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  Apollo spacecraft models: Sizing up the scales

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Author Topic:   Apollo spacecraft models: Sizing up the scales
divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
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posted 08-11-2012 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been scale modeling the space program since the early 60's. I'm not an expert by any means. I'm also thrilled to see some new names that are starting to scale model and scratch build. With video games, it's a dying hobby. Keep at it, all of you.

Here's my opinion, for whatever it's worth, on various space models.

Revell, Monogram and Airfix totally screwed up all of the 1/144 Saturn V's. Full of mistakes — each and every one, never corrected. Granted, they molded these in the mid 60's before any Saturn V flew and molds are expensive, but they all look horrible from all three companies.

The 1/96 scale Saturn V was their first decent model. It was the right size, even though, once again, it was cast before one Saturn V flew and it's molded incorrectly. Plus they never changed the box art from 500-F which still makes me shutter. But 1/96 for the whole stack is a good starting point. That and 1/72 and you have a beautiful stack.

My hat is off to Dragon for rekindling the Apollo program. The Saturn V in 1/72 has a WOW factor to it that you'll get every time. To the purist, like me, there are just too many mistakes for the money spent. I think the die-cast is nicer than the plastic kits.

However, 1/72 doesn't work once you leave the stack. The Apollo 17 diorama in 1/72 is too small. Here's where they should have stuck with 1/48 like the rest of the CSM's that they're selling as kits. Just the right size to detail and to show you what it's all about. RealSpace Models came out with the first 1/48 CSM in resin several years ago and it's the perfect size. I'm glad to see Dragon follow suit. 1/72 doesn't work outside of the entire stack (though it fits nicely on the shelf).

Revell came out with the only Block 2 CSM and did it in 1/32. It's big — and doesn't match the 1/48 LM. A camel is a horse built by a committee. 1/32 gives you a ton of room to super detail, but Revell made nothing to go with it. RealSpace Models made a really nice SIM Bay, open hatch and instrument panel in the same scale. Combine them all, and you have an awesome model. The only other 1/32 kits were the figurines made by the late Chris C. from EVA models, who did superb work. I miss Chris and his models. The LRV in that scale was awesome.

So, to sum up:

  • The entire Saturn Stack: 1/72 or 1/96
  • Any hardware smaller than the stack: 1/48
  • The EVA figures [and the Revell Block 2 CSM]: 1/32
  • The LRV looks great in 1/32 but would probably also look great in 1/48
  • Anything in 1/400 is key chain material.
The one exception to all of this is my all time favorite model — the Revell Gemini in 1/24 scale. Still my favorite. Always will be.

Lastly, if they could retool the Saturn V in 1/144 to make it more accurate, you'd have a nice model. I'm also glad to see that they re-released the upper portion of the Saturn V stack in 1/48, though I have not seen the physical model yet. The 1994 version was the holy grail for many years. I'm glad they decided to give it one more run. They should also keep the 1/96 scale Saturn V in stock. There's so much you can do with that model with aftermarket parts and scratch building.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-11-2012 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, a couple minor clarifications I think might be needed. First of all it was Monogram that did the 1/32 CSM and LM diorama in 1/48 (and the 1/144 Saturn, not Revell which did the 1/96 Saturn). I suspect the reason for the scale difference had to do with the other cutaway models that Monogram was doing at the time, which were the Phantom Mustang and I believe a Huey helicopter as both of those were 1/32. So I believe that was more of a drive for the Monogram CSM's scale than anything else. As for the 1/48 LM, I believe they opted to go 1/48 with it so they could do a full diorama and still offer the whole thing at a price that wouldn't break budgets. It would have been nice to see a 1/32 LM I admit, but it probably would have been expensive (perhaps more so than the CSM was). Plus the spindly legs of a LM in that scale might have caused more trouble than it was worth.

