Monday, June 6, 2011

Estes Saturn V Build Part 59 Service Module Wrap

I had to take a break from the masking!
Since the upper section of the Saturn is painted, I wanted to add silver areas of the service module.

NOTE: In the Estes instructions, Step 23 Part D, you are told to cut out the masking guide for the Service Module. There is no masking guide in the kit box or on the parts listing.

As discussed in the Part 40 blog entry, I was going to make a Monokote trim wrap like the old Centuri kit used. This would be easier than trying to mask the top of the L.E.M. reduction shroud and give much more detail to the service module on the finished model.

I wanted to check the print width of the PDF print of the Centuri wrap. A strip of paper was wrapped around the tube and marked at the overlap. When layed down on the PDF it was correct.

After studying pictures of the real Saturn V, this area was not an overly shiny chrome, but more a "buffed" silver. I chose some Aluminum Monokote trim. It had a closer tint and wasn't as reflective.

My PDF print was taped over the Monokote and cut with a sharp knife and straightedge.

I had to go back and forth trying to anticipate the cut height for the parachute hook. I wanted the trim to go around and under the wire covering up as much of the white paint as possible.
Before wrapping, be sure the tube is clean! Anything on the surface will show through the thin trim material.
Be careful handling the wrap, those sharp inside corners can easily tear.

At first I cut out a small square for the top, but didn't take into account the lower end of the wire. It was wrapped as best as I could and in the end trimmed around the base of the lower end of the wire.

Time spent on build: 1:00
Total time on build so far: 56:45


  1. Wow! I spent what seemed like hours looking for that guide before giving up and painting the whole thing silver...

    1. Hi Theo,
      Yep, the original Estes Service Module area was all silver. I found my wrap pattern on page 46 from the old Centuri instructions at: