For this part there is really no alternative to the resin kit from Realspace Models. The kit is generally very good although the instructions are kept to a minimum - with the amount of parts no more is needed. The kit includes photoetched parts for the SM radiators and high gain antenna. The parts are beautiful and easy to work with. There are almost no visible bubbles in the resin and you only need to clean away a little flash on some of the more delicate parts. Also included is a sheet of tiny little decals produced by Rick Sternbach. With a mininum of excess carrier film the decals worked very well with Microscale Set and Sol.
The main parts come together quite easily. For the service module I used Model Master's aluminum applied with a brush. After a couple of very thin layers the result is to my satisfaction. Some of the panels have a slightly different shade of aluminium just to break up the surface a bit.
I covered the CM with strips of BareMetal chrome foil according to the scheme shown in the instructions. This took som time but wasn't really that difficult. The windows were made from pieces of transparent plastic painted with a dark metallic blue colour and then glued to the inside of the CM.
The fit between the SM and the CM could perhaps be better but lining the inside of the SM with a strip of styrene closes some of the gaps.
Mike Mackowski's SIM#6 is a very useful guide for completing the CSM. Among a lot of other things it tells you the paint schemes of all the different CSM's. You may note the large white panel on the service module in the pictures below. There is no mention of this in the kit instructions.
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