Apollo 11 Eagle by Monogram - HobbyTalk
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post #1 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Apollo 11 Eagle by Monogram **** New Pics!

Back on July 20, 1969 I watched the first lunar landing on my folks old console TV that sat on a shelf above the floor in my folks back living room. It was incredibly exciting to put it mildly. I can still remember the grainy black & white image of Neil Armstrong descending the ladder before uttering those immortal words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Still, in my mind, one of the best quotes ever. The lunar landing was the fulfillment of a goal first set forth by President Kennedy almost a decade before to send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth; sadly, he was robbed of the chance to see his vision realized. Not so for this model obsessed 11 year old. After watching so many of the Apollo missions blast off and circle the moon before the Eagle actually landed my enthusiasm level was sky high when it finally happened. So I wasted no time in laying my hands on a kit of the Eagle and the Columbia, the Command Module that Michael Collins piloted in orbit while his two shipmates made history below.
In a matter of days I had finished the kit which depicted the two spacecraft in their docked configuration as they journeyed to the moon. This model sat on my shelf for many years and I was happy with it; still, I never built an actual model of the Eagle in full landing mode...until now.

This is my client build of the 1/48 scale First Lunar Landing kit which was issued for the 25th anniversary of the event in 1994. My customer had originally planned to have me build the new Round 2 Galileo shuttle kit but, after waiting a couple of years only to have Round 2 announce they had no plans to produce it anytime soon, he opted to have me build the LEM instead. So after a few emails back and forth to decide on display options and such the client had the kit shipped to me from a reseller on eBay. It soon arrived in the mail, still sealed in the box, and in excellent condition:

Box from Client by trekriffic, on Flickr

Monogram Kit in its Shipping Box by trekriffic, on Flickr

Along with the kit I also received a second box filled with goodies from the client:

Contents of the Boxes by trekriffic, on Flickr

The box contained...

Some spare parts from a second kit the customer had in his possession:

Spare Parts by trekriffic, on Flickr

An extra sheet of gold foil, an extra sheet of decals, and an aftermarket resin and photo-etch detail set from New Ware specific to the Apollo 11 mission:

Detail Set, Gold Foil, and Extra Decals by trekriffic, on Flickr

Closeup of the detail set:

Detail Set by trekriffic, on Flickr

As of right now, the only work I've done has been mostly research oriented. My customer provided me with a number of links to articles on the LEM as well as an exhaustive build thread of this kit done by another modeller that I am still reading thru. So I have a wealth of information at my disposal to make this into a really accurate representation of the Eagle.
One thing I have done was find a source for Polyimide (aka Kapton) tape which is a gold colored tape NASA used to cover the lower descent stage of the LEM and wrap around the landing legs. I picked up a pack of 5 sheets at Fry's Electronics last week:

Polyimide Tape by trekriffic, on Flickr

I also purchased some dull aluminum adhesive backed bare metal foil.

So that's about all for the moment. I'll be posting further updates as I go along so stay tuned for more from Tranquility Base...

Last edited by Trekkriffic; 01-23-2017 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Change Title
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post #2 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 01:55 PM
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I built the Airfix Lunar Module and used some gold candy wrapper foil from Hobby Lobby. The nice thing is that it also takes Tamiya paints well and you can paint it with Clear Orange and Black to match the multi colored areas on the real thing.
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post #3 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djnick66 View Post
I built the Airfix Lunar Module and used some gold candy wrapper foil from Hobby Lobby. The nice thing is that it also takes Tamiya paints well and you can paint it with Clear Orange and Black to match the multi colored areas on the real thing.
Did you happen to do a build thread? I'd like to see it. Also a link to any photos you may have taken.
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post #4 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 02:42 PM
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I had posted some on Hyperscale.... but I have some still. I never took really great pictures of the project or finished kit. This is what I have for now

It's the old Airfix 1/72 kit. It's not a horrible model, but like pretty much all of the first generation Apollo kits, it is based on either pre-flight mock ups, or is a mix of various LEM details resulting in sort of a generic LEM. It's built largely OOTB with the exception of adding a couple small details here and there.




