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I'm now making progress with my build of Ron Evans's trans-lunar EVA on Apollo 17.  The base kit is a Dragon 1/72 Lunar Approach kit.  

The SIM bay on the service module is a donated part from the now-discontinued Apollo 17 kit - thanks. The Dragon service module needed a bit of surgery to get it a bit more accurate by removing the incorrect two ridges on the engine bell with just a single one.  The SM will have a few more mods but most of the needed mods are now complete.  I'll need to add a YAGI-type ariel that formed part of the science package for this mission along with some handrails.

The surgery on the CSM is a bit more involved.The main problem is that the Dragon command module has no windows and no interior.  As the scenario I am modelling calls for a open hatch I've had to cut out holes for the windows and remove the hatch.  I found a 3D printed CM hatch in 1/32 scale on Shapeways and contacted the creator.  He kindly created a simplified 1/72 scale version. https://www.shapeways.com/product/RWR4ENEQY/cm-open-hatch?optionId=67074092&li=marketplace

I'm trying to recreate the CM interior using plastic card, with a degree of success.  The couches have proven difficult to suss out, but thanks to help I've now got a clearer idea of how to reproduce them in hopefully enough detail to make reasonable stab at realism.  The frames for the couches are made out of bent brass rod (quite badly) soldered together.

The three astronauts are being fashioned from three figures from the Airfix astronauts kit.  Two of the figures have needed limbs moving.  Gluing this polythene parts has been difficult, but I was pointed to Loctite two part 'all plastics' superglue and, after a few false starts, this has worked well enough.

At the moment, my main stumbling block.is how to model Gene Cernan's bubble helmet.  During the spacewalk Ron Evans was outside retrieving film canisters and Jack Schmitt was standing in the CM hatch helping him.  Both were wearing Lunar EVA helmet with gold sun visors, so these are easy to model from using the Airfix Astronaut figures.  Gene Cernan was inside the CM just wearing his clear bubble helmet.  
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.collectspace.com%2Fubb%2FForum29%2FHTML%2F001308.html&psig=AOvVaw0LdclHEHPJ6jv6eiOKE3Qk&ust=1584987459494000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCNiZvPHYrugCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

The only way I can so far think to model this is to remove the head off the Airfix astronaut and replace it with the head of a figure wearing headphones such as the PJ production's American Navy WW2 pilots https://www.pj-production.be/en/figures-1-72/177-721140-pilotes-us-navy-2gm.html
My plan is to paint the head, then dip it in a clear glue or resin to create the bubble.  But which glue or resin to use?  I need something that is very thick when wet, dries quickly and clear.  Any ideas?

 

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

The build continues.  On Sunday I spent the day carrying out an extensive remodelling of Dragon's inaccurate Apollo 17 Simbay.

 

p?i=fe1dcef16903f9a16126434c8d5601fe

 

Edited by Michael Morris

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Last summer I built up an Apollo 17 CSM in 1/48 ... Dragon's SIM Bay, along with your mods is looking mighty fine!

 

I clicked on your link yesterday and nothing showed up, so, if you changed the link, thanx! ... And just 1 image? I wanna see more!  ;)

 

Re your helmets, in 1/72, why not just get a thick clear sprue and sand down a bubble shape?

 

IPD

 

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Posted (edited)

I am still having issues with posting images on britmodeller.  I'll get the hang of it one day!   Regarding bubble helmets. My plan was to replace the head on the Airfix astronaut with the head from one of PJ productions WW2 pilot figures, then, after painting, dip the head in some form of a clear liquid/ paste to try to get the effect of an astronaut wearing a bubble helmet.  It seems a worth a try if I can find a suitable clear liquid/ paste/ resin.

Edited by Michael Morris

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Posted (edited)

Okay, I think I've now sussed out a simple way of posting pictures (Thanks to hobbyphotohost.com)

 

Here are some older pictures of the ongoing build.

p?i=97a01fac3e17072e8d43e37df930c47d

 

Remodelled service module engine bell by removing two (incorrect) rings and replaced with new ring made of styrene rod.

 

p?i=89b7ab47142c4a05f45c115be39b9460

 

Installed donated spare SIMbay from Dragon Apollo 17 kit in the donor service module.  I realised too late that I didn't have it exactly lined up.  Ah well, too late now!

 

p?i=3517154b5e7e963817f41733186a5cff

 

The most nerve-racking bit was cutting out the hatch and widows from the command module.  This shows progress to date construction of an interior for the CM.

 

p?i=47868fe89822181c91a72d77c223b4bc

The most complicated bit, the crew couches.  This was my first ever bit of brass rod soldering.  There is still a long way to go with these couches, but it's a start.

 

Progress is slow and my modelling skills are nowhere near the levels of many others on this forum, but I'm enjoying it.

