1965 Revell 1/24 Gemini
Since I was a kid, I have been a space program junkie! Mercury, Gemini, Apollo! We all wanted to be astronauts! I "drank the Tang"!
The Gemini step to the moon is a bit unsung. So many technologies and learnings came out of this program, not just for Apollo, but for future space exploration; among them to name a few:
-Long term space flight and it's affect on the body.
-Rendevous/docking with/to other spacecraft.
-Spacewalking, maneuvering and work in space (EVA).
-Development and testing of space suits.
I also wanted to build this old Revell kit for a long time. I finally found one for a good price on eBay, and went a bit further with after market astronaut figures (Shapeways), Gemini Detail Set (3D printed replacement parts from RealSpace Models) and The Ultimate Gemini Decal Set (Space Model Systems).
My build and upgrades reflect the spacecraft versions for missions GT 5, 6 and 8-12. Missions 1-4 had closely spaced black thermal tape running the thickness of the retro rocket and equipment sections. On later missions the spacecraft was covered with velcro patches (black pill shapes on the white, white pill shapes on the black capsule) to aid the EVA astronaut on spacewalks and working outside.
The 3D prints for the astronauts came from Shapeways, designed by Hans Grueter. While the print for the pilot was a bit rough and difficult to detail, it has a helluva better look than the "aliens" that come with the kit. The print of the EVA astronaut is a lot smoother with excellent detail. The only issue I had with him is the thruster arms on his hand held maneuvering unit kept breaking off. I replaced them with a piece cut from a paper clip and actually like it better.
The Detail Kit from RealSpace Models replaces the nose, window alcoves, thrusters on the middle or retro rocket module. I did not like the horizon sensor and stuck with the kit provided piece. This is just forward of the cockpit on the port side of the capsule. I also kept the kit provided thrusters for the bottom edge of the equipment section as the 3D prints had poor detail.
The kit molded surface detail on the retro rocket and equipment module sections is raised but super faint. A kit reengineering if it were to ever happen would be amazing to recess this detail. I was happy to have the detail kit and upgraded decals. Ultimately they put a nice shine on this turd.
The detail in the cockpit left a bit to be desired, mostly decals. Some raised buttons, I dabbed silver and amber on. The side walls in there were smooth with decals only. didn't like that. I cut out the side instrument panels from an old 1/32 scale F-15 that "dove to the hardwood" some time ago, glued and puttied them in there for a bit more texture.
Note in my gallery, I have included reference photos and some progress shots in addition to the completed model. I'm a bit of an accuracy nut and do this with every kit I build. Note the cradle the capsule rests on is from an old 1/48 Testors U-2 kit! The stand that came with the kit is too flimsy to hold the model. Ultimately, this will dwell from the ceiling, cockpit facing the floor.
I hope you enjoy the visual journey as much as I enjoyed the build!