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My First Commissioned Space Model Job for Astronaut Alan Bean

It was an evening back in 1999. I had been working on a project in the shop and was just about to go for dinner when the phone rang.

“Hello, this is Alan Bean,” said the person on the other line.

I was awestruck. The famous astronaut from the Apollo 12 and Skylab 3 missions was on the phone talking to me? I had met him briefly a few years earlier at an event but never expected him to remember me, let alone call me.

“I understand you do some of the best space models in the world,” he continued.

“Well, I try my best,” I told him. “What can I do for you?”

It turned out that Alan wanted me to build a 1/7 scale model of the Surveyor 3 moon probe that he and Pete Conrad visited during their second moonwalk for the Apollo 12 mission in November 1969.

I was of course very honoured to accept the commission. Working for Alan was a real pleasure. He has an impeccable eye for detail and accuracy, and collaborated with us during the project to ensure that even the most subtle details were true to life. There was no way he would settle for a model that wasn’t 100% accurate and I respected that. And even though he had incredibly high expectations, he always maintained a friendly, positive, upbeat attitude through all of our communications with each other.

Alan Bean with Nick Proach

It’s working for guys like Alan that has helped Proach Models become one of the most-respected model making companies in the world. When we build space models for clients with such high expectations, we discover how to push through barriers and learn how to discover new ways of making our models even better.

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