Kit preview of PH Solutions' Orion Shuttle .

Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects

PH Solutions' Orion Shuttle Preview

By Jeremy Lobbezoo; Photos by Jason Beach - images & text © 2001

Scale: 1/ -24" long when assembled.
Parts: 7 resin and 1 white metal
Instructions: 3 pages-1 for tips, 1 for construction, and 1 with top, side, and bottom view drawings.
Decals: Dry transfer decals for Pan Am lettering and logo.
Molding Quality: 8 - Great! Pre-sanded; Minimal bubbles. Parts came out of the box straight.
Detail: 9 - Panel lines are straight and even. Detail is consistent over the entire model.
Accuracy: 8 - It matches pretty well with the pictures in the hardware reference section of this site and the book 2001: Filming the Future.
MSRP: ° 175 GBP retail from Comet- $315 USD. The review kit was a special order through Riderís Hobby Shop in Michigan, but the kit is also available from Comet Miniatures and Federation
Overall Rating: Excellent model! It looks like a pleasure to build. A lot of work and resin went into the kit.

[Click to enlarge]

What You Get

This is a well-packaged kit. Open the box and there is a decal sheet, the instruction booklet, and bubble-wrap around and between everything. Dig through a couple of layers of bubble-wrap and the parts start to appear. Large parts. There are four main pieces- two wings, the fuselage, and aft fuselage with engine housing. All fit together beautifully. No slop, and just a hint of tension.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Wings

[Click to enlarge]

^ Engine module

[Click to enlarge]

^ Fuselage
The wing halves are keyed to fit the fuselage, so alignment problems look pretty minimal. The pouring lugs have been sanded off of each of these parts. The detail pieces for the engines and a filler plate are the only three pieces that will require any serious sanding. The filler plate covers a section of the lower wing. The instructions suggest drilling a mounting hole where the plate goes, then using it to cover the hole when the model is off the base. The only finicky part seems to be the antenna that hangs off the tail. It would be very easy to knock this piece off while handling the model.

The parts have clean and even panel lines everywhere. There is a section on the bottom surface of the fuselage where the mold did not line up properly. It looks like this will involve a bit of filling and sanding to fix. There are no bubbles in the raised details. The only two on the model are where the wing leading edges meet the fuselage. These are easy to get at, and do not affect the detail on the model at all.

Dry transfer decals are included. I had a scan that showed them well, but it seems to have become a victim of not saving often. The decals include the Pan Am logo, Pan American and Pan Am lettering. The instruction booklet is written out. It covers assembly tips, painting suggestions and decal tips. The last page has a top, side, and bottom view of the Orion. This pretty well covers decal placement and how the parts should look when assembly is finished.

Assembly and Finish

I do not see any potential problems that could hinder assembling this model. Color separations follow pretty well defined character lines; and then it is mainly a matter of masking panels to vary the shades of white.


On the whole, this model matches documentation very well. However, the booster engines appear a bit tall when compared to drawings and photos. The leading edge of the wing has nine slightly elongated holes. This matches well with the drawing in 2001: Filming the Future. This drawing shows nine holes, all the same width. One of the pictures in the Starship Modeler hardware reference section also shows these openings. In this case, it looks like the four near the root are longer than the five at the tip. Take your pick.

Many thanks to Jeremy's generous 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!

Read other reader's reviews of this kit      Submit your own review of this kit

Go back up | 2001 Index Page | Starship Modeler Home | Site Map | Feedback

This page copyright © 2001 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 5 April 2001.