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Revell Germany 1/144 scale SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo

Kit:04842 // Scale:1/144 // Price:$28.95
Revell Germany
Beautiful decals; optional stand and parts to display the two craft in flight or on the ground, and as one unit or two separate aircraft
Cowling and exhausts didn’t quite match the profile of the engine body
Injection-molded, 123 parts, decals
When I was a kid back in the 1950s, scientific forecasters boldly predicted commercial space travel would be common by the year 2000. That hasn’t quite panned out, but Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Co. are getting us closer with their unconventional aircraft and space vehicles. These two craft are the subject of a Revell 1/144 scale release.

Molded in white plastic, the model clearly depicts the composite material construction of the actual aircraft, with recessed panel lines only for the flying surfaces, doors, and hatches. For a 1/144 scale model, there is a lot going on: two fuselages with a long, narrow wing supporting four engines; lots of clear parts in close proximity to seams; and a spacecraft slung under the wing.

Construction is straightforward. But, given the vehicle’s configuration, I modified the build sequence to accommodate seam-filling, painting, and applying decals. First of all, I didn’t use the clear parts that came with the kit. They looked fine, but I thought coating the portholes and windscreens with clear filler would be easier and negate the need to mask those areas for painting. I used Gator Acrylic Hobby Glue to cover these openings during painting. After assembling the wing, the two fuselages, and the spacecraft, which I essentially completed as a separate model, I painted those parts. (By the way, you can build the two craft separately if you so desire.)

White can be a challenge to paint; it certainly was here. I primed the model with Alclad II gray primer, then sprayed it with Tamiya gloss white. Coverage wasn’t what I wanted, so I switched to a rattle can of Tamiya TS-26 pure white.

Engine assembly was next. My review sample was problematic, as the exhaust and cowling pieces didn’t quite match the contours of the center section.

Next, I glued all these subassemblies together by first attaching the fuselages to the wing. Fit is pretty good, but you’ll need to add filler around these seams. After sanding, I touched up flaws with Tamiya XF-1 flat white and more clear gloss. Because the engines are so close to the fuselages, I applied decals I thought would be difficult to reach later with the engines in place. Then I added the engines and filled the joints between the pylons and the wing. Again, I repainted sanded areas with flat white and gloss. This process sounds cumbersome, but I think it’s the easiest way to go.

With the subassemblies situated, painted, and decaled, I removed the white glue from the windows and applied 5-minute epoxy with a toothpick. With a bit of manipulation and holding the model upside down for a minute or so, the epoxy left smooth windows and windscreens. Finally, I added landing gear, gear doors, and antennas. There is a long data boom on the outboard side of the right fuselage that is not included in the kit.

By the way, the decals were fabulous. I had not used Syhart decals before, but they worked perfectly. Unfortunately, the most colorful markings are on the bottom of the model.

The model took me about 33 hours and looks to-scale. Despite some fit problems, anyone with a couple of kits to their credit should be able to build a neat-looking replica of these two interesting vehicles. It will definitely add something unique to your aircraft collection.

Note:  A version of this review appeared in the December 2014 FineScale Modeler.


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