This diorama is a tribute to the first Joint American-Soviet Space mission or also called the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. It involved the docking of an Apollo Command/Service Module with the Soviet Soyuz 19 on July 17, 1975.
The Apollo flew with a three-man crew on board: Tom Stafford, Vance Brand and Deke Slayton. The Soyuz flew with two men: Alexey Leonov and Valeri Kubasov.
But this post is not to talk about the mission itself, it’s about the models that I designed for this diorama. I knew this was going to be my first Apollo model, so I prepared getting relevant source material. The top reference is without a doubt Mike Mackowski’s “Space in Miniature” book #6 Apollo CSM and book #4 Soviet Spacecraft. These books helped me design the Apollo model and to complete the Soyuz. They’re so valuable, they have all the information the card modeler needs as a guide to make an accurate model.
I decided to make it in 1:100 scale just to match most of my space capsules models and my ISS. But I might release Apollo models in other scales in the near future.
Let’s start with the Soyuz. I started design it a few years ago without completing it, until now. The only modification I did was the engine section, which makes the model more accurate.
Photo of the real Soyuz 19 showing up close the docking targets.
The docking targets are very small pieces that have to be placed in the correct position. Compare to this photo when placing the targets on the model.
The Apollo spacecraft for the ASTP configuration is a block II version. Apollo has a Command Module and a Service Module. The details put onto this model are based on Mike Mackowski’s SIM book #6 “Apollo CSM”. Due to the scale used for this model, some parts are simplified, such is the case for the RCS (Reaction Control System) thrusters.
Also, the colors used for the model are close to the real thing, but unfortunately, the photos shown here do not reflect the real colors of the model.
Overall, it is a decent 1:100 scale model of Apollo and I’m very satisfied. If you notice on the photos, the Apollo Command Module also depicts the tape pattern on all its surface.
The Apollo for this mission carried a transfer tunnel called Docking Module. This module served as an airlock as well as a docking adapter.
My display stand could have been designed better, but I didn’t want to spend more time on it. The models are not to be glued to the resting curved surfaces, they just sit on it. Before gluing the curved pieces, these have to be well centered otherwise the models will not connect to perfection.
The models used for this presentation are my prototypes, which might differ in a few details if compared to the final download versions.
Enjoy these models and please send your comments!
Apollo-Soyuzmanual Instruction manual