Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Revell Space Shuttle Discovery, External Tank, Solid Rocket Boosters (SBRs) and crawler

This initial post is really for Sir Hugh at who requested a photograph or two showing work in progress. More details will follow for anyone who is interested.

The Orbiter Discovery in post 1998 decals

Commomly referred to as the Space Shuttle, it is more correctly the Spaceplane or Orbiter. The whole system (Space Transport System or STS) comprising Orbiter, External Tank (ET) which holds the liquid oxygen-hydrogen fuel for  the Orbiter's main engines and the Solid Rocket Boosters (SBRs) is the 'Space Shuttle'.

The ET and one SBR

There is still some touching up to be done on the Orbiter, ET and SBR, including another coat of paint plus clear matt to be applied to the ET. The second SBR is painted and awaits decals. I haven't started the Crawler - the transporter which takes the STS to the pad.

As said in the previous post, the quality of the plastic and fit on this model are both poor - not Revell's usual standard. I did what I could to rectify it but there are certainly areas which were beyond what I could do properly without buying styrene strips and doing a full repair - something I'm not sure I have the skill or knowledge to do anyway.

However, I joined the International Plastic Modeller's Society (IPMS) and went to the Scottish National Show in Perth at the end of April departing with lots of tips, not to mention various glues, tools, sanding sponges, micro brushes etc. The standard of models on display, both at competition level and in general, was extremely high and I saw several models built using kits made by Tamiya of Japan. Theses are very high quality kits so.....

I've bought Tamiya's F14A Grumman Tomcat (think film Top Gun) and Tamiya's Space Shuttle 'Atlantis'. In fact it's just the Orbiter but in incredible detail with all sorts of payloads, docking system and so on. These Tamiya models are more complex to build than Revell or Airfix - even the pilot figures for the Tomcat don't come assembled - so I'll have to up my game - especially since they are more than twice the price of Revell! They also tend to be to a larger scale.

Most people I spoke to at the show use airbrushes to paint their models whereas I hand-paint mine (for a start I don't have a small vented booth for airbrushes and I haven't a clue how to use one) but there's no doubt that with the right level of skill the finish is better than by hand, or at least by my hand.

I'll post full photos once Discovery is finished. Thereafter I plan to start a separate blog for posts regarding modelling since I'm aware that it doesn't fit well with the subject matter of this outdoor blog - not that I've posted much recently on that front which is not likely to change soon given my calf muscle injury.


  1. All very interesting. What one chooses to model is a personal choice, and for me the subject has to be something I am enthusiastic about to start with. I prefer to model something that exists in real life rather than fictional, but there again that is personal.

    I did loads of model aircraft as a teenager, and later, both flying and static like your shuttle. In recent years I had a go at model ralway, but decided I just hadn't enoufgh space to do what I wanted. - I have some photos which I will send to you when I dig them out.

    1. I look forward to the photographs Conrad.

      The only fictional model I've built is USS Voyager but of course much of what was science fiction when the series was aired is now science fact and good - emphasis on 'good' - science fiction, is an excellent way to get young people interested in science and engineering, something badly needed in this country. Someone at the Perth show had built Voyager with his daughter and introduced her to the warping of space, black holes, speed of light and so on. She loved it apparently.

      I've built Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancaster etc but never a modern aircraft so the Tomcat, though out of service, will be a change. A model railway would be an excellent project, but like you I don't have the space for something substantial.

      An aside: I'm not receiving email notifications of comments from Blogger any more. Are you having any problems? I've checked my Blogger settings and nothing has changed.

  2. I'm not sure about the emails. It has always been erratic, but I am still receiving some of them. I have all the people I comment on listed in Blogger Dashboard Rading List and usally check things out through that.