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Hello guys got a small question about models of the space shuttle

I always wanted a space shuttle modell but now I got the extra money for it, I need to make a choice.

I can choose between these models in 1/72 and 1/144

Airfix - Space Shuttle With Fuel Tanks and Boosters - 10170 - 40,61 euro

Minicraft - Nasa Space Shuttle With Booster - 11616 - 28,95 euro

Revell - Space Shuttle "Challenger" - RMX85-5058 - 52,18 euro

Revell - Space Shuttle "Atlantis" - 4733 - 24,95

I just want a model of the Space Shuttle wich is the clossest to the real thing without scratch building or aftermarket parts.

For now the Revell challenger of 52,18 euro is out of question because I don't have that much money.

Also another small question what ar the length of a 1/144 and a 1/72 shuttle model?

Is there someone who can help me with this?

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Well, there is more then one way to do a good shuttle. Unfortunately, all the kits due to their age require some form of aftermarket tweeks to really make them shine IMHO. The reason is that all the kits were issued before Columbia's first flight in 1981. But thankfully, you don't need that much work.

Anyway, in 1/144 scale, here are the pros and cons of each kit (all are the launch configuration kits with ET & SRBs).

Minicraft kit: Pretty good set of solid rocket boosters and external tank. The external tank has no ribbed detailing on the intertank area, so that will need to be added with strip or half-round styrene bits if you so desire. The kit is lacking a little in the attachment strut and fuel line department (nothing that can't be fixed with a little styrene strip). The detailing on the orbiter is nice, but the nose is way wrong and it can't be fixed without a lot of effort. However, the kit does have some nice parts that you can scrounge for other shuttle projects, such as a flight deck interior, nice decals and a decent payload bay. The ET & SRBs would also work well if you got your hands on a Revell kit of the orbiter only as both kits could be combined for a decent stack. The Minicraft kit also has a nice launch pad display base which will work with the Airfix shuttle stack as well.

Revell kit: Right now, the Revell 1/144 kit is discontinued but I know that it is going to be offered again soon with a book (not sure if it is the orbiter only though or a launch stack kit). The orbiter looks decent and can be built up nice. Its payload bay is a little lacking here, but that isn't a problem if you are doing a launch stack with the doors closed anyway. the engine bells aren't quite right and should be replaced with resin aftermarket engines from Meteor Productions or Realspace. The SRBs and ET don't look quite as good as those in the other kits, but they are decent and can be built up well. a launch pad display base is provided and it sort of represents the mobile launch platform that the stack sits on at the pad. But, the platform is way too small to accurately represent a correct launch pad and I wouldn't spend much work on it.

Airfix kit: In my humble opinion, this is the best shuttle stack to get. The orbiter has the right shape and it has the best ET and SRBs with some nice delicate attachment struts and fuel lines. Like the Minicraft ET, the Airfix external tank also has no ribbed detailing on the intertank. But that can be fixed with strip styrene easily enough. With some nice TLC, you can have a really nice looking external tank. The orbiter shape as I said seems to have captured the look of the real thing the best, especially with the wing chord shape. It has two drawbacks though. First of all, the only payload offered for the bay is an ESA spacelab molded into the bay. This isn't a big concern though as the doors won't be open for a launch configuration model anyway (BTW, the doors need to be glued in position anyway). The second problem is the cockpit windows as they look very crude compared to the ones in the Revell kit. My fix for the windows was to glue thin strips of styrene around them to buildup borders and dividers, and then use epoxy putty to blend in the new edges with the body for a seamless appearance once sanded to shape. After I was done, the windows themselves were polished out to bring back the luster to them. When I was done with painting and decaling, I ended up with some of the best looking shuttle windows I had ever accomplished and they looked more accurate then even the Revell kit windows.

So, in conclusion, the best stack in my opinion is Airfix. A good stack for not as much work is either a Revell stack or a Revell orbiter combined with a Minicraft ET & SRBs.

