Ohio Valley Soaceport

Ohio Valley Soaceport

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Airfix Saturn Rocket Kits Quick Look

Last year Airfix re-issued their class Saturn 5 kit with a welcomed twist: a block II CSM! Complete with new packaging and a new much higher price tag I caved-in. The new block II upgrade was supervised by British space modeler Mat Irvine---which for me made investing in this new version worthwhile!

This was a beautiful version block II CSM!
The new CSM on the SLA adds to the authenticity of this new kit!

The rest of the Airfix Saturn is the same as the original.

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The last time the Saturn 1B was issued was 1991. Of the three Saturn rocket reissues it is this kit that I was looking forward to acquiring. Like the Saturn 5 the 1B was also given an accurate block II CSM. While the block II CSM was a welcomed improvement this kit still lacked a completely accurate first stage the 8 tanks of the first stage are not as "defined" as they could have been.

One other issue is that in my experience this kit is tough to paint with the black and while roll patterns against the corrugated inter-tank. No matter how carefully I masked ( I used Bare-metal Foil!) the black paint managed to creep up the corrugations. To simplify things I painted my 1B as the Skylab 2 launch vehicle. I also used Rick Sternbach's Space Model System 1/144 Saturn 1B decals.

This model represents the Skylab 2 Saturn 1B

Like the Saturn 5 the 1B sports a block II CSM

The Saturn 1B first stage represented for me a real challenge in paint/masking. Decals are by Space Model Systems.

One other reason for depicting this 1B as Skylab 2 was that I had the opportunity to see the real thing at LC-39B in April of 1973. Below are two photos I made then--it is difficult to see the Saturn through the launch structures.

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Finally we have what might be considered a "new" Saturn kit... the Skylab 1 Saturn 5. While this might be called "new" in reality Airfix uses the same original Saturn 5 S-1C and S-IIC stages with a new Skylab workshop third stage.

I have not gotten too far in the constructing this kit but, I have the basic white coats of paint for the workshop stage. All it need now is the kit decals.

Here is the workshop third stage waiting for the decals and final clear coats of paint.

This shot of the VAB in April 1973 shows the LUT with the Skylab Saturn 5 awaiting its trip to pad A

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Progress has been slow on my building the Dragon 1/72 Apollo kit. I hope to have some photos in my next installment.

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