1/70 Apogee Components

Saturn V

by Steve Negley



   Standing 363ft tall and producing 7.5 million pounds of thrust with it's five Rocketdyne F-1 engines the Saturn V was the largest and most powerful earth launch vehicle ever made. The 1/70th scale Apogee Components stands an impressive 5 1/2 ft tall when completed and is also a flying replica of this awesome rocket. After building the Apogee Components Saturn 1B I decided to complement it with the Saturn V. Standing together they make an impressive collection.

   In many ways I found the Saturn V to be a little simpler in construction, however this kit did offer it's shares of challenges. Most notably were the application of the vacu-form wraps. The main body tube of the rocket is quite large and the kit instructions offer 2 ways to apply these wraps, one using CA glue for application the other using double stick tape. I decided to combine both applications using the double stick tape to hold the wrap in place and the CA glue to make the application permanent. There are 8 wraps to apply to the tubes of this kit. The technique worked very nicely and using this application left virtually no seam where the wraps intersected on the tube. Some of the parts for this rocket are also used on their Saturn 1B, so having built the 1B first eliminated some of the challenges and problems when I built the Saturn V. Most of these parts are contained in the upper stages of the Saturn V kit.

   The kit is constructed in four sections, the engine cluster, the booster section, the S-IVB transition and the LM/Apollo transition. The other real challenge I ran into was painting this huge model. The area being covered was way to large to try to use a regular airbrush. I don't really like to use spray cans to paint my models as I don't think they give me a way to control the paint that is being applied. So I decided to use an automotive touch-up spray gun to apply the white paint to the large areas. The touch-up gun is sort of in the middle of an airbrush and a regular spray gun and will adjust out to a very nice pattern to apply large areas of paint. After priming, I used Rustoleum Gloss White, an industrial oil base paint for the application of the base white. 

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This paint, when applied over a good primer- surfacer, has very good adhesion and is easy to tape over. Next came applying the black markings to the rocket. For this I went back to the airbrush and I used Testors Modelmaster Flat Black for the paint. A full painting guide is included in the video instructions and can be printed from your computer. I used 3/4 in masking tape to mask off the black areas. The challenge here is getting a crisp line where the black is on the corrugated areas so I applied the tape loosely and pressed the tape into the corrugations with a finger nail. I also painted small areas at a time to make sure the tape was staying in the corrugations.

  Next came decaling the model. The decals supplied give you the option for any of the missions that went to the moon, and the one that didn't make it, Apollo 13. I decided to decal my rocket of the Apollo 11 mission, the first mission to land men on the moon and return them safely to the Earth.

    This model also flies and is powered by a 29mm E type solid propellant model rocket engine and lands in two pieces with a 62 inch parachute on the main body and a 40 inch parachute at the large transition. Pictures included with this text show the rocket fully assembled  and the four assembled sections of the rocket.

   For those of us who like to model space vehicles this Saturn V is sure to be a conversation piece. The model can be purchased from Apogee Components through their website at www.apogeerockets.com.


Photos and text by Steve Negley