I'm back home after my last summer vacation trip. It's been nice to stay under the Sardinia sun with my beloved family for two weeks, but now that I'm home again, back to work, the boys back to school, waiting for the long winter... my modeling room is such a big confort! And... believe it or not, I was starting to miss Zealot and you my friends!
Well it's time to return to this leg work!
But, before, I have to fix a little damage that I inadvertently made to my LM. Take this as a warning if you want to build this model. I used to let the descent stage to sit on his big engine, until the legs are ready to do their work. Big mistake! Doing this way all the weight of the model was loading on the thin card stripes that fix the engine to the walls. As a result they became badly distorted.
Not a nice view isn't it?
So I first found an alternative support for the model (a glass jar just little bigger than the square opening in the center of the stage, so it cannot damage underside details), then I moistened engine mounts with a generous amount of white glue mixed with water and placed a weight to keep the strips straight.
After an overnight drying the engine looks much better
And now let's go on with landing gear locks.
There are a lot of very tiny parts. With a fine ink pen I drew the inside face trying to replicate the outside pattern.
The pieces are very little and fragile. I don't think they can resist a lot if you play with the retractable landing gear, I think I'll glue them in extended position as soon as the main legs are ready.
Get some wire, piano, drill a whole lengthwise through each strut, the fill with crazy glue, pass the piano wire (be prepared to wipe up what the wire pushes out. That should support it fine. Or, get a small round tube of Lexan, a very thin diameter would work, and stick it in the engine, and into the stand that will support it also. My two cents worth.
Thanks Zathros, now this particular damage is fixed and soon my LM will stand on his legs so I won't touch those struts anymore but your one is really a good idea and I'll keep it ready for future use. Believe me: ALL of your many advices are carefully stored in my modeling database, as for all the countless ideas I keep finding here at Zealot from the great builders that are all around here.
You could also try adding the wire before you glue the two sides of the strut together, and sandwich the wire between the pieces. That would also save on the drilling. But, it would require a considerable amount of pre-planning if doing it this way...
But, it is similar to how I built my pantographs for an E-Lok model, a few years back.....
Thanks Dan! I should have seen this one before, when I builded my San Marino train!!!
I realize now that I didn't put any reinforcement in my model excluding generous amounts of glue to strenghten the most little and weak parts. I really hope that gravity won't ask a tribute to my LM sooner or later. Even if the weight is divided by four, each leg will have to sustain model load concentrated in very little areas. I'll have to add some more glue in selected spots.
Main pylons: a really hard work to me. The tubes, after glue has hardened, tended to warp badly toward the joined side. I had to carefully straight them with my fingers with the fear to see them fold suddendly if I pushed too much.
The landing pads: as usual I prefer to join curved pieces with little tabs. I first builded the lower side. Then I added the upper parts, one at a time, using the same lower tabs as a support so I won't add too much thickness between the layers. The final look is pretty fine (thanks to UHU design skills).
The landing gear, after adding parts 308a and 308b, they are ready to accept the main legs... after I'll have succeeded to straighten them
The legs are finally glued. At this time I fixed with glue all landing gear elements because I don't want it to be retractable (as I said before) sacrifying this playful feature to a more solid assembly.
My main concern at this time was about the moment to put the LM on his legs. As you know a body on 3 legs is naturally stable. If the legs are 4 the thing is not so straight. If the construction is less than perfect one of the legs will inevitably finish to float close to the ground without touching it. This is the moment when I decided that UHU is the god of paper models! The four legs was lying on the table perfectly aligned. No adjustment was necessary!!! This model is really difficult to build but so perfectly designed that the success is guaranteed! Thanks UHU!!!!
And now let's put on the new shoes!
WOW! What a nice view! Finally it stands! How long I was waiting for this moment!
I couldn't resist one moment more: this is the time I was waiting since I concluded the ascent module build...
I stayed sitting in front of this object for several minutes (I don't know how much) I could not believe I did it... It's almost done, only some more details and adjustments to do but the great part of the work is done. Time for a beer! Time for a great beer! One of the "special" ones I have for special occasions!
A very proud moment for you, and so it should be ..... WOW!!!
P.S: I know what you mean about UHU02's design perfection; I had the 'pleasure' of building the Discovery antenna array...... Now, that was fun ........... I think I made enough dishes, to make a full dinner service, before I got it right .....
The last pieces of the "naked" version, according to @uhu02 's sequence, are the ladder and the egress platform.
Two nice little things to be cut very carefully.
This particular fold is, I think, one of the most difficult I ever made in my career. The paper stripe next to the steps is well below the millimeter.
As I said more than one time during this build, I prefer to cut separately little pieces to be laminated. The probability to have a wrong alignment on so little pieces is too high. I prefer to do some surgical glueing after...
OK, the path to moon surface is ready. And now?
This should be the end of the build if you don't want to cover this beauty with the external skin (like me).
But there are several more details I want to put on before declaring concluded this work.
I know that perhaps I'm going to make a fictional view of the module, something not completely correct for a purist's point of view.
I wanted, at first, realize a LM as it was in assembling facility before being placed into Saturn V for his journey. A "work in progress" that should be incomplete by definition. But there are several details that give personality to the spaceship and I won't miss them. They would have been placed only in later phases of the assembly (with the "skin" already in place) so they should not be visible on a "naked" LEM. But I want them so I'll place them without caring about the comments that should be made... Let's say this is my idealization of the idea of a LM...
Hey! It's YOUR model!
Don't worry about the purists, they won't be proudly displaying it on a shelf (or wherever.)
But YOU will!!!!
And if it were me, I would be proud to say "I built that out of paper," knowing that nobody is going to believe you!
If you are looking for a place to park that beauty, I know a guy building a Saturn V. Seriously though, you have done an absolutely amazing job with that model. Truly amazing. I am looking forward to the last details.