One final post re: the Moon and Apollo 11

model1I know, it seems like I’ve had the moon on my mind since the beginning of the year.  The whole 40th anniversary thingee really got to me for some reason.  Made me ponder how much time has passed and (perhaps) how little time remains.

A busy, creative, exhausting summer and those 4 linked short stories grow ever nearer to completion.  Stay tuned, I think this quartet of tales is going to make a definite impression on you.

But I decided to take this past weekend off, rest up, read a couple of books (both on Orson Welles, as it turned out) and build another plastic model.

And, sticking with the moon theme, the model I chose was the Heller Apollo 11 lunar lander.  This is a none-too-detailed, cheapish reproduction of the fragile craft that took Neil and Buzz down to the surface of the moon…and back up again (to rendezvous with Michael Collins).  Found it on eBay for a small stipend but it took me forever to set aside some time to put the bloody thing together.  And I’ve got eight or ten other model kits in the basement, waiting their turn.  Everything from an X-Wing fighter to a German zeppelin.  Sheesh…

model2I set up on a table on our back deck–the weather for the past week has been perfect, clear and hot and not much in terms of a breeze.  I got myself settled, arranged my parts and glue and paints and commenced work.

There were a few minor annoyances.  First of all, none of the instructions were in English.  Second, this model is quite small and that means small parts that resist and defy my clumsy, shaky fingers.  I had…difficulties.  Mainly with the struts.  Oooo, those bleepin’ struts.  I still break into a sweat when I think of them.

Sherron found me some terrific copper-tinted paint that went on thick, allowing me to apply a bit of texture, a convincing impression of the gold foil we see in pictures of the lander, a blaze of colour on the otherwise monotonously grey moon.

model3Finished the model and thought it needed a little diorama so I made one of some papier mache stuff Sherron had lying around.  Spray-painted it while it was still wet, hoping to give a better illusion of the fine lunar regolith.

It’s not perfect but it ain’t half bad.

Have a look…and then sit down and tell me  story about a model you built as a kid, a memory you treasure (or rue) to this day.

C’mon, don’t be shy…



  1. driftlessareareview

    The moon would be a perfect place to send those town hall yahoos. Then the government wouldn’t have to invade their preciousness by offering them health care or food or air.

  2. Mike Cane

    Oh man, the Aurora models I had as a kid. Creature from the Black Lagoon, Batman, Superman, the Seaview, the spaceship from Land of the Giants, the Flying Sub, the saucer from The Invaders. Then there was that goddammed USS Enterprise model from that shit company — the saucer section wouldn’t stay glued and the struts holding the nacelles would droop!! That was a sign the West was flushing itself down the toilet. A potent omen that turned out to be true!

  3. Cliff Burns

    Ah, Aurora…you make me positively sigh with nostalgia, Mike.

    Speaking of the Seaview (from the TV program “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” for those of you under 35), awhile back a model company released a new kit that was about three feet long. Retailed for a hundred bucks (U.S.). I think it even came with a fiber optic lighting rig.

    It’s a good thing indie writers are chronically broke–I’d be spending all kinds of dough on strange shit like that.

    Thanks, Mike…

  4. The Necromancer

    This makes me want to do this again. I haven’t since I was a teenager, but it was a fascination then. Maybe I’ll eventually feature something so beautifully built on my blog too…


  5. Cliff Burns

    If you have any kits from childhood you remember with particular fondness, do a little searching around on the internet. There’s still one I want VERY much, the Pan Am Orion shuttle from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, the craft that takes Heywood Floyd up to the space station. Hard to find and usually too expensive when I find it. But one day…

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