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Eric Mc

Revell Mercury/Atlas

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This is a relatively quiet corner of Britmodeller - I presume because the subject matter is fairly niche compared to planes, automobiles, tanks etc....

However, I've been going through a bit of a "space history" phase over the past few months and have started on another space project - the Revell Atlas Rocket and Launch pad. Considering how old the kit is (1962), I am quite impressed with the quality of the mouldings and the lack of flash. The version I am building is one I bought way back in 1984 when it was re-issued under their "History Makers" boxings.

It comes from that era when a photograph of the assembled model was considered the right thing to put on a box rather than some inspiring box art. You might be able to make out the "Beatties" price sticker in the top right hand corner of the box.
In the early days of the plastic kit industry, not all models were manufactured to recognised scales. Revell often produced their models in scales that fitted whatever box size they intended to use for the final packaged product.
Nowadays, I expect that an Atlas would be produced in 1/144, as this has become a standard scale for rockets but this works out at 1/110. Their Redstone was also 1/110.
Being a rocket, the actual Atlas pieces are fairly simple. In order to "pad out" the kit, Revell also included the entire launch pad and ramp together with a number of fuel and oxidiser tankers. Sadly, they didn't include the actual launch tower.
As you can see, I've part assembled some of the vehicle pieces.
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Hi Eric,

shouldn't this be in Work in Progress, rather than realspace discussion?

Mike

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I've now opened the same topic in the right sub-forum. Mods can delete this one if they wish.

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Progress report -

You've got to build this kit with a kind of modular approach. The assembly can be broken down into -

Atlas Booster and Mercury Spacecraft

The launch pad and ramp

The rocket support truss

The support vehicles and equipment

Ancilliary bits and pieces that embellish the launch pad - ladders, stairs, railings, light poles, pipes and plumbing

I am at varying degrees of of completion on different components.

As you can see, the support truss is essentially completed and painted. The rocket body has been assembled and primed in preparation of a coat of Alclad polished aluminium. At the moment it is sporting a coat of Halfords matt black which I have rubbed down to a semi-matt sheen. Next on will be a coat of Alclad's own gloss black underlay which is required for their polished aluminium finish. I have not tried this technique before so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
If it works, it may appear again on some of the all metal finish aircraft kits I've been reluctant to attempt up to now.

The main structure of the pad is complete and primed.

There's still a lot of work to do on this.

When checking through the components I discovered a date stamp which shows the moulds actually originated in 1959 - so almost as old as me. I have to say I am pretty impressed with the work the Revell tool makers did 56 years ago. Looking at pictures of the actual pad used for the Mercury flights (Launch Complex 14), they got it mostly right. The only thing wrong I can spot is the colour scheme they give for the pad which shows the piping being yellow and red. In reality, everything was painted various shades of (probably salt resistant) greys.

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Really interested in seeing how your paint job turns out for you. Also, I thought how Revell has illustrated the correct Atlas booster on the inspiring box art, (on the one that I have) but the booster in the kit is all wrong.

As for a kit that is older than my wife, it really is a good kit to work with, unlike.............well I wont go there.

Keep building!!

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Still working on this. Had a break due to holiday, work etc (and sidetracking onto another project). It's gradually coming together and I will post some more pictures as soon as I can.

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Not seen this kit for (keep quiet on number as it make me feel old) years. Don't see them often - don't see any space kit, real or otherwise, on too regular a basis* - so it's nice to see one out in the real world.

*although with the new-old Star Wars due soon I suspect they will push off the 'weird and whacky" shelves in to 'real kit' shelf space for a while. Personally other than a few select Scifi I do prefer the real deal - just a pity even small scale usually results in huge plastic - that Saturn V still calls on occasion

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I'm a child of the Space Race so have a great affinity for the hardware that first got men into space and the moon. I've been recently building up a collection of space related models. So far I've built a -

1/144

Minicraft Space Shuttle

Airfix Saturn IB

Airfix Saturn V

Airfix Soviet R7 - Vostok

1/72

Dragon Gemini

1/110

Revell Redstone (as a Jupiter C),

1/96

Revell Command/Service Module (as a Block 1 design)

I've also recently completed a Bell X-1 (Tamiya), Bell X-1E (Special Hobby) and Monogram/Revell North American X-15 A2 - all 1/72

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I decided the Mercury capsule was not quite accurate. The top of the capsule did not really feature a funny little spike as shown on the model. It actually had a rather more substantial cylinder that contained the parachute and radio location beacon. I've fashioned a small cylinder from a piece of brass tubing and will pop it on the top of the capsule and attach it using super glue.

