Saturday, April 21, 2012

1/32 Scale Apollo Spacecraft



 I never understood the rationale behind the Monogram model company for never producing an accurate CSM/LM combination in either 1/48 or better yet- a 1/32 scale. Monogram has produced the most accurate 1/48 lunar module yet never released a 1/48 Command/Service Module kit. On the other hand they produced an accurate 1/32 scale Apollo CSM bu,t not a matching lunar module.

In 1998 Vista Replicas out of the United Kingdom released the first 1/32 lunar module to go with the big Monogram Apollo. Although this was not an injection-molded kit- the Vista LM was a mass of mixed media consisting of over a 150 resin, white metal and wire parts. Sadly, Vista owner Phil Pickles and Vista Replicas mysteriously "vanished from the planet" after he took money orders for a promised 1/144 scale Saturn 5 L.U.T. Customers never received their L.U.T. nor their money back and unfortunately nobody ever heard from Pickles or Vista again. For those of us who were fortunate enough to acquire the Vista LM  we now have a rather rare and highly collectable kit.

Over the past 14 years I have built and re-built my Vista LM. Out of the box the kit's dimensions for the descent stage were "off". In particular I felt the legs were entirely too long. An excellent article by Keith McNeil is featured in this link: http://www.ninfinger.org/models/apollo16article/page1.html . Sven Knudson's site has a nice "out of box" review to give you some idea of the complexity of this kit.
 http://www.ninfinger.org/models/vista_reps/lm.html

On my re-build of this kit I essentially built out the descent module from scratch and used the legs and footpads from a 1/32 scale toy of Neil Armstrong stepping off the LM. I used spare RCS nozzles from the Monogram Apollo kit. Decals were from Rick Sternbach's System Model Systems.



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For the 1/32 CSM I used New Ware's Apollo exterior detail set: http://mek.kosmo.cz/newware/nw070.htm . New Ware's set consists of highly detailed photo-etch and resin parts. Those parts really made my CSM "pop"!







Together the Vista LM and Monogram CSM make an impressive display.


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