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Sputnik 1

Red Iron Models, 1/24 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Red Iron Models Kit No. RIM24001 - Sputnik 1

Contents and Media:

20 parts in grey plastic, 1 photo-etched fret with 21 parts, and 4 lengths of brass tubing..


$25.07 Plus Shipping from HobbyLinkJapan



Review Type:

First Look


The kit scores high on the novelty scale and with a minimum of parts should be a quick and easy build.


Some of the parts require clean-up and the use of photo-etch and brass tubing suggests some experienced with multi-media kits might be a good idea.


This is a neat kit that scores high on the novelty scale but will require extra work and attention to make the most with what’s in the box.

Reviewed by John Miller




Sputnik 1 ("Satellite-1", or "PS-1", or Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite-1") was the first artificial Earth satellite. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the USSR on 4 October 1957 as part of the Soviet space program. It orbited for three weeks before its batteries died and then orbited silently for two months before it fell back into the atmosphere on 4 January 1958.



It was a polished metal sphere 58 cm (23 in) in diameter with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Its radio signal was easily detectable by radio amateurs, and the 65° orbital inclination and duration of its orbit made its flight path cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth.


The satellite's unanticipated success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race. The launch was the beginning of a new era of political, military, technological, and scientific development. Tracking and studying Sputnik 1 from Earth provided scientists with valuable information on the density of the upper atmosphere and the propagation of radio signals through the ionosphere.





In a rather small, slim box is one grey sprue, one PE fret, and 4 lengths of brass tubing. The initial impression is that of a limited-run kit. The moldings are sufficient but not overly crisp and the sprue gates are on the thick side. Since the finish on Sputnik was polished metal, I suspect there’ll be some buffing required as the finish on the spherical halves has a slight texture in places. On the upside, the kit is comprised of very few parts and even with extra time allotted for clean-up, this should be a pretty rapid build.

Assembly begins by joining the two half-spheres producing the main body of the satellite. Four styrene access hatches are then added followed by multiple, small, round, PE parts that look like the head of a large, slotted screw.


  • Red Iron Models Kit No. RIM24001 - Sputnik 1 Review by John Miller: Image
  • Red Iron Models Kit No. RIM24001 - Sputnik 1 Review by John Miller: Image
  • Red Iron Models Kit No. RIM24001 - Sputnik 1 Review by John Miller: Image
  • Red Iron Models Kit No. RIM24001 - Sputnik 1 Review by John Miller: Image
  • Red Iron Models Kit No. RIM24001 - Sputnik 1 Review by John Miller: Image
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Next up is the one step of the assembly that looks as though it has the potential to be challenging; assembly of the antenna mounts. This step entails wrapping a PE part (PE1) around each of the 4 pieces of brass tubing. Of note, this step is referred to as “optional” and intended only for “experienced modelers.” That said, the addition of the PE parts to the base of each antenna will greatly increase the detail of the completed model and appear to be well worth the extra work.



Once the PE parts are affixed to the four lengths of tubing, each assembly slips into styrene antenna mounts that are comprised of halves. The sprue gates on these antenna mount parts are particularly thick and will require extra work for clean-up and fitting. Once the antennae are added to the sphere, your Sputnik 1 is complete; pretty simple.    
To facilitate displaying the completed model, a 2-piece stand is included with “1957 Sputnik 1” (in English and Cyrillic) molded in relief on the base.


Color and Markings:

A picture of the completed model is provided on the back of the box along with a color chart that shows the main body as polished metal (“Chrome”), the antennae, a light metallic color, and the antenna mounts, red.      





This is a neat little kit that scores very high on the novelty scale. With a simple design and a sufficiently low parts count, this could be a great weekend build for someone wanting a break from more time-consuming, demanding builds. Highly Recommended!

Now go paint something!


Text and images copyright © 2020 by Model Paint Solutions.

For more on this review go to:


Review kit provided by my retirement fund, again.

Text and Images Copyright 2021 by Model Paint Solutions
Page Created 22 July, 2021
Last updated 22 July, 2021

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