still a heck of a lot to get finished. Some late evenings coming up I think!
And finally for this update a picture of the real thing:
The SLA is a tricky bit because of the huge amount of photo etch and trying to get the four pieces which form the “petals” to line up. These would be the break lines when it opened to reveal the Lunar Exploration Module. Finally got there although there are still a few gaps around the photo etch where they didn’t get quite enough glue underneath them. This is a bit tricky to get quite right because you don’t want too much glue otherwise it will ooze out and need cleaning up and too little means a bit of a gap.
The bottom section of this piece is actually the instrument unit (IU) which should really be a separate piece. I am leaving it attached (for the moment) so that the stack can be completed.
As you may have read previously I am writing an article for a magazine based on this build and unfortunately due to changes in the publishing schedule I have lost 2 weeks of my build time. This means a change of plans for the article and I am going to complete the model as a full stack, at least initially. Once the article is complete I am going to revert to Plan A and go with the model on it’s side and in separate sections. Unfortunately I just don’t have the time available to complete it this way for the article though. Which is a great shame but it does make this a build of two parts. So I will be continuing onwards even after Plan B is complete.
Working my way ever upwards we come next to the Service Module (SM). Unfortunately pretty much everything here is wrong. The model is based on the Block 1 version, which never actually flew and following the tragedy of Apollo 1 it was completely redesigned into the Block 2 version. So all the detail will need to be sanded away and more photo etch (I am really starting to dislike that stuff) will be added to replace the detailing with the correct details.
The nozzle on the SM is also wrong and it doesn’t have those rings, so they will need to be sanded off as well.
Wish someone would come up with a way of moulding nozzles in one piece so there isn’t a seam all the way round them, but particularly around the inside where you can’t really sand it clean.