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  Dragon 1:72 Redstone rocket with Mercury

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Author Topic:   Dragon 1:72 Redstone rocket with Mercury
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-12-2011 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First look at Dragon Models' 1:72 Redstone Rocket with Mercury Spacecraft:

Daugherty54
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From: Cabot, Arkansas, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 10-14-2011 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty54   Click Here to Email Daugherty54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, I gotta have this one... and I hope a Gemini Titan is right behind it, and I will buy that one. I am about to pull the trigger on the Apollo 10 model... I need a second job.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 10-18-2011 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dragon has it listed on their website.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 11-30-2011 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Available in January 2012 for about $50 (according to the Flying Mule).

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-05-2011 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Announced today, the kit version of Dragon's 1:72 Redstone rocket with Mercury spacecraft:

PeterO
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From: Rochester, NH
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posted 12-05-2011 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since both the prebuilt and kit versions have the "window" style Mercury, they can only be accurately built as MR-4 with Liberty Bell 7. Freedom 7 had round portholes (and a thick, smooth hatch), not the trapezoidal window.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 01-20-2012 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The model kit version of the Mercury Redstone is out from Dragon. Some online vendors have it and I picked mine up from the LHS (local hobby shop) yesterday. I'll be shooting pictures and a video inbox review of it, but I'll give you some initial thoughts.

The plastic: The kit contains 43 parts (44 if you count the metal support rod for the rocket). The Mercury spacecraft contains most of the parts, although a few of them you don't use for this build. The rocket bodies are molded as complete cylinders as opposed to halves, making assembly of this kit a breeze. They divided the body into four sections (fin unit, lower half, upper half, Mercury Redstone extension) and I would say they may do a Jupiter C version or perhaps a Redstone Ballistic missile in the future (and a Sparta Wresat conversion might be nice for fans of Australia's first satellite).

Compared to Glencoe's Jupiter C in 1/48, which is the old Hawk kit, the Dragon kit is a bit simplified in spots. There are no exterior details on the rocket body showing access covers on the bottom or some of the recessed areas. Seeing the three Redstone/Jupiter C boosters that Alabama Space and Rocket Center has in their collection, Hawk did a good job on their Jupiter when they tooled it up over 50 years ago. Dragon may have left these details off to make it easier to mold, but I can see an aftermarket space kit supplier maybe having a field day with a photoetch detailing set for this kit. In my case I will probably just build it and try to represent what I can with paint, scribing and maybe some sheet styrene in spots to represent missing details.

The capsule represents a typical Mercury spacecraft of the orbital type and they spent a lot more time on the detailing here. It has the center window next to the hatch, NOT the two portholes of Freedom 7 or the test missions. Many of the Mercury parts you do not use because they are for the ship in space, not on the rocket (unless you build MR-1 after the abort). So there are two front cones (one with part of the escape tower on it, and one that a separate braking flap attaches to). One thing I do NOT like though is it appears Dragon tooled up all the parts for the capsule, but there is an empty section on the sprue tree that likely has the heatshield and the retro rocket package. So you HAVE to put this capsule on the Redstone. I know they tooled those bits up as the posigrade and retrograde rocket motors are present on the parts tree (and they are TINY). Would it have really killed them to not include up to five more parts?! (heatshield, retropack, three straps) So I guess we HAVE to buy complete Mercury capsule kits separately when they come out.

In terms of detailing on the parts they provide, I like what I see. The Rene 41 panels are nicely rendered and the cone shaped capsule structure is molded in one piece as well (it is hollow if anyone wants to carve the hatch off and scratchbuild an interior for it). As I said, this capsule is not accurate for Freedom 7 with its two portholes. I believe I can adapt mine using the recommendations in the MRC Atomic City Mercury Capsule kit by cutting a proper shingle from the hatch and putting it over the window area, then cutting two portholes in the proper spots. Since I believe Freedom 7's hatch was smooth, I would just have to plate over the shingles on the hatch anyway. On the backside of the capsule, the port for the periscope and its cover is not well rendered. I can probably represent that with a piece of sheet styrene.

