Category Archives: Space Models

“Space in Miniature 3.1 – Space Shuttle” : Updated reference book for modelers now available

Mike Mackowski of Space In Miniature sent me the following announcement:

Space In Miniature 3.1 – Space Shuttle is Released

Challenger model. Credits: Space in Miniature

A complete revision of the third installment of the Space In Miniature (SIM) series of reference books for spacecraft modelers is now available. This book has all the information a modeler will need to build an accurate, detailed model of the Space Shuttle. Originally published in 1990, 24 pages have been added to this soft-cover book that now features color covers. Nearly all of the original material has been updated or replaced with new drawings and articles. Due to the increased page count, a few articles have been moved to an upcoming new SIM book on Shuttle payloads.

SIM #3.1 – Space Shuttle focuses on NASA’s reusable spaceplane, featuring scale drawings showing the various thermal protection patterns used on all six Orbiters and how they evolved over the entire 30+ years of Shuttle operations. The 61-page book also includes four detailed articles on building Space Shuttle models, and seven pages of kit reviews and a list of after market parts. There are a total of 78 drawings and photographs, plus several tables and the cover photos.

This book is printed in black and white on coated paper, and is available both as a hard copy as well as a full-color pdf file. This guidebook will be a unique resource for the serious space modeler. A hard copy of SIM #3.1 – Space Shuttle sells for $12 plus shipping, while a pdf download costs $10. A combination package of both the hard copy and digital version is available for only $15 plus shipping. To order, see www.spaceinminiature. com or send an email to mike@spaceinminiature.com. The other titles in the SIM series are still available.

SIM 3.1 – Space Shuttle

Space In Miniature Tech Report 4 – Energiya Buran

Michael Mackowski of Space in Miniature sent me an announcement of his latest report:

Space In Miniature Tech Report 4 – Energiya Buran
Reference Book for Model Builders

The fourth installment in the Space In Miniature (SIM) short-form “Tech Reports” series of reference booklets for spacecraft modelers is now available. The 30-page digital publication, SIM Tech Report #4 – Energiya Buran,  describes in detail how the author, Michael Mackowski, built six different model kits of the old Soviet Union’s Energiya Buran heavy lift rocket and orbiter.

The Buran program, with its associated Energiya heavy booster, was the Soviet response to the United States Space Shuttle. The Energiya booster was only launched twice, in 1987 and 1988.

A total of six different kits in two scales are included in this book, which is loaded with over 70 photos of work in progress of the following subjects:

  • 1/288 Energiya Buran (STC Start)
  • 1/288 Energiya Polyus (STC Start)
  • 1/288 Energia Buran (Master Modell)
  • 1/144 Energia Buran (Anigrand)
  • 1/144 Buran (Rho Models)
  • 1/144 Buran (Ark)

The SIM Tech Reports cover topics that are too short or too narrow in subject matter for full length printed books. These are also distributed only as electronic (pdf) copies, which can be printed by the customer. It allows the use of color illustrations, and customers get their books via a simple download. The pdf download sells for $7.00 and is available at spaceinminiature.com.

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Check out videos of SIM projects on Michael Mackowski’s YouTube channel. It includes several videos about the Energiya Buran project, e.g.

=== Amazon Ad ===

LEGO Ideas International Space Station Building Kit,
Adult Set for Display,
Makes a Great Birthday Present
(864 Pieces)

LEGO offers new International Space Station kit

LEGO will release the International Space Station kit on February 1st. The highly elaborate kit (list price $69.99) is in the IDEAS line of models “inspired and voted for by LEGO fans”:

Packed with authentic ISS details, including a posable Canadarm2 and 2 rotating joints that coincide with 8 adjustable ‘solar panels’, this 864-piece set is a wonderful gift idea for space enthusiasts, adult LEGO fans or any experienced builder. Beautiful centerpiece This awesome LEGO spaceship model comes with a display stand, a buildable mini NASA space shuttle and 3 mini cargo spacecrafts, plus 2 astronaut microfigures to create a striking centerpiece in any room. Illustrated instructions are included, plus a 148-page booklet with fascinating ISS facts and information about the LEGO fan who created this space model kit and its LEGO designer [Christophe Ruge].

The LEGO International Space Station model kit.

The announcement on Twitter:

A skilled builder shows how it’s done”

collectSPACE says:

LEGO first announced that it was producing the International Space Station as a toy set in June 2019, after it won a fan poll in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the LEGO Ideas website. The space station received 45 percent of the more than 22,000 votes cast in a competition against three other possible sets.

The LEGO ISS got its start five years earlier, when Christoph Ruge, a LEGO and space enthusiast from Germany, first submitted his design for the space station brick-built model to the LEGO Ideas website. It qualified for a review by the LEGO team, but was rejected in 2015.

In 2018, Ruge re-entered his space station after scaling it down to match the size of the shuttle included in a winning LEGO Ideas project, the “Women of NASA” set released in 2017. (The orbiter included in the ISS set coming out Feb. 1 is similar to, but not identical to the “Women of NASA” model.) Again, LEGO’s design team did not select Ruge’s ISS to go forward, but then the anniversary vote came about.

