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Pat Leblanc's Incredible Lunar Module Project

There's been talk of doing an MMM-sized LM in the past, and even some attempt at creating molds for parts that could be cast from resin. Larry Turoski first built one back in the 60's/70's out of cardboard and scrap materials, but to create a really accurate, scale model? Alas, thus far these attempts have proved beyond the dedication needed to complete a project of this magnitude...until now:

From Pat LeBlanc:
As with most of my projects, I began by searching the internet for information on the real thing. There are tons of sites with diagrams and pictures but very few with detailed dimensional data. However, I found a document titled "The Lunar Module News Reference" (LMNR) that provided what I needed to get started (I also borrowed my nephew's 1/48 scale LM).

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Lunar Module
While doing research for my custom Lunar Rover, I ran across a lot of Lunar Module (LM) pictures. After building the rover, I began toying with the idea of building a 1/12 scale LM. While I've seen a link to the MMM Lunar Lander site, I've never been able to access it. I imagine most MMM collectors would have liked to see Mattel produce a LM but it wasn't meant to be. It probably would have looked like this early concept for the LM (notice that there isn't an egress platform or ladder).

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Descent Stage
It wasn't until I started doing some preliminary layout work that I realized just how big the LM was (and would be at Matt's 1/12 scale). The distance diagonally across the footpads would be 31" (that's almost twice the diameter of the Space Station!). The combined height of the ascent and descent stages would be about 22". Obviously this would have been the largest toy in the MMM line. To get an idea what I was getting myself into, I laid out these dimensions on a piece of newspaper. Here are pictures of the rover sitting next to the footprint of the descent stage and Matt standing in front of an elevation view of the ascent stage.

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Ascent Stage
By now I was hooked on the idea and decided to tackle the project literally from the top down. I'll start with the ascent stage and move on to the descent stage. While I intend to make my LM as accurate as possible, I'll also take some artistic license with the result ending up somewhere between the picture above and the real thing.

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial is Copyright © 1997-2017 John Eaton or Pat LeBlanc. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here or Pat LeBlanc by clicking here.

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