Ken L. West Apollo Command Module 1/24

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Nando, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    A few years ago (2011), Ken L. West designed a magnificent model of the Apollo command module, which I hastened to buy as soon as it was made available. Since then I have never built it believing it beyond my abilities. But this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing and I would like to celebrate it properly, so I thought to give myself courage and try to build it. First of all I had to decide the scale because the original one (1/12) produced a model too big, so I decided to try to reduce it to half (1/24) by printing four pages per sheet. This involved first to decide which paper weight to use to respect the thicknesses compared to the new scale as much as possible. Fortunately, in the instructions are given weight and thickness and then after some attempts I seem to have defined the new dimensions.

    Then I wanted to understand if reducing the model, I could still reproduce the many details that make the design beautiful or if I had to get off to too many compromises that detracted from its appearance. So I had to identify a part of the model that could give me answers for both problems: thicknesses and details. The choice then fell on the door that presented challenges both for the choice of the thicknesses for the different layers represented, and for the reproducibility of the complex closing mechanism.

    So I started the test which, through numerous attempts and compromises, led me to a credible result. In the end, what was supposed to be a simple test and prototype of solutions, I decided that it will become the first part of my model.

    Below are some pictures of the various steps and attempts that have brought me to this point.

    IMG_20181124_154240.jpg IMG_20181124_221526.jpg IMG_20181126_143810.jpg IMG_20181126_144210.jpg IMG_20181127_152303.jpg IMG_20181128_000309.jpg IMG_20181128_231415.jpg IMG_20181203_121853.jpg IMG_20181203_151821.jpg IMG_20181204_105442.jpg IMG_20181204_105559.jpg IMG_20181204_111221 (1).jpg IMG_20181204_123655.jpg IMG_20181205_151715.jpg IMG_20181216_170734.jpg IMG_20181217_122455.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  2. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    more pictures ....

    IMG_20190116_235733.jpg IMG_20190118_121115.jpg
    Here where I am.

    Best, Nando :)
  3. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    I have seen the construction of the original. This one is a beauty and you are doing it justice. This is a fantastic start on a fine subject. I'll be following closely! :)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  4. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Moderator

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    That is a GREAT looking hatch! That is a work of art in and of itself! If this is a glimpse of things to come with the rest of the model, I am greatly looking forward to seeing the rest!!!
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  5. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    A superb model in the hands of a superb builder!! :)
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  6. Tonino

    Tonino Member

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    So you finally officially declared this model a WIP! All that work on the hatch couldn't be classified as a test build, the result is fantastic! You took the right decision! I can't wait to see you working on the panels!!!! ;)
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  7. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Just a pic for reference. ;)

    Hatchling.jpg
  8. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    Thanks Revell-fan, Ravhen Blaack and Tonino.
    Zathros thanks for the reference. In my endless search for reference, documentation and stories, I found this document that depicts the decisions that brought to redesign the hatch after the Apollo 1 incident and why the new version is named "unified".
    Good reading.
    Best, Nando :)
  9. Tonino

    Tonino Member

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    Very nice reference for my collection, thanks Nando!
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  10. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    The Apollo deaths were horrid. The idea that they bolted these guys in that capsule makes me wonder what they were thinking, maybe they weren't. I was old enough when that happened and still remember the loss and trauma the nation felt. Good reading. I had read that and more before. You have your bases covered. painting the surfaces "Stainless" would have had a nice effect, but that's a lot of work, especially as the door itself is a lot of work. The pic below shows the outside latch having to be opened from the outside to open the door, this combined with the need of equal pressure spelled disaster. The detailing on the door you have made really tells a story. :)



    block-i-inner-hatch.jpg
  11. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    Second test: the heat shield
    After the hatch I went ahead with the heat shield, following the sequence suggested by the instructions. Here too I had to figure out where to cut (outside, in the middle, inside the contour line), then how to glue (with or without tabs), and finally whether to start from the outer ring or from the center. After a series of messes and attempts these are my conclusions: internal cut, without tabs but edge on edge and from the outer ring. The pics I think speak for themselves. I'm not particularly satisfied with the final result (a bit dirty and lopsided), but I decided to continue and eventually redo it later, also because it will have to match the upper cone.

    Best, Nando :)

    IMG_20190119_182708_kindlephoto-60317262.jpg IMG_20190123_121712.jpg IMG_20190124_180859.jpg IMG_20190125_154540.jpg IMG_20190126_171616.jpg IMG_20190129_113425.jpg IMG_20190129_143506.jpg
  12. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Nice burnishing wheel on the end of the rod you have there. :)
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  13. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    Just a little update.
    With the internal ring the heat shield is complete.

    IMG_20190202_190215_1024.jpg

    The next step is the section 2: the aft compartment.

    IMG_20190202_190101_1024.jpg

    Best, Nando :)
  14. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Nando, who's selling this model now? Feel free to the post the link to it. :)
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  15. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    @zathros I bought the model at e-cardmodels.com, but the site now is under maintenance
  16. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    I thought so. Just wanted to make sure. When someone posts a build thread, especially like you do, we welcome a referral to the designer and site website, commercial, under this situation is allowed, because your build thread isn't a promotion, it's an adventure and comment on the model. I remember when this model was being designed. I hope it will be available soon again. ;)
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  17. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    Aft compartment bottom

    IMG_20190203_215909_1024.jpg
    IMG_20190204_002732_1024.jpg
    IMG_20190204_002829_1024.jpg

    Best, Nando :)
  18. Nando

    Nando Designer Extraordinaire

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    Finally I restarted working on the model, continuing with the rear compartment and following the instructions. I chose to make the individual parts separately and to assemble them at the end. First I made the four sections of the walls.
    IMG_20190223_162101_1024.jpg IMG_20190223_162858_1024.jpg IMG_20190223_205845_1024.jpg
    Then I moved on to make the peripheral supports. First I made a couple of specimens to understand the procedures to be applied to cut, fold and glue these elements.
    IMG_20190225_182639_1024.jpg IMG_20190225_184052_1024.jpg
    Now I just have to do another twenty-two.
    IMG_20190301_194122_1024.jpg

    Best, Nando :)
  19. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    FANTASTIC!!! :)
  20. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Nando, your detailing the steps in this build thread is fantastic, I am making it a "STICKY". ;) There is, as of right now, no way to buy this model. I wanted to buy it before, and his X-15, but they are unavailable. I wish Ken belonged to this forum, if he was selling this personally, I would just tell him to do what he needs to in Private Messages, and exchange emails with people. What people do off this forum is there own business. :)
    SonOfAGun2501, micahrogers and Nando like this.