Now as for the 1/144 Saturns, Airfix HAS corrected the biggest offender on their model, the CSM. The current issues of the kit now have a Block 2 CSM at the correct diameter and a BPC to match. The CSM itself is still sub scale, but that is mainly due to the limitations of injection tooling versus vaccuform (which a BPC really needs to be molded in for the proper thickness at this scale unless the capsule with BPC is just glued on permanently. With the CSM correction now in the Airfix Saturn Vs, they are currently the ones to get IMHO (coupled with Revell's reissue jacking up Monogram's 1/144 Saturn V in the Buzz Aldrin release by issuing it with decals with black "USA" lettering instead of the proper red stuff).

You make some valid points and are welcome to your opinion on the matter (and you are one of the nicest guys I know).

Now concerning my own thoughts on scale, I'll try to make more of a case for 1/72. First off, I applaud Dragon for going that route for a key reason, we haven't had a chance to build a decent representation of an Apollo CSM docked with an LM in this scale until now. Yes, Tamiya has their 1/70 kit which was reissued not too long ago (and now OOP again), but it was a Block 1 CSM, just like Revell's 1/48 kit. Prior to Dragon, the ONLY thing we really had out there was Airfix's 1/72 LM unless you count some of the Realspace stuff (which is not as readily available as styrene kits).

I concur about 1/48 being perhaps a better scale for Apollo ships, until you start docking spacecraft together. Then things begin to get a little unwieldy and heavy. So the only way to display them is vertically. With 1/72, in flight dioramas are a little easier to do with the vehicles displayed horizontally or at a slight angle. And displays featuring BOTH a CSM and the LM with the CSM orbiting overhead don't take up that much room. So those with a cramped display space can't necessarily expand it enough for a similar display in 1/48.

Secondly, if one is trying to display a whole fleet of manned US spacecraft together in the same scale, when you throw in a space shuttle it becomes a problem since the largest commercially available kits out there of the shuttle are 1/72 scale (I've heard of people wanting a company to do a 1/48 shuttle, but even I would have trouble finding space to display that monster). With Dragon's 1/72 offerings, we can now build a full display of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle vehicles together in one display (and throw in an X-15 as well and a Soyuz once Dragon issues the ASTP kit). The only key element missing thus far is a decent 1/72 Vostok capsule except for a nice resin one that is very hard to find these days (from Racoon Models I believe).

Spacecraft in 1/72 also allows for a display to be expanded to include aircraft, such as NASA's T-38s, SR-71s, or perhaps models of the previous aircraft flown by astronauts before joining the space program (such as Armstrong's Bearcat and F9F perhaps). There are even a few kits out there in 1/72 of lifting bodies, from the M2-F1 to the X-24 series birds. Although 1/48 is probably a more popular aircraft scale right now, there have been more subjects done in 1/72 than in ANY other scale. So sometimes it is nice displaying a NASA spacecraft next to something more terrestrial in its flight envelope to illustrate how big (or small in the case of Mercury) some of these spacecraft really are.

I concur that 1/72 is probably the best scale for launch vehicles if you want them BIG, but not everyone has the space to display a 1/72 Saturn V or something with as wide a footprint as a 1/72 shuttle stack (I can barely display two of those as it is). With space models, it is always going to be about the art of the compromise in scale with tiny spacecraft versus BIG launch vehicles. But at least 1/72 scale has the potential of somebody displaying rockets and spacecraft in one consistent scale, IF they can support display of both a very tall Saturn V and a very wide shuttle stack (assuming they want to go that big as the R-7 is not small and a Saturn 1B is kind of tall as well).

As for another rocket display option on a budget, 1/200 is a good scale choice with AMT's reissue of the Man In Space set (Redstone to Saturn V). Throw in a Hasegawa 1/200 shuttle stack and the results can look great with the right modeling skills thrown in to do all the manned US launchers (to date) in the same scale.

I would say to anyone looking to get into space modeling, don't let scale be the primary driving factor of your choices. There are some great models out there (and admittedly some not so great ones) in all the scales offered and trying to stick to one scale at the exclusion of all else cuts you off from so many other things. Being flexible is what can help make things more fun.

sev8n
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posted 08-11-2012 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a matrix showing what launchers and capsules are covered in each scale, not sure I can post a spreadsheet here though. With AMT's Man In Space set and a Lindberg or Hasegawa shuttle stack, 1/200 is the easiest way to display a 'complete' US manned program. In 1/144 you can easily add an X-1 and X-15 to the collection.

