Apollo Saturn V and LUT

This is a 1/60 scale model of the Saturn V and Launcher - Umbilical Tower. This model is huge! I have been working on it for two years.

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This model is a work in progress and is nearing completion. The files are all out on I have been documenting this build on spacemodels-forum but this site is a bit unresponsive so I am moving the material over to this site. This model has been split up into numerous model parts. Start with the Apollo Umbilical Tower - New model. This is the overview that contains all the overview documents and no parts.

Warning: This model is not a beginner project. There are over 5,500 parts. You should be familiar with 3D printing as you have to decide how to orient parts to print and whether or not you need supports.

You should start by gathering information about the model.  There is no detailed step by step assembly instructions as that would take years and be thousands of pages.  Start by joining the LUT Group at  Go in and download as much information as you can.  The two most important documents are 75M-05120 and 75M-05121.  These are original NASA documents used to build the LUT.  The other important documents are the floor plans showing where all the equipment is placed.  This is in the CatoLibrary -> LUT Drawings -> 79K-00403 - LUT 3 Area Alloc.  Another major resource can be found on the TurboSquid website.  Search for Apollo LUT.  There are many 3D views that are invaluable.  

The model you need for the entire model are the Saturn V rocket which can be found at with the four model parts purchased on  

The next part you need is the launcher which can be found at  The launcher is made by skinning a wooden box.  There are other various models referenced in the build.  This has been a collaborative effort.  

The umbilical tower is the hardest part by far.  This consists of the following models.  

  1. Structure Level 0-30 - Complete
  2. Structure Level 30-60 - Complete
  3. Structure Levels 60-380 - Complete to Level 360
  4. Mid-Floor Structures - Complete
  5. Elevator - Complete
  6. Stairs - Complete to Level 360
  7. Flooring - Complete to Level 360
  8. Railing - Complete to Level 360
  9. Equipment - Complete to Level 360
  10. Cable Trays - Complete to Level 360
  11. Lights - Complete to Level 360
  12. Cameras - Complete to Level 340
  13. Anemometer - Complete
  14. Motor Housing - Complete
  15. Piping Side 1 - Complete to Level 320
  16. Piping Side 2 - Complete to Level 320
  17. Piping Side 3 - Complete
  18. Piping Side 4 - Complete to Level 320
  19. Swing Arm Common - Complete to Level 320
  20. Swing Arm #1 - Complete
  21. Swing Arm #2 - Complete
  22. Swing Arm #3 - Complete
  23. Swing Arm #4 - Complete
  24. Swing Arm #5 - Complete
  25. Swing Arm #6 - Complete
  26. Swing Arm #7 - Complete
  27. Swing Arm #8 - Complete
  28. Swing Arm #9 - Not started
  29. DRRS - Not started
  30. Crane - Started

I would highly recommend lighting the model.  The lights are not too hard to make and really add to the look of the model by lighting the dark interior of the levels, even in the daytime.  

  • Swing Arm #4

    wglasford6 days ago 0 comments

    I tied something different with the lights on swing arm #4. Instead of covering the positive side resistor and solder joints with shrink wrap I think it looks better to just leave them exposed. The thin wire is easier to hide behind beams and braces without that thick black shrink wrap. This was the first swing arm that has a light on the bottom, probably to illuminate swing arm. 

    There is quite a bit of detail and mystery inside swing arm #4. The three main sources I am using are TurboSquid, MicroArtwork and the ApolloManiacs pictures/drawings. Unfortunately I missed that the upper end panels of the main gantry are screened in. It was not obvious in the TurboSquid pictures, but is obvious in the ApolloManiacs pictures. If you want to add that I will leave that up to you.

    Beyond that there are obvious cable trays inside the TurboSquid but not the MicroArtwork.

    It is hard to tell with the ApolloManiacs but in the picture I think I can just see the cable trays.

    A search of the internet could not give me a definitive answer, including this picture of swing arm. 

