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Space Base & Satellite Explorer

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Category: Miscellaneous
Subcategory: 1/100

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Medium: Styrene
Parts: 75
Status: Available
Release Date: 2009
Skill Level: Intermediate
First off, let me say that this kit could be considered a Beginner level kit. However, due to the many fit issues (as discussed later in this review), I have classified it as an Intermediate level kit. The model is a reissue of a classic Lindberg kit that has been missing from store shelves since the early 1970’s.

The kit is molded in white styrene and includes clear parts for the rocket booster sections of the Satellite Explorer, the cockpit glass in the tiny fighters that land on the Space Base, and also for the portholes in the Space Base. All of the panel detail is raised, which is to be expected for a repop of a vintage model kit. While there wasn’t a lot of flash present, there were some minor issues with warping, and the back side of Part 14 of the Satellite Explorer (the top section with the wings) had a prominent sink hole on the outer section.

The Space Base has 54 parts, including the stand (which I didn’t use because I was planning on hanging the model from the ceiling) and the Satellite Explorer has 19 parts. There are two additional parts on the sprue for the Satellite Explorer that aren’t used.

The fit on some of the parts is abysmal. I spent quite a bit of time filling seams and sanding on the Space Base, trying to get the inner and outer sections of the ring to look decent. The Space Base is molded in upper and lower halves, and the seams run straight through the middle of the kit, right where everyone can see them. I didn’t use the portholes, but used a toothpick to paint the engraved areas flat black.

The Satellite Explorer parts fit together a little better, and I only had to clamp the Stage 1 parts for a short time. One benefit is that the large fins mounted on Stage 1 actually cover about 50% of the seam between the halves. One of the biggest worries is trying to keep the parts “in the round” as you attempt to attach the assembled halves to Part 6 (the base). The base on mine was slightly warped, so one side has a tiny bit of the seam that was a royal pain to fill and sand smooth. The Satellite Explorer stages can be glued together if desired. The fit on my kit was tight enough that I can separate the stages if I want to, then just wiggle them back together into the full stack.

The kit decals are printed in register and reacted well to Micro-Set. Aside from the two American flags that are applied to Stage 1 of the Satellite Explorer, the rest of the decals are black.

I was going to airbrush the kit with Tamiya acrylic white after I primed it with light-gray sandable auto primer, but I decided on the spur of the moment to leave the whole thing light gray. I know that most “real space” items are painted white for visibility, but I wanted something different, so I went with a gray/black/gold paint scheme. I sealed everything with Future, applied the decals, another coat of Future to seal the decals, and finally a spray can coating of Testor’s DullCote to finish off the kit.

The completed Space Base has a diameter of 9 inches and a height of about 3 inches, not including the stand. The Satellite Explorer is 15 inches high when standing on its four landing pads, and has a wingspan of about 8.5 inches.

If you’re willing to deal with the fit issues and don’t mind the whole fill/sand/fill/sand routine, you can have fun with this set. It’s nice to see it back on the shelves, and it might make for some nice kitbashing fodder for other concepts that the builder might want to try.



Review by: Rich “Lonewolf” Dula

Entry created: February 5, 2012
Comments: 0 | Rating (1-5): -- No rating -- | MSRP: $29.95

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