There's a fascinating kitbashing project using Glencoe's 1:48
Explorer I launch vehicle. You combine parts from two of the kits with
Revell-ogram's 1:48 Mercury spacecraft to model the Mercury-Redstone
launch vehicle. I've seen this model, and the results were spectacular!
Les Dorr, Jr.
rec.models.scale, 2 December 1994
The following is from the IPMS Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4.
It's excerpted from The View from Space City by Michael
J. Mackowski (used with his permission...):
The Glencoe kit is a fairly accurate reproduction of the
Jupiter-C (actually, for the satellite launches, Juno 1
was the official name), but appears to be a scale foot (1/4th inch)
too long in the cylindrical booster sections. In the kit, the topmost
portion of the rocket (just below the conical fairing) is an equipment
section. Although the booster for the manned flights was essentially
the same as for the Jupiter/Juno launches, a longer pressurized
instrument section was used. This results in a longer overall length
between the base of the rocket and the payload separation plane. The
result is shown in the accompanying sketch:
The modeler needs to cut off the top of the kit booster, which is
unique for the Jupiter-C, and add another piece from a second
kit. This added section becomes the instrument section of the
Mercury-Redstone. The cut line on the Jupiter-C is
where a seam should actually be for that version's mating line between
the satellite and the booster, but this line is not shown on the kit.
The cut should be made 1/8th inch below the vent fairings. This will
result in the joint being right at the bottom of the black-and-white
paint pattern on the equipment section of the Mercury-Redstone, so
practically no filling will be needed. This added section can be cut
from almost anywhere on the second kit, but to make the best use of
existing panel lines, I suggest using the bottom of the lower kit
booster section (parts 12L and 12R). On the real rocket this is a 147
inch long piece, which scales to 3 1/16th in 1/48th.
The actual diameter of the booster is exactly 70 inches, but measuring
the kit, it comes up two inches oversize. The base of the Mercury is
74.5 inches, and the Revell kit scales out very closely. There is a
conical adaptor on the rocket that fairs in this difference, and this
makes up the top 14.2 scale inches (0.3" in 1/48th) on the rocket.
The difference in diameters scales out to about 0.052 inches. A thin
sheet of 0.025" or 0.030" styrene can be used to simulate this. File
or sand it to a taper before wrapping it around the top of the
Mike is working on a SIM book about the Mercury Program, and is
especially interested in getting details of this conical adaptor
section. If you have any more details or information, please email
him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Weeks built an award-winning model of Alan Shepard's
Mercury-Redstone vehicle using the Monogram issued Mercury capsule and
the Glencoe Jupiter C kits. To see how he did it, click on this link