We had no idea what we were in for. Long story short, to make a highly detailed and accurate replica of one the most famous spacecraft ever flown, we sought out the very best advice we could. We found blueprints from Grumman, photos from NASA, mock-ups of some of the Lunar Modules at museums - LM2 at NASM, LM9 at Kennedy Space Center, and LM13 at the Cradle Of Aviation Museum. Our best resource was finding Paul Fjeld, who has restored both LM13, and more recently LM2. He is considered to be the foremost authority on Lunar Module construction and history, save for the original Grumman team of engineers, back in the 1960s. With Paul's help we acquired highly valued research which got us going over the last few years.
To date our company has funded all the initial startup capital to develop working blueprints, 3D files, test tooling patterns, as well as test castings. Incredibly, we are now better than 60% completed and are working on the Ascent Stage 3D files, which will be the last portion needed to create this replica. Here is a recent render of the Ascent Stage - which contains most all the elements. You will notice we are starting to add texture to the surfaces, so it will match what the actual Lunar Module looks like.
We expect the next several months to be a finishing process by where we complete the Ascent stage and begin sending the 3D files out to our 3D printing house to "grow" the various parts that will become the "patterns" we will use to create molds, by which we can cast in polyurethane resin (plastic) the many parts of this kit. Below is an example of the many landing gear parts that were made years ago, and then grown as metal pattern masters. These served to create the spin casting molds (silicone vulcanized rubber) that make white metal kit parts.
Here is our current dilemma; we are still $25,000.00 away from the finish line. We have put all of our own money into this kit thus far (over $20,000.00) and simply have used up all our reserves over the last few years. We have decided to seek donations from modellers and collectors that would like to see this model kit come to fruition and are ready to make the final push as time and and money becomes available. The money we seek will provide for:
1. Completion of 3D files at a very competitive rate.
2. Completion of 3D printed parts (patterns) to be used as master forms to create molds.
3. Completion of master silicone spin cast and resin casting (RTV) molds, enough to make hundreds of kits.
4. Completion of the packaging necessary to contain all the kit parts.
5. Misc. small parts (brass photoetch) and graphics (artwork).
We would like to proceed as soon as the end of August 2017 and really speed up the process by September through December 2017. Do you realize that in 2019, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon, by Apollo 11's Lunar Module "Eagle"? We would love to have this kit ready and in the marketplace for collectors and model builders in 2018, and take advantage of an entire year to promote this model kit, before the anniversary.
Some gallery shots:
Our hope is that in showing what we've accomplished to date, that modellers and collectors will see that we are in fact serious, and not a spur of the moment crazy idea. In fact, this kit has survived several revisions, improvements, and test castings to see if all that has been made actually fits. The good news is it does - and looks genuine! We are seeking donations in levels of $10.00, $50.00, $75.00, $100.00, $150.00, and $200.00 or anything that can be spared. We will be offering several reward levels for the donations sought.
A $10.00 donation is our minimum level and all of it goes towards production.
At the $50.00 donation level, we will offer a $25.00 (USD) discount certificate, off the final retail cost of this kit. This will be mailed first class to you after GoFundMe clears the donation. There is no expiration date. See below.
At the $75.00 donation level, we will be offering an 12" x 18" LM-5 Eagle 3D render collage plus the $25.00 off retail cost discount certificate. See below. International donators, are asked $85.00 to accommodate the standard mail shipping difference outside the domestic USA.
At the $100.00 donation level, we will be offering a special one of kind 27" x 36" Lunar Excursion Module poster featuring 3D renders of all the flown spacecraft, including two that were never flown, plus the $25.00 off retail cost discount certificate. See below.
International donators, are asked $110.00 to accommodate the standard mail shipping difference outside the domestic USA.
At the $150.00 donation level, we will offer both posters plus the $25.00 off retail cost discount certificate. International donators, are asked $160.00 to accommodate the standard mail shipping difference outside the domestic USA.
At the $200.00 donation level, we will offer all that is included in the above $150.00 donation level, plus a discount certificate for $50.00 off the retail cost. International donators, are asked $210.00
to accommodate the standard mail shipping difference outside the domestic USA.
Shipping is covered for addresses in the domestic United States. International orders are being asked for additional $10.00 to meet standard mail differences
All who make donations, will be added to a benefactors' list that will be printed up and added to each kit, as a special "thank you". We are still determining what this collector kit will be when it reaches the general market, but have guesstimated that it will be no more than $300.00 (plus shipping).
You can follow along as we post updates to this kit on our Facebook page under Jim Key - Custom Replicas.
I have created an Accurate Models page on Facebook
(https://www.facebook.com/Accurate-Models-419429681787156/), dedicated to the production process of the Accurate Models kit lines.
I want to thank everyone as we embark on this endeavor towards creating a truly remarkable high quality model kit. Every bit you donate will help us immensely and be put to great use forming many of the different aspects of the production process.
- James Cockburn
- Frank Stickles
- Keith Davies
- James Cockburn
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