The 1:100 scale kit is moulded mostly in white styrene. Some parts are chrome-plated, and there are three clear components. The model can be built not only as a Vostok launcher, but also as the launcher for earlier, uncrewed craft, in this case Sputnik 2. However, more of that later.
The paperwork includes new instructions, but the booklet and decals are reproductions from the original kit.
The original MPC kit, as issued in 1970 (below). Note the title, ‘Russian Vostok RD-107’. The box emphasises the build to fly option, now mostly omitted. The text at top right, ‘First time ever to be in scale model kit’ (sic), is incorrect. Apart from the slightly dubious English, Airfix beat MPC to the market by one year.
I have a slight connection with this kit as I advised Round 2 on up-to-date rocket details, including the colour scheme.
White display versions usually have red CCCP and Vostok (or rather the Cyrillic ‘BOCTOK’) markings, and the kit supplies decals for these, should you wish to go down this route. Grey-finish flight versions have no prominent markings.
The central core and booster ends (below) should be painted bright silver.
Basically a decent kit of this Soviet-era space launcher, and the only injection kit to 1:100 scale, usefully larger than the 1:144 scale Airfix version.
Parts: 102 (plus eight not used)
Assembled height: 370 mm (14.5 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: MPC792
Thanks to Round 2 for the review kit, available in stores soon.
Click here for more SMN articles on Vostok.
More background details
Back to the briefly mentioned optional version. This was billed in the original MPC kit as Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite, launched in 1957. In fact, details at the time were scarce, and the MPC model more closely resembles Sputnik 2, the satellite that carried the first dog, Laika, into space. The shape of the fairing for this was a double-cone, but here it isn’t entirely correct. It is indeed a double-cone but it goes from the base, ‘in’, then ‘out’ - the reverse of the real thing. But the transparent top fairing does, just about, show the structure in which Laika was housed.
The completed rocket (below) with Vostok payload in place.
The initial Round 2 plan was to re-use the original box-art, but the idea had three major problems. First, the rocket was depicted in white, not grey. Second, the box emphasised the flying option. Third, Sputnik 1 was mentioned. Consequently, Round 2 decided to produce new box-art, and in fact the kit ended up with a completely different box size and shape.
Completed model (below) finished in the correct mid-grey finish.
Three assembled Vostok kits (below) from left: 1:72 scale Mach 2, 1:100 scale MPC, 1:144 scale Airfix.
Many companies have made flying scale rockets, the best-known name being Estes, many kits of which can also make very presentable static models, so long as parachutes and engine tubes remain carefully hidden out of sight. What made the MPC Vostok - and its companion Titan IIIC kit - unusual is that they were the other way round - they were primarily static kits, but ones that could also be adapted to fly, though whether any survived such a launch is unknown.
The actual flying paraphernalia, such as parachute, card tubes to hold the rocket motor, and weights to get the balance correct, were included in the original MPC issue. This Round 2 re-release omits these, but several styrene parts remain in the kit, such as larger fins, and simplified structures for other sections.
These are still on the runners, although the plans do not mention them. All you need to do is omit them from the build, and put them to one side - more stuff for the ‘bits and pieces’ box!
Click to visit Mach 2 Models of France.