[Starship Modeler's 18th on-line modeling contest: To the moon]

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Sponsored by BLAP! Models

by Marco Scheloske

Scale: 1/96

''We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.'' John F. Kennedy, Houston, Texas, 12. September 1962

Which model can match those famous words better than the sky-scraping SATURN V, the largest rocket ever built? The one shown here is the re-release of the 1/96 scale Apollo / Saturn V from Revell Germany, built more or less out of the box. I decided not to super-detail it because I wanted to keep the historical ''specials'' of this kit, like the way Revell used to construct the tanks (flat, pre-printed styrene that has to be rolled to cylinders - which was a nightmare because of the imprecise cut and drilled parts!), and my goal was a clean ''3D-Illustration”-look.

I only added the two insulation stripes on the second stage, used the comprehensive decal sheet from Space Model Systems, and cut additional ''windows” into the interstages to make the engine clusters visible while the model is completely assembled. The kit already has the cut-away window for the installed LEM, I thought it was fitting to add those for the engines, too. Painting and decals are based on the Apollo 11 mission; the CSM was slightly altered with scratchbuild parts to match the ''Block 2” hardware better.

The model wasn't completely painted to keep the pre-printed stuff and the result are different white tones for the tanks and interstages. Interestingly that is NOT a bug, but a feature: I found several reference pictures of real Saturn V rockets on their launch tower clearly showing that the hardware had different white tones too!

At the end I added a 1/100 (= close enough) scale architectural figure to the display to show how massive the Saturn V really was (without this reference it is just a huge model) and a self-made plaque containing John F. Kennedy's famous words and the logos of the Apollo program and the Apollo 11 mission.

We were there once. We shall go again… space is our destination. So let us all cheer together: ''To the Moon!”

Image: Engines and plaque

Image: CSM

Image: Stage 2

Image: Stage 3

Image: Looking (a long way) down

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This page was last updated 2 June 2009. © 2009 Starship Modeler