Erin Lantz reviews Space in Miniature # 3 - Space Shuttle.

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Space in Miniature # 3 - Space Shuttle

By Erin Lantz - images & text © 2001

Author: Michael Mackowski
Type: Softcover, 40 pages, B&W illustrations
MSRP: $7.50 USD , available from Space in Miniature
Overall Rating: 10 - this book will help you decide which kit you want to build, and will help you build it right.

After paying $145 for one of the old Monogram Shuttle stacks in 1/72 scale at last year's IPMS Nationals, I decided that I needed perfect references for this kit! I had spent so much on it (not knowing about its re-release coming) that I wanted to make darn sure that I got it right when I built it. So, off I went in search of every source of info on the Shuttle I could find.


[Sample color guide]

[Sample page]

^Sample pages. The color/marking guides are annotated for each of the different orbiters, at least through 1992.

Of course I sent out word to all my buddies on the site that I was looking, and the flood started sooner and thicker than I ever thought possible. Everyone had something that contributed, and one of the best was this book. John Lester asked me if I'd be interested in a copy of it and I jumped all over it! I hadn't seen any of the series by Mr. Mackowski, but I had heard that they were some of the best reference for real space out there.

The book is a collection of drawings and reviews by some of the more prominent real space modelers in various IPMS chapters and/or modeler's articles that have been printed in various magazines. The book is split up into several articles about each of the available shuttle kits out there, numerous painting and decaling diagrams, charts showing comparisons of the available kits, and dozens of projects to superdetail your kit. Each article details the ins and outs of each kit and includes helpful advice on how to best build and detail your kit to achieve the perfect shuttle. Of special note are the painting diagrams that show the differences between the shuttles, these are the drawings that Revell/Monogram should have put into the instructions, in fact, this book should be in each kit!

Another feature of the book is the articles in the back covering scratchbuilding an MMU in 1/72 scale, the EVA tools used by the astronauts, and various payloads. If you're going to be putting anything in your shuttle's payload bays, these drawings are priceless. I've checked up on most of the drawings and they all check out as correct according to the thousands of books and articles that Phil Conner has sent me. He has scoured the universe for me and thanks to him and this book, I can now build in confidence.

To obtain this wonderful book, and others like it on other factual space subjects, aim your browser at the Space in Miniature website . His site includes some extra info not available in the books, and tons of links and pictures on all things real space. At $7.50, this book is a value that just can't be passed up. The available shuttle kits are all pretty bad and need work, but this book will help you decide which kit you want to build, and will help you build it right. Highly recommended - as are the rest of the SIM series.

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This page copyright © 2001 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 11 April 2001.