The US Airfix VOSTOK Model Kit

This is a 1979 US Airfix VOSTOK (ВОСТОК) kit that I got on Ebay. They normally went for around 100 EUR when I bought it, but if you are willing to wait for a while you can get it much cheaper (I did).

I guess a lot opf people buy such old kits to stash them in their collection, but see no meaning in that, so I built this one, and if you are willing to put in a little effort, it looks pretty impressive on a display stand.

The kit actually contains parts for three different configurations of the СЕМЁРКА (Semyorka) launch system: the СПУТНИК 1 (Sputnik 1), the ВОСТОК (Vostok), and the СОЮЗ (Soyoz). You can buld all three of the payloads and attach each of them to the launch system without using any glue, so you can change the display later, if you like to. I decided to just build the СПУТНИК configuration, though.

The kit was probably marketed as a ВОСТОК kit, because Gagarin's flight — the first man in space — still was one of the most famous space endeavors in those days.

The kit looks like a typical model kit from the 1970's, maybe a little bit messier than I remember. There is a single plastic bag containing all of the parts. Most of them are attachted to sprue and there is a lot of flash (extra material) around the parts — a little but more, even, than I remember in a typical kit of that time.

With the parts unpackaged, the flash can be seem more distinctly. Some parts have detached from the sprue, maybe due to handling, maybe because they were not firmly attached in the first place. If you take into account that there are parts for three different configurations here, the kit is quite simple. The challenge is in making the parts fit.

I do not remember the kits of the 1970's fitting that poorly and I build quite a few Airfix kits back then. Maybe the US branch had different quality standards?

As anticipated the kit builds rather quickly. Most of the parts can be fitted by taping them while the glue bonds. For the finish I used glossy cream white, aluminum, and glossy ferrari red for the inside of the engine nozzles.

Here are some pictures of the finished model.

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