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US Army Redstone

 

Revell #H1832 1/105

Around 8" tall

 

Like it's contemporary the Soviet Vostok, the Redstone started life as the short-range ballistic missile that this kit re-creates. Also like the Vostok, developments of the design went on to play an important part in the early space programme, launching the first manned US space mission, Alan Shepard's sub-orbital Mercury-1 flight.

The Redstone was designed in the early 1950s by Nazi rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun, patterned on the V2 he built at the end of World War II. It was finally deployed in 1958, but the Cold War was moving fast by then and the Redstone was soon replaced by later designs. It was officially retired in 1964, having never once been fired in anger...

This turned out to be an extremely forehead-wrinkling kit to make - not because of it's design or moulding, which was no worse than usual, but simply the practical details of building it. I was running very low on the grey paint I'd chosen as the main theme, and it was only when I came to buy more that I realised it was an out of production colour that I'd ordered specially for the ISS kit. This led to many interesting and educational experiments with thinners and the airbrush, and much frowning and muttering, but I achieved another good-enough finish in the end.

Painting the launching ring and it's concrete base was a labour, too - I was trying for a rocket-fuel spilled on dirty concrete with rusty iron and tyre tracks motif, and ended up using half a dozen colours in several layers (and even a graphite pencil) before it came close to matching what I had in my mind's eye. And, of course, little of it shows up in these images...

The decals were extremely old-fashioned, unfortunately, as befits the kit's age - thick and shiny, and slightly yellowed... I didn't use all of them, in the end, as it was starting to look like more like a Dinky toy than a nuclear weapon... and, in fact, actually peeled off a couple of long diagonal stripes after applying them, which was as fiddly as anything and shows how little I liked them...

 

 

Other Resources:

Redstone Arsenal's Redstone Chronology.

NASA's Liquid Hydrogen As A Propulsion Fuel1945-1959, Chapter 9

 

 

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