In a previous post, I mentioned the new SpaceX Falcon 9 kit on the market. Long story short, I bought it as soon as it came out. It is a pretty sweet kit, and I can only highly recommend it as a necessary member of every rocketeer’s fleet.
This kit is pretty easy to build. The box suggests craft glue, epoxy, a sheet of paper, tape, scissors, and a coffee stirrer as the only required tools. I would guess you could probably get away without the epoxy, but I had some JB Weld (Overkill? Perhaps.) with me, so I stuck on the safe side. The instructions were really easy to read and there weren’t too many parts to worry about. The hardest parts were cutting out the parachutes, applying the body sticker straight, and twist-tying the fins together (since they snap in and could snap out in a recovery failure). It only took me a couple hours to finish, and that’s only because it took a while for the glue to dry.
The final product is an absolute beauty. The transparent fins are wonderful in adding to the realism of the model and were a snap (see what I did there?) to install in the molded business end. I was really impressed with the quality and precision of the stickers. With only one sticker for the body, everything is guaranteed to be in the right location–a real plus for the aesthetic grading. Most impressive for me is the dual recovery system. As in a real launch, Dragon fully separates from the Falcon 9 and the two are recovered separately. SpaceX even gave consideration to allow Dragon to have a faster descent rate so as not to float away.
There are so many great things to say about this kit, but one thing that really sticks is the price tag. At a modest $25.45, you get a quality kit worth much more than the price tag. Despite it being a low-power kit (absolutely constrained to 18mm motor mount), this provides plenty of fun for its size and is well worth flying.