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SIM #7: Apollo Lunar Module

By John Lester - images & text © 2007

Edited by Michael Mackowski; Softcover, 49 pp, B/W images and drawings

MSRP: $12.00 USD ($11.70 CAN/ 8.45 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 seventh book in the Space In Miniature (S.I.M.) series, "Apollo Lunar Module" (the second in a pair on the Apollo spacecraft; SIM #6 describes the Command and Service Module) describes the configuration history of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) that first landed men on the moon. The magazine-style, black-and-white publication has 49 pages of descriptive text, numerous drawings, charts and photos. It is edited by Michael Mackowski, one of the foremost space modelers, with additional material from David Weeks and others. Its express purpose is to provide the modeler with all the information needed to build an accurate scale reproduction of any of the nine manned LM missions.


^ One of 15 pages of color pattern diagrams

^ Sample page: text & photos

The book is broken down into six sections:

  • The Apollo Lunar Module Spacecraft, which covers the history of the program and provides general descriptions of systems
  • Lunar Module Configuration History, which documents the hardware changes throughout the program's life
  • Lunar Module Colors for every Apollo LM
  • Detailing the Monogram 1/48 Scale Kit
  • Kit Reviews, with short reviews of all available kits and accessories, plus a list of manufacturers
  • References and Sources for further study

    The monograph starts with a brief history of the Apollo program, which is followed by a mission-by-mission narrative describing configuration changes from Apollo 9 through Apollo 17. 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. Of particular interest to modelers is the description of the correct thermal blanket pattern for each mission. This is followed by detailed drawings showing exactly how the patterns changed. A description of the actual materials used on the Lunar Module is included to provide some background on what you might be trying to reproduce in miniature. Additional drawings from NASA technical manuals, researcher/modeler David Weeks, and the author provide a detailed reference work for the serious scale model builder and space history enthusiast.

    An illustrated article on how to build and accurize the Monogram 1/48 Lunar Module model (the most widely available kit) comes next, after which is a section of 19 short reviews of all the most popular model kits, decals and aftermarket sets that have been made of/for the LM (up until 2007). Links for the best of available paper models are also provided.

  • There are two supplements to the book on the Space in miniature website:


    If you want to build the ultimate accurate Apollo LM, you need this book. If you want to learn about the evolution of the spacecraft, it's all here. And the price is more than reasonable. What's not to like?

    Highly recommended.

    Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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    This page copyright © 2007 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 15 October 2007.