Dragon 1/48 CZ-2E (Chang Zheng 2)






One vehicle


Scott Van Aken




Those of you who keep track of the current situation regardingthe exploration and exploitation of space know that one of the most ambitiousspace programs in recent years has been that of the Chinese. Late in enteringthe forum, the Chinese, with technical assistance from the US as well as othercountries, have been doing very well. They have a successful and reliable launchvehicle that is capable of lifting substantial weight into earth orbit. This hasallowed them to become players in the lucrative market of launching satellites.

Their current launch vehicle is the Chang Zheng 2. It follows inthe mode of Russian and French rockets in that it has a main core withsurrounding boosters. This set up allows the use of the core rocket to be usedwith different booster configurations. It is with a similar rocket that theChinese hope to soon begin manned missions. 


I have always had an interest in rockets, though not that much in buildingthem. A few sci-fi types have managed to cross my bench in the last few years,but no actual types have ever made it to the construction stage. I had a chanceto pick up this kit earlier this year and did so. It comes in a huge box as any$40 model should!

The real surprise came when I opened it. Inside, I found that the main rocketbody and boosters were made of preformed material. No need to cement body halvestogether. Furthermore, the main body is designed in sections that fit intocollars. This means that it can be disassembled if you want to move it. This isgood news as the completed kit would seem to stand over a meter tall!

As you can see from the imageabove, most of the parts are dedicated to the rocket nozzle sections on thebottom of the kit as well as the booster attachment supports. Not shown is around stand just like the one that comes with the Dragon 1/48 Ba-349 I built a year or so ago. The longrectangular pieces are conduits that fit on the boosters and main body, some ofwhich are used for booster attachment.

The instructions are adequate for the task, showing seven constructionstages, a parts guide, painting and decal guide. Colors are referenced to Gunzepaints, but frankly, you can use any white, black, steel and silver that youwish! There is no historical section at all. The decal sheet that comes with thekit is as large as you would expect. The upper sheet is over a foot long. Itcontains all the lettering and stripes that are needed. Having used Dragondecals before, I can tell you that they should work quite well.

Overall, it looks like not only a nice kit, but one that should build ratherquickly. One thing for sure, it will use up a LOT of white paint!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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