Apollo LM 1/32 HH Miniatures Kit Production

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Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Hello again to all you modellers here on the RPF!
I've been absent from the forum for several months due to the usual combination of work and personal life, however with the winter coming I will be focusing once again on HH Miniatures.
The MPC Millennium Falcon upgrade kits are being entirely re-moulded as the existing moulds are now falling apart, once that's done they will be back in full production again on a more consistent basis. More excitingly though, I'm not working on a new kit which this thread is for.

My full time job is as a teacher and technician for the Design & Technology department at a local high-school.
I run an after school club, and across May and June we built a 1/34th scale model of Saturn V, as you can see here. Once it was completed, I thought "What this really needs is a scale Lunar Module next to it somewhere", but my searches for an off-the-shelf kit turned up a blank.
So it appears there is a gap in the market for a Lunar Module kit any larger than 1/48th scale!
Since 1/34th is an unusual scale, I realised that producing the LM in that scale would be less desirable than 1/32nd which is a far more popular scale and close enough for the display purposes at my school.

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(Silver paint and decals were added after this photograph)

I began by designing the majority of the LM on Sketchup, then splitting the components up into what I could hand make, what I could laser cut, and what I needed to 3D print. We recently purchased three Da Vinci Nano printers for the department, and they are surprisingly great for the money.

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To mimic the stressed metal texture, all the surfaces will be covered in aluminium tape. This is also soft enough to press 'rivets' into using the end of a mechanical pencil.

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The grey panelling is styrene cut by hand and then chamfered on a flat piece of 1000 grit abrasive before being glued together in-situ.

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I intend to offer an interior version and a no interior version, the idea being that for modellers who are not interested in recreating the inside of the LM they will be able to purchase a version at a cheaper price point.
I am already in the process of designing the photo-etch which each kit will need, along with the graphics and instructions.

A disclaimer: While I'm making this model at school using school facilities, it is not during my contracted hours and not using materials that are dedicated to students. This is entirely during my break times and after work. My head of department is well aware and is happy with what I am doing!
 

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DeLano80

Well-Known Member
Wow! Very impressive. I love everything about the Apollo program. Of course Gemini was pretty awesome as well. Okay, it was all awesome. And this post is awesome !
Keep up the great work.
 

Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Thank you for the positive feedback so far.

This evening I worked on finishing the port side panelling and then plated everything over with aluminium tape before embossing rivets- I tried to copy the correct position and number of rivets from reference photos, so I guess I’ve gone fully down the rabbit hole of becoming a literal Rivet Counter...

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Haystack Hair

Sr Member
How did you make the Saturn V?

TazMan2000
It's made from thick wall cardboard tube normally used for casting concrete pillars, then lots of laser cut and vacuum formed components. The boosters were built from cheap components like pasta pots, parts from toys, plastic funnels and other junk; the ribbed texture was made using corrugated cardboard roll strengthened with dowels.
The whole model costed about £170 to build and is supported through the middle by a scaffold pole and a laser cut interior frame; from start to finish the project was 6 months with an 8 week build time.
There's a video of the 'launch' on my FB page!
 

stevielewis

Well-Known Member
I'm following this build from the beginning. Really a fan of the Apollo Program and your work so far on the LM is great. Looking forward to more progress on this build. It will make a great companion piece for the Saturn V display.
 

TazMan2000

Sr Member
It's made from thick wall cardboard tube normally used for casting concrete pillars, then lots of laser cut and vacuum formed components. The boosters were built from cheap components like pasta pots, parts from toys, plastic funnels and other junk; the ribbed texture was made using corrugated cardboard roll strengthened with dowels.
The whole model costed about £170 to build and is supported through the middle by a scaffold pole and a laser cut interior frame; from start to finish the project was 6 months with an 8 week build time.
There's a video of the 'launch' on my FB page!
Great job!

TazMan2000
 

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Analyzer

Sr Member
Once again, fantastic work!

Is that foil going to be the final finish?

If so, you might want to clean off that thumb print in the third picture down
 

Haystack Hair

Sr Member
It's half term holiday here in the UK, so today I was able to spend the entire day working on the LM.

I finished off the starboard panelling before the usual aluminium foil treatment- doing the whole process by hand is time consuming but I find it's still quicker than 3D printing and then filing the print smooth, not to mention it's easier to maintain crisp lines when doing it with styrene panels mitred together.

The last thing I did today was cut down the forward hull to a more accurate proportion by 3mm. It was a little nerve wracking to put all that hard work through the bandsaw, but it's a sturdy build and the cut was successful.

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Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Yesterday my girlfriend and I went up to London for the day-
We visited The Science Museum briefly so I could take this comparison photo of the 1:1 LM mockup they have in their space section.

Since researching the Lunar Module to build this kit, I noticed that The Science Museum LM has a couple of quirks and inaccuracies.
It lacks the black inconel panelling around the descent module; the RCS thrusters look oversized and wrongly positioned; and the 'face' has a strange step in the bottom section which doesn't appear on any of the real LMs as far as I can tell.

Regardless, it's still impressive and good for referencing dimensions and the overall feel of the LM!

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stevielewis

Well-Known Member
The information I found online about the LM at the Science Museum in London, it is not real, but a mockup built by Pinewood Studios. That probably explains the reasons for the inaccuracies that you noticed.
 

Haystack Hair

Sr Member
The information I found online about the LM at the Science Museum in London, it is not real, but a mockup built by Pinewood Studios. That probably explains the reasons for the inaccuracies that you noticed.
I heard the same, apparently it was built in 1975 by Westbury Design & Optical Ltd, who were also contracted by the BBC to store and repair the TARDIS and Daleks.
 

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