Kit preview of New Ware's NOTS(nik) conversion for the Tamiya F4D Skyray.

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New Ware's NOTS Conversion Preview

By Art Krull - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/48 - about 1.5"/4cm long when built
Parts: 10 resin
Instructions: 1 double sided sheet
Decals: 1 small water slide sheet (silkscreened); markings for the F4D that carried the rockets
Molding Quality: 10 Beautiful molding!
Detail: 9 - The rocket has simple shapes without much detail. What detail is there is very good
Accuracy: 9 - Reasonable for the scale
MSRP: $15.00 USD (~17.10 EUR) available from New Ware Models
Overall Rating: 9+

[Box art]

In the late 1950's, the US initiated a number of largely independent space programs. The US Navy's Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake, CA, secretly conducted tests of an air-launched rocket called NOTSnik (a not so subtle play on Sputnik).

[Click to enlarge]


^The rocket's body consists of two parts

[Engine bell]

^ The four small engine bells are crisply cast and defect-free.

The goal was to orbit a small (2 pound) satellite. Six rockets were launched. Although not likely, two might have successfully reached orbit.

New Ware's kit is listed as a conversion for Tamiya's 1/48th scale F4D Skyray. I think it can be thought of as an ordnance kit. It is simply the rocket which attaches to one of the plane's pylons like a drop tank.

The rocket has ten beautifully cast resin parts. No bubbles to found on any of the parts. I was especially impressed with the four tiny, delicately molded engine nozzles. By the nature of the subject, there isn't much surface detail.

The rocket appears to be accurate in shape based a couple photos I've seen. It is more accurate then the Peter Alway drawings in my opinion. Getting the calipers out, I found the kit's dimensions to be very good. Those dimensions that I could check, where well within .01". I'm not really that anal, but I couldn't resist checking. Above all, the kit LOOKS like a NOTSnik rocket!

Also included is a set of decals for the carrier aircraft. It has aircraft numbers and 'CHINA LAKE' markings appropriate for the Skyray. These are to be used with the stencils and national insignia decal Tamiya provides.

The instructions have good painting and marking directions based, I think, on a photo of the chase plane.

There aren't a lot references on the NOTSnik, but there are some. I would recommend checking out (or even joining) the Yahoo space-modelers groups at Notsnik has been the subject of discussion on this group and there is some useful reference info in the vault archives.

Assembly looks pretty straight forward. The only tricky part appears to be cleaning up and installing the engine nozzles in the correct place and angle.

All in all, I nice simple little add-on to the Tamiya Skyray. If you looking for an excuse to buy the Skyray (a sweet kit in it's own right - Ed.), this little rocket kit is it.

Many thanks to Art's wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 2000+ readers a day? Contact us!

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