• George

1/32 Revell Command Service Module

Revell recently re-issued the old Monogram kit in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I bought one of these years ago and spent considerable time on it and even added all the silver foil tape to the command module. I also purchased the are CSM resin/PE set as well as a resin hatch from Real Space. Unfortunately, I destroyed the model because I felt that all that PE (I hate PE) that I had stuck to the service module looked like crap.

Fast forward about 15 years and 3D printing has entered the scene. I'd heard about a company called Shapeways that 3D prints all kinds of stuff so I thought I'd give them a try.

A couple of years ago, a couple of clients asked me to have giant models printed of their tiny medical products. I wanted durability and ordered nylon sintered plastic as the material. Big mistake. The stuff had the texture of concrete and was twice as hard. It was almost impssble to sand so it had to be sealed. I ended up using fiberglass resin to seal it and it required hours and hours of sanding and polishing.

The original piece is resting on top of the model.

Among the items I ordered is the Apollow LES (Launch Escape System) and BPS (the capsule shield). It was described as White Versatile Processed Plastic which I guess means that it is polished. Well, it really isn't. It's pretty rough as you can see by this picture taken after one coat of primer and some light sanding.

This will look like crap if I simply paint it and attach it to the model so it will have to be sealed and sanded in order to get it to look like smooth metal.

My first attempt at sealing worked out really well, but was time consuming and required a butt load of Mr Surfacer 500 and 1000. About 10 coats in all or an entire can of the 500 and this was just on the rocket tube!

A perfect finish after 8 coats of Mr Surfacer 500 and 2 coats of 1000 from spray cans.

I remembered that I had a quart of PPG K36 acrylic urethane primer left over from my medical models and opted to use that instead. The stuff works great. I mixed it according to the directions which is 5 parts primer to one part activator and one part reducer.

It's ready to sand after a few hours and seals nicely. I might be able to get buy with 4 coats. It's nasty stuff and you really need a paint booth and a mask to spray it, but it's worth it. I lightly sand between coats using 320 grit dry and finish off with 1000 grit Tamiya sanding sponges.


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