1/72 scale. In this scale, your choices are Revell and Monogram. Yes, Revell and Monogram. Reason is that both companies did different orbiter kits in 1/72 when they were seperate companies. After the merger, the Monogram kit was available up until about 1998 when it was discontinued. After the Monogram kit was discontinued, the Revell orbiter (which hadn't been produced since about 1990) came out again. Both kits have their pluses and minuses and tend to be about equal in terms of what is good about them and what isn't so good. Its just that both kits have different areas that are good and not so good is all.

Monogram kit: Surface detailing is pretty good and it captures the shape of the orbiter the best. payload bay detailing and doors are also pretty good. Cockpit windows are a bit oversized, but that can be overcome with seam work, masking and painting. Landing gear details are also pretty good. The exhaust nozzles are plugged though and should be drilled out for accurate appearance. Monogram also offered this kit with boosters in 1986 and it was offered as a limited edition reissue briefly in 1999 (discontinued now). But, those launch stack kits are expensive on the secondary market and they are HUGE!

Revell kit: Shape around the wings (especially the wing chord) isn't quite as good as the Monogram kit, but not noticeable to most people anyway. Window shape also seems to be the best. Revell also put a raised tile pattern on the model, but the tile detailing isn't quite right and most of them will be removed during construction and seam filling anyway. Payload bay is okay, but the doors don't drop down as far as they should (relatively easy to fix). Forward RCS nozzles are drilled out and look good. This model is a bit of a heavyweight compared to the Monogram kit as Revell seemed to use thicker plastic in its design.

Recommended items:

I know, you were looking to do a stack with a minimum of effort and not having to resort to aftermarket. Well here (unlike most aircraft models) the aftermarket IMHO is a really good idea to have and the pieces don't cost much anyway. They really help to dress up the appearance of the shuttle kits out there.

Resin Engine bells: Realspace and Meteor both offer them in 1/144 and 1/72. The Meteor pieces are discontinued though and they may be sold out. The engine bells offered by both companies look a lot more accurate then those provided in all the kits surveyed.

Aftermarket decals: Recent issues of the kits have better decals, but Realspace and Meteor also do (or did in the case of Meteor as the sheets are discontinued) some nice decal sets as well. Both sheets have their advantages and its best to use both. But, if you can't get ahold of the Meteor decal sets for the current NASA "meatball" scheme, then Minicraft has a nice set of decals printed by Cartograf in 1/144 with the meatball logo and the current issue Revell kit also has similar updated markings. In a couple years, Meteor will probably reissue their decals, but you probably can't wait that long. The Realspace stuff is still readily available though.

Tile Decals (Optional): Another nice item from Meteor, these decals allow you to do a fully tiled orbiter. The coloring has been a source of debate, but most shuttle modelers are in agreement that a model looks kind of plain without them and there are ways to darken the coloring if you desire. Again, only drawback is these tile decals in 1/144 and 1/72 are discontinued, but they can be found if you look around enough. Meteor has announced plans to issue tile decals in 1/100 and 1/200 for the Tamiya and Hasegawa kits respectively. I would say a reissue of the 1/72 and 1/144 sets is likely in a couple years if there is enough demand for them (so email Meteor if you want them back).

Research books: I highly recommend two books for doing a shuttle model. The first is "Space Shuttle: The first 100 missions" by Dennis R. Jenkins. It is a hardcover that is packed with cool photos, tidbits and descriptions of what items were added to the shuttle fleet over the years. It can be ordered through Amazon.com or picked up from fine book stores everywhere. The second book is a small modeling guide called SIM #3 (Space In Miniature) by Mike Mackowski. The information in the book is about 10 years old, but it is packed with stuff intended just for modelers to build accurate space shuttle kits. It can be ordered at:

http://www.getnet.com/~mjmackowski/

Hope this helps. :cheers:

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And in case you were wondering what can be done with an Airfix stack, here's mine. This is my model of Columbia from STS-107. It sits on a Minicraft kit base because the Airfix kit doesn't come with a launch pad base. Instead, that kit comes with an inflight style display stand. Shuttles look so much better IMHO when they are sitting vertical. :thumbsup: This model utilized all the items I mentioned in my previous post.

jmcsts107-1.jpg

Edited by Jay Chladek
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Oke guys thanks for the help, this was really helpfull, I think I wait a little longer when I got a good job and some more money, and I think I than will go for something in 1/72. and I will look or something els, Like the new Super Hornet of revell,

but thanks for the advisse, now I know How much money I have to save :wave:

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Here's a bigger picture from a slightly different perspective.

