Ohio Valley Soaceport

Ohio Valley Soaceport

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Revisiting 'Old Friends': Part One

As one gets older I imagine it is inevitable that things from your formative years become more and more a reminder of simpler times! In my case I am finding that statement to be true. I have begun the process of selling off much of my model collection knowing full well that my children (who are now grown have no interest in the old man's collection of space models). Having said that what little purchases I have made over the past year or so have been kits that I had a particular fondness for back in the 1960's. Revell, Aurora, Hawk, classic Monogram models were the stuff that fueled my young imagination.  You could easily pick up these ki8ts at the local Woolworths for a buck or two. I used my lawn cutting money to keep a steady influx of what are now considered classic kits. Below are among my absolute favorites- many of which I must have built 8-10 of the same kits over the past 50 years!

The first issue of the Revell 1/96 Apollo CSM/LM -1966
One of my all-time favorites: 1/48 Mercury and Gemini- first issued in 1964!
Revell's big 1/24 Gemini--I never understood why they didn't do a companion Mercury in the same scale!
I clearly remember when I first laid eyes on this one from late fall 1967-- I was another big favorite with me. Too bad it was based on early prototypes or block I versions of the Apollo!
In a clever re-packaging of older kits Revell released the Apollo CSM, Gemini, and Mercury as one kit in 1969!
Acquiring original versions of these kits can be expensive unless you know how find them without paying exorbitant prices. Luckily I managed to score a great price for the American Space Pioneers kit on Ebay.

For this installment I will begin my revisit to the past with the 1/48 Gemini from the American Space Pioneers kit. It was 1964 when the original 1/48 Gemini kit first appeared- a year before the first manned Gemini flights. I imagine Revell wanted to try to get ahead of the market and pushed getting model kits of these spacecraft on the streets as the first missions were being flown. It was neat to sit in front of my black and white TV set watching the news reports of the space missions with my Revell models by my side.

As mentioned above-- most of the 1960's Revell space kits were patterned after early prototypes and had serious differences with the later versions that actually flew. To build a "flown version" of the 1/48 Revell Gemini you have to purchase the !/48 detail kit by RealSpace Models and a set of aftermarket decals!

The RealSpace Gemini Detail kit
I have been a major fan of Glenn Johnson's RealSpace Models for over 15 years. I have purchased several of his kits and continue to do so to this day. RealSpace has been a major pioneer in offering wonderful space subject kits and detail sets since the early 1990's. Glenn stands tall as a businessman who is reliable and offers great service to his clients!

Below are a few photos of the start of my Gemini. I will be depicting this one as Gemini 4- the first American EVA flight with James McDivitt and Edward White.

The raw outer framework with the RealSpace accurate parts shown in white.

More in later installments of Ohio Spaceport!

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New Kit Releases

Looks like the two major space model companies are kicking things into high gear with several new kit releases! 
Back to Realspace: they have announced three new kit releases that look quite interesting.

1/144 Scale Atlas 5 with Dreamchaser
1/72 scale Shuttle decal set

1/72 Skylab set for the Dragon Saturn 5/Skylab kit

Tomas Kladiva of the Czech Republic has been producing exquisitely detailed kits for over ten years! Below is his newest release.

1/144 scale Mercury/Redstone - Liberty Bell 7 (window version)

New Ware is also working on upcoming releases of detail sets for 1/144 Airfix kit:
1/144 Saturn V Apollo
1/144 Saturn V Skylab
1/144 Launch stand: this will be 15x15cm stand, part of MLP with hold-down arms and 4 umbilical arms placed on MLP.

and detail sets for 1/72 Dragon:
1/72 Saturn V Apollo
1/72 Saturn V Skylab
maybe also 1/72 launch stand, similar to the 1/144 one.

Master modeler Vincent Meens from France has set up a Shapways account to market highly accurate parts for a 1/32 scale Lunar module. Check it out!

That's it for this installment!

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