    TurboSquid also shows the three white pipes on the inside of the right side as pipes whereas the MicroArtwork show them as flat ribbon cables. For the most part I will design to the TurboSquid and ApolloManiacs depictions.

    I initially forgot an end light one the inside of the structure. This light had to be added. It was really tight quarters, like the game operations, if you hit any of the plastic it would melt. I'm also glad I didn't use shrink wrap tubing.

    Here are the cable trays inside swing arm #4. I thought about making them grey but went ahead and printed them red. You can see I was just able to glue 3 wires into the ends. The actual arm had many more wires but this was the smallest I had. There should be a set of stair between the cable trays going up to the extension platform, but this space is so small I am not going to add these stairs. The inside space is getting tight. I should have just enough room between the cable trays to squeeze in the lower winch arm.

    Swing Arm #4: I went ahead and added four cables per side that run along the bottom inside corners. These along with the cables from the upper cable trays give me enough to add to the lower front connector along with the other two larger pipes. You can also see that I added the two cable retract mechanisms, one on top and one inside the bump out on the left side. There are also some pipe supports ready for the LH2 pipe. You. can also see that for the pipe retract bumpers the main part is grey and there is a one layer thick black part glued to the front to simulate the rubber. I then drilled a small hole through the middle to run the black thread (cable).

    You need to sharpen your print nozzle and clean the print surface for this part. I think these pipes came out ok. It's getting to where the limits of what you can print is limiting the detail that can be added. I think these pipes are critical for the overall look of this swing arm.

    Swing Arm #4 is installed with the lights and lower pipes connected.

  • Section #3

    wglasford6 days ago 0 comments

    I have started section #3, levels 120 through 180. The structure is printing up well, no need for modifications so far. As it turns out the levels 140, 160 and 180 all have the same floor beams and legs. I didn't plan it that way, its just the way it turned out. I have also designed Swing Arm #3 (easy) and I'm working on Swing Arm #4 (difficult).  

    A word of caution regarding the lights. I started out using as it turns out a very non-transparent gray filament. Everything was good until I needed more filament and the filament was no longer available. Without thinking I selected a new filament that was close to the same color and used that for the lights on Swing Arm #1. Only when the arm was completely constructed and attached did I realized the new filament was too transparent. This new filament has been OK for the various boxes and cabinets that sit on the floors, but not for the light shades. I eventually was able to get a new spool of the original filament and immediately printed up all the light shades I expect to need. So check the transparency of the grey filament before installing too many lights.

    The structure and inner parts of level 120-140 is complete. This is the first floor of the next removable section #3. 

    Thoughts on the Aviator67 parts. The part names align with the naming of parts in the MicroArtwork pdf files. Some of the names, usually storage boxes, for some reason do not have the same "Equ" number as in the MicroArtwork. I have not attempted to rename these. I have noticed that not all the parts have been modeled. There appears to be a size cut-off, too small and its not there. At the scale of this model, there are a few parts that I believe should be modeled. Many of these are small boxes that hang off the outside railing and are therefore fairly visible. Some of these boxes are about the same size so I created one box and will use that for many purposes. Specifically this part is named "L140 Crane Control Station". I first decided to model these at the next level. I may go back and add some of them to lower levels since the outside rails are easily accessible.

    Level 120-140 camera platforms: There are two side ones and the standard corner one. They all have ladders to access.

    Here are two of the small control panels that are missing from the Aviator67 parts. The SAII Aft Manual Control Panel has three wires, similar to the additions to the Hydropneumatic Consoles.

    Kind of a busy picture but I have not shown much of the under floor cable trays. This is the cable trays that hang under the level 160 floor. You can see the cable tray hangers. I glue them on with the cable tray in the correct position and then snip off the excess length that sticks up above the floor once the glue dries. I also use the ceiling cable trays held in place with clothes pins while gluing and wiring the lights. The lights go on and then with the floor in place the cable trays go on.