I also have a 1/39 Wright Flyer next to my 1/48 Mercury, Gemini and Apollo that doesn't look too out of place (scale-wise).

divemaster
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posted 08-11-2012 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I forgot about the 1/200 kit of all of the launch vehicles. All the other points are well taken, Jay. 1/72 also seems to be the favorite amongst aircraft builders.

I guess the point I was trying to make is the scales are all over the place. If I had my druthers, 1/48 would be great to work in — but building full launch vehicles in that scale would get a bit out of hand — especially when you get to the Saturn V and the N-1 (thought I'd kill to have a 1/48 Saturn V and Saturn IB). The shuttle stack would be mighty wide, though.

But, again, all points well taken in regard to 1/72. I think it all comes down to how much detail you want to make and/or show. The larger the scale, the easier it is to show. I was looking at the Dragon 1/72 SIM Bay versus the 1/32 version from RealSpace. Just a WEE bit of difference.

On edit: And I keep forgetting which was made by Revell, Revell-Monogram, Monogram and Revell-Germany. It's called "pass around the molds" time.

I think it was the Monogram in 1/144 that had the crazy second stage and interstage. I'm also glad to hear that Airfix finally fixed the upper portion of the stack... and include the BPC.

Now, if they'll just burn model boxes that show photos of the 500-F configuration, I'll be much happier. A pet peeve.

I also wish they keep the 1/96 Saturn V in stock. It's great on its own — and if you want to get a little crazy with it, it's perfect to super detail.

Ronpur
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posted 08-11-2012 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great discussion!! While I would love to have an LM and CSM for every flight in 1/48th scale, I just don't have the space (space, get it? LOL) for those bigger spaceships. Especially when you throw on the lunar surface.

If and when I can do a model of every landing, then i would pick 1/72nd. As for the Saturn V, and 1B and 1, I have to stick to 1/144th so I can build the fleet, so to speak, including 500F. I now have 7 Saturn launch vehicles in 1/144,which i could never do in 1/72. Maybe it comes down to a quality (size and detail) over quantity (smaller but more) for me.

As for 500F and her stripes, the pictures I found on the Project Apollo Image Gallery showed SA-501 and 502 had those same stripes when they went into the VAB, but were gone by roll out. Anyone know the story of why they were removed?

sev8n
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posted 08-11-2012 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given the vast differences in the size of the subjects (a Mercury capsule vs a Saturn V) I have been working on a "dual" display, one of all the launch vehicles in 1/144 and a second series with all the capsules in 1/48.
quote:
Originally posted by Ronpur:
Anyone know the story of why they were removed?
I have read they were painted over to reduce heat buildup in the S-IC interstage when in the sun based on their experience with the 500F.

divemaster
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posted 08-11-2012 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not just the first stage stripes (which were painted over on Apollo 4 and 6). I go crazy with the SIVB paint scheme and the CSM paint scheme also. Just like nails on a blackboard to me.

500F was never supposed to fly... it was just for fit on the LUT. Painting over the stripes if you want to do Apollo 4 or 6 is fine, actually looks kind of interesting. But 500F makes me shudder. And they never corrected a ton of the box art from every company, either.

Sorry, I'll take my medicine now.

the clocks running
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posted 08-12-2012 12:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tracy, worse yet, Ron Howard used the 500 F variant of the Saturn V in "Apollo 13". Yikes!

Ronpur
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posted 08-12-2012 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That was always so annoying to me. Just like the quick shot of a Saturn V liftoff during the Apollo 7 episode of "From the Earth to the Moon"

The black stripes of 500F causing heating problems makes sense, since I feel the heat of the Florida sun on my black uniform everyday.

the clocks running
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posted 08-12-2012 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The other scene from the Apollo 7 segment in "From The Earth To The Moon" that was incorrect was when the astronauts were riding the elevator of the LUT and the rocket was a Saturn V, not the correct Saturn 1B.

sev8n
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posted 08-12-2012 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since we've drifted over to errata, has anyone taken a close look at the box art for the Revell 1/144 Saturn V? The S-IC LOX tank looks to be about the same height as the interstage...

the clocks running
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posted 08-12-2012 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, this was bad!