You can see here the two different gold tones. I forget now what I used to affix the candy wrapper foil. I might have used Micro Foil Adhesive. Or just some Gator's Grip acrylic glue. It was not difficult to work with.



The lower stage was covered first



Some silver foil was needed on the bottom. Remember this assembly is something like 2.5" or 3" wide. This is a small kit.




I glued the legs together like this, then foiled the sub assembly parts before gluing them to the body of the LEM stage



Portions of the gold foil were tinted with Tamiya Clear Orange. Other areas were painted Flat Black



The top of the landing stage in progress. I was going to add some more detail to the kit but got tired of working on it.

Masking the upper stage of the LEM was a chore. I used a Tamiya spray paints for the non foiled areas.

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post #5 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 06:12 PM
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Fry's, huh? I have a 1/72 scale Dragon kit (Apollo 11 Lunar Approach). I think I need to ease on over to Woodland Hills.
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post #6 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 07:39 PM
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The Monogram kit has been touted as the best-detailed 1:48 kit of the LEM to date. The detail set adds even better accuracy. Looking forward to watching this!

Last edited by Proper2; 04-16-2016 at 07:42 PM.
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post #7 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 08:22 PM
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The Monogram kit has been touted as the best-detailed 1:48 kit of the LEM to date. The detail set adds even better accuracy. Looking forward to watching this!
It was compared to its period counterpart from Revell but the new Dragon kits, while not perfect, are a lot better overall.

http://www.modelingmadness.com/revie...ichaelslem.htm
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post #8 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by djnick66 View Post
It was compared to its period counterpart from Revell but the new Dragon kits, while not perfect, are a lot better overall.

http://www.modelingmadness.com/revie...ichaelslem.htm
In what way(s)?
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post #9 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 08:08 AM
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Again all of the 60s vintage space kits suffer from 1) being based on pre flight mock ups and boiler plates to varying degrees and 2) suffering from 60s molding shortcuts. What was acceptable 50 years ago is not looked on favorably today. back then, kits had few fine details or small details, and a lot of detail was just molded in place. Also the old kits do not do we in defining the individual LEM craft. In reality, the LEMs were custom made and each individual space ship differed from the next in detail, coloration, markings, etc. For example, the descent stage on later craft had to be adapted to carry more experiments and equipment, and also the moon buggy. The older kits tend to mix pre-flight mock ups and details from specific mission craft into a generic Apollo LEM.

The new kit is just a lot more refined. More detail, more accurate and mission specific detail (the kit I have is one of the later J series LEMs) and much better engineering. You don't have to drill out all of the thruster nozzles... Decals are better too and not just generic USA and flag stickers. Dragon even replicates the foil covering on the lower parts of the craft so you don't have to make it yourself out of foil.

One obvious issue with the old Monogram kit is that they mold the engine bell into the halves of the ascent stage. This results in both an incorrectly shaped bell but also a seam that is impossible to properly remove. You wouldn't see something that crude on a newer kit (or shouldn't see).

In general if you compare any mid 60s to early 70s kit to a modern equivalent, the improvement is night and day... That doesn't mean the old kit is just bad. Monogram's Lunar Module was excellent for its day, but times change. Technology improves. Better research and engineering today make for better kits.

Last edited by djnick66; 04-17-2016 at 08:10 AM.
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post #10 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 10:05 AM
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Cool! I've got one of these in my stash to build.

The NASM is updating their LM to match Apollo 11. It is on display torn apart now. It will be done by the July opening of the Boeing milestones of flight hall. If you can make it east you would have a nice reference for details.
I get there often on business and have talked to the tech's working on it. The LM they have is the 2nd earth orbit test vehicle that was not needed after Apollo 10 was so successful. I was told that when Grumman/NASA transferred the LM to the Smithsonian, they also got all the LM spare parts!

