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Many thanks for the praise.


I decided to try finishing off the main details of the S-IVB thrust structure and improve the fit of the engine. After having spent what felt like too much time I had come up with this as a compromise for the basics. Still missing are the eight spherical helium tanks.








The helium tanks are included among the resin parts, but rather than cleaning up and repairing these I think I will try to find suitable balls of good quality around 9 mm diameter. I need six more anyway for the J2-engines. I may also draw and 3D-print their mounting structures. We'll see.




I should attend to the S-IC fairings and fins, but I started looking at something else...


I have been considering my options for the Instrument Unit (IU, the short bottom cylindrical section) and Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA, the long conical section divided in two). The SLA carried the Lunar Module (LM) inside and the Command and Service Module (CSM) on top.


The Dragon parts lack almost all detail that should be there and what detail is present is overdone or incorrect. I have some 3D-printed details to use, but there is lot of work anyway.


The resin parts have most details fixed, but they are quite rough and nothing fits very well. As with the Dragon parts there is no internal detail. This is also a lot of work.


There is a third option with 3D-printed parts, but printing them in the only material good enough for them to be useful would be very expensive at some 500 €, still with no internal IU-detail, and I would still want the surface detail differently and more restraint.




A major problem is that the resin parts appear to have shrunken in diameter, there is no way I can fit them on top of the S-IVB, even if I tried to save them.




The Dragon parts do fit well, possibly a little loose that may need attention. I think I will have to deal with correcting and detailing these parts.


My thoughts of possibly leaving a quarter section of the upper SLA part clear to show the Lunar Module inside will probably fail though, as I need to mess with the surface. OK, the real thing was all white anyway so it might be just as well.



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If you are prepared to settle for 8mm, it is possible to get ball bearings in plastic or metal from various sources.

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That resin part of the SLA looks pretty average. Does the Dragon SLA measure up correctly? If so I think that's your best option. As for the fuel spheres, look for plastic jewellery beads in craft shops.

Outstanding attention to detail as always with your build.

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@John_W @Ken Stenzenko Indeed I've had something like ball bearing balls or craft shop beads in mind. I'll search around in my workshop and also see what I may find next time I'm going to town. But I think I may need larger balls than 9 mm the more I look at it. I loosely tacked the 9 mm resin balls in place and I think they look small. I would probably need 10 mm, at least. I haven't been able to find out the diameter of the originals, not yet at least, only made comparative measuring on photos.




@Ken Stenzenko Mmm, the resin parts have often not been quite the solution I hoped for when I got them. The Dragon parts in this are are pretty right in length as they are; the IU is about correct, the fixed lower SLA section a mm short and the upper SLA section possibly 2 mm long. Probably not much to argue about. But I will anyway...


So first thing I did was to cut down the support collar on my S-IVB forward skirt to minimal length so as not to interfere too much with my planned IU-internal detail.




Next I cut off the IU-section of the Dragon part to correct length.




Then I cut a small slice from it and glued back to improve the fit to the forward skirt. This is mostly because of the way I have created my corrected length forwards skirt before. As I understand it there should be small amount of zig-zag pattern in the joint to the SLA, but not nearly as Dragon did it. I will have to see if this will do, need look more on photos.




On top of the S-IVB it doesn't look too bad.




I could have lengthened my cut off SLA-section, but as I had another part available I cut a section off of it to the desired length.




With some careful filing and sanding I soon had a smooth SLA fixed part cone that fit the IU-ring. These can later be glued, probably after internal painting. The rest of the surface detail will also go away before fixing the details.



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Of course the zig-zag pattern is not the IU-ring, so that had to go. It is however on the bottom edge of the SLA, but so very faint that I most likely won't bother.




I marked up the inner sections of the IU to help when locating the external detail, and also as an aid when it comes to the internals. The IU is the complex brain of the whole vehicle and it varied quite a lot in detail between missions. I've had to spend quite some interesting time researching it. This is for Apollo 10, 11 and 12.






I started detailing the surface of the fixed SLA-section. The ribs are sanded quite thin and I hope to make them quite faint after painting. Inside it the fixings for the LM needs to be built to get it to sit on the correct height above the IU, but for that I have to build up the basics of the LM itself.




Then I removed all surface detail on the upper section, apart from the ribs with parting lines. I also scribed the four parting lines on the inside. I removed about 2 mm from the top, so I later need to adapt it to fit the CSM again.




Then put new ribs on. These should end up just as soft as I want them on the bottom section.



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Just checking. Yep, still awesome.

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