NonFiction: Real People Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

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Thread: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

  1. #1
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    Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Most of us know the story of the dangerous events of Apollo 13, the third mission to land men on the moon. Thanks to Tom Hanks and the movie, “Apollo 13”, as well as “From the Earth to the Moon”, new generations have learned the story of the explosion that changed the astronaut’s mission from exploration to survival.
    I’ve seen other 1/6 figures of the mission commander, Navy Commander James Lovell, for sale on ebay. They all used a Tom Hanks hs in a full Apollo Extravehicular Mobility Unit (moon suit). I had a spare DML Apollo suit and found a DML hs that was bore a resemblance to Lovell, but planned to pose him like a publicity photo. Then I found a wonderful store on Shapeways, the Flat Earth Workshop, that makes 3-D printed pieces to build early US astronauts.
    Flat Earth Workshop by Dougritt - Shapeways Shops

    Along with detailed Mercury and Gemini helmets, there was a portable air conditioning unit that the astronauts used while traveling to their launch site. That started the search for pre-flight photos to get details of Lovell’s equipment and that turned this into a major project to cover all the details, as closely as I could. Here are some of those photos, with one of my figure when he was just starting.



    As good as the DML suit was, there were a lot of tiny details that needed changing or adding. On top of that, there were many details that were unique to the pre-flight walk-out. Every time I went back to make sure something looked good compared to the photos, there would be three more details that were missed. I’ll discuss the details at the end, for those who care to read about them, but for now, here is my version of Jim Lovell, Commander, Apollo 13.



    Initially I noticed six things to add.
    1. Proper name & mission patches. Easily done with the old CVI Apollo patch set.
    2. The yellow walk-out overshoes. I found a pair of large “space boots” that fit over the DML intravehicular boots after cutting them down and painting them.
    3. The leg pouches. One of my favorite features of the new DiD astronauts, that will go on any Apollo figure
    4. The black & white “Snoopy” cap. The DML version was just the cloth and I made my own ear pieces, microphones and cords. After it was done, the DiD version became available.
    5. The Intravehicular Gloves. I started building my own, then the DiD Collins figure had them. I shortened the cloth sleeve and replaced the wrap-around leather knuckle strap with web material, which was let into the seams. Black cord was glued between the fingers to simulate the fingerless over-glove. Lovell name patches were added.
    6. The portable air conditioning unit. I painted it, but had to make a larger port for one hose, and add a second for the other hose. The hoses were scratch-built using DML connectors, and the “sleeve” was built from an extra part on the DML OPS pack.
    Several of these things changed as I worked on parts and double-checked photos. Then I noticed the Velcro pieces around the suit’s chest area in the photos are a light tan color. They painted very easily with Acryl “Sand”. The left wrist connector has to be painted BLUE, and enlarged for the DiD glove. The mission commander stripes were added to arms and legs with red ribbon glued in place. Ribbon was also used for the black band above the wrist connectors. I put chrome Bare Metal Foil on all the snaps that DML had a bronze-ish color. Then there is a belt with pouches that I still haven’t found a reference for. I made it from another DiD leg pouch, and added the little black pull cord on the right one. (It may have something to do with the emergency zip line for emergency exit from the launch tower? If anyone knows, please let me know.) Two Velcro pieces are added to his left hip, and they are darker. I still have to make a pressure gauge for his right wrist, and a pressure valve for his left.



    I hope you enjoy the figure. Looking at his photos, I see he is doing Spock’s “Live Long & Prosper” sign. (Damn bendy hands!) I encourage you to learn more about the mission and crew of Apollo 13, as well as all of American space history. I’ll be doing more astronauts between Civil War cannons and WWI Doughboys!

    If you’re interested in making US astronaut figures, you should definitely check out the Flat Earth Workshop at Shapeways, as well as his videos on You Tube, The Full Earth Workshop. (Tons of large scale ARMOR and vehicle models there, too!)

    Flat Earth Workshop by Dougritt - Shapeways Shops
    Full Earth Workshop - YouTube

    My Favorite reference for space suits is, “Space Suits – A Guide for Scale Model Builders (Space in Miniature #8)”, by Karl Dodenhoff at the Space in Miniature web site. They have many wonderful books on building and detailing many of the different types of space models that are available:
    Space In Miniature - Reference Books for Space Model Builders
    Last edited by markh166; 09-20-2020 at 07:39.
    Mark
    "Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way!"
    http://openrange.freeforums.org/

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  3. #2
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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Mark this is one great job. but this is what we have come to expect.

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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Very nice work!

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  6. #4
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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Outstanding!!
    I'll be a story in your head, but that's OK we're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one!

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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Thank you all. Jon, your work was a big inspiration for working on astronaut figures
    Mark
    "Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way!"
    http://openrange.freeforums.org/

  8. #6
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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Awesome work!
    RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!

  9. #7
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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Nice job, throughout.
    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
    John 16:33

  10. #8
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    Re: Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, USN; Pre-Launch Walk-Out, April 11, 1970

    Thank you.
    Mark
    "Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way!"
    http://openrange.freeforums.org/

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