All of these kits from the '60s could definitely use new artwork.


divemaster
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posted 08-12-2012 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend supplied the parts for what were to be the miniatures for "From the Earth to the Moon" and for "Apollo 13." When you're a gear head, you notice the very obvious mistakes. Yeah, nothing like seeing a 500F pattern lifting off of the pad. Does my heart good.

the clocks running
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posted 08-12-2012 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since we are talking about NASA model kits, I want to discuss the Saturn V. I have owned just about every Saturn V kit in many scales. I feel that the best Saturn V models have been Revell's 1/96 scale kit (with all mods made) and the 4D Master 1/100 scale kit. However, the "Holy Grail" is Bandai's diecast 1/144 Saturn V. I have never seen any model with the detail included on this gorgeous and pricey model. Also, the Airfix 1/144 scale Saturn V (with the mods) is pretty cool.

It would be awesome if Bandai would sell the molds to a manufacturer who could then create a 1/144 scale klit for the avid space enthusiast.

divemaster
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posted 08-12-2012 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As for the Saturn V itself, I've always been in love with the 1/96 version by Revell (or Revell-Germany). If I'm not mistaken, Revell-Germany made and owns the molds to the 1/96 scale version while the American company owns the (horrible) 1/144 scale version that is now the Buzz Aldrin release. I've always been amazed at the price difference. However, I wish they'd keep it in stock — just correct the fin fairings, if possible (a Block 2 CSM would be asking too much). But it is such a nice model that cries out for fine detailing. I know that nothing else (American) is in that scale. There's the Tamiya Shuttle, but that's about it. Get rid of the cheapie stage wraps and you have an awesome model.

And, once again, my other Revell/Monogram favorites:
1/24 Gemini
1/32 Block 2 CSM
1/72 Shuttle complete stack

(notice four different scales)

But, yes, having all the launch vehicles in 1/72 scale would make one helluva display. I think the only one that's very hard to get is the Shuttle complete stack — and you can substitute the Apogee 1/70 Saturn 1b into the mix.

And if you really want to get anal, someone would have to make a 1/72 Skylab shroud. But that was never manned, so there IS an excuse for not making it.

Retro Rocket
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posted 08-13-2012 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know if this helps any but I'm doing the CAD and masters for Fantastic Plastic's 1/72nd X-33 kit coming out early next year. I'm also planning on doing the X-43A/Pegasus in 1/72nd and a few others like the X-15, HL-10, X-38 to go with the Monogram NB-52 #008.

Here's a few pics:

Ronpur
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posted 08-13-2012 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! Looking forward to those!

garymilgrom
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posted 08-13-2012 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The OP mentions a 1/48 Saturn V upper section. Any news about this? Thx.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-13-2012 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, I think the Apollo Saturn V footage in the Apollo 7 episode of FTETTM was done by an editor to mess with our heads a little, since SO MANY documentaries on Apollo ALWAYS have to throw in that little tidbit of Apollo 7 lifting off with the two gantry swing arms on Pad 34 coming back even if the mission being discussed is a lunar Apollo flight. While the gantry elevator ride I think was an unintentional blooper (was Apollo 8 stacked on Pad 39 at the time?), I'll just bet the other bit was intentional.

As for the Saturn molds, the 1/96 kit was tooled up by Revell USA in the 1960s. When Revell of Germany was getting off the ground as a major company in its own right in the early 1980s and doing its own tooling, it looks to me like Revell USA sold the molds to them outright rather than leasing them. So that I believe is why every subsequent release has been in RoG packaging. For a time, both Revells were owned by one group, then RoG split off to become independent once again. But as of last year, Hobbico now owns both Revells once again. One thing I like is it has helped with kit distribution at least in the states as one can get the RoG space kits side by side with the American ones (except for the Neil Armstrong reissue anyway and the Revell 1/48 LM when it was put back out three years ago, although the 1/48 Apollo CSM/LM and SLA set has it again).

