Jump to content

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

Recommended Posts

Looked for a while an never really found a definitive answer, so I decided to scale down Vincent Meens drawings to 1/72 scale. (I'll compare the Airfix and Dragon parts, to the drawings, tonight.)


You know, thinking about it ... I wonder how many LM models have been, are are currently under construction using Mr. Meens drawings. It's a real testament to the open-source sharing of information. We owe him a great deal of gratitude. Thanks Vincent! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Finally, after a long few weeks, I've had the chance to do a little work. (Life does get in the way sometimes.)


Here's the leg parts compared to the drawing. The footpads for both the Dragon and Airfix kits seem pretty close to scale ... the Airfix legs are closer to scale that the Dragon's, which are a few mm too short.


Also worked to correct the shape of the bottom of the Dragon ascent stage.


Not perfect by any means ... but it's going to be tucked away, partially out-of-site ... and there are bigger fish to fry.

Edited by j-love
Link to post
Share on other sites

Porch re-work

Wasn't really liking the Newware porch replacement for the kit, so I took a stab at it myself. The hand rails are from the kit, and are a little thick for the scale. I may make another and use wire instead.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an update.

Very slow progress ... plus, research takes a while.


Wrapping up SLA exterior. I'll make these drawing available when I've worked out all the details.


Anyone have any idea as to the purpose of these little guys.


Here's the back-side. They have some kind of protruding bracket with a pin. Each seems to have a location marking as well. Perhaps for attaching service platforms?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

So I was away for a week and was "logged out" of the forms. Tried to log back in, but alas had for gotten my password. Attempted to reset the password, multiple times and heard nothing. So I just re-registered ... don't know if I broke any rules or not.

I've a few progress pict to upload later on, but I will say that I've been busy building etching equipment and completing the "structural" design of all the stages ... and trying not to just go out and buy the full Sat V Dragon kit. :blink:/>

PLUS! I found this ... 1/72 Space Model System Saturn V Decals!


See details here. It's a Cult TV Man exclusive ... so other than ebay, this is likely your only bet.

Edited by johnlove_mk_II
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Matt, guess I grabbed the wrong link.

Yes, I was a little bummed that they're currently out of stock, but I'm still very excited that Rick and Cult TV Man decided to make them available at 1/72 scale. Rick's work has always been top-notch ... they're going to look great.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my decals from Steve yesterday. As expected they're awesome.

The set comes with three sheets and three placement booklets. It's a pretty comprehensive set ... there are markings I didn't even know existed.




Edited by johnlove_mk_II
Link to post
Share on other sites

The SLA surface map is done. In can be found at my drop box here. Remarkably most of the raised surface lines on Dragon SLA line-up.

Starting on all the 1st and 2nd stage "wraps" ... they're a bear.


Forward umbilical, S-IC stage


Intertank umbilical, S-IC stage.


Aft umbilicals, S-IC (Hey, umbilical number three is selected!?) :doh:

Edited by johnlove_mk_II
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

LEM progress.



Removing the front hatch, and leaving enough material for the new ware photo-etch.


The photo-etch hatch fits perfectly. (Great job Thomas.) :woot.gif:/>

I'm also marking the forward windows to enlarge.


WIndows cut-out and enlarged ... as you can see, Dragon made them a little too small and tilted inward.


Inserted a styrene backing for the photo-etch. (When I actually glue these in, I'll cut out the openings and insert some blue tinted film.

Edited by johnlove_mk_II
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I went and bought the full Dragon kit ... I know, sort of a cop-out. There was a bit of a reasoning behind the decision. One, and this might be completely obvious, but there are some really useful parts included ... some things that wold really save me some time. Two, a second Apollo Spacecraft (LES, BPC, CSM, SLA), for a potential future Saturn IB, would cost almost $50. Why not spend a little more and get more plastic, right? And three, and this is the important one, I was really super curious.


Contained within this box is approximately 9 pounds of plastic. (Frankly, it was a little astonishing to behold.)



Apogee and Dragon F1 bells. (As you can see, the Dragon F1 is seriously undersized.)

