1/110 Revell Redstone "S" Missile

Gallery Article by Carl Jarosz on Dec 21 2020



Here’s a piece of nostalgia for you older modelers (I’m praising you!) At the last IPMS Nationals I attended, I noticed a vendor who was selling antique kits: they were mostly complete for component parts, but without their box and/or decals and instruction sheet. I couldn’t pass this one up, as I recall I massacred such a simple build when I was a boy not quite in his teens. Alas, this one had instructions and decal sheet, but the decal film was yellowed over half a century of age, which is a common problem with such older kits. Plus it lacked the fiddly accessories that once came with the kit: control trailer; radar unit on mobile cart; and dinky looking men figures that were impossible to paint except with paint brush with but a single hair. My long lost youth was rekindled for a short time building this piece of history (the kit base has “1958” molded on it).

The kit was representative of Revell quality as a model maker in the post-WWII period: parts fit very well with barely any putty required; missile detail included raised rivets and panel lines; decal sheet had typical markings for the period in question; instruction sheet was on the childish side (it was intended for youngsters), but complete with proper location shown, plus the parts were all accurately numbered, on plastic part and instruction sheet.

The above said, I now had to improvise, i.e. salvage this relic. As the missile parts were all present and went together with minimal effort, I knew the decals would be the drawback. First, considering their age, I immediately applied a liberal layer of Microscale Decal Film: without this, the decal would crumble into little pieces once it felt warm water. While this would preserve the integrity of the decal, it still would not eliminate the degree of yellowing present. Nothing could! What I did to minimize it, however, was cut as closely to the edges of the decal as possible. Once applied to location, several coats of decal set were required. Note: Not all decal set solutions are equal – I had to break out Ammo/Mig Decal Fix to finally get the decal edges to lay down. On a final note, I could have gotten someone who could create decals on special sheets and, with a computer, to generate scale letters, numbers, etc., but I don’t know any such person.

I also used a bit of modeler’s liberty in adding flair to the model markings: 1) I viewed several photos of the Redstone in the 1950s, and they all had variation in markings; 2) not all decals on the sheet would have worked, e.g. a straight piece of decal (kit decals) will not warp around a tapered surface, with full width in contact with the surface, and meet at the same starting point after going around the circumference! I had to use Tamiya’s narrow elastic masking tape, lay out, and paint for such lines.

Carl Jarosz

Photos and text © by Carl Jarosz