Horizon Models 1/72 Mercury Redstone

KIT #: 2004
PRICE: $44.95 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2017 release. Includes photo etch


TProject Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States running from 1959 through 1963. An early highlight of the Space Race, its goal was to put a human into Earth orbit and return the person safely, ideally before the Soviet Union. Taken over from the U.S. Air Force by the newly created civilian space agency NASA, it spanned twenty unmanned developmental missions involving test animals, and successful missions completed by six of the seven Mercury astronauts.

The program took its name from the wing-footed, fleet god of travel in Roman mythology, and is estimated to have cost $1.73 billion (current prices) and to have involved the work of 2 million people. The astronauts were collectively known as the "Mercury Seven", and each spacecraft was given a name ending with a "7" by its pilot.

After a slow start riddled with humiliating mistakes, the Mercury Project gained popularity, its missions followed by millions on radio and TV around the world. Its success laid the groundwork for Project Gemini, which carried two astronauts in each capsule and perfected space docking maneuvers essential for lunar travel, and the subsequent Apollo Moon-landing program announced a few weeks after the first manned Mercury flight.


This kit completes Horizon Models' Mercury program offerings. You get their excellent Mercury capsule kit combined with a new tool Redstone lower stage. There is also photo etch for both parts of the kit.

The Mercury kit is on a  single large sprue that includes not only a display stand but also the body of the 'boiler plate' version. Each capsule is built up around a central core section that mounts onto the heat shield. There are three 'fuselage' sections that are attached. There is a launch tower made of three support pieces that are glued together and atop that is a five piece rocket pack that consists of two halves and three nozzles. A spike fits atop that. While the kit includes a retrorocket pack, that and the display stand will be superfluous to this build.

The rest of the kit contains two identical sprues for the body of the Redstone rocket. This consists of an upper and lower section which are mated at final assembly. The photo etch for this section is mainly used for braces and some small stand-offs. You'll need to drill some holes for the latter, but nothing that is too difficult. A launch stand is also included.

Instructions are superbly done with a lot of detail information. There are four distinct markings options provided. Two of them are germane for the four unmanned flights, while the others are for the Freedom 7 and Liberty 7 that carried Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. An addendum sheet is provided to replace the too skinny markings on the main sheet. The decals are superbly printed and the placement diagrams are quite extensive to ensure that you get the very best representation of the mission you are modeling. 


If you are a real space modeler and especially if you concentrate your efforts on manned missions, then this is a kit you should get. If you want to see something like the Gemini program done, then I encourage you to show your support.



Copyright ModelingMadness.com All rights reserved.

May 2017

Thanks to Horizon Models for the preview kit. You can get yours direct from this link.

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