|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Redstone rocket was named for the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama where it was developed. The Redstone family of rockets consisted of a number of American ballistic missiles, sounding rockets and expendable launch vehicles operational during the 1950s and 1960s. The first member of the Redstone family was the PGM-11 Redstone missile, from which all subsequent variations of the Redstone were derived. Those familiar with the German V-2 will quickly realize that this is basically an improved V-2, and it should not be that surprising as many of the German scientists who worked on the V-2 were also heavily involved in the Redstone project. The Juno 1 version of the Redstone launched Explorer 1, the first U.S. orbital satellite in 1958 and the Mercury-Redstone variation carried the first two U.S. astronauts into space in 1961.
Interestingly, the Saturn I and IB were basically clusters of Redstone boosters around a central core. The Sparta was the name given to a series of surplus Redstone missiles with two solid-fuel upper stages launched as part of a joint US-UK research project with Australia from 1966–67. Sparta launched Australia's first Earth satellite, WRESAT.
This kit is just as superbly molded as their previous offerings. This one provides you the opportunity to make one of three distinctive rockets; a standard Redstone IRBM, a Jupiter C with Explorer, and the Sparta that launched WRESAT.
There are four sprues consisting of two identical pairs. The largest two are for the booster section and the launching stand. The other two provide the various upper stages as all three are quite different. There is also a photo etch fret that is very nicely done. This fret includes the various antennas used by the Explorer offering and the WRESAT. It also provided detail for the launch stand.
The Jupiter C requires some holes to be drilled for external antennas and the instructions provide the exact location for those. Probably the easiest to build is the Redstone IRBM in overall olive drab with the Sparta a close second. The Sparta is in an overall white with a black nose cone and upper sections in aluminum. The most complex is the Jupiter C as it has the exposed Explorer section that uses the X shaped antennas. It also uses the most decals and requires the fins and very lowest fusealge section to be painted in alternate black and white sections.
Instructions are superb and provide all the detail and colors you need to complete the rocket of your choice. The fairly large decal sheet has been printed my Microscale so you know the quality is there for you.
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