Operation “Return if Found” – Part One

I’ve been wanting for a while to get into non-wargaming modelmaking more, as whilst I still love playing wargames and collecting their miniatures, I wanted to stretch my modelmaking skills further without having to worry about effectiveness or if I’d get games in or whatever.

This mostly started from seeing the Lego ISS model, wanting an ISS model kit, deciding I didn’t want to spend £500 on one on ebay because it went out of production in 2014, and then impulse buying the Revell 1:144 scale 50th anniversary Saturn V kit from Amazon.

I usually work on ~1:60th scale models, where a person is about an inch tall. 1:144 is under half the size, and the Saturn V is still huge. 75cm from first stage engines to the launch abort tower. It’s the single largest model I’ve ever built, and I’m very proud of it.

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The kit is made of plastic, and has to be assembled and painted. It’s not the best quality kit in the world but for £25 it’s more than servicable. Once it was built, it got covered with a coat of grey primer. This unifies the surfaces and makes it ready for further painting. I then repaint it white, taking care to add shading to make it look as realistic as possible. Next it gets taped up to cover the areas that will stay white so that I can paint on the markings with a very dark grey paint. Black looks too black in this scale. I also paint the Lunar Service Module an aluminium colour at this point. Finally, I apply decals for stuff like the flags and all the big “UNITED STATES” lettering.

All in all it took about 20 hours to complete and currently sits in its temporary home next to my TV in the living room.

The next step is to build the launch platform and tower, to finish the diorama. And after that to build a smaller diorama with the lander. Also at some point I’ve got a Crew Dragon arriving, and this has made me think that I might try to find a 1:144th scale Space Shuttle to complete my collection of all the human rated spacecraft to launch from Pad 39A.