Looks great. Can you tell me how you "added with strip or half-round styrene bits' the ribbing on the tank.

I also have Airfix kit, but don't have a Minicraft base plate. I don't want to use the Airfix stand. Do you have any creative ideas short of paying $150 USD for the Revell launch tower?

Help!

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Well, the way I added the strips was to use the intertank decal in the latest issues of the Airfix kit. I photocopied that feature onto paper and printed out a paper wrap that I taped to the part. I cut it short so that the top and bottom of the intertank remained exposed and made hash marks where the lines where (and marked where the larger square patches were). After that, I used an old model rockety tube marking trick of using a door jamb as a guide to join the lines together. Once the intertank was marked, it was a matter of gluing on the strips over the pencil lines until the intertank was done.

If I had to do it over again, I would probably use some half wide strips of styrene instead so I could double the number and make the intertank look better that way. But, as you can see it does produce a nice affect. The half round strips are available from Plastruct. They weren't available to me when I did this intertank back in 1998 (model was originally going to be Endeavour from the first ISS flight before I mothballed it and then pulled it out after Columbia). Once the strips were glued on (used Ambroid Proweld for its bonding strength) I tapered the edges top and bottom with a sanding block to get the effect you see in the pics.

As for a creative displays, I can't think of any. The Airfix and Minicraft stacks don't fit well at all on the Revell pad unless you modify it (by finding some other way to secure the SRBs to the pad, perhaps with rods). But, an even bigger problem is that the Revell launch tower seems to be too short. I believe this is because the pad may have been scaled to the MLP base provided in the Revell shuttle stacks. The MLP base in the Revell kit is too small since the shuttle only occupies about half of the mobile launch platform originally built to house both a Saturn V and a launch umbilical tower. The one in the Revell kit is about 1/3rd to 1/2 too small. That being said, I have seen some impressive displays done with the Revell pad, but all the modelers did a lot of work to them.

The Minicraft base does make a nice compromise since the Airfix stack fits and it is featured enough to represent an MLP of sorts (and could be modified on top to look like that if you desire) but it is abstract enough that you don't have to paint it that way. On mine, I added some decals for STS-1 and STS-107 on either side of the stack for a creative display touch. I just haven't shot any photos of it this way. Ultimately, I plan to ring all sides of the base with patch artwork from Columbia's other 26 missions. Or I should say I "planned" to as I haven't done that in over a year since I finished the stack.

Considering the neat parts that can be scrounged from the Minicraft kit, it makes a great aftermarket value for the $30 retail it seems to be selling for these days. The flight deck, cargo bay, ET and SRB combo and the stank can be used for other things, even if the orbiter itself has that jacked up nose (might make a nice Shuttle-C concept model though).

Short of doing that, you could probably make a new display stank with some acrylic, but the price paid for the materials might run a bit on the expensive side and you would then have to do all the cutting needed to get the base you want. Final idea would be to mount the stack on a stand made of tube and then use some sculpting compound and/or some cotton or lint to represent a shuttle at liftoff. I know of one guy that did that with cotton and he did seem to pull it off pretty well.

Edited by Jay Chladek
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None of the MLPs included with the kits is anything close to the real thing. I believe the best bet is to scratch build the MLP. Here is one of the reference photos I am using in my 1/144 launch complex build.

Notice the SRB mounts in the flame pits...should be easy to make simple mounts for just a stack sitting on the MLP. Also of note are the large support towers for the shuttle itself. The work platform over the main engine flame pit is temporary...obviously. :lol:

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Jay and the others covered the shuttle kits pretty well. I just finished my shuttle - it was the Airfix kit. The Airfix is the best one in 1/144 but the Revell kit is good too. The Minicraft kit is good for parts, but its nose is wrongly shaped. I prefer the Monogram 1/72nd kit over the Revell one but I have built both in the past. As for other scales, nothing in 1/48 (I keep hoping!) but Tamiya's got a shuttle in 1/100 and Hasegawa and Monogram have 1/200 shuttles. The Hase shuttle is the way to go there, the Monogram 1/200 kit doesn't have much detail and the cargo bay hinges are just wrong. The Tamiya shuttle builds up well - I built one as Columbia.

