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Minicraft & Airfix Shuttle Kits...

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  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Littleton,CO
Minicraft & Airfix Shuttle Kits...
Posted by caine on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 10:18 PM
I was woundering if anyone has built the Airfix or Minicraft 1/144 shuttle stack kits. I have looked at the small pictures on the side of the box and been hesitant to buy one because the shuttle looks like it has an unrealistic sharp nose. Is this the case? And if so, are there any other noticable inaccuracies? I am building a 1/144 Revell shuttle kit and am satisfied with its accuracy, but of course it has been discontinued and is rather hard to locate these days. Just looking for a quick kit review on these kits. Thanks!
http://www.shockwavephoto.com
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Thursday, October 23, 2003 4:11 AM
I too would be interested in info on these kits...


Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Littleton,CO
Posted by caine on Saturday, December 06, 2003 5:43 PM
Gosh, I would have imagined that someone would have built one of these kits! I guess I'll keep waiting Whistling [:-^]

If no one has, then maybe I will just have to go buy one and see for myself. Blush [:I]
http://www.shockwavephoto.com
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: UK
Posted by gregers on Sunday, December 07, 2003 12:30 PM
seen the airfix shuttle in my LHS, now i'm trying to persuade the missus that it - and the saturn 5 - would make a better chrissie prezzie to me than (another) sweater Smile [:)]......Greg
Why torture yourself when life will do it for you?
  • Member since
    December, 2003
Posted by dhanners on Sunday, December 28, 2003 9:30 PM
I'll jump in. You're right; the nose on the Minicraft shuttle is sharp enough to drill holes with. Seriously, it is way too pointed. Overall, the Airfix kit has more accurate lines, but ALL shuttle kits have flaws of one sort or another. It's a matter of choosing your poison.

If you're working in 1/144th scale, the old Revell kit is still probably the best all-around bet -- IF (and these are big "ifs") you can find one and IF you use aftermarket SSMEs and IF you're prepared to do some work on the flight deck windows. And there are now some great aftermarket decals available, too.

If you're building the model with the payload bay doors open, then you're in for a good bit of scratchbuilding whichever kit you go with, and this is another area that the aftermarket folks have come up with some nice stuff for. But parts-wise, the ancient Revell kit is sturdy and a good base for super-detailing.

The lack of a really good shuttle kit in 1/144th scale is one of the great frustrations we "real space" modelers have. It is one of the most important aerospace vehicles ever built, and nobody has yet captured it all correctly in this popular scale. Yeah, I know the bit about how much molds costs and how a model company can sell a jillion P-51s or Me-109s for every shuttle kit they sell, but still... Would it kill them to make just one good kit of it?

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 28, 2003 11:10 PM
Also check out the Doyusha and the 1/100 Tamiya shuttle.

Maybe they are more to your liking.
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Monday, December 29, 2003 11:59 AM
How about the Hasegawa 1/200 kit? I just happened across it today in a gift shop at Kansai International Airport here in Osaka, of all places. I hadn't seen it before, so I don't know if it's a re-box of somebody else's shuttle or not.
~Brian
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Littleton,CO
Posted by caine on Monday, December 29, 2003 3:49 PM
I built the 1/200 Hasegawa kit a long time ago...I think I lost the orbiter, but the ET and boosters look pretty accurate. I think it is an original Hasegawa kit and if I recal it was pretty good overall. I was fortunate enough to find the last 1/144 Revell shuttle stack from GreatModel.com but I was considering building a 1/144 shuttle transport 747 and was looking for a decent kit in that scale. I may just go with a 1/200 since Hasegawa makes both a shuttle and 747-200 in that scale. There doesn't seem to be much selection in 1/144 for 747 kits and the availible shuttles don't sound that great either.

Thank for the heads up on the kits dhanners, I guess we will have to just live with these kits until the next big space vehicle is finally built.
http://www.shockwavephoto.com
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 26, 2004 1:20 PM
I am going to break open the box on my shuttle minicraft 1/144th I'll post some pictures later.

Serverfarmer
Alien [alien]
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 26, 2004 1:46 PM
Well, here is the kit

BOX


Tint/Glass and Instructions


Parts and Decals


Looks like an ok kit. I'll post as I work on it.