If you can't make it east, let me know. I'll be happy to take some photo's of detail parts if you need it.
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post #11 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by djnick66 View Post
Again all of the 60s vintage space kits suffer from 1) being based on pre flight mock ups and boiler plates to varying degrees and 2) suffering from 60s molding shortcuts. What was acceptable 50 years ago is not looked on favorably today. back then, kits had few fine details or small details, and a lot of detail was just molded in place. Also the old kits do not do we in defining the individual LEM craft. In reality, the LEMs were custom made and each individual space ship differed from the next in detail, coloration, markings, etc. For example, the descent stage on later craft had to be adapted to carry more experiments and equipment, and also the moon buggy. The older kits tend to mix pre-flight mock ups and details from specific mission craft into a generic Apollo LEM.

The new kit is just a lot more refined. More detail, more accurate and mission specific detail (the kit I have is one of the later J series LEMs) and much better engineering. You don't have to drill out all of the thruster nozzles... Decals are better too and not just generic USA and flag stickers. Dragon even replicates the foil covering on the lower parts of the craft so you don't have to make it yourself out of foil.

One obvious issue with the old Monogram kit is that they mold the engine bell into the halves of the ascent stage. This results in both an incorrectly shaped bell but also a seam that is impossible to properly remove. You wouldn't see something that crude on a newer kit (or shouldn't see).

In general if you compare any mid 60s to early 70s kit to a modern equivalent, the improvement is night and day... That doesn't mean the old kit is just bad. Monogram's Lunar Module was excellent for its day, but times change. Technology improves. Better research and engineering today make for better kits.
That 1:24 LEM is amazing! Thanks for the link!

As far as the Monogram kit, I think a lot of those issues are addressed w/ the Neware NW068 detail set exclusively for that kit, such as highly detailed hollowed out RCS nozzles, landing pads, antenna details, ALSEP bay doors, landing leg downlock mechanism details, and various other details: http://mek.kosmo.cz/newware/nw068.htm It even shows how to trim/shorten parts like the ladder and egress platform rail.

Last edited by Proper2; 04-17-2016 at 05:18 PM.
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post #12 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 05:38 PM
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I'd like to get hold of Dragon's 1/48 J-Mission CSMs. I didn't know until I saw the kits that there were long extending antenna booms on the SM.
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post #13 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 06:25 PM
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Right the correction kit obviously corrects many of the flaws in the Monogram kit... Although, if you are starting from scratch it is easier and cheaper to buy the Dragon kit.
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post #14 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 06:06 PM
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Right the correction kit obviously corrects many of the flaws in the Monogram kit... Although, if you are starting from scratch it is easier and cheaper to buy the Dragon kit.
IF you can find the Dragon kit (http://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/ki...ml_11008.shtml) it's probably cheaper than the Monogram kit + Detail Set. And definitely easier. But in looking at the parts I doubt that it is a lot more refined or a lot better overall, especially considering that it has all the thermal foiling molded in and pre-painted (which in my opinion never looks as good as actual foil). Additionally, the after-market Detail Set, specific to the Monogram kit, includes parts certainly much better-detailed than those of the Dragon kit. Here are 2 interesting reviews of the Dragon kit that are worth reading: http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Models-...sortBy=helpful

I would think that the final result of the Monogram build in the hands of a skilled modeller with the detail/photoetch set would be noticeably better than the Dragon kit build.

Last edited by Proper2; 04-21-2016 at 12:57 AM.
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post #15 of 106 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 06:52 AM
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In the end its a toss up. My nod would be to the newer kit with TLC than trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear with the nearly 50 year old Monogram offering. That is especially true if you are starting from scratch and don't have a kit to work with. Now, if you have the Monogram kit, you can make a really super model from it, it just takes more work.

This guy built the Monogram kit and did an incredible job reworking or remaking almost every part. Plus he used the resin detail set

http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforu...bout19206.html
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