Decals: Decals are for Redstone MR-7, which was Al Shepherd's Redstone. You get Mercury capsule markings for Freedom 7 and Liberty Bell 7, but they left the crack off (probably easier to paint anyway). They do not include "MR-8" numbers to do Grissom's rocket though. Yes they are small and nobody will likely notice, but considering you can not build an accurate Freedom 7 out of the box without modifying the capsule, it would have been nice if the MR-8 markings were there to do an accurate out of the box Liberty Bell 7.

Conclusions: Price paid in my case was $23.99 US. I've seen it advertised online for $21.99 and there is shipping of course, but this is a pretty light weight model and I don't anticipate having to pay too much for it to ship. I like what I see as I rate what is in the box about a 7 or 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. It might make a great first project for a modeler looking to get into real space and even with the inaccuracies, it will still look good if you follow the directions and paint callouts. But if Dragon can take care of some of these basic research errors in spots (a few of which won't add to the cost of the model) they can really have something special on their hands.

I think it is a good value and a good buy. Dragon is certainly setting the bar up a notch or two for what to expect when it comes to space models. They aren't quite to that Spinal Tap "These go to 11" level though. But for $23.99 I can live with some minor things I can fix. But, not every space collector or modeler has my skill set either. Still, build it out of the box and it will look nice. So, once I have this built, I will have the first and (currently) last of the NASA manned space launchers to display and this tiny Mercury Redstone is obviously going to be dwarfed by a shuttle (not to mention a Saturn V). I say bring on the Mercury Atlas, Gemini/Titan, Saturn 1B and a KIT version of the Saturn V now!

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 01-30-2012 04:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a companion piece to my printed review, here is a video review I just posted to YouTube (it got a little blurry in spots due to the limitations of my camera, but you should get the idea).

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 01-30-2012 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And you didn't build it in 15 minutes 49 seconds!?!?

Not a modeler (my patience is probably on a remote Pacific island enjoying the scenery) but interesting video, though. So when the box says "with Mercury spacecraft", the spacecraft is hollow and without a base/heatshield?

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 01-30-2012 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct. You get all the parts for the Mercury except for the heat shield and the retro-rocket package housing. Kind of an annoying omission in my opinion as it means you can only build the spacecraft glued to the top of the rocket (which 98% of us will do anyway) and it doesn't in its current state allow for the capsule to be posed next to the booster in exploded view fashion (which some modelers might want to do, say with a Saturn V in the same type of display).

Granted it is a relatively minor thing, but for Dragon to want to squeeze a nickel like that and NOT have one or two more parts on that tree to force you to buy a Mercury spacecraft later seems kind of like a cheap shot.

They don't give you an interior either, but this is fine in this scale as even if the cockpit window was clear, you likely would not be able to see an astronaut in there. Exterior detailing on the capsule looks pretty nice though as they really spent the time to make this part of the model look good. Now I just have to use a little skill to make it Freedom 7 (a relatively easy thing for a modeler to do).

jjknap
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From: Bourbonnais, IL USA
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posted 01-30-2012 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjknap   Click Here to Email jjknap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice video review

alexbaja
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From: Naxxar, Malta
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 01-31-2012 12:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alexbaja   Click Here to Email alexbaja     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like it too Jay.

I think that there should be more videos on real spacecraft models online. Maybe even showing some of our builds and collections.

arjuna
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posted 01-31-2012 03:02 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I echo the others' thanks for the video.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 01-31-2012 04:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I plan to document other upcoming projects on YouTube as I do them. It is kind of slow going though as I have a book I am finishing, plus with my interests in aircraft, SF and cars, Real space modeling (with space being a heavy interest) still means I don't have as much time to work on space projects as some other modelers who have had their work posted on collectSPACE.

