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1/72 Saturn V ... a semi-scratch amalgamation

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I don't know if I'm crazy to even consider building this thing. I've never really completed any of my models ... so perhaps that's why I'm here posting on this form. You know, so you guys could prod me along and keep me moving in the right direction.

This is still very much in the research/planning stages, but this is what I've got so far.

1 - I'll be using the Dragon Apollo 10 Kit for the CSM / LM / SLA / LES / IU

2 - I'll detail the CSM/LM with the New Ware detail set ... and I've also utilized the Airfix 1/72 LM to rectify some scale inaccuracies with the descent stage

3 - The S-IC, SII and S-IVB will all be scratch built. The J-2s will be scratch built, and I'll be using the Apogee F-1s (They're 1/70 scale, I know ... but they're not too far off.)

There's a ton of research and planning yet to do.

The Apogee F-1s





Apogee Decals


Here's a comparison of the decent stages. Dragon representation is about 2mm too short … and the Airfix is much closer to the 1/72 scale height.


Edited by j-love
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Thanks Bill ... I hope I can pull it off.

I'm a big advocate of having a plan, then drawing ... drawing ... drawing. Here's the initial idea for the S-IVB.

I'm going to use Plastruct ABS tubing and a half-hemisphere. I'll split the tube and re-join to fit the diameter of the IU/SLA and support discs and then drop the dome right in.


I'll then add the stringers and other details using a surface map that I'm currently researching.


Some of the detail will be a little difficult to master ... the APS units are freaking me out a little. I may try to have them "grown" with a 3D printing process.


Edited by j-love
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I also have this "kit" and am quite disappointed. It's like the Saturn part and the Apollo part were made by different companies. In addition to the inaccurate S-IC thrust structure, the 2nd & 3rd stages are "clocked" incorrectly. My plan is to use the Apogee thrust structure wrap and fairings, rotate the upper stages, repaint the entire rocket and use the Apogee decals.

Here's a photo I took at the Cosmosphere this summer that might help you:


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Oh boyohboyohboyohboy ... ! :yahoo:

So, you're gonna scratchbuild the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages ... and you think you're gonna need a little prodding? Well, you've come to the right place!

Seeing as this is just 3 big tubes, and some black paint, you'll have it done by, say, the end of March?? :whistle:

All kidding aside, this certainly will be fun to watch come together. Take your time and don't let anything 'freak you out'!

Pete :post1:

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Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I don't have David's drawings ... although I will admit they are an amazing accomplishment. I find that it helps me to do the research myself, and just draw the thing. I've been to JSC and KSC and have taken literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of picts, so I have a pretty good archive to refer to. Some of them can bee seen here.

Worked this weekend for a few hours on photo etch art and researched the S-IVB. This is all pretty boring stuff ... no cutting and gluing just yet.

I mainly concentrated on the aft umbilical area ... worked out placement and such.


Here's the preliminary art for the photo etch I'm going to make. Some of this stuff is going to be tiny!


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Ok. Really felt like gluing some things together last evening ... so I started roughing out the decent stage on the LEM. I didn't spend too much time "refining" the parts, as they will be hidden under the blankets ... but I did try to get the shapes close.

I've decided to make it the Apollo 16 / J-mission stack.


J-series MESA


Opened up Quad 1 for the LRV ... the LRV will be an interesting nut to crack.


SEQ bay, and the additional batteries and ECA units.

Again, just rough representations. Nothing special ... still need to construct the LRV pallets for Quad 3, and the cask for the PU238. :sunrevolves:/>

Edited by j-love
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So, the descent stage is Airfix's? It looks pretty good! Is the MESA and the batteries part of the kit too, or did you build 'em yourself?

Awhile ago, I did an Apollo 16 LM and Rover in 1/72, and for the wheels of the LRV, I used the 1/72 Airfix Astronauts 'kit' and in the kit is a Rover ( and some other fictitious roving vehicles ) and I used those wheels. If you used 'em, it'll save you a little scrounging. But I had to scratch the rest, and the Rover was only semi-deployed.

So far, so good! :D


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Hi Pete,

It's just the bottom part of the descent stage ... luckily I had a derelict in my spares bin. The MESA Batteries and ECAs I just quickly sketched out and constructed from sheet and stick styrene.