    I'm to the point now where I have to stand to add parts to the model. Before long I expect to have to use a step stool. This is a picture of the equipment on level 160.

    I'm working on the Level 190 structure that holds pipes. Unfortunately this mid-level is right where removable sections #3 and #4 meet. As a result, part of this structure will attach to the floor of L180 and part will hang from the ceiling of L200. As soon as I print the potion that glues to the L180 floor I will publish all those parts.

    On the Printables web site I was asked why there are no holes in the floor gratings for the cable trays. If you remember about a year ago I tried to print the floor grates with holes in them and was not happy with the results. So I decided to print the floor grating without holes. When gluing the next set of vertical cable trays, once the next level structure is on I glue the bottom of the cable tray to the floor grating below and the top to the floor I-beams above. Once all the cable trays, both vertical...

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  • Section #2

    wglasford6 days ago 0 comments

    So far so good. The structure, flooring and elevator design has held up. Per a previous post I did some refinements on the stairs. Between levels 100-120 the cable trays that dropped down to a box needed to be shortened. The lights are looking good. I realized that from these levels up each level has 12 lights, not 13. The first two levels had a light over the stairs and I was continuing that. From now on I will only add 12 lights per level. Before I hang the ECS pipes under the level 120 floor I will need to add the ECS pipes to the outside of side 2.

    The ECS pipes are in, including the two (E7 & E11) that go over towards Swing Arm #2. In the first picture you can see that it takes some doing to get things lined up before gluing. I only used 6 hanger brackets because of other various parts and wires in the way. I had some minor parts updates to get the pipes just right.

    Section 2 of the tower is now complete except for Swing Arm #2. Notice the camera platform at level 100.

    Swing Arm #2: The parts are designed and printed. Working on assembling them. Black wire is used to model the cabling. I still need to paint some flexible tubing and connect up the end, get the arm attached and attach the walkway.

    Tower Section #2 and Swing Arm #2 Complete: The next removable section of the tower is complete. This completes right at 1/3 of the tower! The first stage of the rocket can now be fueled. The swinging arms are working well. This section added 5 cameras. All but the Side 1 photo have the lights on. I am happy with the lights. Swing Arm #2 is now published. Looking at the zoomed in pictures I just realized the walkway stairs to Swing Arm #2 are oriented incorrectly. Oh well. I will probably leave them this way. It would take quite a bit of work to remove and replace the walkway.

  • Swing Arm #1

    wglasford7 days ago 0 comments

    Swing Arm #1: I have started designing the first swing arm. The hinges are already designed and printed. The first thing I did was measure the distance and angle between the hinge pivot point and the connector on the rocket. With a hand held protractor and a 6" ruler I was able to eyeball the angle at 73 degrees +/- 1 degree. The actual measurement should be 72 degrees 13'-36". The length should be 452.02" which translates to 191.36mm. The actual measurement is 188mm which is within 1.75% of the actual measurement. I couldn't be more pleased with the results. The launcher and tower have to be pretty close to exact to get these results. This means I can go with actual measurements and take advantage of the sliding components that bridge the gap. 

    Here are pictures of a test print of the first and second elements. I used some "Galaxy Silver" filament that shipped with the printer, something I would never use in a model. The cross beams are round and everything else should be angle iron, but like before I squared those off for strength. These arms should be light and airy, not something that looks like it is made from Legos or something out of MineCraft. Lots of bling still needs to be added to these pieces. For the grating I plan to go with something even lighter than the floor grating. I will try a 0.2 x 0.2mm grating that is integral to the sides and bottom.

    Swing Arm #1: I'm glad to be doing something more exciting than pipes. The swing arms are detailed models unto themselves. I suggest you get a good pair of tweezers and a lighted magnifying glass on an arm.

    The yellow lights on top of the arm should be 3mm. I had some leftover 5mm LEDs so I used those. They are a bit too large but I had them so I used them. When I publish the parts you will see I made holders for both sizes. The wiring was tricky. The wires for the spotlights needed to be snaked through holes smaller than the lights so I had to solder them in place. Start by gluing the sides to the top, leaving the bottom open so you have access to solder. Once the lights are glued in and working then you can glue the bottom on.

