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Home arrow Gallery in scale arrow DIORAMASarrow 1/48 Monogram Lunar Module cutaway by Pete Malaguti
1/48 Monogram Lunar Module cutaway by Pete Malaguti
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LUNA

This is Pete Malaguti's amazing cutaway of a Monogram Lunar Module times two!!! Excellent detail and surely something you don't see very oftern!!!

(Comments by Thanos Mentzelopoulos)

1/48 Monogram Lunar Module cutaway

by "Pete Malaguti"

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HISTORY

The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to achieve the transit from lunar orbit to the surface and back. The module was also known as the LM from the manufacturer designation (often pronounced "lem," from NASA's early name for it, Lunar Excursion Module). The module was designed to carry a crew of two and rested on four landing legs. It consisted of two stages, the descent stage and the ascent stage. The total mass of the module was 15,264 kg (33,581 lb), with the majority (10,334 kg; 22,735 lb) in the descent stage. Though initially unpopular and plagued with several delays in its development, the LM eventually became the most reliable component of the Apollo/Saturn system, the only one never to suffer any failure that significantly impacted a mission, and in at least one instance (LM-7 Aquarius) greatly exceeded its design requirements. At launch, the Lunar Module sat directly beneath the Command/Service Module (CSM) with legs folded, inside the Spacecraft-to-LM Adapter (SLA) attached to the S-IVB third stage of the Saturn V rocket. There it remained through earth parking orbit and the Trans Lunar Injection (TLI) rocket burn to send the craft toward the moon.

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Soon after TLI, the SLA would open and the CSM would separate, turn around, come back to dock with the Lunar Module, and extract it from the S-IVB. During the flight to the Moon, the astronauts would open the docking hatches, enter the LM and temporarily power up and test some of its systems. Throughout the flight, the LM pilot performed the role of an engineering officer, responsible for monitoring the systems of both spacecraft. After achieving a lunar parking orbit, the Command Pilot and LM Pilot entered and powered up the LM, unfolded and locked its landing legs, and separated from the CSM, flying independently. After inspection of the landing gear by the Command Module Pilot, the LM crew would separate to a safe distance, then point the descent engine forward into the direction of travel and perform a 30 second Descent Orbit Insertion burn to reduce speed and drop the LM's perilune to within 50,000 feet of the surface. At perilune, the engine was started again to initate powered descent. During this time the crew flew on their backs, depending on the computer to slow the craft's forward and vertical velocity to near zero. Control was exercised with a combination of engine throlling and attitude thrusters, guided by the computer with the aid of landing radar.

lun2

On final descent, the vehicle pitched over to a vertical position, allowing the crew to look forward and see the lunar surface for the first time. At this point manual control was enabled for the commander, and a certain amount of fuel reserve was carried to allow him to survey the landing site targeted by the computer and make any necessary corrections. (If necessary, landing could have been aborted at almost any time by jettisoning the descent stage and firing the ascent engine to climb back into orbit for an emergency rendezvous with the CSM.) Finally, three-foot-long probes extending from the footpads of the lander touched the surface, activating the contact indicator light and shutting the engine off, allowing the LM to drift to a touchdown. When ready to leave the moon, the LM would separate the descent stage and fire the ascent engine to climb back into orbit, using the descent stage as a launch platform. After a few course correction burns, the LM would rendezvous with the CSM and dock for transfer of the crew and rock samples. Having completed its job, the LM was separated and sent into solar orbit or to crash into the Moon.

Source: Wikipedia

KIT

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CONSTRUCTION

This model is based on the Monogram 1/48 LM. I've replaced most of the kit parts and figure there's only about 15% of the original kit remaining. I was initially going to just cutaway part of the starboard side of the Ascent stage, but the more I researched it, the more I decided to remove. My main reference was the CD included in the book Virtual LM. I used the images on the CD as well as a wide variety of engineering drawings from a variety of online sources. I started by building the basic frame of the Ascent stage and scaling all the various bits and pieces to replicate the fuel and oxidizer tanks, wiring and equipment. Then I built the stringers on the front section referring to lots of photos. For the windows I used Space Model Systems windows and the New Ware (aftermarket) resin and photoetch goodies for EVA handrails, thruster nozzles, docking tunnel and more. Aluminum printer plate was used to replicate the cutaway portion of the Ascent Stage.

The Descent stage started by cutting off the panels from the octagonal kit part. The top of the Descent stage was modified to show the large Fuel tanks peeking thru the top. The removed panels were then scratchbuilt, by scribing structural lines and gluing strips of styrene to replicate the structural elements. The wiring is copper wire. The landing pads are from New Ware and two of the landing struts were built from aluminum tube. And, they operate. New Ware photoetch parts are visible all over the landing gear. Chocolate bar wrappers were used to cover the Descent stage.

I was building another LM as Apollo 12 at the same time, so you can see a cutaway version side by side.

ADDITIONAL

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CONCLUSSION

Each one of these models took about 150 hours. And I enjoyed every minute! It's a lot of fun to build it as well as share pictures of it! I hope you like it!!!

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Text & Photos by Pete Malaguti