July 20, 1969: "One small step for man..." If you were old enough to know what was going on, nothing
else needs to be said. If you're one of the newer generation, you're
probably tired of us old folks telling you how important this day was.
Some events you just had to live through to understand.
It was the cold war that caused us to reach for the moon. As soon as we realized our side had won, the space program was turned into a bus service for commercial satellites and the pure excitement of exploration was gone. Most people don't even know when the last space shuttle went up unless something tragic happens, and there are no serious plans for sending anyone to Mars.
This is a great model, and a big one at that. The astronaut is 10" tall! The hardware has been simplified somewhat in the modeling, but the essentials are there. I had a happy time searching on the net for reference pictures, and made a few changes for accuracy. The camera on his chest was lacking the handle, and the PLSS (that's Portable Life Support System) lacked an antenna, that kind of thing. The pictures also showed a few details lacking in the painting instructions, like blue tips on the rubber gloves. The faceplate on the EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) suit is actually supposed to be mirrored, but I'd rather people see the astronaut's face.
The legs and footpads of the LM (Landing Module) were actually covered in
gold foil, but I found my local hobby shop never heard of Bare Metal Foil
kits, so I just used gold metallic spray paint. The actual suit fabric was
plastic covered vinyl, so I started with flat black, drybrushed white, then
used a final wash of white to soften the shadows. A good final coat
of satin clear gave it the perfect look.
The faceplate fits very well. I used a glue by Testors designed for clear parts and no fogging or, worse, permanent frosted fingerprint - don't you just hate it when that happens? I have used Elmer's Glue before, and clear acrylic can also be used to stick things together, but I worry about parts falling off down the line. The kit includes a few decals, you don't deal with those too often in figure models, but if the surface is relatively flat just start with a small gloss clear layer, apply decal, then several coats of flat clear.
Anyway, finally building this model was my own little tribute to the 30th anniversary of the moon landing.
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