Justin

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Well, the way I added the strips was to use the intertank decal in the latest issues of the Airfix kit. I photocopied that feature onto paper and printed out a paper wrap that I taped to the part. I cut it short so that the top and bottom of the intertank remained exposed and made hash marks where the lines where (and marked where the larger square patches were). After that, I used an old model rockety tube marking trick of using a door jamb as a guide to join the lines together. Once the intertank was marked, it was a matter of gluing on the strips over the pencil lines until the intertank was done.

If I had to do it over again, I would probably use some half wide strips of styrene instead so I could double the number and make the intertank look better that way. But, as you can see it does produce a nice affect. The half round strips are available from Plastruct. They weren't available to me when I did this intertank back in 1998 (model was originally going to be Endeavour from the first ISS flight before I mothballed it and then pulled it out after Columbia). Once the strips were glued on (used Ambroid Proweld for its bonding strength) I tapered the edges top and bottom with a sanding block to get the effect you see in the pics.

As for a creative displays, I can't think of any. The Airfix and Minicraft stacks don't fit well at all on the Revell pad unless you modify it (by finding some other way to secure the SRBs to the pad, perhaps with rods). But, an even bigger problem is that the Revell launch tower seems to be too short. I believe this is because the pad may have been scaled to the MLP base provided in the Revell shuttle stacks. The MLP base in the Revell kit is too small since the shuttle only occupies about half of the mobile launch platform originally built to house both a Saturn V and a launch umbilical tower. The one in the Revell kit is about 1/3rd to 1/2 too small. That being said, I have seen some impressive displays done with the Revell pad, but all the modelers did a lot of work to them.

The Minicraft base does make a nice compromise since the Airfix stack fits and it is featured enough to represent an MLP of sorts (and could be modified on top to look like that if you desire) but it is abstract enough that you don't have to paint it that way. On mine, I added some decals for STS-1 and STS-107 on either side of the stack for a creative display touch. I just haven't shot any photos of it this way. Ultimately, I plan to ring all sides of the base with patch artwork from Columbia's other 26 missions. Or I should say I "planned" to as I haven't done that in over a year since I finished the stack.

Considering the neat parts that can be scrounged from the Minicraft kit, it makes a great aftermarket value for the $30 retail it seems to be selling for these days. The flight deck, cargo bay, ET and SRB combo and the stank can be used for other things, even if the orbiter itself has that jacked up nose (might make a nice Shuttle-C concept model though).

Short of doing that, you could probably make a new display stank with some acrylic, but the price paid for the materials might run a bit on the expensive side and you would then have to do all the cutting needed to get the base you want. Final idea would be to mount the stack on a stand made of tube and then use some sculpting compound and/or some cotton or lint to represent a shuttle at liftoff. I know of one guy that did that with cotton and he did seem to pull it off pretty well.

Thanks very much. I had thought of the cotton route for lift off but wondered if that would look too stupid.

You description of adding the ribs to the fuel tank is EXCELLENT!

Many thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

With one of the astronauts in the recent launch being the first Swede in space, I got a bit interested in doing one - preferably looking as the Discovery does on this mission. I did a search for "best shuttle" and landed in this thread, which seems to pretty well sum it up I think, but a couple of questions:

1) Revell of Germany have Shuttle listed under "New Arrivals" at Hannants - http://www.hannants.co.uk/search/?FULL=RV4736 - I assume it's a reissue of the US Revell item mentioned? And with Airfix on the recovery it's probably not a bad bet right now.

2) The Tamiya and Hasegawa are mentioned in the thread, but not much - the Hase is also available at Hannats but I take the lack of talk and the fact that all aftermarket seem to be 1/72 or 1/144 as meaning they aren't better than Revell or Airfix?

3) Anyone want to add anything to the thread? Has anything significant happend on the Shuttle front in the last year?

