Dragon 1/72 "Apollo 11 Lunar Approach"

KIT #: 11001
PRICE: $44.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken

Complete with display stand


Apollo 11 was the spaceflight which landed the first humans, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr, on Earth's Moon on July 20, 1969, at 20:17:39 UTC. The United States mission is considered the major accomplishment in the history of space exploration.

Launched from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 in Merritt Island, Florida on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission, and the third lunar mission, of NASA's Apollo program. The crew consisted of Armstrong as Commander and Aldrin as Lunar Module Pilot, with Command Module Pilot Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquillity and became the first humans to walk on the Moon on July 21. Their Lunar Module, Eagle, spent 21 hours 31 minutes on the lunar surface, while Collins remained in orbit in the Command/Service Module, Columbia. The three astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, landing in the Pacific Ocean. They brought back 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar rocks.

Apollo 11 fulfilled U.S. President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the Moon before the Soviet Union by the end of the 1960s, which he had expressed during a 1961 mission statement before the United States Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

Five additional Apollo missions landed on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. Several following missions were cancelled due to budget cut-backs and a perceived lack of interest by the American public. 

As an interesting aside, space must be good for you as all three men who went on this mission are in their 80s and still going strong.


 From what has arrived from Dragon USA, it seems that perhaps the next big thing in modeling could be real-space. This is Dragon's first in a line of new 1/72 kits and it makes sense that they'd pick the most famous space related so far in the history of humankind, the first human landing on the moon.

You get both the Columbia command module and the Eagle lunar lander. Dragon has a list of features below, but aside from the usual excellent Dragon molding and attention to detail, I was impressed with the preformed etched brass antennas and the fact that you get a sturdy base with a metal support arm.

I also liked that the face of the LEM and the main body of the Apollo capsule are molded as one piece. This will go a long way to enhancing construction.

A full list of features includes:

- Display stand included
- Delicate command/service module and lunar module with astonishing detail
- Authentic ascent stage
- Defined landing pad represented
- Intricate docking target and VHF antenna on ascent stage
- S-band steerable antenna and rendezvous radar antenna can be folded up/down
- Realistic landing radar antenna molded w/details
- Intricate descent stage w/realistic engine
- Egress platform with delicate detail
- Diminutive reaction control thruster assembled w/crisp details
- Docking Probe Assembly rendered w/intricate detail
- Realistic service propulsion system reproduced
- Photo-etched service module antennas authentically reproduced
- Aft hear shield molded w/fine detail

Kit instructions are small compared to some Dragon kits. With "only" 120 parts, this is a bit of a light-weight compared to their armor kits. Instructions contain Gunze paint references with a lot of metallics. The decal sheet is pretty comprehensive as well. The painting and markings guide are in full color on the bottom of the box.

 Nice to see a quality real-space kit from Dragon and this one is a beauty. I'm sure that it will make into a beautiful model when done.  



September 2011

Thanks towww.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.

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