Model Rocket Gallery


( Finally got around to uploading some new pics ( June 30th 2012 )- scroll down for the latest )

I thought I'd post up a few pictures of some of the model rockets I've built over the years. Although some of them arguably should go in the 'Whatif' or SF galleries, such as some of the proposed variants of the Saturn rockets that were never built, I decided to keep all the rocket ones together. I've also included a few 'work in progress' pics.

Just one or two to start with, but I'll add more as time permits ( and I either finish ones I'm working on or dig others out of storage )


My 'Rocket Park'


Three Saturn Vs

Three Saturn Vs - INT-21 Skylab, INT-20, and Apollo 11, with Skylab 2 Saturn 1B behind.


Saturn V INT-20

This was a proposed 2-stage Saturn V variant using the S-1C and S-IVB stages only. Payload to Earth orbit would have been around 60 tonnes with 4 engined first stage. Mainly Airfix parts, but with my resin F-1 engines and S-IVB thrust structure. The S-1C/S-IVB interstage is also cast from resin.

Details of the kit are available in the Kits & Parts section

Saturn V INT-18

Similar to the INT-20 above, this was a proposed 2-stage Saturn V, but in this case the S-1C was omitted. As the S-II lacked sufficient thrust to lift itself off the ground, four UA-1207 ( 120" diameter, 7 segment ) solid boosters were added. In this configuration payload to Earth orbit was around 66 tonnes.


The pictures below shor the unfinished model, the finished model with Apollo payload, and the finished model with a Centaur upper stage shroud

Close-up of the 'sea level' J-2 engines with insulating batting fitted


Saturn 1B Variants

The models during building - from left, the INT-18 shown above, Saturn 1B-Centaur ( using a RealSpace Skylab shroud that is now redundant since the Airfix kit appeared ), Saturn 1B MLV 11.7A ( 20' stretched 1st stage, 4 x 1207 boosters ) which I've decided to build with an extended SLA to allow for a larger payload, SA-203 ( flight test with no payload ), and SA-204 ( test flight of first Lunar Module ).


And the finished lineup - from L to R: SA-201 ( unmanned test flight with Block 1 CSM ), SA-203 ( unmanned test flight, no payload ), SA-204 ( LM test flight ), SA-206 ( Skylab 2 ), proposed S-1B-Centaur, Saturn 1B MLV 11.7A ( 20' stretched 1st stage, 4 x 1207 boosters, and extended payload fairing ).



Saturn 1

Before the Saturn 1B, there was the Saturn 1. Originally called the Saturn C-1, it was intended to launch Apollo spacecraft into earth orbit - at the time it was designed the Apollo spacecraft was intended to be much lighter than the final design, and was known as Apollo-A. With the weight of the spacecraft creeping up due to the changes required for the lunar mission, the C-1 was used for ten unmanned test flights only. These involved four flights with only the first stage live, known as Block 1, and six Block 2 missions with live second stages.The fourth Block 1 flight differed from the earlier three in that the dummy upper stages had been altered to mimic some details of the live stage.

I also built a model of a possible Block 3 configuration - what the Saturn 1 may have looked like had it not been supplanted by the 1B - this has the later S-I-B first stage as used by the -1B, retro rockest moved to the unterstage, and an Apollo-A with orbital lab payload ( and an alternative 'cargo' payload shroud ).

The two Block 1 models are my own resin kits, while the Block 2 ones were built using my resin conversion kits for the Airfix 1B

Block 3 with cargo fairing, two alternative spacelab payloads at its base.

Details of the kits are available in the Kits & Parts section



Saturn 1 Block 2 SA-5

The SA-5 mission launched on January 29 1964, and was the first Saturn vehicle to carry a live 2nd stage, together with a dummy payload, and was the first to reach orbit.

SA-5 launch

SA-5 conversion kit parts ( also available as a complete kit )

Finished model


Saturn 1 Block 2 SA-10

These later Saturn 1 missions carried dummy Apollo spacecraft payloads, with the later three also carrying Pegasus micrometeoroid test satellites. Visually the only external difference between SA-6/7 and SA-8/9/10 was the use of a smaller instrument unit


SA-6 waiting for launch


Resin kit parts ( also available with 1st stage )

Finished model painted as SA-10

All the Saturn 1 and 1B models

( and the C-2 sneaked in too )


Details of the kits are available in the Kits & Parts section

Saturn C Family

The Saturn C-1 was the smallest of a range of designs called Saturn C. The C-2 added a new S-II second stage with four J-2 engines, keeping the S-IV as a third stage - this would have been capable of launching an Apollo-A on a circumlunar mission, though due to the smaller service module propulsion system it would not have been able to maneuver into lunar orbit. The larger C-3 used two F-1 engines in its first stage, four J-2s in the second, and retained the S-IV with its six RL-10 engines as the third stage. All three of these designs would have been involved in the Earth Orbit Rendezvous lunar mission mode, assembling a lunar spacecraft in Earth orbit.