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Wow, old threads never die, they just get archived to come back once in awhile. Thanks for pulling it back up Henrik. :redx:

Anyway, since my original replies were written, both Revell and Revell of Germany have reissued the 1/144 Revell kit. The Revell US kit is just of the orbiter, but it comes with a book that talks about the shuttle program. It isn't all that good as a dedicated shuttle reference book IMHO, but it does make for a nice introduction to the shuttle and has some interesting pictures of the shuttle and the ISS. The decals offered in the kit are for Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour in the old NASA "wurm" livery (i.e. the NASA font introduced in 1975 that looks like a crawling worm). As it is, I don't really like this decal sheet since it totally lacks the meatball markings seen on the more recent shuttles and it has some other errors as well. If you get it, IGNORE the paint guilde in the instructions and printed on back of the book like the plague as it is very inaccurate (showing Endeavour with tiles that are bigger then those found in the 1/72 Revell kit). It is a little pricey for what it is IMHO and if you want just orbiter plastic for kitbashing, you could probably find good candidates on eBay. Still, it might make a nice purchase if you can find one at a Hobby Lobby in the states and have a coupon to burn.

The Revell of Germany kit represents a launch stack and IMHO it is a MUCH better value for the money with it selling for a little over $20 in the US at hobby shops (which is priced lower then what I have seen the Revell US kit with the book sell for). The plastic is the same, so the topics voiced earlier apply here. But, what really makes this kit THE shuttle kit to get right now is the extensive decal sheet included. Again it only has name plates for Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour (NASA dictated that for gift shop sales since Columbia and Challenger are gone, a BAD choice IMHO, but I can sort of see the reasons why). As such, if you want to do Columbia or Challenger, you'll have to go to the decal aftermarket or the scrap bin. But, aside from that, the decal sheet in the RoG kit contains the most EXTENSIVE shuttle kit decal sheet I have ever seen. Complete NASA wurm and Meatball era markings (the blue NASA logo is called the meatball) are provided along with a comprehensive set of stencils and markings for the orbiter. Several bits of the black TPS markings are printed on the sheet for the nose, the cockpit windows, the upper wings and the tail. The instructions also provide some nice tips for representing a weathered TPS pattern on the shuttle with a grayish bottom and black top. Elevon hinge panel covers are also provided, markings for the OMS pods. I could go on. But needless to say this sheet is worth the money paid.

It does have one rather glaring mistake though. The US flag decals for the right wing of the meatball painted orbiters are all printed BACKWARDS. Looks like somebody got a little confused. For painted flag markings on commercial jets (and shuttle orbiters), on the fuselage the stars point to the nose. So while a flag on the left side of the fuselage is oriented properly, one on the right side is reversed (Airfix forgot to do this on their sheet). But this is not done for wing markings as they should be oriented the same way regardless of what wing they go on. Fortunately you do have an out. The flag decal provided for the NASA "wurm" era shuttle is oriented properly and it is close enough in size that you can use it for a meatball era shuttle.

As such, while the Airfix kit is still the best for a shuttle plastic-wise, the RoG kit right now IMHO gets top nod simply because it can be built into a nice shuttle with a little more work and it has a much better decal sheet. Plus, as an added bonus for you modelers living in Europe, you can order the sheets seperately from RoG. We can't do that in the US although I would love to be able to do that. Still though, considering the low cost of the kit, it doesn't cost that much to acquire a couple extra kits just for the decals as the orbiter can be used for seperate displays and the SRBs can be used for Ares 1 and V kitbashes. The core of the Ares V is projected to be larger then that of the External Tank, so unfortunately that bit can't be used as an Ares V core (unless you wanted to do an early one). But you could use ETs for hypothetical kitbashes, such as space stations based on External Tanks and unused concepts like Shuttle C.

