SPACE: Review - AMT 1/200 scale Man in Space Set (5 Manned Rockets)

Kit Review: AMT (Round2Models) 1/200 scale kit No. AMT700-06; Man in Space - Saturn V Rocket and Apollo Space Craft: 5 Complete NASA Rocket Kits; 162 parts (151 in white plastic, 11 cardboard base section parts); price around US$29.00
Advantages: nice re-release time to match the 50th Anniversary of the John Glenn mission
Disadvantages: somewhat off scale, compromises made for “working” features
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all US space buffs
    This year has seen a number of re-releases of space kits which were very popular in the mid to late 1960s and tracked the development of the US Space Program. The latest to be released is a verbatim 2011 re-release of the AMT Models “Man in Space” kit which combined same scale kits of the first five American projects: Mercury/Redstone, Mercury/Atlas, Gemini/Titan, Apollo/Saturn IB, and the Apollo/Saturn V which went to the Moon.
    AMT was best known for those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s as the best manufacturer of 1/25 scale car kits - updated every fall when the new models came out - and an evolutionary company who added details like engines and chassis parts as modelers became more sophisticated. They also dabbled in other genres but were not as successful (their 1/48 aircraft kits rarely rate better than plain awful in kit collectors’ guides).
    But this kit was different – not a fantasy kit like their enduringly popular “Star Trek” kits but a real attempt at modeling the “Big Five”.
    Due to the scale the models were by necessity simple: there are only six parts to the Mercury Redstone model as a point of fact. They also were designed to “stage” so that the builder could envisage how they got into space and what they delivered once there. As a result, many of the sections were dry-fitted together to ensure separation.
    The Mercury Redstone has a separate capsule but the escape tower (one piece and solid to boot) is fixed to the capsule.
    The Mercury Atlas has an identical separating capsule but the first stage (booster engines) of the Atlas are fixed and do not separate.
    The Gemini Titan II has two separating stages with all rocket engines and a separating capsule with adapter section. Note that the directions are not real clear about what cements to what and what is not cemented!
    The Apollo Saturn IB has separating first and second (S-IVB) stages as well as a LEM housing, adapters, and the Apollo capsule, which can be opened to show the three astronauts in position. The escape system is apparently removable to permit “docking” with the LEM assembly.
    The Apollo Saturn V uses the same capsule and LEM assembly with separating first, second and third stages.
    None of the missiles have any support or display bases per se, as the folding cardboard “launching pad” with gantry is to provide the base for them.
    Finishing directions are rather, um, sparse... A large sheet of decals is provided but little else. Painting is apparently accomplished by monkey-see-monkey-do from the box art. As all of the missiles are basically a combination of black, white and silver masking is a skill the modeler must have to successfully complete the task of making them look accurate.
    A nice display can be built from this kit with some work; one chap combined it with a 1/200 scale Space Shuttle from Hasegawa for a theme entry at the 2012 IPMS USA National Convention and it was a striking model.
    Overall, if one accepts the fact this is a 40+ year old kit and was designed more for science teachers than scale modelers it is a fun kit and brings back many memories!
Cookie Sewell
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

i built 9-10 because of family member theft. damn cousins!
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One major disadvantage is that the Apollo CSMs are the Block 1 version which never flew a manned flight. You need to sand off the incorrect radiator corrugations and carefully build the Block 2 radiators instead, and move the electrical umbillical housing to the other side of the spacecraft. If you make a proper umbillical, you won't be able to separate the Command and Service modules.
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