Another problem is given the kits that are out there, very few projects can be done quick if you want them done right since most of them are reissues and many of the original kits came out before the craft even flew (common in Revell's case). Granted these new Dragon kits are better than a lot of what we have seen for the past 40 years, but they aren't perfect either.

I will say that if Dragon does a 1/72 Saturn V in kit form, I am going to buy it and clear my project list to build that puppy. While I don't have every Saturn resource out there, I have enough stuff to do it up right at least.

history in miniature
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posted 01-31-2012 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for history in miniature   Click Here to Email history in miniature     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, Thanks Jay for taking the time to do that, very informative indeed.

cycleroadie
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Posts: 241
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 02-16-2012 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hit the coast today, should be shipping to you soon!

garyd2831
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Posts: 442
From: Syracuse, New York, USA
Registered: Oct 2009

posted 02-29-2012 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received my prebuilt MR today and its not to bad. My escape tower was broken off, easy to reglue to fix. Overall, I'm happy with it.

Now we need and Atlas, Titan and Saturn 1B

GoesTo11
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From: Denver, CO USA
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posted 03-01-2012 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received mine today, and I really like it. It'll make a nice contrast, dwarfed by my Saturn V. Personally, I'd be happy with the 1:72 launch vehicle series including a Mercury-Atlas (chrome finish on the booster please!) and a Gemini-Titan II at this point. A Saturn 1B would be nice, but it wouldn't crush me if Dragon passed on it. As for the prospect of a pre-built 1:72 Shuttle stack, I'll decide whether or not to cross that bridge when/if it comes (Price? Detail?)

Incidentally (speaking of breakage), my pleasure at receiving the Mercury-Redstone model was dampened a bit by the fact that the 1:400 Challenger stack that I ordered with it arrived in five pieces rather than the two I expected. So back that went.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 03-02-2012 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I've been working on my Mercury-Redstone kit and have just uploaded a video, documenting the modifications I did to turn the capsule into Freedom 7.

Daugherty54
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Posts: 269
From: Cabot, Arkansas, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 03-04-2012 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty54   Click Here to Email Daugherty54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received mine last week. It makes an impressive contrast when sitting beside the 1/72 Saturn V. However, even at $48, it is way overpriced. I do hope though they will finish this series with a Mercury Atlas, a Gemini Titan and a Saturn IB in this same scale.

Dragon, if you're listening, also please give us the Lunar Rover in a 1/24 or so scale...

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 03-08-2012 06:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Daugherty54:
However, even at $48, it is way overpriced.
Especially for an-all plastic model...
quote:
I do hope though they will finish this series with a Mercury Atlas, a Gemini Titan and a Saturn IB in this same scale.
And a shuttle!

Gilbert
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Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 03-21-2012 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received the 1/72 Mercury Redstone for a birthday gift yesterday. It's really a nice model. Also got the X-15 first flight and the Mercury capsule with escape tower. I'm very pleased. I hope Dragon produces a shiny finish 1/72 Mercury Atlas with capsule and a 1/72 Gemini Titan.

p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-03-2012 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone else notice that in the display model, the box actually says it's 1/400 scale as well as 1/72? I saw one at a show over the weekend and got a laugh out of it. The dealer didn't even believe me until I pointed it out to him...

OLDIE
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From: Portsmouth, England
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 04-24-2012 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OLDIE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They're obviously having Quality Control problems at Dragon. As well as the above error, there are also warnings (in several languages) that the model is not suitable for children under 3 years. There are additional warnings that the model is not suitable for children under 14 years!

This shouldn't be happening with models of this quality and price range.

Tykeanaut
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From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 09-04-2012 03:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Picked one up yesterday for £22.50 ($34.00 approx). Looks good, can't wait to start building!

Tykeanaut
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posted 09-04-2012 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, great videos, have you got a finished photo?

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