Kit preview of R/M's Guss Grissom Commemorative.

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In-Box Preview: Monogram's Gus Grissom Memorial Combo

By Ananda S. - images & text © 2000

Scale: 1:48 (Mercury capsule is 6.25" long, Gemini capsule is 4.75" long)
Parts: 144 injection-molded grey plastic on 4 sprues, 1 clear flexible plastic strip for windows
Instructions: 6 pages, line art and text, paint guide
Decals: Waterslide, 12 pieces on 1 sheet
Molding Quality: 8/10 Crisp, very little flash
Detail: 8/10 Excellent for this scale; very clear details (be extra careful with solvent-based glues!)
Accuracy: 8/10 - some details are simplified, and exact details for Grissom's flights may be incorrect.
MSRP: $12-14 USD, available at most well-stocked hobby shops.
Overall Rating: 8/10 If you like small real-space models, this one's a winner

[Box Top]

I got this one for my husband as part of his Christmas present. The box illustration -- especially the two collectors patches! -- make it look a bit cheesy, like a kids-only kit. But then I started looking at the fine print on the box. The copyright date on the box is 1999, so maybe it would be a kit he hadn't built before. The paint list includes 14 colors, so I reasoned there had to be more detail in the kit than showed up on the box. The next column confirmed that: 144 pieces for the two capsules!


^ Detail on most of the parts is quite good.

[Closeup of an instrument panel]

^ Close-up of an instrument panel. while simplified, it's not bad - especially considering the age of this tooling!
What You Get

This kit is a reissue of the Revell kit that's been around for ages (last released in 1996). My husband had recently assembled a Gemini kit that was poorly done, and so he was ready for another of the same quality. When the box was opened, he was impressed with the level of detail of this kit. The instructions are six pages of line art diagrams and text. The diagrams show the various numbered parts labeled with names that will actually teach you about the capsules. Each part that needs paint has its color indicated in the assembly diagrams.

This kit is rated at skill level 2 (of 3), but it's a high 2. The model is molded completely in grey, so it really needs to be painted. In 1:48 scale, some of the parts are pretty fragile. Some of the details are quite tiny; you'll want to get out that 18/0 miniatures brush if you're a perfectionist!

Also, perfectionists will want to note that these models are probably not completely faithful to the originals in which Grissom flew. Each mission was different; details such as hatch placement, markings, and such varied between flights. For these two capsules, Mike Mackowski's SIM #5 - Mercury and SIM #2 - Gemini are the best available modeling references. Both are available via Space in Miniature for $12 and $7.50 (USD) respecively.


This looks like a surprisingly good kit in a genre that doesn't include many new offerings. If you do real-space models, get this one.

Many thanks to Ananda's wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized? Contact us!

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