The Saturn C-4 ( not yet available as a kit, but I'm thinking about it :-) ) was designed for the Lnar Orbit Rendezvous mission mode, but was supplanted by the C-5 which offered greater payload weight margins and improved performance - the C-5 became know as the Saturn V.

Finally the C-8 was intended for the Direct Ascent lunar mission, where the entire Apollo CSM would land on the moon - the requirements of this mission mode are the reason why the Apollo service module propulsion system was more powerful than actually needed, as it had originally been designed to be capable of lifting the spacecraft from the lunar surface and returning it to Earth. As can be seen from the relative size of the C-8, it was a bit of a monster !


Details of the kits are available in the Kits & Parts section



Apollo Saturn C-2

Prior to the selection of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous mission mode, the C-2 was planned to be used to assemble a lunar lander in Earth orbit, and to send an early lightweight version of the Apollo spacecraft ( Apollo-A ) around the moon. It was cancelled in favour of the larger C-3 before that in turn was cancelled when the C-5/Saturn V was selected.

Original diagram and finished model


Resin parts

Finished model

Apollo Saturn C-3


Prior to the selection of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous mission mode, the C-3 was planned to be used to assemble a lunar lander in Earth orbit, supplanting the earlier C-2 design when the weight of the Apollo spacecraft grew too great for the smaller booster to launch. It in turn was cancelled when the C-5/Saturn V was selected.

Original sketch v. finished model

Resin parts

Finished model

Apollo Saturn C-8

This model is based on a drawing by Wernher von Braun ( a copy of the drawing can be found here ), which is also shown in smaller form below.

The Nova launcher was proposed by von Braun in the late 1950s to carry the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. At this time the intention was that the entire Apollo spacecraft would land on the moon, so the necessary payload was much greater than that required by the Lunar Orbit rendezvous method which was actually used. A number of Nova and Saturn configurations were explored before the Saturn V as we know it emerged. The configuration known as the Saturn C-8 was virtually identical to this Nova, though some versions used the M-1 engine in the 2nd stage in place of the J-2s.

Although not much taller than the final Saturn V ( as height was limited by the size of the Vertical Assembly Building doors ) each individual stage is wider than the Saturn V equivalent, though stage length is also generally greater than for the Saturn as the upper two stages have separate fuel and oxidiser tanks unlike the ‘common bulkhead’ design used in the Saturn S-II and S-IVB stages. This approach placed pressure on the designers to reduce the overall height of the vehicle, one result of which being that the 1st stage fuel tank actually extends below the top of the engines.

The Apollo spacecraft in the model reflects the final ‘Apollo Direct’ configuration dating to around April 1962 ( see here for more details ), just prior to the decision to use a separate lunar landing module, and comprises:

The Retrograde Module ( RM ) which was to be used for course corrections en-route to the moon and for the majority of the braking manoeuvre prior to landing on the moon – this module would be jettisoned at around 1800m altitude. ( more info )

The Terminal Landing Module ( TLM ) which was to be used for the actual landing, and as a launch pad for the return spacecraft. ( more info )

The Service Module – similar to the one finally used, this module would also be used to launch the spacecraft from the moon and back to the Earth ( more info )

The Command Module – virtually identical to the early Block 1 Apollo CMs, it would have differed from the design actually used as there was no requirement for a forward hatch and docking system


Resin parts

Finished model

Together with other Saturn kits to show scale



Jupiter J-130

Proposed as an alternative to the now defunct Ares launcher programme, the Jupiter-130 was designed to carry crew and cargo into Earth Orbit. Derived from the Shuttle External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters, the Jupiter would have been capable of placing up to 77 tonnes into low Earth orbit, or sending up to 66 tonnes to the ISS. The kit can also be used to build the Jupiter-120 variant by simply deleting one of the core stage engines – this lower performance version could send up to 43 tonnes to the ISS.

The current SLS bears many resemblances to the Jupiter proposals

( see for full details of the Jupiter family of launchers ).

Resin parts

Finished model, showing alternate cargo and manned versions

Yes, the 1st stage is supposed to only have 3 engines :-)

Jupiter J-246

A higher performance version of the Jupiter-130, the -246 includes a second stage powered by six RL-10 engines which can be used to launch heavier payloads into Earth orbit or towards the Moon and planets. See for details of this proposed launcher.

The kit can be used together with an add-on kit to build the 'Heavy' version with extended payload fairing and 5 segment boosters

J-246 with the smaller -130

Together with an Airfix Saturn V

J-246 on left ( the 4 in 246 denotes 4 1st stage engines ), J-130 on right ( with 3 1st stage engines )