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1/72 Dragon Lunar Approach CSM/LM

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Pete: Thanks.  The NewWare enhancements helped a lot.  The additional brass parts on the SM and the High Gain dishes came from them.  But all in all, the SM is much easier to make look good than the LM.


I forgot to mention in the update that the SM had to be painted twice.  I was removing the masking on the white areas and noticed that I was rubbing off the Alclad Stainless Steel paint.  I had to re-mask and re-paint it and then applied Alclad clear coat over that.  That worked, plus I was much more careful in my handling the second time around.


Southwestforests:  Oh yes, I'm well aware of the CA/clear styrene interactions.  That is why I used Plasti-Zap.  I've used it on several occasions before with absolutely no problems.  It didn't occur to me that it might interact with Kristal Klear.  Lesson learned on that one!  For the beauty shots, I decided I'd shoot on a black background and then edit out the rod holding it up. They turned out OK.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got a little more work done on the LM. I finally decided what I was going to do with the folded landing gear. I took the deployed gear parts and cut them at the hinge line. I then did some mild shaping at the joint and glued the two sections together in a folded orientation. I then applied some putty at the joint to smooth things out a bit. The picture shows the spliced gear and the folded gear from the kit.



It’s not perfect and the angles are of course off but I guess it’s passable. The bottom of the Descent Stage is not correct or the kit gear is too small but whatever the case it causes the folded gear into a raised angle when it should be nearly flat. But I’m really done fighting with it so I’m willing to accept it in this state.


I then moved back to the Descent Stage main body. I’ve finally decided to do this model as Apollo 10. The LM on Apollo 10 did not have the plume deflectors. Those were added starting with Apollo 11. I needed to use the small rectangular pieces that are not called out in the instructions to fill the open holes in the sides of the Descent Stage. They don’t fit very well, and the crinkle pattern is not a good match for the rest of the stage. Here are a couple of pictures showing how well they fit. 🤣




They are too tall and not quite wide enough for the holes. Here is a view from a different quadrant.



Mr. Surfacer 500 Putty was liberally applied in several layers to better blend them in. I also trimmed off the excess that is raised above the top of the Descent Stage.




Mr. Surfacer 500 applied roughly does a good job disguising the parts. Here is a view from the top.



Since I’m not using the pre-folded gear parts I needed to fill in the massive holes in the bottom of the Descent Stage.



Once I had all the holes filled I gave the Descent Stage a coat of primer to verify that I had all the imperfections covered.



Here is the bottom with primer.



Now it’s time to start applying some paint and foil. Before I get too far along with that though I’ll have to get the landing gear modified. Look for that in the next update.


Thanks for looking.

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It's looking good Randy ... but you just may be sweating the details. Those Plume Deflector plugs just needed a little filing and right now we can't tell there was a patch there ... so ...  nice job!

The Landing Gear, again, we'll be distracted by the shiny foil and details on the Ascent Stage, like antennae, RCS etc. In my experience, details like downlocks, ladder rungs, landing probes are missed by even the Eagle eyed Judges, as well as casual viewers. Just 'weenies' like me would notice, but again, I go for the major look of the subject ... those details, um-m-m ... not so much.


But, like you, I KNOW they're there ... so I really do understand where you're coming from! Just don't get too discouraged by the folded Landing Gear ... they'll be tucked under the Descent Stage and we'll be dazzled, nay OVERwhelmed, by the CSM ...   ;^ D)) ... "oh, did you see the LM?" "What? ... you mean there was a LM too??"



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  • 3 months later...

After a long layoff I’ve finally gotten back to the Apollo 10 build. I’ve had a bunch of other things on my plate lately and, to be honest, I just haven’t gotten my modeling mojo back. But, I felt like if I don’t get back and try to restart the project it will never get finished.


So, I got back to work on the landing gear for the LM. I finished folding the gear sections and did a bit of trimming and applying putty. Then they got a coat of primer. They aren’t exactly scale, but they do look better than the pre-folded part provided in the kit.




I finished the legs by sanding off the molded in foil on the lower section of the leg since Apollo 10 didn’t have any. I also cleaned up the ladder which had quite a bit of flash/off register mold lines. I also sprayed them with primer.



