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Mercury Redstone

Horizon Models, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Horizon Models Kit No. 2004 – Mercury Redstone

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media:

48 parts in grey plastic on three sprues; 29 photo etch parts; Decals for three Mercury Redstone missions.

Price:

Available online from Horizon Models for US$37.95

Click here for currency conversion

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Nice detail, well engineered mouldings, nicely detailed PE sets.

Disadvantages:

None noted.

Conclusion:

A worthwhile addition to any model collection charting the history of powered flight.


Reviewed by David Wilson


Kitty Hawk's 1/32 scale OS2U Kingfisher will be available online from Squadron.com
 

Background

 

The late 1950s and early 1960s was an exciting time for young people passionately following the Space Race between America and Russia. Both countries threw enormous resources into getting the first human into space. Yuri Gagarin claimed that honour for the USSR in April 1961 but the Americans won the PR war with their Mercury space program.

Project Mercury, America’s first human spaceflight program, ran from 1958 to 1963 and involved seven astronauts who were idolised by the public of the day even before they climbed into a tiny capsule to be shot into space. Tom Wolfe’’s book and the 1983 movie from it, “The Right Stuff” captures the feeling of that era well.

 

 

A few weeks after Gagarin’s history-making first space flight, Alan Shepard became the first American in space for a sub-orbital flight in the capsule named “Freedom 7” on May 5, 1961. He was followed two months later by Gus Grissom in “Liberty Bell 7” – both of these flights utilising the Redstone rocket, adapted from a missile design. From these tentative steps toward space, NASA embarked on a project that only eight years later would land men on the Moon.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Despite their importance to the history of powered flight, models of early space vehicles have not garnered the widespread buzz among the general modelling community that they deserve.

It’s encouraging then to applaud an Australian company- Horizon Models- whose developing catalogue pays homage to those pioneering designs and the men who flew them.

Horizon’s Mercury Redstone kit provides parts and marking options to depict different versions of the space craft- the first unmanned flight craft or the capsules flown by Shepard or Grissom- the only two astronauts to fly using the Redstone booster, later succeeded by the more powerful Atlas rocket.           

Although Horizon’s name may not be well known yet, their kits are a quality product. The Mercury Redstone kit is nicely detailed with finely engraved recessed panel lines, two beautifully detailed photo etch frets of 29 parts and 48 plastic parts in a dark grey plastic on three sprues.

 

 

A welcome detail is the provision of alternate parts and decals to make any of the versions of the capsule - the early unmanned capsule, or one with the early porthole or the capsule with a window.

 

 

The sprues contain a stand for the Redstone launch vehicle too with the completed rocket measured at around 353mms. Given its scale and size, and vertical arrangement, models of rockets occupy little display space on the shelf and are a powerful visual reminder of the rapid evolution in flight technology in the mid 20th Century.

 

  • Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone Review by David Wilson: Image
  • Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone Review by David Wilson: Image
  • Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone Review by David Wilson: Image
  • Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone Review by David Wilson: Image
  • Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone Review by David Wilson: Image
  • Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone Review by David Wilson: Image
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The kit’s instructions booklet is clear and well detailed and available for free download from Horizon’s website at http://www.horizon-models.com/2004%20Mercury-Redstone%20Instructions-1.pdf

Incidentally a visit to Horizon’s website details the other kits from this manufacturer which include a 1/72 Mercury-Atlas and a 1/72 combo set focussing just on the Mercury space craft.

For reference material, a visit to YouTube features original NASA films of the era chronicling the Mercury-Redstone missions.


 

Marking Options

As noted, the kit provides alternative parts and decals covering any of the Mercury-Redstone missions, specifically MR-1 ( an aborted launch in November 1960); MR-BD of March 1961  (unmanned flight); MR-3 ( Alan Shepard’s mission in May 1961) and MR-4 ( Gus Grissom’s mission in July 1961).

 

 

The decals, printed by Microscale in the USA, are in perfect register and commendably thin, as you’d expect from Microscale Industries.

 

 

Conclusion

 

It’s exciting to see the pioneering space vehicles from the early 1960s getting some love from model manufacturers and Horizon Model’s Mercury Redstone kit certainly has the right stuff about it!

Highly Recommended            

Thanks to Horizon Models for the review sample.


Review Text Copyright 2017 by David Wilson
Page Created 8 August, 2017
Last updated 8 August, 2017

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