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Star Explorers 1950's-inspired 'retro' rocket Kit

GreenStrawberry 1/350 Star Explorers 1950's-Inspired 'Retro' Rocket Kit Build Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2018 Manufacturer GreenStrawberry
Subject Star Explorers 1950's-inspired 'retro' rocket Kit Scale 1/350
Kit Number DP05 Primary Media Resin, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice kit Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $40.95 w/free shipping

Build Review

For a look at this kit out of the box, look here.

When I saw this kit, I knew I had to give it a try. The design is so retro, inspired by the science fiction rockets of the 1950s, which were, in turn, inspired by the V-2. Unlike the V-2, this design has only three fins instead of four, and the fight control surfaces are only on the fins, they don't extend into the rocket engine plume as they did with the V-2. While the paint job on the box art was interesting, I wanted to try a different retro paint scheme. First, I need to build the model.

As I mentioned in the first-look, the kit consists of eight resin parts, plus some photo-etch that weren't used here. The instructions indicated that there were three resin astronaut figures (in 1/350th) included, but they weren't in my box. No matter, I removed the casting blocks from the parts and cleaned-up the glue joints. While the main fuselage has mounting points for the three fins, one wasn't smooth like the other two, which required clean-up. I used the Sujiborido file to plane down the surfaces flat and smooth. It turned out that all three mounting points had a slight curve in their surfaces (which followed the contour of the fuselage. The fins' mounting points had a slight concave curve to match up with the fuselage, but that prevented using a flat surface (or the file) to clean up the remnants of the casting blocks. I simply filed the surfaces all flat and no more issues there.

Star Explorers 1950's-inspired 'retro' rocket Kit

I assembled the model with cyano (leaving off the flight control surfaces until later), cleaned the model of any remaining chemicals/solvents, and then primed the model with Mig One-Shot Black primer. After masking the leading edges of the fins, I shot the model with Tamiya Titanium Gold, then masked off the fuselage for Tamiya Flat Red. The flight control surfaces were painted with Mig One-Shot White primer and glued into place. The base of the rocket motor and the inside of the engine bell were painted Tamiya German Gray, with the bell getting Tamiya Flat Aluminum and Tamiya Metallic Gray.

Star Explorers 1950's-inspired 'retro' rocket Kit

I wanted to have a suitable display base for this model, and I had previously prepared and painted the Greenstrawberry Space Dock Display Pad for this purpose.

This was a fun project that didn't take much time and was very different from the other projects currently on my bench. The only note I would offer is that the model is very top-heavy being resin and having three 'feet' close to the centerline. If I were to do this again, I would add three landing pads in pods mounted at the ends of the fins to provide a more stable footprint. I may just get this model back on the bench and make that modification. We'll see...

This kit is available from HobbyZone USA.

My sincere thanks to HobbyZone USA for this review sample!