The landing pads were a bit of a booger to prep. I needed to remove all the molded in foil since Apollo 10 didn’t have any foil applied to the landing pads (except for a tiny bit on the quarter that faced the rocket nozzle). The bottoms were not too hard to do, but the top surface was tricky. I first tried sanding, but given their size that wasn’t working out too well. I ended up applying some Mr. Putty 500 to the surface to somewhat level out the crinkles. I then took a Dremel tool with a carving bit and went around the inside. This worked fairly well. You can see a bit of unevenness around the edges that I’ll have to clean up but I think this will do the trick.



I was looking over the Ascent Stage main body and noticed a couple of areas that I’ll need to fill and I also noted that I had forgotten to add one of the New-Ware resin parts above the right hand propellant tank. I glued that on and applied a coat of primer. That showed up some areas that I need to clean up and then re-prime.



That’s it for now. I’m about ready to apply a gloss black base coat to the Descent Stage and start the detail painting, but I’m going to have to wait for this heat wave to pass. The garage is so warm that the paint would almost certainly dry before it hit the surface. It’s been over 100 every day this week with very high humidity, so no painting until it can cool off a bit.

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Great work! I only now found this thread but will be following closely. It will be interesting to see your solutions.


I've been toying with idea of building one myself for years now. I was thrilled when I found out there was a new 1/72 kit available, especially of the LM. But given the facts that these seem to rather rare and hard to get plus you'll have to pay a hefty price for them I've still not acquired any of these kits. I'm also aware they are far from perfect and your project further underlines this. 


My original vision was to show a finished LM with 1/72 Tomcat - Grumman products as they are - and combine two of my great points of interests. 


Who knows, maybe I'll pick up one when the opportunity rises. Meanwhile I'll probably dig up my Tom Kelly Lunar Lander book. 🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...

A little more work got done on the Dragon model in the last few days.


I started with the steerable S-band antenna. Looking at my reference photos I noticed that the main post for the antenna projected more from the side of LM and not the top. The Dragon parts are made for a top mount. So I filled the hole in the top of the LM with putty and allowed it to dry. The New-Ware replacement parts for the steerable S-band can be seen in the below photo, which also shows the filled mounting hole. The replacement parts are much more accurate.



The Dragon part for the antenna support is just barely in above picture on the right. I will lengthen the main support post so it will fit into a new hole that I will drill into the side of the LM.


I moved over to the descent stage and sprayed it black and gave it a matte overcoat. I then started the process of adding the details to it. It will be a combination of paint and Bare-Metal foil. The first area to get the bright aluminum foil was the top center.



There is more to do with the top but since I had the bright aluminum out I did the bottom of the descent stage. Apollo 10 had a very unique pattern. Thanks to the Paul Fjeld website and Mike Mackowski’s SIM 7.1 for the marking guides for Apollo 10.



There is more to do. I also have some Bare-Metal Gold foil that will be used. I will also be painting some of the Bare-Metal foil with Tamiya transparent yellow, orange, and red to get the shades I need.


Next, I worked on some of the detail parts on the LM. Beginning with the VHF antennas.



I painted the antennas black and white as they were seen in photos. I then foiled the supports with Bare-Metal foil. I did use some Micro Scale Foil Adhesive to provide a bit of extra ‘stick’ since the foil is a bit on the old side.


Next up was the steerable S-band antenna. After assembling the antenna array, I painted the front side flat white and the back side flat black. I did this after careful examination of my LM photos. The antenna support had previously been lengthened for the new mounting point on the LM. I then foiled it in a similar manner as I did with the VHF antennas.



I then started on the rendezvous radar. The dish was not well done. I used my Dremel and removed the very large feed horn in the center of the dish. I then used a small drill and put in four small depressions where the reflector assembly would go. Since I used the New-Ware S-band antenna I was able to cut the feed horn from the Dragon S-band and glue it into the rendezvous radar dish. For the reflector I used four small styrene rods put together with Tenax. I will not glue that in until after the assembly is attached to the LM. Here is a photo of the modified part.



Next up were some more detail parts. The docking target came from the New-Ware detail set. It was primed and then painted flat white. I then carefully painted the black areas with flat black with a small brush and a small amount of paint.  My fingers are not what they used to be so to do the black, I placed the two parts on the edge of some masking tape to keep them in place and then, under my magnifier, painted them with a very small brush. On the left of the picture is the New-Ware resin EVA antenna in stowed position. At the top is the landing radar. It was painted with Alclad II chrome over gloss black base. The item next to it is the New-Ware photo-etch landing radar shield.



Lots more to do, but that’s it for now.

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