    The white extension platform can be left unglued and adjustable. The parts for the swing arm are made to the original dimensions. My arm length is 3mm shorter than it should be. Fortunately this part can be adjusted to make up the error. I chose to glue in the extension platform, leaving a 2-3mm gap between the end of this platform and the rocket. This appears to be to scale and allows a gap for the arm to swing out of the way. On the underside of the platform there are support braces that go out to the corners. I simply cut some 1x1mm braces from a failed print. In the final parts you will notice some 1x1mm straight pieces to use for these braces.

    As for the upper yellow structure I am calling the Fueling Mechanism (FM), this part was also made to not be operable. To have made this tiny structure operate would be in the too hard category. As you are gluing up the structure, check and double check with the arm held into place so the end just touches the rocket. I find it best to use slower setting medium or thick CA. Put glue on the surface, hold the part in place with tweezers and then shoot it with aerosol glue accelerator. 

    The tubing is a clear vinyl tubing, both 1/4" and 3/16" OD tubing. Fortunately this stuff is paintable.

    Swing Arm #1 Attached: The arm is attached! You can see a picture of it retracted and extended and lit. Four lights are in-board and two are out-board plus the two end spotlights.

    The pipes that feed the LOX are not per the MicroArtwork. Those pipes didn't make sense when you look at the pipe bends both extended and retracted. The larger of the two vinyl tubes is much less pliable than the skinny one. Taking all that into account, this is my solution. You can see the tubes both extended and retracted.

    Swing Arm #1 Complete: The walkway is in and this portion of the model is now published. I was going...

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  • Section #1

    wglasford11/18/2023 at 16:59 0 comments

    Lights: There are almost 250 lights on LUT, not including the swing arms. To get the correct scale look, the proper number of lights, fairly dim will be the best. For this I had a bag of 3mm white LEDs from a previous project. I ordered another 200, $7/100 from Amazon. To direct light downward and make them look good I created two pieces, the shade and a cap to cover the top.

    Here are three assembled lights being tested.

    I wired up and glued in 5 lights on the underside of the level 30 floor.

    I am happy with the results. I will wire the entire floor and then determine what resister to use, one resistor per floor. The resistors will reside within the elevator shaft. Previously I inserted a pipe through the launcher to run the pair of wires for the lights as well as four wires to possibly automate the crane on top at a later date. And finally a picture of the lights from the top with the floor grating on.

    Stairs and elevator glued in.

    I am always looking ahead 4 or 5 steps. Is there something I need to be considering now that makes things easier later on? So far I have done nothing with the swing arms. These are models unto themselves. Fortunately the main structural portions are common, the first and second elements. Despite this, some of the arms are very complex. I want this model to be as detailed as possible given the limits of scale, therefore the swing arms should articulate, both swing away and extend/contract. There should be working lights and accurate piping and cabling. The cabling should be easy, various size wires. The piping will be more difficult as there are flexible sections. The best material for this seems to be vinyl tubing. There are various small sizes available; 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" OD. As long as these take paint everything should work. There is a good set of on-line pictures at turbosquid that show various angles and the ends extended and contracted. So far I have combed through these pictures and the various technical drawings out there to update the spreadsheet and sketched in an initial set of parts that may be required. Usually this first quick pass results in less parts than are required for the finished model. As a result of this effort, the total parts count is now up to 4,000. Bottom line? The arms attach to the support and locking columns that can be added on after the tower is built as will the external pipes that run up the tower. The one thing that is affected are the railings because there are walkways that extend out and around one of the legs to access the arms. I expect these railings to be added on after the tower is built due to their delicate nature.