Edited by Michael Morris

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I'm thinking about experimenting with using a quick-setting clear casting resin to create the bubble helmet. 

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/232571890582

 

As making a mold for such a small part would be impractical, my thought would be to wait for it to start to cure, then carefully dip the head in the resin, then pull it out and carefully keep tipping and rotating it to get the right shape until it cures.  This would need quite a lot of experimentation before I tried it on the finished astronaut.

Your thoughts on this as a possible approach would be appreciated.

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Experiment away-y-y ... I have nothing to suggest, but, don't apologize for your skills ... nobody's gonna criticize you. This is looking ... just ... fine!

On almost all of my builds, I wanted to learn and practice a technique that I had just read about ... so they're all a little rough around the edges, but I learned a helluva lot!

So let's see how this solution works out ... if it doesn't, so what? No harm, no foul!

 

Seeing as you've figured out a method for posting pix, how about a few more from the past?

What do you mean by 'donor' parts? Didn't the Dragon kit come with the SIM bay?

 

IPD

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Ima Penin Diaz said:

What do you mean by 'donor' parts? Didn't the Dragon kit come with the SIM bay?

No, the base kit is the Dragon 'Lunar Approach' kit, which doesn't include any SIMbay.  Dragon's now-discontinued 'Apollo 17' kit inexplicably comes with a spare SIMBay.  The SIMbay was donated by a very generous fellow modeller. 

Dragon's Apollo 17 kit rather strangely has a representation of the SIMbay from Apollo 15 and 16, rather than Apollo 17.  I gather this sort of sloppy error seems to be par for the course for Dragon when it comes to modelling Apollo.  

Edited by Michael Morris

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It is really coming along Michael. The Dragon Apollo kits can act as a good base for really nice models, but you do have to spend a lot of time rectifying the defects - of which there are many.

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)

Okay, I'm making progress with the bubble helmet.  I bought a cheap two part clear acrylic resin kit from EBay.  

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Crystal-Clear-Polyester-Casting-Resin-250ml-Top-Quality/174144424291?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

The instructions call for a 1.5 to 2ml of catalyst per 100ml of resin.  This would make up way more than I would need, so I experimented with various ratios of catalyst to resin to find a good compromise of quantity used to setting time.  After several experiments I found that using 2 drops of catalyst to 20 drops of resin (1:10 ratio) gave me the right quantity with a reasonably usable setting time.  I found that after about 22 minutes the mixture was starting to thicken substantially.  At around 27 minutes it started to coagulate and not flow quite freely enough.  

 

The technique involved mixing up the resin and catalyst then leaving for 22 minutes.  I then dipped the test piece (a piece of 3.2 mm diameter plastic rod) into the resin and turned it continuously for about 60 seconds.  I then carefully withdrew the rod and kept rotating it by hand for another 30 minutes to maintain the even distribution of the resin whilst it started to set.  All the while, I kept an eye on the spheroid of setting resin to adjusting the tilt angle to make sure there was a just right to ensure a nice neat bubble of resin over the end.

 

My final test (below) was using a piece of casting sprue from the resin figure I am going to use for the astronauts head superglued to the cardboard stalk of a cotton bud.  It had been painted in the paints I intend to use for finished figure (Humbrol enamels).   

 

https://www.pj-production.be/en/figures-1-72/177-721140-pilotes-us-navy-2gm.html

 

p?i=0512f5b6bd60dae155bec4c8c592e636

 

I'm really pleased with the result except for the red metallic paint.  This was painted on very roughly.  The photo seems to show that the metallic red has bled into the resin, but close inspection showed that this was not the case.  However, I have decided that on the actual piece I'll use a matt red instead.

 

My next job is to the paint up the head to be used on the final model, before the scary bit of dipping it in resin.  The finished head + helmet will then be cut from the resin figure and glued on to the polythene Airfix Astronaut figure.

 

p?i=47868fe89822181c91a72d77c223b4bc

 

 

 

 

Edited by Michael Morris

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Here is the final test figure with the completed test resin helmet glues to an Airfix astronaut using Loctite superglue for plastics.

 

https://www.loctiteproducts.com/en/products/fix/super-glue/loctite_plasticsbondingsystem.html

 

p?i=be3af03bf8efe51aef4bcdcf66dd297f

 

After 24 hours the resin helmet was still a tiny bit tacky, so with the finished helmet I probably leave it for 3 or 4 days before carrying out the head transplant.

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After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back on my Apollo 17 build.  I worked out how I was going to mount the couches.  It's not ideal but it will do.  I may remove the pillars near the top of each seat once I have the two struts underneath the couches fitted.

p?i=76079098f1e2592db11f3d50f50ae38c

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