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SIM #6: Apollo Command & Service Module

By John Lester - images & text © 2003

Edited by Michael Mackowski; Softcover, 61 pp, B/W images and drawings
MSRP: $14.00 USD ($18.91 CAN/ 12.10 EUR ) plus shipping, available from Space In Miniature
Overall Rating: 10 - pretty much everything you need to build an accurate CSM in any scale.

The sixth book in the Space In Miniature (S.I.M.) series, "Apollo Command and Service Module" (the first of a planned pair on the Apollo spacecraft) describes the configuration history of the Command and Service Module (CSM) that carried astronauts to the moon and back. The magazine-style publication has 61 pages of descriptive text, numerous drawings, charts and photos. Its express purpose is to provide the modeler with all the information needed to build an accurate scale reproduction of any of the manned Apollo missions.

[Cover]

[Every conceivable detail has a drawing]

^ Just about every conceivable detail has a drawing

[Color and marking callouts, by mission]

^ Color and marking callouts are provided for every mission

The book is broken down into eight sections:

  • North American Aviation's Apollo Spacecraft, which covers the history of the program and provides definitions
  • Four chapters detailing components: Launch Escape System and Boost Protective Cover, Command Module, Service Module, and Spacecraft/Lunar Module Adaptor
  • Color and Markings for every Apollo CSM
  • References and Sources for further study
  • Modeling the Apollo CSM, with kit reviews of all available kits and accessories, plus a list of manufacturers

The historical sections were written by David Weeks, who also created the numerous drawings that show all of the spacecraft's colors and markings and how they varied from the early Block I vehicles, through the Block II lunar-capable spacecraft, to the variations for Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Chronological tables of all the Apollo missions, NASA drawings, and Weeks' text explain how the spacecraft evolved over those programs.

The text is liberally interspersed with detail drawings, charts and black & white photos. Literally every aspect of the system is covered, down to the stencilling on the exterior.

The section on modeling the Apollo CSM is as thorough as can be. It includes a detailed review by Karl Dodenhoff of the Monogram 1/32nd scale kit, a list of all kits ever produced of the CSM, plus over twenty kit and accessory reviews. It ends with a list where you can buy reference materials, kits, accessories and necessary model supplies.

Conclusions

What can I say? If you want to build the ultimate accurate Apollo CSM, you need this book. If you want to learn about the evolution of the spacecraft, it's all here.

Highly recommended

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2003 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 10 July 2003.