1/48 Lunar Module cutaway

Gallery Article by Pete Malaguti




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.

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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.

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

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, here on ARC.

Thanx Steve, for maintaining a superb website.


Photos and text by Pete Malaguti