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Voyager Space Probe

Hasegawa 1/48 Voyager Space Probe Build Review

By Chuck Holte

Date of Review November 2013 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Voyager Space Probe Scale 1/48
Kit Number 54002 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Good fit, excellent assembly and painting instructions Cons None noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $38.00

Background

Two Voyager Space Probes were launched in 1977 to document their "Grand Tour" of our solar system and beyond.  The 1,600 pound Voyager payload, built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, was launched on 5 Sep 77 from Cape Canaveral, Florida atop a Titan-Centaur booster. Voyager, traveling at up to 38,000 miles per hour, completed is assigned mission in our solar system and is now racing into interstellar space. Several of the onboard mission systems are still collecting data and sending it back to earth.  The "energizer bunny" of space probes is now more than 11.6 billion miles from earth and has traveled deeper into space than any other man-made object.

Build Review

The editor's first look at this kit can be found here.

I typically model in smaller scales, but couldn't resist building one of  the most unique and fascinating space probes of our time, even if it had to be in 1/48 scale.  I found the kit to be well engineered, accurate and relatively easy to assemble.  The black and white, eight page, 12 step instructions are in English and Kanji and identify the various mission systems by name.  Two of the 12 pages contain nice six-view drawings of the spacecraft with painting instructions.  Decals were not included (or needed).

I mostly followed the recommended modular instruction process.  Several aftermarket manufacturers offer PE sets to replace some of the more intricate, but solid molded parts, such as the instrument boom and the long magnetometer boom.  I elected to use the Eduard PE set # 48761, which I think made a significant improvement in the appearance of the finished model. 

I painted most everything as I completed the modules called out on the instruction sheet using mostly rattle can Tamiya paints: Fine Surface Primer (White), Semi-Gloss Black (TS-29) and Mica Silver (TS-76).  Final assembly proceeded according to the instruction plan with the delicate PE boom and mast saved for the last steps.  I used small diameter brass rods to replace the kit's long wire antenna parts.

Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe

Conclusion

This was an interesting and enjoyable build. I didn't find any problems with the kit as provided, but I think the aftermarket PE sets really make a difference in the final appearance of the model.  Highly recommended for real-space model fans.

Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe Voyager Space Probe

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