Voyager Unmanned Space Probe

Published: August 24th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery - IPMS# 14003
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $22.00
Product / Stock #: SW02 54002-6
Product provided by: Hobbico

Hasegawa's Voyager is the 2nd in a series of "Science World" kits. The 1st offering in this series is the 1/72 Manned Research Submersible Shinkai 6500, an intriguing kit in its own right. For those who enjoy "real space" subjects, the release of the Voyager is a stroke of luck.

NASA launched two spacecraft during the Voyager program, known as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The actual Voyagers were almost identical, and that being the case this model can be said to represent either vehicle.

At the time of this writing, Voyager is 18,169,754,598 KM from the Earth. In the time it took to type these two sentences Voyager extended that distance to 18,169,757,539 KM. I find that stunning!

Speaking of stunning, this kit is stunning. The 1/48th scale kit contains 86 pieces, molded in black or white plastic. A display base is included, as is an Alien figure that would scale out to be about 5 feet tall. The model is held above the "earth" base on a piece of thick wire and is very sturdy and well balanced. Also included is a piece which represents the "Golden Record" that was attached to the Voyager. In fact, when the finished model is attached to the display stand the "Golden Record" is quite prominent and even has engraved lines representing the appearance of the actual "Golden Record."

Assembly

This is a challenging model. Many of the parts are quite small and construction requires considerable effort in order to avoid breaking the tubular support arms that give the Voyager its characteristic appearance.

It is important to study the kit instructions, and it is highly recommended that one follows the order of assembly laid out in that document. It is also recommended that all of the painting be accomplished prior to assembly. While it is possible to identify certain subassemblies (for example, Step 3, parts A3, A4, A8, and A9) that can be assembled and then painted, one must study the instructions with some care and thought in order to avoid difficulties down the line.

The instructions are a bit busy. That is due to the fact that each part illustrated within each step has a "call-out" number and a "paint color" number, as well as arrows indicating how the parts mate up with one another. The instructions also contain several "Be Careful" warnings, usually relating to the orientation of significant parts that can, without care and thought, be attached backwards or in the wrong location. Even if the builder studies the instructions to ascertain the proper location and orientation of the parts, the project will proceed at a slow pace. This is true due to the fact that the parts, being delicate, must be given a sufficient length of time to set up once glued into place.

One suggestion that experience allows me to make is that you should consider reaming out the socket holes into which the locating pins on various parts must fit. Prior to painting and assembly I found that the fit was very tight when some of the parts were test-fitted. Once paint has been applied. the fit becomes even tighter.

Assembly is aided considerably by the fact that the parts are virtually flash-free, and that the model can be constructed without having to worry about any seams.

Once completed, a problem that will quickly become apparent is the "wingspan" of the model. From the Infrared Spectrometer and Radiometer (the white wash-tub) on one end of the Voyager to the tip of the Low-Field Magnetometer (the long black antennae on the opposite side of the Voyager), the distance is about 15 inches. The height of the model, at its highest point, is about 7 inches.

The only disappointment in this kit is the Low-Field Magnetometer. The actual LFM was constructed with an open grid work, much like one sees on tall microwave towers. The LFM in the kit is molded as a solid piece of plastic. The instructions suggest that with careful painting the "spaces" within the LFM can be painted black while the triangular tubing structure can be painted a copper color.

This model is highly recommended because of its accuracy, detailed parts, excellent fit, and well written instructions. As an aficionado of "real space," I found this model to be very enjoyable to build, and a very nice addition to the display cabinet. At about $22, it is a remarkable model and well worth the money. Thanks to Hobbico/Hasegawa for providing this excellent product to IPMS/USA for review.

  • Sprue 1
    Sprue 1
  • Sprue 2
    Sprue 2
  • Sprue 3
    Sprue 3
  • Display stand and the Golden Record
    Display stand and the Golden Record
  • Sub-assembly 1
    Sub-assembly 1
  • Sub-assembly 2
    Sub-assembly 2
  • Sub-assembly 3
    Sub-assembly 3
  • Sub-assembly 4
    Sub-assembly 4
  • All sub-assemblies
    All sub-assemblies
  • Finished 1
    Finished 1
  • Finished 2
    Finished 2
  • Finished 3
    Finished 3
  • Finished 4
    Finished 4
  • Display base and alien
    Display base and alien
  • View of the Golden Record
    View of the Golden Record

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