Ohio Valley Soaceport

Ohio Valley Soaceport

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quick Look: Dragon's 1/72 Apollo 11 'Lunar Landing' Kit

I just purchased Dragon's new 1/72 scale kit of the Apollo 11 spacecraft at my local hobby dealer. There has been much discussion and interest in recent months over Dragon Wing's http://www.dragonmodelsusa.com/dmlusa/prodmidh.asp?tlcode=DRW&keyword=%28Space%29new Space Series and in particular the first new injection molded kit of the Apollo CSM/LM in decades!

The parts are all nice and clean!

This kit retails here in the U.S. for $49.99- a little steep for a kit in this scale. There are approximately 145 flash-free plastic and P.E. parts all neatly separated into little cellophane bags. Also included are detailed decals for both the CSM and LM.

Two separate decal sheets: one for LM the other for the CSM!

Along with the crisply molded spacecraft parts are two astronaut figures and a neat base that depicts the lunar surface at Tranquility Base.

At first I thought this base was vacu-formed but, it is injection-molded!

There has been some discussion among the various hobby forums about the LM decent stage appearing too short or squat. The general fix that has been reported is using 1/8th inch sheet styrene to fix it. Needless to say the LM desent stage is molded to imitate the crinkled kapton thermal blankets. The legs and struts also are molded to imitate those blankets.

This textured surface takes some getting used to!

One nitpick: This model does not depict any clear windows (decals) or interiors. The way the LM ascent stage is molded makes an attempt at creating an interior tricky.

Although there are no clear windows an experienced modelers can create an interior with some effort!

The biggest selling point to me for this kit is that other than the Monogram 1/32 CSM we finally have another block II version of the Apollo CSM.

Beautifully molded SPS shield!

This kit is also available as an "in-flight" version for a slightly less price. With the addition of the base and astronaut figures it is worth the few extra dollars.

It will be a few weeks until I get past some current projects to start work on this kit. Look for future installments once that happens!

Doug Jones

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