1/48 Revell Monogram Apollo 15 Lunar Module

Gallery Article by Pete Malaguti

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This Apollo 15 Lunar Module is the 1/48 scale Revell Monogram kit. The Rover is the first completely scratch built model I've ever done ( took 37 hours to complete) and the LM has a great deal of modifications (Over 200 hours to complete).  The four 'quads' have been cut out to show the different equipment bays.  Quad 1, to the viewer's right of the ladder, had the Rover. Quad 2 the ALSEP package and the RTG cask (the access doors on this quad actually open in an 'accordion' mode, like the real thing). Quad 3, the Rover equipment pallets and Quad 4 the extended stay MESA.

There are over 30 mods to this model.  For instance, ALL the antennae have been rebuilt. The ladder has been rebuilt and I've included the hook for weighing the lunar rock samples.  The porch was rebuilt and I've attached a handle on either side of it, one for the MESA deployment and the other for the Rover deployment.  The descent stage has been covered in three different colours of foil.  The gold colours are from chocolate bars sold here in Canada (Aero and Caramilk) The black foil was painted a tint of flat black on household aluminum foil and adhered with Microscale Foil Adhesive.  The Landing probes were installed and bent up.  Thin Gold tape was placed all over the LM where applicable as per my photo references. The MESA was detailed and the electrometric strap was included.  Vent Hoods were placed on the Ascent Stage, RCS thrusters were hollowed out, Landing Radar and its protective sheild were rebuilt and much, much, much more.

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The panels on the Ascent Stage were cut out of thin, 7 thou, printer plate Aluminum sheet and bent to conform to the kit.  The panels were glued with CA glue.  The panels on the rear of the Ascent Stage were bent to simulate the loads and forces endured upon landing.  The Rendezvous window was cut out. Little details were included, like the umbilical connection on the Ascent Stage and the SLA umbilical connectors on the Descent Stage.  I used Rick Sternbach's excellent decals and windows for the model.  I also used, extensively, Scott P Sullivan's superb reference book, Virtual LM.  It was absolutely indispensible.  Any detail I needed was included in his book.  His research was exhaustive.  I also want to thank Paul Fjeld for his advice on the placement of the electrometric strap which 'extends' the MESA.

I've also detailed the astronauts.  (I made four of 'em) I cut apart the arms and legs and reattached them to depict the famous Apollo 15 photo with Jim Irwin, the LM and the Rover.  Homemade decals, antennas, sample bags (made from bent aluminum from a frozen lasagna pan lid) and attaching straps (household aluminum foil painted off white), were glued to the Astronauts' backpacks (PLSS).  Dirt on their suits was simulated with a light spray of grey paint. The visors were painted and 7 coats of Future, with yellow food colouring, were used to give a nice, tinted glossy look to the visors.  The Astronaut depicting Dave Scott (with red stripes) has a scratchbuilt camera attached to his chest, One other Astronaut (not shown) has been formed in a seated position, which will fit in the Rover, for other display purposes.  One other Astronaut (again, not shown here) will be used in a separate Rover display.  The lunar base was also scratch built using a piece of drywall as the base and large amounts of 'spackle' spread over it for a base to make all the craters.  The footsteps were done using a little, tiny, scratch built, footpad, with grooves.

The Rover is a separate story.  It has over 230 parts, homemade decals, removable tools and an operating hinged equipment pallet on the back.

I have wanted to build these models for over 30 years ... and finally had the time and references to do it. I'm just getting into this hobby and thanx to sites like ARC I have learned an enormous amount.  Now, I'm just starting to put all that observational knowledge to use ... and I'm having a blast!

Thanx Steve for maintaining a great website and offering us an opportunity, and a venue, to display our work to our peers!

Thanx for looking!

Pete 

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Photos and text by Pete Malaguti