Mat Irvine: These are both reissues of kits that started life way back at the beginning of the Space Shuttle programme. In fact, the Boeing 747 SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) was the first-ever Revell kit of the Shuttle system, issued in 1977. This kit featured the Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise on the box, though separate Columbia and Challenger box-art was also made.
The 747 SCA has box-art that shows it flying over the specially-constructed display buildings at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles Airport. This did have Enterprise on display, but now houses Discovery. Enterprise has been moved to the Intrepid Museum, NYC.
The Orbiter features markings for all six craft - including the non-orbiting Enterprise - although it really concentrates on the last three, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, as their markings were similar. To this end the plans no longer instruct you to paint it ‘black and white, with a touch of grey.’ Instead, comprehensive layouts are provided. The differences - especially between the ‘whites’ - depends on the thermal coverings, and the before-and-after 1998 point, when markings were changed from the NASA ‘worm’ logo to the reintroduced old ‘meatball.’
The Boeing 747 SCA takes advantage of the last colour scheme the two SCA aircraft were painted. Both planes were originally ex-airline machines, from American Airlines and JAL, though this kit supplies only the number for the first, N905NA, the other being N911NA. Initially the SCAs kept much of their original civil schemes, replaced by classic NASA white upper surfaces and mid-grey undersides. In the kit you get the classic blue NASA cheatline down the sides, along with the new-style NASA ‘swoosh’ for the tail.
After Shuttle spaceflights were terminated, the SCAs carried three of the remaining four Orbiters, Enterprise, Discovery, and Endeavour to their final resting places on display, while Atlantis remained at the Kennedy Space Center.
The ex-American Airlines 905 is due to go on display in 2015, at Houston Space Center, Texas, complete with a replica Shuttle Orbiter in position.
Revell-Germany Space Shuttle Atlantis, Boeing 747 SCA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
Shuttle Orbiter: Parts 64
Assembled length: 252mm (9.75 in)
Boeing 747 SCA: Parts 119
Assembled length: 490mm (19.5 in)
Thanks to Revell-Germany for the review kits.