Yeah, I just read through the ARC article for your Apollo 16 diorama. That's a really nice model! (That ascent stage looked like it was a bear.)

I've have been in a bit of a conundrum about the LRV. I had considered buying the Dragon Apollo 17 kit and modifying that LRV, but spending $50 bucks to get a few parts doesn't really make too much sense. The Airfix "Astronauts" LRV sounds like a pretty good alternative ... scratch building the folded LRV shouldn't be too hard, but having the wheels would make life easier. Unfortunately a cursory search didn't turn up any for sale. I'm guessing they're current OOP? Maybe a look at the 'bay is in order.

So, the plastic in the "Astronauts" kit ... is that styrene, or vinyl? It's styrene, right?

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So, the plastic in the "Astronauts" kit ... is that styrene, or vinyl? It's styrene, right?

It's ... uh ... not styrene.

It's some kind of vinyl that doesn't like to be glued. I'm still new enuff to scale modelling that I'm not sure just what kind of 'plastic' it is, but I got the wheels to adhere by coating them in Future, letting 'em dry and attaching 'em with CA glue, if I recall correctly.

And building the folded up Rover shouldn't take you long at all. ( I also built one in a current WIP for Apollo 17, http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=248466&st=20 ... Page 2, 1/8 of the way down ) I've gotta get back into this build ...

And you did a very nice job on the MESA and the other additions ... very nice! :thumbsup:/>


... here's a thread I just re-located here on ARC about this plastic material ...


Edited by K2Pete
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Nice work. I'm digging all the articulation ... good job.

So after a little poking around, I found that the LRV wheels are about 32" in diameter which is .444" (11.22mm) so I'll look through what I've got at home. (Hopefully I can come close.)

I also ran across this diagram with chassis dimensions ... I've never seen it before.


Also found this one showing the LRV all tucked in. (I'd seen the diagram on the right, but not the one with the LRV installed.)


I'll probably do some sketching tonight, and get a plan rolling.

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Hey J-love, I don't know if it would be worth it at this scale or not, but if you'd like I could try to 3D model the LRV wheels and see how much it would cost to have them printed. I'm not sure what kind of detail can be shown at such a small scale but it's worth a try. Once the model is downloaded it will tell me how much it would cost to print. Just a thought since one day I'd like model one at a larger scale anyway so I'll need the basic parts worked out.


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Yeah Bill that would be awesome. (I've seen your stuff on some of the other posts and at the Shapeways site, very nice work.)

I did a little preliminary sketching on the LRV yesterday evening ... man is that thing small at 1/72. It might be overkill ... but any detail you could eek out would make it that much cooler.

These arrived from Plastruct ...


I'll likely get started on the S-IVB pretty soon now that I've the raw materials.

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sure, I can give it a shot. It cost nothing to model them and put them on their site, so if anything it will be good practice. I'll see what reference material I can get on them and try to work them up. I wish I could make the mesh fabric, but at that scale I suspect it would be impossible to print them like that. I always wondered why nobody did photo-etch ones...hmmm....

anyway, I'll let you know what I get and maybe have you look over them before I upload to Shapeways.


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Yeah, I'm not too familiar with the 3D printing ... but I can imagine recreating the mesh look, especially at 1/72 scale would be darn near impossible.

If it helps, here are a few cross-sections I ran across in my research. I'm wondering if we get the basic shape, then we could add a 'etched tread pattern. I don't know ... might be too small to be practical.



Also the PE I've been working on, for the LRV bottom plate.


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Haa haa ... very valid point Pete. :D/>

See, this is part of my problem. I want to add everything ... to the point of it being absurdly impractical.

But what's to say you couldn't have an unfolded one on display next to the Saturn V? :woot.gif:

I'll probably model one anyway cause I really want to try one in a larger scale one day, like 1/24 or so.


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Now Bill, don't go building us up just to let us down ... :whistle:

Before you try to build up a tiny, itsy bitsy 1/72 Rover, do some ciphering. There are a lot of very fine details, at that scale, which may be out of the scope of 3D printing. Steering mechanisms, "lawn chair webbing" on the seats, and a bunch of rods and supports ... may not be feasible in 3D.

But I do agree that a bigger scale one, say 1/48 ( as it would accompany the 1/48 LM's out there ) or larger, would be a far better choice, from a sales standpoint.

Having said all that ... keep us posted on your 3D rover! :yahoo:

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