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MIR Space Station
S u m m a r y
|Contents:||33 parts in white styrene, three pots of paint, one paintbrush|
|Price:||Unknown at this time.|
|Advantages:||All-inclusive contents (paint and brush, no glue required); nicely detailed; simple construction; easy to follow instructions; nice history supplied.|
|Disadvantages:||Some delicate parts; paint tubs unstable with lids off.|
|Recommendation:||Great project for junior modellers ready for the next step, or as the basis of a superdetailing project for more experienced hands.|
B a c k g r o u n d
Mir is the longest surviving space station in history. Despite its chequered career with collisions, power failures, a fire and other setbacks, the Mir conglomerate provided 13 years of valuable service between 1986 and 1999. Mir is, in fact, made up of six separate modules - the core Mir module, Kvant 1 launched in 1987, Kvant 2 (1989), Kristall (1990), Spektr (1995) and finally the Priroda module in 1996.
Its technical achievements were only rivaled by its role in bridging the gap between East and West via joint scientific projects by the USSR and the United States during the closing stages of the Cold War.
Revell-Monogram's 1/144 MIR Kit
Revell have offered this 1/144 model in "SnapTite" format. It is supplied in 33 white styrene parts. Paint for all three recommended colours (silver, red and blue) is supplied. A paintbrush is also included. No glue or decals are required for this kit.
This kit is labeled as suitable for ages 8 and up.
I gave the Mir to my 16-year-old nephew, Shaun, to build. He has already built a few kits - cars, planes and one science fiction model. He built this kit entirely without assistance.
Shaun said that the kit was simple to build. He understood the instructions and followed the nine-step building sequence.
The main shortcoming of the kit, particularly for younger modellers, is the delicacy of completed components. Most of the Arrays are movable. This is an admirable feature but the small diameter, soft plastic rods connecting the Arrays are easily bent or broken. Shaun found that he had to exercise caution to ensure that he did not break these parts off during construction.
The paint tubs suffered a terrible accident. Shaun's older brother tipped the contents of the unstable tubs over when all the lids were off. Shaun said that there seemed to be plenty of paint - especially when viewed spilt on his bench! As a consequence the model remains unpainted.
R-M thoughtfully provide a picture of star-filled space on the back of the box - ideal as a backdrop for the completed model.
Some repairs were necessary to the kit after Shaun's mother transported the assembled Space Station in a plastic shopping bag! Mothers - if they're not dusting then they're working out even more original ways to break off the delicate bits of models!
The repairs were made using super glue. This bond is likely to be more robust anyway.
C o n c l u s i o n
Shaun is happy with the finished product. He says that it looks better than he expected. Indeed, the detail is better than one might expect on a typical Snap model. It reflects the spidery and composite lines of the real thing.
Revell-Monogram has chosen a challenging subject for the SnapTite medium. Nevertheless, the kit's manageable number of parts and straightforward instructions make it appropriate for its target audience. This would be a good project for a teenager who already has built a few simple models and has the patience to move to the next stage.
However, make sure you keep the model well clear of any marauding mothers!
I am also sure that dedicated space modellers could use this kit as the basis for a very authentic super-detailing project.
Thanks to Revell-Monogram for the sample
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