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Army_Air_Force

My Daughter's "The EGGle Has Landed" - School Easter Egg Build

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Each year, the school has an Easter Egg competition. This year, to mark the 50th anniversary, the theme is the Apollo Moon landings. Since my daughter has been modelling for a few years now, still with lots of guidance, we planned on something a little better than the toilet rolls and sticky tape usually seen in these types of projects.

We decided on the Eagle lander and an astronaut as our build. We began with an MDF base for the Lunar landscape.

 

apollo001.jpg

 

After a coat of PVA glue, the base was covered in first coat wall plaster and after a few minutes to begin the cure, we used fingers and thumbs to imprint the craters into the stiffening plaster.


apollo002.jpg

 

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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We would use a blown egg as the Eagle module and scratch build the descent stage. We'd also be using a mini egg for the head of Neil Eggstrong. I cut a plywood octagonal shape on the bandsaw and made a jig so my daughter could drill the mounting holes for the wire legs and get them all in the same places.

 

apollo003.jpg

 

A quick pose for a photo before goggling up and getting to work.

 

apollo004.jpg

 

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We were using some 1mm copper wire for the legs and it took some effort to cut with the wire cutters! For me, it didn't feel like much effort at all.

 

apollo005.jpg

 

After more chopping at the copper wire and then some bending, the basic shape of the Lunar lander was starting to look spaceship shape!!! as well as egg shaped!

 

apollo006.jpg

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The copper wire legs would be soldered together and glued into the wooden core. My daughter hadn't done any soldering before, so this was a new experience and learning curve. I took a guess that drawing pins would be about the right size to make the feet. 

 

apollo007.jpg

 

At first, I wondered if the wire leg could be soldered to the pin of the drawing pin and then bent to the correct angle. The pin however snapped off the round part while bending, so instead, the pin would be removed and the wire leg soldered directly to the pin head. Both the head and wire leg were tinned first, seen in the picture below, before being joined.

 

apollo008.jpg

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Once the feet had been soldered to the main leg strut, the 'V' shaped parts of the leg were tinned in preparation for attaching the main strut.

 

apollo009.jpg

 

apollo010.jpg

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With both the parts of the leg tinned, it was time to support everything in place for final soldering. Using lead weights and croc clips to hold the parts still, heat and a little more solder was added, attaching the legs one by one.

 

apollo011.jpg

 

The Eggle lander is starting to look the part now! A cracking model. Eggstremely good. I really must stop with all these yokes!!!  😁

 

apollo012.jpg

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Time for a little detail. We used some styrene for the walkway leading from the door to the top of the ladder. It is seen here being marked out to be cut to fit around the egg, as well as cutting to length and width. I found some etched brass ladder in the scrap box which would be added.

 

apollo013.jpg

 

The lander needed a rocket nozzle on the bottom and as I didn't have anything suitable, we had to make something. I had some resin model board which was drilled for a big bolt through the centre. The bolt was tightened onto the block of resin and fastened into the lathe chuck.  I then set up the lathe cross slide to cut a taper to make a cone. 

 

apollo014.jpg

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Here's the nozzle almost complete. It just needed the flange next to the nut trimming off. I told her to stop before getting too close so the lathe tool wasn't going to strike the nut.

 

apollo015.jpg

 

Here's the lander with the entrance walkway and ladder attached and sitting on our cratered base. We were feeling quite pleased with ourselves at this point.

 

apollo016.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Army_Air_Force said:

We were feeling quite pleased with ourselves at this point.

And you certainly deserve to do so. Quite brilliant. Lovely to see Dad and Daughter time being spent so creatively. You must win a prize on the day!

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You'll have to include the photos of the build when you take it to school, otherwise they will never believe that she built it herself.

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The first layer of colour being applied to the Lunar regolith, thanks to some left over white household emulsion and a small pot of black mixed together. A little dilute PVA was mixed in too to help bond the paint to the plaster while also helping to harden up the plaster as it soaked in.

 

apollo017.jpg

 

It was left to dry and a few days later, we did some subtle dry brushing of lighter and darker shades of grey to bring out some of the texture in the plaster.

 

apollo018.jpg

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The next step was to undercoat the base of the lander in white. Fiddly getting everywhere around the legs so it took a while.

 

apollo019.jpg

 

In the background is the tin of white Humbrol paint, stuck to the bench with Blu-Tac to make sure we didn't have any spills. Almost all the white is now complete and it was left to dry.

 

apollo020.jpg

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The rocket nozzle, after trimming, was given a coat of black, as seen below and once dry was dry brushed with gunmetal.

 

apollo021.jpg

 

Introducing Neil Eggstrong. He's not in scale with the lander, but his size was set by a size that could be easily worked on and also the desire to use a mini egg for his head. As can be seen here, we started with a copper wire armature. Masking tape was wrapped around his arms and legs to give them some bulk. His final shape would be formed from Milliput epoxy putty. 

 

apollo022.jpg

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More drawing pins and pieces of wire were used to make the various aerials and some wood and styrene formed the doorway and window area.

 

apollo023.jpg

 

It was then given a coat of cellulose primer.

 

apollo024.jpg

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After Neil was covered in Milliput, we cut a backpack from a piece of wood which was also coated in Milliput. He was then set aside again to dry.

 

apollo025.jpg

 

Back on the base of the lander, the white undercoat was painted over with gold. Once that was dry, panel by panel was painted with PVA glue and then sprinkled with gold glitter to represent the reflective insulation. The glitter got everywhere!! It seems to be able to stick itself to things without the aid of glue. My bench was covered, despite using a sheet of paper to catch the sprinkles, it was on the carpet, hands, face, hair and I even found a sparkle in my ear! It however worked very well to cover the base.

 

apollo026.jpg

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Once all the faces of the lander were covered, the legs were also glued and sprinkled. After a period to dry, the whole model was painted with dilute PVA to try and seal in the gold glitter and prevent it shedding sparkles wherever it went. When that was dry, the ladder and walkway were then painted. Now we were really impressed with our work. It was really coming to life now.

 

apollo027.jpg

 

Neil Eggstrong had more Milliput work done on his egg head and helmet and then that was fitted. He still needed more sanding and shaping to refine his body shape and create some gloved hands.

 

apollo028.jpg

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The Eggle had some additional painting and window frames added from styrene before it and the rocket nozzle were eopxied to the lander base. The dishes on the top were later painted white. We still need a flag making of course.

 

apollo029.jpg

 

After some final shaping, Neil received his first coat of white paint on Friday after school.

 

apollo030.jpg

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A search through the spare decals box found a "United States" from a 1/144 scale Arctic C-47, which was applied with lots of Microsol over the glitter.

 

apollo031.jpg

 

I also found a thin paper "Stars & Strips" left over from a 1/144 scale Fletcher Class Destroyer. Once wetted with PVA, it was pressed down into the hard glitter surface and lay down fairly well. These were the last two jobs on Friday and now we're both full of cold, so no more progress until we both feel more alive again. We're both very pleased with the way it's turning out. Early in the year, we considered buying the Airfix re-release of the Apollo kit, but since we were given this project by the school, I don't think we'll bother now.

 

apollo032.jpg

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18 hours ago, Army_Air_Force said:

The Eggle lander is starting to look the part now! A cracking model. Eggstremely good. I really must stop with all these yokes!!!  😁

Yes, you really must.

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Brilliant work. Get well soon both of you. 

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