As for 1/200 scale, Hasegawa would be the one to get (avoid the Lindberg kit). Lack of aftermarket bits does hobble it some (lack of meatball era decals especially) but it is shaped right and can be built into a nice looking orbiter stack. Out of the box, it can be built into a very nice looking shuttle stack, although to be accurate as an Out of the Box build you are somewhat limited as to the time period represented being an early shuttle (i.e. no dragchute on the vertical fin and no properly scaled decals for this size unless you get the JBOT ALPS printed decals). The payload in the bay represents an STS-9 style ESA Spacelab and some of the pallets are molded into the bay (the pressurized module itself is not). So they will have to be chiseled out if you want to represent other payloads. The ET and SRBs are molded together, making painting the ET brown and the SRBs white a bit of a challenge unless you seperate them and scratch some attachment struts.

As for Tamiya's 1/100 kit, it is a thing of beauty. But again it is limited by lack of aftermarket bits for it. The shapes in the kit and the bits you get are very nicely done. The engine bells look good and only need some relatively minor tweeks to accurize. Payload again is an STS-9 style spacelab and it looks pretty good. This kit also has chrome plated radiators for the payload bay doors (a nice touch). The payload bay floor needs some work to accurize, but a great looking shuttle model can be built from this kit. Just be aware that you practically have to scratchbuild some payloads for it as well. With aftermarket bits available for the other kit scales, you could probably do an inflight shuttle orbiter more easily with one of the other kits. But the Tamiya kit provides a nice solid basis if you want to do all the work yourself.

The decal sheet provided in the Tamiya kit is a joke as even the later reissues only have markings for Enterprise and Columbia from before STS-1 (what you get is accurate, you just don't get much). Realspace has a conversion sheet with other orbiter names and meatball logos, but there was an error with the sheet when it was printed as the blue meatball logos are too dark blue (it is still better then nothing). Cutting Edge also did a NASA/NACA sheet with various styles and sizes of logos (including meatballs). But I believe the sheet is discontinued as well. Still, it is nice to have if you can find it.

As for other "MUST HAVE" items, I am adding a book to the list:

"Return to Flight, Space Shuttle Discovery Photo Scrapbook" by Dennis Jenkins and Jorge R. Frank

This book compiles as many of the pictures taken from the STS-114 mission as possible into one high quality printed format. This makes an excellent companion to the Jenkins hardcover about the shuttle (see above). The on-orbit pics of Discovery's TPS pattern alone are worth the price of this book as are the ET photos. It is priced at $16.95 US and for that price it won't break the bank. Many good book stores (real and online) stock it and it can be ordered directly from www.specialtypress.com as well.

Edited by Jay Chladek
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Wow, thank you Jay, this thread really is a goldmine. Perhaps it should be sticky? "The ultimate guide to Shuttle kits"? I think a RoG kit and some Cutting Edge resin and decals would satisfy my Shuttle cravings...

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I suppose it could be made a sticky. BTW, I am at this time working on a book which will hopefully become the ultimate shuttle modeling resource guide for the shuttle. Alphonso gave me permission to utilize his paper model drawings as reference for some of my own. Admittedly I probably won't go into quite the level he did since some of the modifications pictured were just for one mission (probably put the mod on and say "this flew on such and such mission" instead). Of course I am going about my own research for those specific modifications as well. External tank details are also tough to pin down as the coloring for every ET that flew was a little different since the foam darkens as it gets exposed to UV at the pad.

If this book works out the way I want it to, it will potentially be a single reference resource that a modeler can draw upon for accurate shuttle modeling where details found in other books can suppliment it. Granted that is a tall order given the over 100 missions flown to date. So maybe it won't cover every specific mission payload ever carried, but hopefully it should cover the more popular ones (Spacelab, Spacehab, pre-Challenger comm satellite launchers, Sincom F series satellites...etc). Plus it will have a full set of kit and aftermarket parts reviews and possibly some buildup articles as well (ala Detail and Scale).

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Hi Jay! I have a small addition to the great summary you did regarding the Hasegawa 1/200 Shuttle kit. JBOT decals is no longer in business, and it is uncertain whether they will get back to producing decals in the future. All is not lost, however! Tom Prestia at Tango Papa Decals (http://www.tangopapadecals.com/) has a sheet of 1/200 decals available for this kit. I recently received a sheet from him to use on the Hasegawa Shuttle kit. The decals are well printed as usual from Tango Papa and come with decals for both the orbitor and stack. I have not started my 1/200 shuttle yet as I am still working on the AMT 1/200 Man In Space kit to go with the shuttle on a single display base.

