Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Mike

Apollo 11 Columbia & Eagle (03700) 1:96

Recommended Posts

Apollo 11 Columbia & Eagle (03700)

1:96 Revell

 

boxtop.jpg

 

It’s the 50th anniversary of Man landing on the Moon, and Revell have re-released all their staples of the Space Age and the race between the US and Soviet Union to put a man on the moon, following John F Kennedy's rousing speech less than a decade earlier.  For Apollo 11 Colombia was the name for the Command Module (CM) and Service Module (SM), and Eagle was the given name to the Lunar Module (LM), which made the descent on the 20th July 1969 and landed with a thimble-full of fuel in reserve on the surface of the Sea of Tranquillity, a large expanse of reasonably flat ground in the upper right quadrant of the face of the Moon that is always turned toward us due to its speed of rotation and orbit.  They stomped around a bit in their stiff space suits, leaving footprints and some scientific instruments, then boarded the Ascent Stage of the LM and blasted off, linked up with the CM/SM combination and headed back to earth, with just the CM ending up back on earth, albeit a little hot during re-entry, then damp after splashdown.

 

 

The Kit

Modelled in the unusual scale of 1:96, which happens to match their gigantic Saturn V kit that is also available again (watch out for my review of that in due course), this kit hails from the same era as the others, although it first saw light in 1969, the same year as the events it depicts.  It arrives in a medium-sized end-opening box, and inside are five sprues in a muted silver styrene, a sheet of clear acetate, a square of thin gold foil to simulate the insulation, a small decal sheet, and the instruction booklet.  Again, it's a product of its age, and although it has some good detail in places, there are likely to be some areas that would require work if you're a purist that's aiming for accuracy.  As it's a special edition, you also get four thumb-pots of acrylic paint, a small bottle of Contacta Professional semi-liquid cement.

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

misc.jpg

 

paints.jpg

 

Construction begins with making up the small windows in the CM using the 1:1 templates provided, which are then shown being inserted into the conical body from the inside.  A pair of lifting eyes and the top cone where the re-entry parachute packs were stowed are added, then the cramped cockpit is built up on the bottom heat-shield, with rudimentary seats moulded into the bulkhead for one of the astronauts, Michael Collins for Apollo 11 to sit, all dressed up in his suit, although it's unlikely he wore his helmet for much of the time he was alone.  The two halves are brought together and glued, then set aside until later on.  Jumping around, the boxy descent stage of the LM is then made up and painted gold, and later given its insect-like legs, then dressed up in the supplied foil, which should first be scrunched up to give it the typical wrinkled look seen on the real thing.

 

The Service Module carried all the fuel and supplies needed to get there and back again, and was basically a very tightly packed cylinder with a large rocket engine bell at the rear.  This is made of the two halves of the cylinder, which is stopped up with fore and aft bulkheads and the engine bell fitting into a socket on the latter.  The communications array (the four dishes) and manoeuvring thruster packs are all added, then it too is set to one side.  Before the Ascent Stage of the LM is made, you need to cut a couple of triangular windows from the clear sheet, again using more 1:1 templates, then inserting them from inside.  A single crew figure is glued inside the front half of the crew compartment just so he can be seen by anyone looking inside.  There's no other detail, and the suit style isn't correct for Apollo 11, but as it won't be seen, we'll not worry about it.  As this is likely to be Buzz Aldrin, we close him in by adding the rear half of the module, a couple of angular bases for the aft thruster packs, which are glued to their tops.  The front thruster packs are also fitted to the module by a pair of triangular mounts, and the steerable S-band antenna is added to the side on three legs.  The rendezvous radar assembly is attached to the front "forehead" of the module's "face" on a bracket in front of the docking tunnel door.  Then it's a matter of deciding how you plan on displaying your model.  The lunar surface is represented by a large flat(ish) chunk of moulded styrene, with a sweeping goose-neck stand rising out of one end.  Another figure is supplied for the moon walk, to represent the late Neil Armstrong, complete with his life support backpack, and some slightly off-mission space suit details.  The four stages of the mission are shown in the last few steps, beginning with the flight from orbit to the Moon, where the full stack is joined together, with the LM travelling backwards.  The landing shows the LM on the surface, with the CM/SM orbiting overhead on the stand, which is not to scale altitude in case anyone wondered!  On departure the moon the Ascent Stage leaves the Descent stage behind and joins up with the CM/SM for the journey home, pausing briefly to cast the Ascent Stage off into space.  The last step shows the CM leaving the SM in orbit and descending for the splashdown, which isn't a particularly practical option, as it wastes the whole LM and would need a new stand, so was probably included just for completeness.

 

Markings

There are no explicit painting instructions in the booklet, as all of the markings and colour callouts are made during construction, citing Revell paints and using a few more colours than are provided in the little pots, but as they're primarily aimed at the younger modeller who brush-paints, we're all likely to have some equivalents even if we don't use Revell colours.  Decals are printed by Zanetti, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, and a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  There are two curved logos for the CM, two more for the SM, and another larger one for the Descent Stage of the LM, plus four stencils for the SM's thruster packs.

 

 

Conclusion

This re-release of an early Apollo kit will doubtless stir some nostalgia with those that remember it from days gone by, and with a little extra work it can be brought up to modern standards.  It is nice to see that Revell have included gold foil in this issue, as it shows that they are aware that painting the LM gold won't cut it in today's modelling world.

 

Highly recommended.

 

bin.jpg

 

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

logo.jpg t_logo-a.png or facebook.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'lifting eyes' on the Command Module are actually radio antenna - for the actual Apollo spacecraft as flown they were relocated to the side of the Service Module. That of course takes us into Block I/Block II territory which is a whole new :worms:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...