Serverfarmer
Alien [alien]
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 13, 2004 4:55 AM
I'm still working on my 144 Revell Shuttle stack kit, it does look good but lots of mods to get it correct. on the other hand, Airfix is best. I've built several Orbiters from Airfix.
But basis shuttle model needs upgrading parts like decals & resin SSMEs from aftermarket source like RealSpaceModels & Cutting Edge...for accuracy.


Once finished, I'll post it in a gallery..:-)

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 14, 2004 6:24 PM
I always thought that the Airfix SRB's and ET coupled to a Revell orbiter was best. The Airfix orbiter has that annoying RCS panel in the nose. I guess you could graft a Revell nose on the Airfix orbiter...

I know I have expended too much putty on the Airfix orbiter nose lately...

John
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by cmtaylor on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 4:49 PM
What's annoying about it? It looks far more accurate than the Revell decal version
Gentlemen! You can't fight in here; this is the WAR ROOM!
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 03, 2004 8:13 AM
It depends on what you are modeling. If you are going for a stack-on-the-pad model, the Revell RCS nose will allow you to use decals to represent the paper covers that are on the nozzels before launch. If you want an on-orbit shutle, then maybe the filling and sanding of the Airfix panel is worth it. I'd like to modify an Revell nose to have the RCS thrusters and then either graft it onto a Arfix body or use it as it.

John
  • Member since
    December, 2003
Posted by dhanners on Sunday, April 04, 2004 12:29 PM
I've built the Airfix and Revell (more of the latter than the former) and even though it is a clunky kit, needs work and is getting harder to find, I still prefer the Revell offering.

As for the nose RCS on the Revell kit, there are two possibilities. As has been mentioned, if you're modeling the Orbiter sitting on the pad, it's no big deal because the RCS ports are protected from rain by plastic covers that get blown out when the RCS are fired.

What I've done for my on-orbit shuttles, though, is back the RCS area with layers of sheet plastic or Miliput and then drill out the RCS housings. It's a relatively simple task.

First, before you assemble the fuselage, use diagrams to figure out where the side RCS ports are on each side and mark them. Then, using a few small pieces of thick sheet styrene, build up the area on the inside of the fuselage. Clamp it as best you can and let it dry awhile. Or, build up the area with Miliput. Once everything is solid and dry, you can drill out the RCS ports; make sure you angle the two oval-shaped primary thrusters (konwn technically as the -Z F3D and F1D on the port, and the F4D and F2D on the starboard).

Once you're satisfied with those, assemble the fuselage halves but leave off the payload bay doors and the forward payload bay bulkhead and windows. Determine where the upper three +Z primary thrusters (they're the round ones) and where the three -X primary thrusters (They're the forward-firing oval-shaped ones) go and back that area with Miliput. I've found it hard to get layers of sheet plastic to conform to the shape of the nose, but I suppose if you had the right clamps, you could do it without a problem.

Once the backing is dry, drill out those thrusters and file and sand to the proper shape. When you're done with that, go ahead and put the model together however you want.

I used the Cutting Edge decals on my latest Columbia, so to make sure my RCS locations would agree with the decals, I photocopied the decals and then cut out the appropriate sections from the photocopy and taped it to the model to determine the locations. It worked just fine.
  • Member since
    December, 2010
Posted by danburnsart on Monday, January 15, 2018 1:00 PM

Sorry to resurrect an utterly ancient thread, but it's a good one, and I have questions.

I'm currently working on a 1/144 Revell STS.  I want aftermarket tile decals, which I know Warbird make some for the Revell, but I can't locate a sheet.  Frankly I like the look of the Cutting Edge tiles much better, but they are sized for the Airfix kit.  Anybody try applying the Cutting Edge set to the Revell orbiter?  Thanks

  • Member since
    January, 2018
Posted by DHanners55 on Saturday, January 20, 2018 4:34 AM

I used the Cutting Edge decals on my Revell Orbiter when I built Columbia. It's been awhile, but I don't recall any problem.

When the decals came out, there was plenty of discussion whether they were dark enough. Personally, I believe they need to be darkened a tad, or at least made to look a bit more uniform. That said, if you find decent photos of the Orbiter's belly, it's often surprising how gray it is.

http://hsfeatures.com/columbiadh_1.htm

 

  • Member since
    January, 2018
Posted by DHanners55 on Saturday, January 20, 2018 4:42 AM

This one actually has photos of my build's underside....

http://culttvman.com/main/david-hanners-columbia/

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