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Author Topic:   Metal Earth's 3D laser cut spacecraft models
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30069
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-01-2014 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gizmodo recently featured Metal Earth's 3D laser cut Apollo Lunar Module:
By now you've probably seen those Metal Earth foldable models in toy stores and at checkout stands all over the place. They're this generation's flat-packed foam gliders, but as you can see from this incredibly intricate Apollo Lunar Lander model, they require far more patience and skill to assemble.

In addition to the LM, Metal Earth has several other space-related models, including a Mars Exploration Rover (like Spirit and Opportunity) and all four shuttle orbiters: Discovery, Endeavour, Atlantis and Enterprise.

apolloprojeckt
Member

Posts: 967
From: arnhem netherlands
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-01-2014 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice models.

Planetary
Member

Posts: 12
From: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Registered: May 2013

posted 07-09-2014 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Planetary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received mine (The LM) from Amazon today. It's *not* packaged like some of the other Metal Earth kits I've seen in retail outlets like Barnes and Nobel bookstores which are packaged in nice small white boxes. The kit parts come on two small stainless steel metal sheets packaged in a slim paper package with two sheets of wordless instructions much like a small photoetch detail kit for trains or military subjects. The kit requires above average skill with small, delicate photoetch/metal kits. All parts are attached and secured to each other using tiny tabs and slots in the parts, so in theory doing a straight build, no glue or soldering is needed.

It's in an odd scale, probably about 1/110 - 1/115. It's significantly smaller in scale than any of the various Revell, Aoshima or Heller 1/96 - 1/100 LM plastic kits. I haven't put mine together yet but judging from the parts and amount of detail, it will look exactly like the digital illustrations. The Ascent and Descent stages are separate. Obviously, there's some details that aren't quite right and the fact it's a photoetch kit means some things like the tubes that comprise the landing gear are flat pieces that can't be rolled into proper tubes or cylinders but for the size and especially price, it's quite nice looking.

The really good news is that it looks to be exactly the same scale as the rudimentary toy-like LM included in the (supposedly 1/100) 4D Puzzle cutaway Saturn V. With a little work and some scratch-(re)building some of the tiny fiddly details, adding gold foil to the Descent Stage and painting (I'd leave the Ascent Stage unpainted steel because it looks cool except the black patterns and some white antenna to paint), it would likely make a vastly superior replacement LM for the 4D display for a bargain price (12 bucks).

Planetary
Member

Posts: 12
From: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Registered: May 2013

posted 07-23-2014 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Planetary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a few photos of my completed Metal Earth photoetch Lunar Module. As I suspected, it's a perfect fit for the 4D Fame Master cutaway Apollo Saturn V and despite its glaring faults (Descent Stage is a bit too small in proportion, thrusters too big, windows way too small, etc), is a far superior replacement to the Fame Master's plastic LM as seen in one of my photos.

My goal was to build it quickly, more as an experiment and an evening's fun than anything else. For my build up, I foiled the Descent Stage and painted the patterns on the Ascent Stage flat black with a brush as well as the two antenna dishes flat white. Because of the way the Descent Stage body goes together (top, left and right side of the body, two pieces for the bottom) I didn't even need glue to secure the foil to the parts, just bent the excess over backsides of the parts and putting the parts together holds the foil in place.

Everything is held together by very tiny tabs and you really need to think through the assembly beforehand or you will get stuck trying to bend a few tabs in areas not even small tweezers will get to. The wordless instructions are good for identifying parts but you have to guess at times how certain parts form into a complex shape. The hardest part is rolling the little thrusters into cones – basically I used tiny medical forceps and tediously wrapped and formed each thruster around a pen tip. I didn't do any part modifications aside from using thin rod for the main landing gear legs as the photoetch leg parts are flat pieces and way to short (although my scratch built legs are too long, lol!).

It's a fun little diversion and I'll buy a few more as I think some parts might be usable to accurize similar scale plastic LM kits.

Norman.King
Member

Posts: 289
From: Herne Bay, Kent, UK
Registered: Feb 2010

posted 07-24-2014 01:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Norman.King   Click Here to Email Norman.King     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks great.

apolloprojeckt
Member

Posts: 967
From: arnhem netherlands
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-24-2014 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice!!!!

mode1charlie
Member

Posts: 646
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 07-24-2014 03:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice!

the clocks running
Member

Posts: 337
From: Rochester, NY USA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 07-24-2014 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running   Click Here to Email the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome, love it!

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