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    Astronauts and Spacecraft (Chinese)--1/72nd scale unpainted plastic figures

    Astronauts and Spacecraft (Chinese)--1/72nd scale unpainted plastic figures
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    Astronauts and Spacecraft (Chinese)--1/72nd scale unpainted plastic figures
    Item Number: HB021

    Price: $11.95

    Type: astronauts
    Period: Modern - Post Vietnam
    Scale: 1/72 Scale

    Astronauts and Spacecraft (Chinese)--1/72nd scale unpainted plastic figures

    Date Released:  2012

    Contents:  5 figures in 5 poses

    Material:  Medium Consistency Plastic

    Scale:  1:72

    Color:  Gray

    Average Height:  24mm = 1.73m

    What is the spacecraft? Well it is the Shenzhou, the mainstay of the Chinese manned spaceflight program as at the time of writing. The first mission took off in 1999 and the first manned flight was in 2003. Since then several more manned missions have been successfully completed, with more planned for the future. The spacecraft is 9.25 metres in length and 2.8 metres in diameter, so the model in this set, which is pictured above proportionate to the figures, is grossly too small for 1/72 scale, and to be fair the box does not claim any scale. The main section of the model is essentially one piece (it comes in two halves), which is the propulsion module, re-entry capsule and forward orbital module. The larger and smaller solar panels plug in to form the whole craft, so assembly is simple and very quick, although lacking any illustration of the model on the box you will need our page to know how to put it together! The model is made in the same fairly soft plastic Caesar always use, which is not good for a kit such as this. As you can perhaps see, the solar panels are not as flat as they should be, and there is also distortion in the long elements at the top of the craft. It is broadly accurate, but the warped plastic means this is not a pleasing model.

    The middle picture shows the other craft element in this set – the re-entry capsule, but this time separated from the rest of the craft and in true 1/72 scale. This comes as just two pieces – the base/internals and the shell. A large cutaway shows the inside of the capsule, with the two crew lying inside. The outside is quite plain, as it should be, but the inside is quite nicely detailed, although it should be repeated that the two crew are part of the piece and not separate.

    Lastly we come to the three separate figures in this set. They all wear a pretty good representation of the Shenzhou IVa spacesuits worn on the earlier missions, although changes have been made in more recent missions. The poses are OK, although the astronaut with the flag is rather jumping the gun as it suggests such astronauts have landed on a foreign body (e.g. the Moon) where they could plant a flag, which at the time of writing has yet to happen. Once again, the Caesar soft plastic has let the flag down somewhat, but otherwise these are nicely detailed figures that look pretty good. 

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