Designer's Blog

Welcome to my blog! Here I will report about my progress with the 1/96 paper model kit of the LUT from time to time. Hope you enjoy the show, and feel free to leave comments at my guest book!

2013 - 10 - 05

Command Module Service Arm (Swing Arm #9)

Within the LUT’s cosmos, service arm 9 is a big subuniverse. Its design was revised several times, and when you look at those old pictures you’ll discover an amazing varity of the White Room.


Early layout of the White Room - Courtesy of NASA


White Room during the moonlanding missions

Lot of stabilizers were added to work around the wind problem, and also the needed room initially was calculated too small. Again, I fell into another case of missing drawings and references. This time, my investigations however reached a new dimension - from the usual suspects to the Smithonian National Air and Space Museum and finally to a fantastic Saturn V project in Czech Republic.

The shape of the connector to the Apollo capsule is - at least for mere mortal humans - not understandable. If you don’t believe it, study as many pictures as you want and try to draw it. It’s impossible due to its asymmetry and given dimensions it has to clear. Finally I decided a different approach using the boost protective cover as primer.


This eventually worked, as you can see in this comparison.

The test build
Already during the design of the service arm I got an uneasy feeling about the construction. The parts size went from small to tiny to microscopic. The instructions for a proper build would fill books. At exactly this point I came across an amazing pearl of software, that seems to solve the instructions problem. Basically, it creates a 3D PDF file from your model that can be inspected just using Acrobat Reader. Even more, it can capture scenes and different stages of the model enabling a guided tour through the construction process. If this sounds too good to be true for you, take the opportunity to try it for yourself.


Above you see pictures from the finished model of the service arm 9 in 1/96 scale. I’ve decided to offer it as free download to give you an idea about the LUT kit and the new kind of building instructions I want to implement. In my opinion, this will be the future of building instructions, not only for paper models but for all kind of assembly procedures.

You can download the files from here:

SA9 building instructions
SA9 model kit A4 format
SA9 model kit US Letter format

Note that you will need red paper and transparent foil for the model. The first page of the kit file also gives a short introduction to the
3D-PDF file.

Enjoy the build -  I’d be happy to read your feedback!


© 2014 MicroArtwork