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Erich Goldbach
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1/144th scale New Ware Thor Able II-Tiros 1 LV

October 6, 2013 · in Aviation · · 8 · 2.1K

This is another non-AC subject I completed in the past two weeks. is a company that produces high quality all resin kits of various rocket designs. This is the first kit I have built from this company and I will say that it was a joy to build due mainly to its extremely well molded and detailed parts.

Brief Subject background:
The Thor missile program was initiated in December 1954, when USAF headquarters issued requirements for a tactical missile intended to travel a distance of between 1150 and 2300 miles. Thor was undertaken as a high-risk program having the goal of achieving flight within the shortest possible time. The Thor had its first complete launch pad test in January 1957 and a full range flight test in September 1957. The USAF and Douglas developed the Thor-Able, consisting of a Thor IRBM 1st stage and a Vanguard 2nd stage, to test heat shield performance for Atlas ICBMs then in development. After 3 flights in 1958, Thor-Able was upgraded for a lunar mission (with the addition of a 3rd solid fuel stage). The result was the Pioneer 1 lunar probe which was launched on October 11, 1958. The spacecraft failed to reach the Moon and reentered the atmosphere after 43 hours of flight. Two subsequent launches of the Pioneer system were launched, but again none of the probes reached the moon. On April 1, 1960 the Thor-Able II system delivered the first successful low-Earth orbital weather satellite, and the first of a series of television Infrared observation satellites

The kit:
In total, there are 10 cream colored resin parts: three for the main body, 4 fins, 1 exhaust nozzle stabilizer bracket, and 1 exhaust nozzle. The part had no air bubbles or warps, minimal molding seams and the fit was very good. The parts were put together with CA glue (in about 5 minutes). Any gaps remaining were filled with Mr. Surfacer 500. Following clean up of parts and seams; the model was painted with Floquil Lacquer primer grey. After the primer dried overnight, the model was lightly sanded with fine wire wool; finally an over-all white paint scheme was applied using Floquil Reefer white. Next, I applied a couple of coats of Crystal Clear as a base for the decals. There are 25 black decals to apply and they are of high quality, responded well to setting solution (Micro Set) and conformed to all panel lines and irregular parts of the model. A final coat of Floquil lacquer Flat as applied to seal the decals and the panel lines were highlighted with a fine tipped lead pencil. This was a fun kit to build and compared to my other projects; easy and fast! I will definitely be buying other kits from New Wares product line and would highly recommend these kits to novice or experienced resin builders, space enthusiast or anyone who, like me, wants a change of pace to their normal modeling endeavors.

Reader reactions:
1  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

8 responses

  1. What are the actual dimensions of the kit, Erich...there's no "common object" in your pics for reference. 🙁

  2. Nice work, Erich, especially in that small size.

  3. I too am a "rocket man", I enjoy the early space kits, especially the "future of space vehicles" kits that never made it off the drawing board. Nice work on an unusual subject. Do you build gantrys or launch pads to display your models? I haven't purchased any of the New Ware kits but your build has me "intrigued".

    • Hey Mike, glad you liked the model. Sadly I didn't build a launch scheme for the Thor. My diorama skills are in their infancy and in the past I shied away from doing them (and figures). I'm getting more comfortable doing them now so in the future perhaps I'll do a large diorama to display the entire line of Thor-type rockets and the Mercury Atlas series that New Ware also produces. Here is the link to their gallery if you are interested- lots of neat stuff in there.

  4. Great build and topic, thanks for posting!

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