    To glue or not to glue, that is the question. Actually the question is how much of the tower to glue together. The launcher base is large and heavy. I should definitely be a separate piece. As far as the tower goes, having each floor separate seems to be too much. At this point I think if I glue together levels 30/60/80 that would be a good chunk of the tower that can be easily managed and manipulated. The Support and Locking columns split at that point. From there I plan to glue the tower in 3 section chunks. That would be 100/120/140, 160/180/200, 220/240/260, 280/300/320 and 340/360/380 with the crane probably being separate. This means I need to have connectors at every break for the six wires running up through the elevator shaft. I plan to have the swing arms removable as well. The lower hinge can be glued to the support columns with the upper hinge being split into two pieces that dovetail together with the base glued to the columns. The swing arms will need a two wire connection for their lights.

    I have completed a restructuring/renaming effort to make more sense of the parts. The farscape1 model lists parts with a prefix of say "L60". Are these parts above or below level 60? Same thing with the Aviator67 parts. It appears the Aviator67 parts designation mean the parts sit on or above level 60. For the...

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  • Umbilical Tower Redesign

    wglasford11/18/2023 at 16:43 0 comments

    I love it when I can find parts that someone else designed, it saves me time and effort. Aviator67 produced a treasure trove of add-on parts for the farscape1 LUT. After printing and assembling the Level30 floor framing along with the cable tray template I realized the cable tray template is inaccurate. I displayed the Micro Artwork level 30 picture and enlarged it to size. Matching up the template to the picture it appears the portion in the bottom of the picture is very accurate, however the upper portion is too stretched out and conflicts with the framing. It looks like I will be re-creating these parts. I will also make the cross members of this "template" look more like what is shown in the Micro Artwork picture.

    I think that if you look at the girder layout in the Fairscape LUT you will find that they are all just pretty generic and don't really match any of the actual drawings. The Micro Artwork pictures and the files in the 51020/21 will give you the actual layout for each level. If you want a truly accurate tower be prepaired to change all the levels, including the areas around the elevators. The levels from 120 on up to 260 are okay for the most part but are not accurate. The beams on 30 through 80 and possibly 100 do need to be corrected as they just don't look right as they are. If you don't change them, you will have a bugger of a time trying to get te conduit trays to go from the base up to level 30 and then continue on through to 100..Once you get the 4 main beam (full size) position established (start with the 18 sq ft section in the center, it will leave 11 feet on each side), all your changes will be with the half and quarter wide (top to bottom measurement) beams that are attached to them. The center section is split into two 9 x18 ft sections. The one on side 2 is for the elevator shaft and the one on side 4 has the stairway opening in it. The nice part here is that all of those floors are 40 ft by 40 ft and the 3 inch pipe braces under the floors do remain constant all the way up.The beams on the top 2 or 3 levels are different because on the Elevator Motor House and the Crane installation. John

    Thanks for the input. You have got me thinking. My initial plan was to go with the farscape1 portion of the model as is, with incorrectly sized elevator and all. Since I already have the Level 30 floor structure printed and glued up my plan was to cut out a few of the floor beams and draw up sections to fill in those holes. I have also drawn up the cable tray that hangs from the ceiling. This part is affected by both the incorrectly sized elevator and the beam locations. I only have one elevator section printed, so I have made the decision to redraw the elevator parts and the floor sections to make them correct. If you start with one mis-sized part, it seems to snowball and affects many other parts. Oh well, so much for thinking I was just going to print up and glue this portion of the model.

    The level 30 platform should be 40' x 54'. The farscape1 platform is correct for the 40' dimension but off for the other dimension. The scaled dimensions are 250mm for farscape1 where it should be 274.32mm, off by almost 25mm, almost one inch!!! That will throw off the level 60 platform for sure. And as John says the gantry arms will all be too long as the entire tower needs to be shifted towards the Saturn V by over half an inch. I can see where this is going to take me awhile to redraw. I have started a new model page on Printables and will publish it once I get some parts drawn up.

    A first, rather small start. Here are the scale dimensions of the first three floors based on pages 54 and 55 of 75M-05120. I will base the new parts on these dimensions.