By the way, in 1/200 it is possible to get an X-15 in that scale as in the early 1990s, Dragon issued a kit of the NASA NB-52 with both the X-15A-2 in 1/200 AND a Pegasus booster. While they have been OOP for several years, they do pop up semi-frequently on the auction sites. I've got one of those kits and I plan to combine the Pegasus with a 1/200 Hasegawa L-1011 Tristar to make Orbital's launch vehicle, after they went away from using the B-52 (I believe Draw Decal does markings for the OSC L-1011). Granted the X-15A-2 never did an astronaut wings flight in that configuration, but in that scale it isn't too hard to bob the length back to its original short X-15 specs.

I'll also say that if somebody is looking to get into space modeling, paper models and model rocketry also help to expand the catalog as well. Some of the scales are all over the map, but similar techniques can be used to make a model rocket shine just as well as a styrene cousin. Both Semroc and Apogee have some decent looking Saturn 1Bs (Apogee's admittedly being better, although about three times the price of Semroc's) in 1/70 scale that can look great sitting next to a Dragon Saturn V and a Monogram shuttle stack in 1/72. An Estes BT-60 body tube also is the perfect diameter for a Titan II, if you wish to put a Dragon Gemini kit on top.

divemaster
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posted 08-14-2012 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
The OP mentions a 1/48 Saturn V upper section. Any news about this?
The SLA/CSM/LES model that we all coveted for so many years IS back on the market again. I grabbed two. One to build for old times sake — and I haven't decided what I'm doing with the second yet. It's become a habit on models that I REALLY like. I haven't opened the box yet, but this is one of the oldies but goodies [in Block 1, of course], but is still one of my favorites. I think you can get it online through most of the major hobby stores. I think I picked mine up through Squadron (I'd have to go down to my basement and look at the shipping box to see). But it's out there. Fun kit to build. This was another kit they used in Apollo 13 — in the bedroom scene with Lovell's son.

divemaster
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posted 08-14-2012 01:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Personally, I think the Apollo Saturn V footage in the Apollo 7 episode of FTETTM was done by an editor to mess with our heads a little...
Personally, I think it was an editor not knowing what type of footage they were working with. I don't think there are any ACTUAL elevator shots from pad 34. Mark Gray would know. But the stock footage from the Apollo 7 launch is limited — which is surprising, considering the Apollo 1 tragedy.
quote:
When Revell of Germany was getting off the ground as a major company in its own right in the early 1980s and doing its own tooling, it looks to me like Revell USA sold the molds to them outright rather than leasing them.
The US probably produced the molds for the original 1/96 Saturn — but it was a very unusual scale outside of Europe. Usually, in the US, they jumped from 1/48 to 1/72 to 1/144 to 1/288. If you look at the book cover of "Dr. Space", all of the models behind von Braun appear to be in 1/96. However, this could be a fluke. Again, I just wish they'd keep it in stock.
quote:
I'll also say that if somebody is looking to get into space modeling, paper models and model rocketry also help to expand the catalog as well.
I couldn't agree more. Launching the Estes kits when I was growing up was so much fun. All model building has seemed to fall out of favor lately, which is a shame. Lots of good times building all of that fun stuff — especially when Aurora was still in business. I always liked Scott (Captain Cardboard) Alexander's idea of putting out a line of kits called "kits Aurora SHOULD have made". His resin kits are awesome from Atomic City, though.

divemaster
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posted 08-17-2012 06:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious - if you wanted to do a US collection of manned launch vehicles in 1/72 scale — is there any other way than the following companies?
  • Mercury Redstone, Mercury Atlas and Gemini Titan: Real Space Models
  • Saturn 1b: Apogee [actually 1/70]
  • Saturn V: Drgaon
  • Shuttle complete stack: Revell
Took a peek around a the 1/72 Shuttle complete stack last night. The prices are ALL over the place for the same model with as much as a $35 difference (plus shipping) depending on where you're shopping.