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Edited by Eric Mc

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OK - scratch that.

There was a reason Revell didn't provide a full diameter cylinder for the top of the spacecraft. The lattice work of the launch escape tower is too thick to fit around anything larger than the little "spike" provided. This is probably down to moulding limitations back in 1959. Discretion rather than valour so I've decided to stick with what Revell provided.

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Still chugging along with this project. Plenty to do still but it's beginning to look like something now -

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Still plugging away at my Atlas. Currently, I'm adding all the little "bits and bobs" to the launch platform. To be honest, I don't know what half these are suppose to represent, but they look to me like workstations for pad crew and automatic fire and water hydrants for coping with fuel spillages and fires on the pad - which were not unheard of with Atlas launches.

It's all rather tedious and unphotogenic, but will add to the overall look of the final display, I'm sure.
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On 01/11/2015 at 18:04, Eric Mc said:

Finally finished.

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Thread resurrection!

That looks like an excellent kit, one to look out for if they still are to be found in the wild. Do you remember what you finished the silver body of the rocket with?

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Alclad polished aluminium.

 

The kit has been reissued by Revell a few times since the "History Makers" series of the mid 1980s. In more recent years, Revell have re-released these older kits as "Revell Classics" with faithful reproductions of the original eye catching box art - much better than the "photo of the built model" they used in the "History Makers Series".

 

If you want a more modern Atlas, the new 1/72 Horizon kits look lovely.

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20 hours ago, Eric Mc said:

Alclad polished aluminium.

 

The kit has been reissued by Revell a few times since the "History Makers" series of the mid 1980s. In more recent years, Revell have re-released these older kits as "Revell Classics" with faithful reproductions of the original eye catching box art - much better than the "photo of the built model" they used in the "History Makers Series".

 

If you want a more modern Atlas, the new 1/72 Horizon kits look lovely.

Thanks Eric, I'll keep an eye out in the new year

 

The paint looks very good, it conveys the scale reduction very well, better than say wrapping it in foil.

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Since I built that kit, I've started using Valejo metallic - which are acrylic rather than laquer. They are almost as good as Alclad.

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I'm sure it is - if one is willing to go down the resin route. I've been tempted by some of the wide variety of interesting stuff in the Anigrand range, but so far have resisted.

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That looks great Eric, a kit I missed back in the day and wished I'd bought. I'm sorely tempted to plonk my Horizon ICBM Atlas on a pad as there's now plenty of info available on the net. It was a pretty ambitious kit for the time and I think Revell did a great job considering its age...(slightly younger than me, but unlike me, wearing well!)

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23 hours ago, Eric Mc said:

I'm sure it is - if one is willing to go down the resin route. I've been tempted by some of the wide variety of interesting stuff in the Anigrand range, but so far have resisted.

Another question, I'm new to modelling, very new actually, is there a problem with resin kits or a complication? I have seen lots of interesting kits made in resin and had thought I'd like to try one or two

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59 minutes ago, colinlp said:

Another question, I'm new to modelling, very new actually, is there a problem with resin kits or a complication? I have seen lots of interesting kits made in resin and had thought I'd like to try one or two

It depends how new to modelling you are. If you are very new I would suggest you get a few short run IM styrene kits under belt first as they will give you the basic skills to takle a resin kit. Resin kits have come on a quantum leap in the last decade or so, there are a number of resin kits that are far superior to styrene kits but they tend to come with a price tag.

 

For your first resin kit I would suggest you choose a good/decent quality one and subject matter that is not kitted elsewhere, the later will keep your mojo going. All you really need is a basic modellers tool kit, Milliput, CA glue and a wide variety of wet & dry and make sure you wash the part well before one starts the build and test fit twice and glue once.

 

There is nothing to be afraid of and you'll get a range of models in your collection you culd have only once dreamed of!

 

Thomo.

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