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Academy 1:288 OV-101 Enterprise

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Another one for the pile! I snagged this 1:288 Academy kit for maybe $12 a few days ago. I wanted a shuttle kit that would be quick to build, small, had the tailcone, and decals for Enterprise. 




For this kit, I want to depict Enterprise during her first free flight in 1977, during the Approach and Landing Tests. The finished model will be going to a friend a co-worker, a fan of nerd stuff, table top games, space exploration, and NASA. We have had many conversations about different TV shows and the space program and video games, he is a great friend and colleague. He has actually gotten me into watching some Star Trek: Next Generation and I'm really enjoying it, so the shuttle to be gifted to him must be Enterprise! This isn't meant to be a Christmas gift, and will likely get to him next month.




Inside the box, everything seems to be present. The amber color for the stand and the 747 cockpit windows is an interesting choice. 


The orbiter comes with no clear plastic for the cockpit windows which is fine. This is going to be a very basic build, but I'm still hoping for better than those wooden desk models you see at the visitor centers. The 747 will be built up eventually. 




As of right now, seams have been puttied and sanded smooth. I'm not a fan of kits that mold the black underbelly and white fuselage separately but its a concession. The kit will be primed with Tamiya white today, and then masking will begin. The initial paint scheme for Enterprise with the white cockpit is simple enough and lacks a lot of the markings the production orbiters have.


The orbiter seems to have captured the look for the most part. The OMS pods are too tubular, too round, but otherwise should make for a good desktop representation. I'll make a pitot tube out of some very fine wire for the nose.




I don't have a photo readily available, but the kit decals are sparse. I'm going to cannibalize a second Hasegawa Egg shuttle's decals for the NASA worm on the payload bay doors, and the USA on the wing. There is no easy way to depict the entry hatch on the initial Enterprise, and the decal that comes with the Academy kit represents a hatch on a later production orbiter with the tile detail. I'm not going to stress too much over it. Again, going for a good representation and not a contest winner.


The orbiter will be mounted on a display base with the ALT patch. With work winding down and Christmas vacation coming up, I should hopefully be able to finish this and some of the other kits on the bench soon.




More to come!

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Check the nose and the wing shapes. They're a bit too square and need to be rounded off.


Here is a scale drawing of the orbiter you can print out and use as a guide for getting the shape right. It was made from a 3D scan of Discovery. https://www.mediafire.com/file/m33zdzb232plk3z/orbiter-1-288-2.pdf/file

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On mine I rounded the wingtips, slotted the elevons and tried rounding the nose. The window shapes are way off, if a window decal were available I'd fill in the kit windows and slap on a decal.  :thumbsup:

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