Astrovan Apollo Era

The Crawler gets the rocket to the launch pad but what about the astronauts? In the Apollo era NASA uses a Cortez Motor Home to take the crews out to the pad. The vehicle could take up to four astronauts and was used for Apollo, Skylab, Apollo/Soyuz and the early Space Shuttle missions. It was replaced with a  larger vehicle which could carry the larger Space Shuttle crews.

The Apollo Era Astrovan has been restored and is on display at the Kenedy Space Center.

I was lucky to find a pdf of the Cortez owner’s manual containing the overall dimensions of the vehicle, which translated to a 3×7 stud outline at 1:110 scale. A perfect match to the trophy scale Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Building the model is quite straight forward (it is mostly a rectangular block), the wheels are the only tricky bit. The wheel hubs are the ends of the axles, to get this to line up perfectly with the wheels I pushed the ‘wheel’ studs further than required onto the ‘axle’ rod and then, with the axel vertical and on a flat surface, slid the ‘wheel’ stud down. A flat surface is also useful for centering the wheels and axles on the completed vehicle.


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