A little easier to do in 1/144 because of the Airfix Saturn 1b being a lot less pricey.

arjuna
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posted 08-17-2012 09:28 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Retro Rocket:
I don't know if this helps any but I'm doing the CAD and masters for Fantastic Plastic's 1/72nd X-33 kit coming out early next year.

Great news about the X-33. Aerospike engines! Very much looking forward to this one. Does FP list this on their site yet?

sev8n
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posted 08-17-2012 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by divemaster:
  • Saturn 1b: Apogee [actually 1/70]
  • Saturn V: Dragon

Since Apogee also makes a 1/70 Saturn V, it might look more consistent to have the Saturn 1B and V parts "match".

Retro Rocket
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posted 08-17-2012 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by arjuna:
Does FP list this on their site yet?
I think it was listed there. I have the blueprints for the entire launch site, done by Sverdrup if I recall correctly and it has some great info on the rotating launch mount which is shown in the pics I posted which will also be in the kit.

The difference will be the paint scheme of the X-33, those models were the early version, the last one had grey and white on the top.

divemaster
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posted 08-18-2012 05:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I brought this up with Glenn from Real Space Models. He pointed out to me that when he packages the 1/72 spacecraft of the M-G-A models and the Mecury spacecraft fits into the engine bell of the Apollo CSM, you truly get an idea of size.

But he is unaware of the US manned launch vehicles available any other way - but he threw in SpaceShipOne, which is not available in 1/72. However, he agrees that it would be a spectacular display that will take up a lot of room.

PeterO
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posted 08-18-2012 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by divemaster:
SpaceShipOne, which is not available in 1/72.

AModel makes White Knight and SpaceShip One in 1/72. It's a very nice kit in the box, but I haven't built mine yet.

ARC has a build article.

divemaster
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posted 08-20-2012 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Out of the Ukraine of all places. No wonder why I didn't know anything about it.

PeterO
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posted 08-20-2012 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's most likely because it's not officially licensed. AModel has also produced the Rutan Voyager and Virgin Atlantic Global Flier. Revell had a 1/48 SpaceShip One listed in its catalog several years ago, but unfortunately it never materialized. This year they are scheduled to release a 1/144 SpaceShip Two / White Knight 2 combo.

Retro Rocket
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Posts: 245
From: Santa Paula, Ca,. USA
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 08-20-2012 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I was doing the ERSAST vehicle models for NASA I was able to go to Scaled and get the data I needed for the Proteus, which I still think is one of Rutan's neatest looking aircraft.

Unfortunately, Virgin Galactic would not release any CAD data on SS2/WK2 for model building until the final config had been reached. Vulcan, the VG licensing company, let one company build all the models that are shown with Rutan. I forget the name, anyone remember or know it? The models were available but were fairly expensive.

I went ahead and modeled SS1/WK1 and SS2/WK2, I think my models are pretty close. I have Proteus in 1/15th scale, but WK2 in 1/15 would be almost ten feet wide. I started a 1/32nd Proteus which is a nice size for that scale, the WK2 in 1/32 is about four feet wide, still big.

The AModel SS1/WK1 looks pretty cool in 1/72nd so maybe that would be the scale I'd do for the other two as well. I took all my Scaled CAD and put them in formation, so you can see the sizes, the WK2/SS2 dwarfs the other two, but they are all in the same scale and distance in this pic I threw together.

Retro Rocket
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Posts: 245
From: Santa Paula, Ca,. USA
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 08-20-2012 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know these are toys but I used this one to top off the 1/48 Saturn V full stack I made for the Hornet. It scales a little bigger than 1/48 for the CSM, but the model in general looks okay to me, but I'm not an Apollo expert, but since it's the only block 2 CSM in 1/48th around, is it fair to overlook it just because it's marketed as a toy?

