Revell 1/110 'Everything is Go!' (Atlas Booster with Mercury Capsule) Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2012||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||Atlas Booster with Mercury Capsule||Scale||1/110|
|Kit Number||1833||Primary Media||164 parts (163 in grey styrene, 1 cloth patch)|
|Pros||"Diorama in a box" with ground support equipment and numerous optional positions||Cons||Early 1960s kit somewhat generic and details soft due to small scale|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
In the early 1960s Revell was hitting its zenith and some of the neatest models produced were their H-18xx missile series. Many of them came with ground support equipment and even figures so they could produce a nice “set-up” or “display” - nobody used the term “diorama” in those days. One of the most popular was their well-timed orbital Mercury set that was released in 1962 to honor John Glenn’s first orbital mission.
The model came with a modified Atlas launch vehicle, a Mercury capsule with astronaut, the mobile erector/transporter trailer with bracket to attach it to the launcher, fuel and oxidizer trailers, a truck tractor, and other ground support and test equipment. It all centered on a large (about 15" long which was huge for the time) launch position similar to those found at Cape Canaveral (but missing the gantries we all soon noted on the actual launching pads used for the missions).
This kit has been re-released several times over the years and this particular version was re-released in 1998 to commemorate John Glenn’s return to space onboard one of the missions flown by the shuttle Discovery. As such it adds a special “collector’s patch” (made in Taiwan!) for that occasion, and the kit currently goes for $125 or so on eBay or from kit collectors. (I got this one for $15 so “prices may vary”.)
As it comes with a plethora of parts it is nice that for this re-release Revell-Monogram used the original 1962 directions with only minor changes to the painting directions and an update blurb on Glenn’s second space mission. But the original came in multiple colors of plastic whereas the re-release is only in medium grey.
For some reason best known to their engineers Revell seems to have preferred an odd scale of around 1/108 (1 inch equals 9 feet) for many of their kits in this period such as this one and Atomic Power Plant among others. As a result it becomes a stand-alone model as it is incompatible with most other kits which were 1/48 or 1/96 (and the new 1/72 ones from DML).
The kit is somewhat better detailed than its contemporaries such as the Monogram 1/128 US Missile Power set or their 1/192 space orbiter launchers. The Atlas launcher consists of eight parts – rocket bells, bulkhead, sides, fuel bleed pipe and adapter. The booster cannot be separated from the main body. The capsule consists of another 10 parts to include a Glenn figure but is so tiny there is minimal detailing, and the only way you can see the figure is to leave the capsule body separate. Detail on the escape tower is sketchy and the parts are quite heavy.
The ground support equipment consists of a test stand, generic 10-wheel truck tractor, “gasoline” tanker trailer, liquid nitrogen trailer, and the mobile erector/transporter trailer (called a “booster trailer” in the directions). The latter is rather complex (especially for the early ‘60s) and parts are of necessity somewhat heavy. Note that this trailer was only for the unfueled missile and could not support a fueled and ready missile.
The next few steps in the directions cover the loading ramp and launcher pad base building assembly, which is also complex. There are numerous platforms and ladder stages to be assembled and as many are hard to reach the directions call out basic painting directions. Finally it notes that there is a garage built into the pad as well as other fittings for the fuel and oxidizer pass-through for loading and fueling. Once the basic parts are completed there are numerous small details to be added to include a traffic light shaped signaling light, fire extinguishers, work benches, fire hose nozzles and stand pipes (around the deflector and flame wash assembly) and other details.
The last step calls out final assembly, where a total of 12 subassemblies are snapped or placed together to complete the model.
Other than the astronaut figure no figures are provided with this model.
A decal sheet is included with “instrument panel” markings, stripes for the ramp and launcher platform, fuel and flammable warnings, and markings for “Friendship 7", Glenn’s capsule.
Overall this is another great nostalgia kit and at least a re-release (probably in the $25-30 range this time out) at least avoids having to pay kit collector prices.
- ‒ 35 Missile body, railings, wheels for GSE, capsule and astronaut
- ‒ 27 Platform top, interim platform, bracing
- ‒ 36 Interim platform bracing, ends, details
- ‒ 6 Platform base, sides, ends, braces
- ‒ 59 GSE, erector, detail parts
- ‒ 1 Souvenir patch