Ohio Valley Soaceport

Ohio Valley Soaceport

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Revell's 1/144 Space Shuttle

The Revell 1/144 scale space shuttle kit was first introduced to the marketplace in 1977. Since Revell has reissued this kit as the orbiter, orbiter with 747 cargo jet, orbiter with boosters, orbiter with boosters and launch complex, and so on. Here is a link to an excellent 4 part series by Jay Chladek that covers the history of the space shuttle in plastic.

Although this kit's overall appearance looks correct, it is not without it's shortcomings. The windows, RCS, and SSME's (Space Shuttle Main Engines) are either too simple or just not correct. In the past 15 years there have been a couple of garage kits that have produced very nice accurizing sets that have gone a long way toward correcting these problems. New Ware Space Models  from the Czech Republic offers a highly details photo-etched kit: http://mek.kosmo.cz/newware/nw006.htm
Realspace Models from Tallahassee, Florida, USA offers a nice SSME set that features details superior to the kit-supplied engines.  http://www.realspacemodels.com/html/ssme44pg.html
RealSpace also offers updated decals for the Revell kit as well: http://realspacemodels.com/cgi-bin/checkitout/checkitout.cgi?realspacSTORE:CKIE:prod144SHUTDEC+

Another great SSME kit was produced by Cutting Edge along with a nice shuttle tile set. Sadly, the Cutting Edge products are out of production. 
The Cutting Edge SSME set.

With the recent re-issues of the Airfix Saturn 1b, 5, and Skylab launchers my goal is to eventually build up models of all the manned launchers in 1/144 scale. Below are photos of my shuttle and an interesting shuttle-derived launcher-the Jupiter 120.

Here is the Revell space shuttle stack on a slightly modified kit supplied launch platform.

Another view of the shuttle on its launch structure.

Close-up of the Cutting Edge 1/144 SSME set.

The shuttle windows were filled in with putty and re-cut to an accurate shape.

The Revell orbiter with New Ware radiators.

A close-up of the Revell-Germany orbiter with updated decals.

Jupiter Direct 120

Shortly after the Obama Administration took power a presidential commission was organized to review NASA's Constellation Program. The Commission determined that the path NASA was taking with the Ares I and V was too ambitious and costly. During that commissions deliberations a group of NASA engineers proposed a cheaper option to Constellation known as Jupiter Direct. This concept relied on utilizing as much of the shuttle architecture as possible. The man-rated vehicle featured an "in-line" concept with the proposed Orion spacecraft located at the top of the stack.  
The Direct Jupiter 120 shuttle-derived concept

 Using two Revell space shuttle external tanks and an older Saturn 5 kit I played around with a kit-bash of a Jupiter 120.

The Jupiter 120 shuttle-derived variant and Space Shuttle stack in 1/144 scale

The Jupiter 120- a kitbash of shuttle and saturn 5 kit parts.


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