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

posted 09-03-2012 05:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dragon will get you a 1/72 Redstone (capsule needs modification to do it as a Shepard porthole capsule though). In 1/73 scale, Peter Alway did a set of scratchbuilding instructions to make a BT-60 tube based Mercury Atlas. I am going to build one using a Dragon Mercury in place of the balsa capsule one has to lathe to make. Estes made a 1/73 Gemini Titan II and I'll be using parts from one of those to make myself a proper Titan for the Dragon Gemini kit.

Estes looks like they are going to be repopping the detachable BT-60 plastic fin unit for a rocket in their catalog this year that appears to be a variation of the Estes "Bailout" (this new rocket like the Bailout allows one to fly an action figure and have him parachute back to Earth). The fin unit on this new rocket is molded in black as it was on the Bailouts, but it was originally molded in clear when it was issued with the Titan IIs and the Beta Launch Vehicle kits. Since I have a couple of these fin units, they will come in handy with both the Gemini and Mercury Atlas builds.

Apogee's Saturn 1B is a great kit, but expensive. Semroc's is a clone of the Estes 1/70 Saturn from the 1960s and requires a bit more craftsmanship to build. Plus the fins are slightly oversized for stable flight. But it is available for about $70 US versus over $200 for the Apogee kit. I'm over 50 percent done with mine. As for matching the details between it and a Saturn V, except for the Apollo CSM, the only stage both rockets had in common was the S-IVB. But even then, both rockets had some key differences in their S-IVBs. Plus, as good as an Apogee Saturn V is, you can't de-stack it or build it with cutaway features to show the engines or a LM in the garage. Dragon's Saturn V may be crude in spots, but I think it can be built up to a very high standard if one has the proper research, skills and determination to do so.

Don't forget that Mach 2 also has the R-7 based Soviet/Russian launch vehicle models now as well. I know they have some problems, but they have the potential to be built up well enough. I just wish they would finally do a Soyuz.

If one was trying to be complete in their collection of manned launch vehicles, that would just leave the Long March CZ-2F. I know of no such kit in 1/72. Dragon did the CZ-2E and F as combination blow molded and injection molded kits back in 1999 in 1/48 scale (BIG rocket models!), but they haven't issued them for many years. Thankfully I acquired a CZ-2F kit when it came out (glad I did too). It is rather cool that Great Wall does Tiangong 1 with a Shenzhou spacecraft in 1/48 since it means I can now display one of those with the CZ-2F kit (which is for the launch vehicle only). Trumpeter did a drawingboard based Shenzhou spacecraft in 1/72.

sev8n
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Posts: 55
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 09-04-2012 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Estes made a 1/73 Gemini Titan II and I'll be using parts from one of those to make myself a proper Titan for the Dragon Gemini kit.

Are you sure about the scale? I built quite a few Estes rockets in the late 60s/early 70s, one of which was their Gemini-Titan. I remember it being larger, more like 1;48 scale. I found the balsa nose cone a few years ago but have managed to lose it again.

I do still have a 1:24 Estes LTV Scout kit I never got round to building, it's still in the original bag.

Jay Chladek
Member

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

posted 09-05-2012 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sure about it since I have the header card for the kit still (as well as the blow molded nose cone). It was Estes kit #1978

This was NOT the K-21 two engine cluster Gemini that was issued in the 1960s. Around 1984-85, Estes started a series of Titan rockets in 1/73 and all were based around the BT-60. The first was the Titan II ICBM. The Gemini Titan came out (I believe) in 1987, but it wasn't around for long at all (maybe a year at most). The final one was the Titan IIIE kit. All three kits featured an injection molded set of rocket engines for the base of the Titan, which could be popped on for display when the model wasn't flying. Both the Gemini Titan and the Titan II ICBM featured the clear plastic fin unit.

Here is thread on another forum that shows images of the kit (built and unbuilt).

sev8n
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Posts: 55
From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 09-05-2012 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Jay, mine was definitely the early two engine cluster kit. I didn't know about the later smaller kits. By the mid 80s I had moved on to interests other than flying model rockets.

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