RealSpace Models 1/96 scale Command/Service Module (CSM) with Boost Protective Cover (BPC)

RealSpace CSM boxart Revell Saturn V boxart The RealSpace Models 1/96 scale CSM kit is meant primarily to top off the giant Revell 1/96 scale Saturn V kit, a classic kit and a legend among space modelers! The original kit uses a Block I CSM, which never actually flew manned in space. It was replaced by the Block II vehicle after the Apollo 1 fire. The venerable and (all too) familiar Revell 1/96 scale CSM has been used at various times together as a kit with the Saturn V, a Lunar Module (LM), and a Russian Soyuz to depict the Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission.

The kit serves as a replacement for the CSM that comes with the Saturn V model, which was originally issued in the 60s, and has been reissued two or three times, the most recent being just last year. It consists of two resin parts and one vacuformed part. The resin parts are the conical Command Module (CM) and cylindrical Service Module (SM) together in one piece, and the Aft Heat Shield and Service Propulsion System engine nozzle together in a second assembly. There is a 1/16" disk of resin at the aft end of the SM, where the resin was poured into the mold, that will have to be sanded off before you can join the two resin parts.

The molding is impeccable, as we have come to expect of all RealSpace products. All of the major details that could be expected to be depicted in this scale are present, right down to the EVA handholds, CM RCS thrusters, and even a small docking probe on the tip of the CM. The twin omnidirectional antennae have been molded right into the side of the SM, as are small rectangular bases to show you where to glue on the RCS thruster assemblies. The umbilical between the CM and SM has been moved to its proper place and molded in the proper size on the vehicle.

The vacuformed part is the Boost Protective Cover - a white, cone- shaped assembly which fits over the CM to protect it from aerodynamic forces during launch and to serve as an attach point for the Launch Escape System (LES). This part was totally absent from the original Saturn V kit and is a welcomed addition for building a much more authentic vehicle. It is molded in thick, sturdy white plastic and will need to be trimmed from its base and a few holes drilled in it for such things as the LES tower and hatch window, and a section cut out to accomodate the previously mentioned umbilical.

As this is meant to be a replacement for the CSM which comes with the original Saturn V kit, the user must use the RCS thrusters, LES tower assembly, High Gain Antenna, and decals from the original kit to complete the Apollo stack. Besides the additional few items I listed that you will need from the original kit to complete the vehicle, I would recommend a sheet of Bare Metal Foil in Matt Aluminum for the SM and Ultra Bright Chrome for the CM.

I've built two of the Revell Saturn V kits in my life - one when I was a kid (in the 60s - probably an original) and another over a decade ago after a reissue. I also bought another one last year, which is still in the box. Up to now, the only alternative for a decent replica of the CSM in its launch configuration atop the Saturn was to sand off all the exterior details of the kit pieces and rebuild it all from scratch. To properly depict the BPC, one had to paint the kit CM white (instead of chrome silver as it should be) and add details to it to change it from a CM to a BPC. I can now look forward to a much better looking and accurate Saturn V with this small addition to the top of it. I would also suggest this kit as a replacement for the CSM which came with the recent reissue of the Revell ASTP kit.

Order from:
RealSpace Models
813 Watt Dr.
Tallahassee, FL 32303


Karl D. Dodenhoff
Mon, 14 Sep 98