    Decoding the cable trays... They are sneaky and can change positions. The 75M-05120 document labels physical positions A-V and the 75M-05121 document shows the cable trays as they go up the levels and numbers the cable trays 1-22. The spreadsheet shows for...

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  • Launcher

    wglasford11/18/2023 at 16:32 0 comments

    I am working on the Saturn V and realized it's looking a lot like fall out there so I wanted to complete the wooden box structure of the launcher while the temperature in the garage is perfect for wood working. I had plenty of scrap wood from other projects. You can say the box is 31" x 26 1/4", but it's hard to grasp just how big that is until you start to build it. The crawler is small by comparison. 

    The box is fairly heavy and I want to be able to park the crawler underneath without putting all that weight on the crawler itself and be able to pull the crawler out occasionally. I went ahead and drew up the three pier types, but wanted added strength as these 6 piers will hold up all that weight and the plastic may snap if pushed on so I created a hole through the middle to insert a 1/2" wooden dowel. The dowels will go up into the box through holes and be epoxied in place. That should give plenty of strength. This is the type 3 pier. 

    No structural issues, I tend to overbuild. I used 3/4" x 3/4" plywood strips to attach the 1/4" plywood sheets together and then added inner cross members of 1/4" plywood that interlock. The box probably weights at least 20 pounds. That's why I am inserting 1/2" dowels into the piers. As I design the side skins I have realized I can't simply drill a 1/2" hole into the underside as the piers attach right at the corners. My plan at this point is to insert a 1/4" dowel to pin the piers to the box. Yesterday I created the Side 1 - Side 4 corner skins, incorporating the fixed support interfaces into the side skins and not have them as separate pieces because the girder webbing is so thin.

    I have printed the four engine chamber walls and separate yellow engine warning plates. I like the color the yellow adds. I may reprint the warning plates as the yellow plastic is a bit too transparent. 

    The most important part of the Launcher skins are the support interfaces where the piers attach. Six of these points have to support the entire model. At first I drew up one of the supports using the exact dimensions and printed it out only to realize that the 3/4" webbing scales down to something waaaay to thin. I decided to beef the webbing up to 1mm which is technically not to scale but is much stronger and still has a good look. You can also see I added a 1/4" hole up through the bottom. This is where a 1/4" wooden dowel will be inserted to pin the pier in place and add lateral strength. The corners of the box need to be chiseled out to fit the bottom plate so the launcher is flat on the bottom. This will also add more glue surfaces. Once these supports are epoxied in place the hole needs to be drilled out to remove the corner of the box. The 1/4" dowels can then be epoxied into place. I think this will give enough strength to support the model. 

    Most of the launcher builds out there seem to square off the vertical I-beams on the side panels. Since I am new to 3D printing (but not modeling which is why I keep gravitating towards painting the pieces) I thought I would try to add more realism to the I-beams without having to add supports. Here are some solutions. I will use the I-beam on the right. There are small 45 degree triangles tucked under the front surface. These add quite a bit of strength yet disappear into the shadow line.

    I have drawn up and printed the first of four hold down arms. I chose not to model the inside links, but instead I wanted the exterior as accurate as possible. The only thing that is not per the drawing is the hood which I made a little thicker to give it some strength. I also did not model the hatch on the side. Overall I am happy with the results.

    I have completed gluing the side skins to the box. I left one panel on each side for last so I could measure and adjust the skin before printing these. These skins were 4, 10, 16 & 24. Make sure the tops are flat with the top of the box. I used epoxy on the six corner supports for added strength....

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Enjoy this project?



wglasford wrote 11/20/2023 at 20:28 point

You are welcome.  i have been working on this for over 2 years.  Fortunately there is a LUT Group that is providing me with all the original NASA technical documents and pictures.  

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 11/20/2023 at 19:47 point

Amazing! What a labor of love! Thanks for sharing

  Are you sure? yes | no

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