Space & Sci-Fi Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale space and science fiction vehicle models.

Mercury Redstone

Published: May 26th, 2017     
Mercury Redstone
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Horizon Models

Horizon Models, a company based in Australia has recently released another in a series of U.S. spacecraft, this one being the Mercury Redstone, item # 2004. Horizon has covered the Mercury series well with this new release, along with the earlier releases of the Mercury Capsule and the Mercury Atlas kits. And with this kit, Horizon Models announces that their coverage of the Mercury Program has been completed. Future releases will cover other launch vehicles and other programs.

If you've seen the artwork on the box top (one can Google Image the artwork) then you know that it catches the spirit and "feel" of the Mercury Redstone as it begins its journey. Paul Renwick Farley, the artist who illustrated all three of the Mercury kits, did justice to that spirit.On the reverse side of the box are three profile illustrations by Juanita Franzi of Aero Illustrations. These illustrations are an excellent resource for colors and decal placement.

U.S.S. Excelsior

Published: May 25th, 2017     
U.S.S. Excelsior
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:1000
Company: Round 2 Models

The U.S.S. Excelsior has been a Star Trek favorite for quite some time now - one of the most elegant designs ever made for the Star Trek universe. I didn't notice this at first, but the designer was strongly influenced by the 1930s Art Deco Streamline Modern style, which features rounded shapes with straight fluting - quite a retro look when you stop and think about it. I remember a friend of mine, upon first seeing the Excelsior in detail, quipped "This model isn't so much a spaceship as a fashion statement." When you look at the extensive use of piping and other fine details, it's hard not to see his point.

AMT released a model of this lovely ship quite some time ago - almost 20 years, if recollection does not betray me. As a hard-core Star Trek fan and modeler I built this kit when it first came out, and still have it in my collection today.

However, Round 2 has really done this model justice on their re-release, updating and refining the parts to give the modeler the basis for a really stunning rendition of this iconic ship. A quick review of the redesigned parts reveal:

Excelsior Aztec Decals

Published: May 18th, 2017     
Excelsior Aztec Decals
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/1000
Company: Round 2 Models

Round 2 Models has released a large 3-sheet decal set to accompany their newly revised and released U.S.S. Excelsior kit from the Star Trek series. Printed by Cartograf, these decals are commendably thin and for the most part, feature little to no carrier film to deal with. They respond quite well to MicroSol, which I used to help them conform to some of the compound curves found on the model.

These sheets actually perform two functions rather than one; first, they provide decals for virtually all of the elaborate paint scheme for this model, eliminating an incredible amount of extremely tedious masking and painting. Second, they provide surface texture in the form of tiny panels. Let me deal with these two aspects separately.

Maschinen Krieger MK 44 Ausf.B Hammerknight

Published: March 10th, 2017     
Maschinen Krieger MK 44 Ausf.B Hammerknight
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/20
Company: Hasegawa

For a long time now I have loved the look of this range of kits and have wanted to build one, so I jumped at the opportunity to build this kit. It is an excellent kit in the Hasegawa Machinen Krieger series. The kit is very easy to build as long as you watch the instruction details carefully.

In the Box

  • 11 x red sprues
  • 1 beige sprue
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 1 dark grey vinyl sprue of polycaps
  • 1 vinyl/rubber sprue
  • 1 decal sheet
  • 1 painting guide / collectors card
  • 1 instruction booklet
  • 1 small correction sheet for the instructions

All the sprues are extremely well molded with no flash and great detail. The decals allow you to finish the Mk 44 in many different ways. The painting guide shows 4 more, and 2 more on the back of the box.


Assembly begins with the feet and legs in steps 1 thru step 11. These are moveable due to the use of the vinyl polycaps in each joint. Construction of the legs and feet was very simple with no issues, and the parts fit nicely.

British Secret Projects 5: Britain's Space Shuttle

Published: February 17th, 2017     
British Secret Projects 5: Britain's Space Shuttle
Author: Dan Sharp
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Crecy Publishing, Ltd.

Dan Sharp studied history at the University of Liverpool and has worked as a writer and editor since 1998. As a hobby he began doing primary source research that has resulted in quite a few historical aviation books. These include Cold War - Sex, Spies and Nuclear Missiles (2013), Messerschmitt Me 262: Secret Projects and Experimental Prototypes (2013), Messerschmitt Bf 109: Secret Projects and Experimental Prototypes (2013), Dueling Above the Trenches - Sopwith Aircraft of the Great War (2014), D-Day Operation Overlord and the Battle for Normandy (2014), Luftwaffe Secret Jets of the Third Reich (2015), Spitfires Over Berlin (2015), The Hated Volksjager: Histories of the Heinkel He 162 (2015), and Luftwaffe - Secret Bombers of the Third Reich (2016). Dan Sharp currently lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.