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About 15 years ago I won an ebay auction  for two Airfix Lunar modules. The first one I built as part of a project for my stepson (he's 25 now !).


old airfix lunar module



With the 50th anniversary of the moon landings fast approaching & no sign of a new-tool version I thought it was about time I dragged the second kit out of my stash.

Well it was 15 years ago... the second kit was in a bag:


problem 1: no decals - no problem, I have a couple of decent printers

problem 2: one of the legs isn't complete


The problems above didn't put me off starting. I've spent literally hours looking at pictures of the real thing & even made a trip to the Science museum where I got a few more pictures. So now it's time to get going. My main gripe about the Airfix kit is the deflectors - they should be mounted on the descent stage, but in this kit they are moulded to the downward thrusters on the ascent stage. So one mod will be to mount the deflectors on the descent stage, this will require some bits to be knocked up to support the things. I've also ordered some gold-foil sweet wrappers




So here's the incomplete leg  I used a piece of styrene to replace the missing section. This shouldn't be noticeable once it's covered in foil.


I've made a start on the big piece of the descent stage:



And I've started covering the legs with foil:




since taking these pictures, I've turned my attention to check out the rest of the kit & it doesn't look good. The thrusters with the deflectors attached are missing. The ladder is missing. The cradle that supports the dish above the door is missing. Who knows what else is missing - having started the kit & having done all the hunting for info on the web I'm not stopping now, so I've returned to ebay & managed to get hold of a 40th anniversary edition, which will be arriving soon. 


Thanks for watching


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The replacement kit has arrived, but for now I'm going to persevere with the original kit - I should end up with two descent stages, so this first one is more of an experiment. I'm using Vallejo model air tyre-black for the black on all main body parts & then using model-air black for peripheral parts. Here is the descent stage with the first leg fitted:


Airfix Lunar moduleAirfix Lunar Module



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So this weekend I've managed to fit the remaining three legs - but, hell I could have sworn there were four feet !




I think it's the end of the road for this bag of bits, and time to open the new box. But that can wait, I'm all foiled out for one weekend. I must say I'm pretty happy with the way the foil looks. Here's the final pictures of attempt No.1:





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After that last posting I started thinking (always a silly thing to do) and came up with the idea of persevering with descent stage #1 with a view to making a diorama of Tranquility base after the ascent stage has left. I'll have to make a replacement foot, and the ladder, and the platform above the ladder. But most importantly it'll need the deflectors fitted.

I've also noticed that PVA glue isn't ideal for sticking foil down - it simply peels off when the PVA has set, so I've ordered some microscale adhesive for metal foil. while I was at it I ordered some copper foil to give me some variation in the gold colours.

First up today was to try to make a deflector - I decided to take two pieces of foil & sandwich them with some PVA (it's all I've got at the moment) then press the sheet against a deflector in my new kit & then cut it out....



I decided to let that set for a while.

While it was setting I tried another foil experiment. I pressed some foil over one of the panels on the ascent stage & then cut it out slightly larger than the indentation & then folded the edges in to make it the right shape.



then I stuck it onto the model using PVA (yes it peeled off later)




then painted it by dabbing model air onto it - this gave a good coating, but the surface tension left a very fine silver edge. Once it was dry enough I tried pressing into it with a very fine drill bit.



 Ok, it's not very neat & it has since peeled off, but this looks like the way to go.


So - back to the deflector. I had to fathom out a way of making the stays. my attempts at stretched sprue were way too thin, so eventually I chopped the legs off some resistors, burnt my finger soldering them together & then glued the whole lot to the descent stage.




Inspired by MarkSH's build in the Grumman group build I also had a go at cutting out the abomination of a hatch, I then took two pieces from by huge collection of old sprues (I hate to throw them away if there are parts left over on them) and glued them inside the front section.



Back to work tomorrow, so it's unlikely I'll get any more time on this until Sunday...





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Really useful stuff to see. Finding out how to make the Airfix Lunar Module more accurate has been an ongoing research project for me going back over 40 years.

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I'm using This link as my guide to the colouring. That particular page shows way more detail than I could possibly hope for, but it is excellent for showing the foil coverage on the descent stage & also which panels are black/silver/grey on the upperstage. I'm tempted to print an image of the LM interior & stick it inside the rear section....

Now that I've made one set of stays for the deflector, I'm thinking of how to make the stays for my MkII version. I can use the set of stays that I have made as a template for making four complete sets on the bench before fitting them to my MkII descent stage. Well that's the plan anyway.

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very slowly - it IS progressing, but foiling those legs is very time consuming.


Also - I got given a mono price mini delta 3d printer for Christmas, this has proved to be quite a distraction - I'll just finish this little thing off & then I'll get back to finishing the LEM.....


saturn v


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