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Molly Brown

[Proudly Sponsored by BLAP! Models]

Sponsored by BLAP! Models

by James Townsend

Scale: 1/48

Launched March 23, 1965, Gemini 3, aka, Molly Brown, recorded new firsts for the American manned spaceflight program. Borne aloft a Titan II missile, it was the first manned Gemini capsule launched. It was the first time 2 Americans went into space together (in this case, Gus Grissom and John Young). It was the first time an American spacecraft had ever maneuvered itself into a different orbit. And, most importantly, it was the first corned beef sandwich in space (from Wolfie's deli in Cocoa Beach…yum). Grissom named the capsule after a popular Broadway play, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, as a reference to his previous Mercury flight in which his capsule sank.

The model is a combination of the Revell 1/48 Gemini capsule and the Attic Aircraft Models Titan II kit. The capsule also got the accurizing treatment with parts from RealSpace Models to make it look more like the actual flight model. I will be frank, this project was not a joy to build. Much of the detail on the booster, including plating was crafted from sheet styrene, applied and blended into the kit body, which was basically a smooth tube. Various conduit covers on the missile were made from small plastic tube halves. New engine mounts were fashioned since the kit over-simplified them. The engine thrust structure was almost all scratchbuilt from plastic and real aluminum tube. The engine bells and fuel pumps were the only parts of the model that was supplied with the kit. I designed and built the stand myself from wood discs and dowels from a craft shop. The whole model was finished with enamel and metallic paints. Markings for the Titan II came from Tango Papa decals. The Gemini part was done up with the excellent decals from Rick Sternbach's Space Model Systems, Inc. (though I didn't know when I ordered them that I'd have to put on every single black thermal control strip individually!)

Image: Looking down

Image: From the side

Image: Closer look

Image: Lots of stripes....

Image: Engines

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This page was last updated 14 July 2009. © 2009 Starship Modeler