A cursory look at the kit and comparing it to Tim Brandt's error list shows that his guide is pretty spot-on.

Next step, comparing what I've got - to what I want.


Here's some slow LM progress. Windows!

Edited by johnlove_mk_II
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that John, I was wondering what the Apogee F1 engines would look like in comparison to the Dragon ones. Given that the Apogee Saturn V is 1/70 scale as opposed to the Dragon 1/72 you would expect them to be slightly bigger but you are right that the Dragon parts are undersized even allowing for that.

I have been talking with Michael Key about his Saturn parts that he has on Shapeways and he gave me some prices for the F-1's in 1/72 and he as already listed the LES in 1/72 as a replacement for the undetailed Dragon part.




Link to post
Share on other sites

I forget the exact size difference I calculated between the 1/70th and 1/72nd parts ... but it only came down to a less than 2mm variance. (Maybe something like 1.78mm.)

My plan is to use the top part of the Dragon F1s, with the plumbing and such, and marry it to the Apogee engine bell. Then build the armature for the thermal blankets and cover them with Reflectix foil tape, then embossing the finer details with various sized hypodermic needles.

Yeah, I've been salivating over Michael's 1:1 RCS parts ... it's all very cool stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Been really busy with work, so this is the first update in a while. Been having some fits and starts with making my photo etch parts so I’ve set that process on the back burner for now. (Muriatic acid is some crazy stuff.)

Started working on the F1s … the plan is to marry some of the Dragon parts to the Apogee bells, and scratch building a armature for the general shape of the thermal blankets around the turbo-pumps. After I have that, I’ll “sculpt” the rest with some super-fine Milliput then replicate the blankets with Refectix tape with embossed fastener locations.

Once that is all that is done … I’ll make a mold, and cast five of ‘em. Simple, right?


Here’s my plan drawing. On the left are the Apogee parts … the middle is my 1/70-ish scale drawing … and the last is a overlay of both. As you can see the Apogee parts are a pretty reasonable representation.

Here’s are some progress picts that were obliterated by the Great Server Meltdown of 2013.


S-IVb’s compared; the Dragon kit and my Plastruct derived parts.


I split the 3.75” diameter and brought it down to 3.66” and added styrene bulkheads.


I also built the armature for the thrust structure and the impingement curtain. These will be covered with photo etch and styrene.


All mocked up for your viewing pleasure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking great John! And your CAD skills are fine. Don't know what program you're using but many 3d cad programs will accept Illustrator files to be used for sketches. Not sure if you knew that or not but if not it may be of some use to you. Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see this sucker done.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bill … I actually imported a .dwg file from Illustrator to AutoCAD ’13 for the J2 bell. I’m still pretty new to it all, so it's still a little bewildering … and AutoCAD isn’t exactly user friendly. I hope to get to a point where I can get a test print soon.

Since I’m focusing on the F1s now I thought I’d share what little information I’ve got on the thermal shields. Maybe you guys have some other picts that I haven’t seen?




Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work and research John! It is truly a challenge to find good photos of the F-1 engine thermal insulation.

I might add these which I have on my HD, don't know where I found them on the net:



The last one being low quality though it shows the stuff on a flown Saturn V.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Building the prototype F1 motor has begun in earnest.


Started with the Apogee parts … removed the turbo pumps, the top part of the thrust chamber and the “T” part of the turbine exhaust manifold. This left a hole that I’m going to fill by fitting the “Y” shaped Dragon part. This will be a closer representation of the production F1s.


Here’s a couple of shots with everything mocked together. I think it’s looking pretty ok so far.

I’m working now to get an accurate shape for the upper “turbo pump and inlet” area, covered with the TPS, to build the armature. These pics I’ve found on the heroic relics site have helped enormously. They show the TPS mounting brackets in pretty clear detail. Oh and this one too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great start on these. Looks like with a little blending and some good filling you'll never be able to tell it wasn't one part to begin with. Nice when a plan comes together. Keep up the great work!


Edited by niart17
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...