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Thomas Lund

Real space kits

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Hi

 

I've been considering building either a space shuttle (with tank and boosters) or a Saturn V... or perhaps both :-) you know how it is

 

But I haven't got a clue which kits are good and which are better left alone

 

Anyone got some experience ? Not too partial towards scale - just gotta be good kits

 

Thanks

Thomas

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Ive done both. 

ZV4Cs5.jpg

 

you can see the edge edge of the Saturn V here.   The shuttle takes a lot of patience to get all the details right.  I used medical tape to create the blankets and actually cut out hundreds of tiles and glued them to the front end and engine nacelles.   Took lots of paint to fill the fabric, but the effect is outstanding.  

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Horizon Models out of Australia has made some very good kits of the Mercury series in 1/72 scale. Dragon did more in that scale, but the details have some issues. Real Space and New Ware do lots of kits and conversions from 1/144 to 1/24. If you like satellites and probes, there are quite a few in 1/24 scale of the planetary probes... but many are now out of production.

 

The difficulty with real space modeling is finding a constant scale with a full array of subjects. You could want to do 1/32 scale to match the aircraft, but those launch systems are then just so large as to dwarf a WWI bomber. Because there are not so many modelers of those subjects as there are for many aircraft, both the kits and the aftermarket sets come and go and don't come back. Crows Nest did a great Mercury capsule in 1/32, and the Revell Apollo kits have lots of aftermarket fixes to make them great. Unfortunately, Crows Nest is gone. You have to go to printed models on Shapeways to make many 1/32 scale real space subjects, but there is a very detailed lunar lander available there.

 

Tnarg

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Both Revell and Airfix make 1/144 Shuttle (full stack) and Saturn V kits.  From what I’ve read, both Shuttle kits have some inaccuracies as they were made early on in the life of the shuttle program.  Similarly, both Saturn V kits are fairly old, although I’ve heard that the Airfix kit was reissued a few years ago with some improvements and may be a little better.  Those are probably the main options, and have the advantage of being in the same scale. 

 

There are other shuttle kits, both with and without the full stack.  If you like it big, I think Revell made a 1/72 full stack kit, although that seems to be much rarer than the shuttle only boxing.  There are also smaller kits in 1/288.  For the Saturn V, Dragon also made a 1/72 kit, which obviously huge.

 

Personally, I like the 1/100 Tamiya shuttle, although it’s a shuttle only kit.

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I wish RevellWhomever, would put the real space kits back out. Everything from the Mercury stuff to the Space Shuttle, and everything in between. These kits are going for bricks of gold on Ebay, Scale Model Graveyard, and private sales. Would love to see them come back and some serious thought by Eduard and others, in photo etch sets and decals.

I always tell my kiddos, you grew up with science fiction like Star Wars. My generation had the real thing! Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, etc. It was an exciting time to be a kiddo then!

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Sorry about that!  Shuttle is the 1/72 Revell kit.  Saturn 5 is the 1/72 Dragon kit.

 

Thunderbirds are the old Revell 1/32 F-16N kits with Tamiya decals.

Edited by ScottsGT

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Sven at Ninfinger Productions has an archive of all things space. His list of spacecraft and X planes kits appears here:

 

http://www.ninfinger.org/models/space_models.html

 

You will see all of those kits you wished you could have found and a few that you still can purchase, along with reviews and "quick looks" for a few of them. The lists include links to the manufacturer's sites or contact information so you can find the kits still in production. I don't really know of a better resource for space models. He even hosts the archive for the Yahoo space modelers group and multiple walkarounds of these subjects.

 

Now... which one of the manufacturers is going to fill out the list? How about a full set of early spacecraft and X-planes? We have some X-1 and X-15 plane versions, but no X-3, X-20 nor lifting bodies in 1/32 scale. Place all the X-planes next to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Soyuz and more? That could be interesting.... sorry that they seem off topic without wings, but Gemini was a glider once, even if they called Mercury "Spam in a can".

 

Tnarg

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