by David Jong
What better model to is there to build for a "To the Moon" contest than the Apollo CSM spacecraft, the ship that carried our brave astronauts to the moon and back? This is the re-release of the Monogram 1/32 scale Apollo Spacecraft, built mostly stock with the addition of a resin cockpit panel set from RealSpace Models. It's not built to represent any particular Apollo flight.
This would have been a straightforward build, except that - likely due to the age of the molds for this kit - NONE of the major parts fit together properly, including the clear panels over the cutaway sections. I used Bondo Spot Putty to fill in some of the gaps, but could not properly address the fit of the clear panels for fear of damaging them.
The model was painted primarily with PollyScale and Tamiya acrylic paints, except for the outer hull of the service module, which was sprayed with Tamiya White primer and silver leaf lacquers. No clear coat was used to preserve the luster of the silver leaf spray. Those were the only sprays used; all the rest of the painting was hand-brushed.
For the main SPS fuel tank, I used some leftover paint I'd mixed up for the external tank of a space shuttle I built a while back. For the engine bell, I ignored the kit instructions and instead used two of my favorite jet engine paints: Gunze H28 metallic black for the inside, and H76 burnt iron for the outside. I intentionally left the H76 a little thick so there would be some light brush marks in it. This gave a little texture to the bell's surface that I think looks nice.
I really think this kit begs for a "pro modeler" edition that has a lot more detail in the cutaway sections. I'd also like to see a companion 1/32 scale cutaway LEM that can be "docked" to this CSM.
(Note: the two command module interior detail pictures were taken prior to installing the outer shell for purposes of clarity.)
Image: CM interior
Image: Engine bell
Image: SM Interior