The complete LEGO ISS kit.

More at:

LEGO ISS on display.

== Amazon Ad ==

LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309
Outer Space Model Rocket for Kids and Adults, Science Building Kit
(1900 pieces)

Gemini reference book for model builders at “Space in Miniature”

Space in Miniature (SIM) is Michael Mackowski’s website devoted to space modeling.  He  includes a series of books and reports  in which he “covers various topics in the area of building scale models of real spacecraft”. He has just released a new book about modeling Gemini spacecraft:

Building Gemini Reference Book for Model Builders is Published

Lunar Rescue Gemini. Credits SIM

The ninth installment of the Space In Miniature (SIM) series of reference booklets for spacecraft modelers is now available. This 72-page soft-cover booklet describes in detail how the author, Michael Mackowski, built nine different models of the Gemini two-person spacecraft. These include some standard NASA versions as well as some proposed Gemini variants that never made it off the drawing board.

Gemini XI with an Agena. Credits SIM

While there already is a Gemini book in the Space in Miniature series, SIM #2, that volume did not have any detailed how-to articles. The new book is loaded with over 200 photos of work in progress of the following model projects:

  • Gemini IV
  • Gemini VII
  • Gemini XI with Agena
  • Rogallo Wing Capsule
  • Manned Orbiting Lab (MOL)
  • Big G
  • Winged Gemini
  • Lunar Rescue Gemini
  • Gemini to Mars

All are in 1/48th scale except for a 1/24th scale Gemini IV and a 1/72nd scale Mars mission concept and use a variety of kits and scratch-building. This book documents those builds, including how to correct the old Revell kits, and presents a bit of background on the “lost Gemini” projects that were never built. The result is the largest SIM book to date, covering a unique collection of nine historical and theoretical Gemini models built over a span of four years.

Gemini EVA. Credits: SIM

This book is printed in black and white on coated paper, and is available both as a hard copy book as well as a full-color pdf file. This guidebook will be a unique resource for the serious space modeler. A hard copy of SIM #9 – Building Gemini sells for $12 plus shipping, while a pdf download costs $10. A combination package of both the hard copy and digital version is available for only $15 plus shipping. To order, see www.spaceinminiature.com or send an email to mike@spaceinminiature.com. The other titles in the SIM series are still available.

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See also the SIM Galleryspace modeling reference materials, and SIM Paper Models. The latter includes free instructions for the Mars Insight lander:

Insight Lander Paper Model at SIM
Insight Lander paper model at SIM.

LEGO releases Apollo 11 Lunar Lander + An ISS model wins fan vote to become official LEGO kit

LEGO now offers an NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander kit in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon:

Celebrate man’s first moon landing with this LEGO® Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander building set—developed in cooperation with NASA to mark the 50th anniversary of a historical event that captivated the world. This collectible model features a highly detailed replica of Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module, plus a depiction of the lunar surface, complete with crater, footprints and a U.S. flag. The descent stage comes with gold-colored landing pads and panels, opening camera and laser hatches, and a ladder, while the ascent stage has a detailed interior with room for 2 astronauts. Finished with an Apollo 11 Lunar Lander nameplate, this display model makes a great centerpiece for the home or office and provides a challenging and rewarding building experience full of nostalgia. Includes 2 astronaut minifigures with NASA decoration and golden helmets.

The 1000+ piece kit is aimed at advanced builders who want a display quality model and collectible. Here are some reviews:

A hobbyist-designed LEGO model of the International Space Station has also won a popular vote at LEGO IDEAS to become an official LEGO kit:

LEGO ISS Model
LEGO ISS model designed by Christoph Ruge. Credits: LEGO Ideas/Christoph Ruge

From collectSPACE:

The International Space Station has won the honor of becoming an official toy in the LEGO universe.

The orbiting outpost topped a fan vote of more than 22,000 LEGO enthusiasts to be the Danish toy company’s next real-life spacecraft to be made into a toy brick model. The space station received more than 45 percent of the votes cast — 10,438 votes to be exact — in the LEGO Ideas 10 Year Anniversary poll held May 20 through June 4 on the company’s website.

“An incredible achievement in [the] short fan vote period. It continues to show the huge desire for space and space exploration among the LEGO Ideas community,” wrote Hasan Jensen, a LEGO Ideas team member, in a blog post announcing the winner on Tuesday (June 4).

The International Space Station (ISS) model, as designed by Christoph Ruge of Germany, was up against three other set ideas that had qualified and then been passed over by the LEGO production review process. LEGO held the fan vote to mark the 10th anniversary of its LEGO Ideas website, which invites enthusiasts to propose new sets. Projects that reach 10,000 supporters are reviewed by LEGO for possible production and sale.

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LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 Outer Space Model Rocket
for Kids and Adults, Science Building Kit (1900 pieces)