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1/32 Buzz Aldrin Rocket Hero Apollo Spacecraft


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On February 18, at the tail end of Donald Capone's posting of his Apollo CSM from the same Revell reissue of the Monogram original kit, I mentioned that I had been approached by the Adler Planetarium (in Chicago) gift shop to recruit someone to build this kit for their display case by March 15. It was supposed to be an OOB build because that is how the vast majority of their customers will build it. Well, you can predict the reaction when I asked for a volunteer at the Will-Cook meeting on February 19--no takers. So, I became the reluctant volunteer because I still wanted to give IPMS and our Chapter some public exposure. I delivered the finished model to Adler Planetarium today, and they immediately placed it in their glass display case that is seen by almost every visitor who walks in the door. Of the 24 days I had the model to work on, I actually spent time on 18 days, with 80-90 hours total. Here are some photos of the finished kit and then some work-in-progress.






The instrument panels in the Command Module are all decals. The artwork has not changed since the original 1970 issue by Monogram. The decals behaved very well and needed little to no setting solution. The complex shapes fit the parts almost exactly, but I did trim away most of the clear film around the edges before dipping them into the water so that the various bends could occur without wrinkling the decals on the parts.



The sculpting of the astronauts revealed three different poses on the arms and hands. Monogram did a nice job of including major details on the fronts of the spacesuits. The heads were a problem. The parts as molded are in the shape of the clear fishbowl they wore for launching, but no heads and faces are visible under the clear dome. I could not make the solid blob look clear with a head visible, so I chose to make them look like the exterior spacesuit helmet with the gold faceplate. I used a piece of gold Bare Metal foil for the faceplate. Inside the model and viewed from the side, it looks convincing if not accurate. I used photos of the real suits for the colors, and was surprised to find the details were there. The only other items not in the kit besides the gold foil were the flag decals I applied to the shoulders (only a microscope will reveal they are 48-star flags from a WWII sheet of 1/35 unit emblems). I did not have any NASA patches on decals that small. I use Vallejo paints on the astronauts.



Here the astronauts are mounted to the front instrument panel in thier chairs. It looks huge when it is right in front of their faces.



Interior walls are in place, minus astronauts. Some of the visible Command Module structural components are in place where the clear exterior piece will allow them to be seen.



More interior from an angle that you can never see when the model is finished. I lucked out with a Humbrol interior green that was almost an exact match for the green printed on the decal sheet.



Here's a fun shot looking at the astronauts from the tunnel leading eventually to the Lunar Module.



So, before I hit the photo limit, I'll stop here and continue on the next post below.



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Continuing with the build from above . . .


The astronauts are inside, their instrument panel is in place, and you see them for the last time from this angle.



Here the Command Module is all buttoned up. All the exterior handles, decals, and the docking ring are in place.



The docking ring and alignment device are well represented in the kit. The parts are small and numerous, but they fit together well. I spent a lot of time making this look right.



This is how you would see the Command Module as if you are in the approaching LEM.



Finally, a look at the completed Service Module. I used Testors spray can Metalizer on the end cap, but it is buried under the Command Module because I had to glue the two modules together to display them at the Planetarium. I found out that the intended snug fit was not snug, and just after I took this shot while attempting to install the Command Module for a photo, the CM ejected itself onto the marble kitchen floor, presenting me with a dozen pieces to reassemble. Fortunately, only glue joints popped and no parts broke. I had the whole thing back together in 90 minutes.



All assembled.



The interior details of the Service Module are simplified and lack any real details. I chose the exterior skin of the SM to learn how to use Alclad II Chrome. The basecoat was Model Master Semi-gloss Black, which gave me a very smooth finish. I let it cure for 24 hours before spraying the Alclad II. Presto, it worked! While not as bright as a pure chrome finish, the end result is a very convincing bare metal look. I had painted all the white areas previously with MM Gloss White over Boyd's White Primer, then masked it all off for the black and Alclad. I even managed to avoid getting any fingerprints into the black and Alclad.




That's it. Any comments and questions are welcome.


In my entire adult life I have never, NEVER built a model of this size and complexity in 18 working days. I prefer Years to Days, Weeks, or Months.






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Sweet piece of work - love it! There is no way I could put something like that together so well in a compressed time period, or even on my usual, glacial timescale. Amazing.

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Ed, you are a man of many talents. That kit is one of my favorites and I know it to be an "interesting" build. Great job on the model! I hope the gift shop allowed you some space for a little advert for your club and for IPMS.....

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  • 2 months later...

Ed, I didn't realize you did this build! Nice work! It was because of this build, I purchased the 1/32 Apollo capsule model, along with the VW kit we spoke about. I just purchased the Atomic City/MRC 1/12 Mercury Capsule after seeing these shots of how to super-detail it.




Now I'm thinking more on the lines of Fiber optics,electronic sound,servo motors, computer interface, to enhace a model. Thinking too of sound chip of VW starting, headlights, ect. using LEDS.

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Nice work Ed!

The finished project came out great!

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  • 1 month later...

Excellent job! Very nicely done - :smiley20: and very cool it is displayed..

I know it was supposed to be OOB, but I think I still would have gotten rid of the gold coloring on

the CM in favor of the real silver. ;)


A year ago I was lucky enuff to get a Buzz vehicle into a case the the Buzz Aldrin science Center in NJ - Gemini

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In my entire adult life I have never, NEVER built a model of this size and complexity in 18 working days.


Welcome to my world. I do it all the time! :smiley20::smiley17:


For one who hasn't ever done this, you did an outstanding job! I am very impressed! Thank you for posting these great pics; I may just have to get one of these now. Congratulations on a job well done!

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