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 =93working=94 featu= res

Rating: Recommended

Recommendation: for all US space buffs

This year has seen a number of re-releases of space kits which were very p= opular 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 AM= T Models =93Man in Space=94 kit which combined same scale kits of the first= five American projects: Mercury/Redstone, Mercury/Atlas, Gemini/Titan, Apo= llo/Saturn IB, and the Apollo/Saturn V which went to the Moon.=20

AMT was best known for those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s as t= he best manufacturer of 1/25 scale car kits - updated every fall when the n= ew models came out - and an evolutionary company who added details like eng= ines and chassis parts as modelers became more sophisticated. They also dab= bled in other genres but were not as successful (their 1/48 aircraft kits r= arely rate better than plain awful in kit collectors=92 guides).=20

But this kit was different =96 not a fantasy kit like their enduringly pop= ular =93Star Trek=94 kits but a real attempt at modeling the =93Big Five=94= .=20

Due to the scale the models were by necessity simple: there are only six p= arts to the Mercury Redstone model as a point of fact. They also were desig= ned to =93stage=94 so that the builder could envisage how they got into spa= ce and what they delivered once there. As a result, many of the sections we= re dry-fitted together to ensure separation.=20

The Mercury Redstone has a separate capsule but the escape tower (one piec= e and solid to boot) is fixed to the capsule.=20

The Mercury Atlas has an identical separating capsule but the first stage = (booster engines) of the Atlas are fixed and do not separate.=20

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!=20

The Apollo Saturn IB has separating first and second (S-IVB) stages as wel= l as a LEM housing, adapters, and the Apollo capsule, which can be opened t= o show the three astronauts in position. The escape system is apparently re= movable to permit =93docking=94 with the LEM assembly.=20

The Apollo Saturn V uses the same capsule and LEM assembly with separating= first, second and third stages.=20

None of the missiles have any support or display bases per se, as the fold= ing cardboard =93launching pad=94 with gantry is to provide the base for th= em.=20

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 combina= tion of black, white and silver masking is a skill the modeler must have to= successfully complete the task of making them look accurate.=20

A nice display can be built from this kit with some work; one chap combine= d it with a 1/200 scale Space Shuttle from Hasegawa for a theme entry at th= e 2012 IPMS USA National Convention and it was a striking model.=20

Overall, if one accepts the fact this is a 40+ year old kit and was design= ed more for science teachers than scale modelers it is a fun kit and brings= back many memories!=20

Cookie Sewell

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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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