Mike :)

As for 1/200 scale, Hasegawa would be the one to get (avoid the Lindberg kit). Lack of aftermarket bits does hobble it some (lack of meatball era decals especially) but it is shaped right and can be built into a nice looking orbiter stack. Out of the box, it can be built into a very nice looking shuttle stack, although to be accurate as an Out of the Box build you are somewhat limited as to the time period represented being an early shuttle (i.e. no dragchute on the vertical fin and no properly scaled decals for this size unless you get the JBOT ALPS printed decals).
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Hmm, I hadn't heard about JBOT. He goes to Wonderfest every year so if he isn't again up and running by then I shall have to see what happened. Pity as he did some high quality stuff too for ALPS and had invested in a larger supply chain then I've been able to accomplish with my system. Of course it could be that he's just altered his business to be a decal supplier for other distributors, in which case Starshipmodeler and Federation Models may carry his products. Only Jim knows for sure though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great thread! I just finished a trip to KSC and have an urge right now to discover the field of space shuttle in scale. So the newest RoG 1/144 shuttle kit is the one that comes with the latest style of NASA logo? Also, for the Revell 1/144 shuttle & launch complex combo kit mentioned, are there any reviews out there? I heard it has major flaws.

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Great thread! I just finished a trip to KSC and have an urge right now to discover the field of space shuttle in scale. So the newest RoG 1/144 shuttle kit is the one that comes with the latest style of NASA logo? Also, for the Revell 1/144 shuttle & launch complex combo kit mentioned, are there any reviews out there? I heard it has major flaws.

Yes, the RoG kit is the one you want for the Meatball logos. I am working on one right now and it is actually not bad once you grind those radial bands off the External tank and modify the cable trays a little bit (along with other things I mentioned above). As for the pad kit, its main problem is the tower is too short and that may be related to the too small MLP (mobile launch platform) pad that the Revell kit normally comes with. There is a more accurately sized shuttle MLP coming out soon from a company in England and combine that with a proper height tower along with the swingarms and RSS (rotating service structure) from the Revell kit and you have a good basis for starting a launch pad diorama.

I would say if you are going to try and find a Revell pad, try looking for the ones without the shuttle stack as the full pad kits are more expensive (at least on eBay) and the only difference is that they come with the standard Revell shuttle stack.

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Yes there are two, they are identical kits. Only difference is the lack of a shuttle and the MLP.

You are correct in that the complex kit is flawed.

The actual height of the shuttle gantry is 247ft, 1/144 should be 20.58in. The Revell kit measures out to be 17 5/16, or almost 3 inches short. Each level is 20ft (ground level is 27ft) in real life, 1/144 should be 1.67in. Measures out to be 1 14/32, about a 1/4 inch short. (note that 1/4 (amount short) x 12 (number of levels)= 3.0 (almost the amount the tower is too short) Each level is 40x40 in real life, 1/144 should be 3.66x3.66 in. They measure out to be 2 30/32x2 30/32, about a 1/2in to small. The model scales out to be about 1/170.

The kit is also lacking in detail. I understand that adding all the detail would have been prohibitive, but it will take a good deal of work to give it the "busyness" look of the real thing.

Given the incorrect height of the FSS, I'm not sure a corrected MLP will help. You would not be able to use the MLP supports or the Crawler. To do so would put the nose of the shuttle a good bit above the top of the FSS. I chose to scratchbuild a new FSS in 1/160 scale. (I'm putting Loren Perry's kids through college with all the p/e I'm buying :worship: ) I intend to modify the MLP and its supports to bring the shuttle to the correct height.

Edited by indydog
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Indydog pretty well covered it. As for the other kit box, it has a picture of the tower in daylight without a shuttle on the pad.

The pads themselves have undergone almost constant evolution since they were retrofitted from the Saturn V LUTs back in the late 1970s. Every year they remained in operation they have gotten a little busier looking. The last major change involved removal of the hammerhead cranes sometime in the late 1990s (they were still on in 1994-95). The control cab and crane pivot points still remain, but the part of the structure that overhangs the FSS was cut off.

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