Why is New Ware manufacturing whole R-7 kits and not conversion sets for Airfix and (or) Apex kits?
I am frequently asked by my customers why I am not manufacturing conversion sets for Apex or Airfix kits but completely new R-7 kits.
There are 3 reasons:
They are hard to get. The Apex (Unda / Maquette / Eastern Express...) is coming from Russia and not a lot of internet shops or local hobby shops are carrying this product – it is hard to buy. Airfix kit is at present time easy to get, but it is not sure, how long it will be manufactured by Airfix (last reedition was in first half of 90’s).
Second, and most serious
Both 1/144 scale injection molded R-7 kits are inaccurate in basic shapes, both are missing a lot of details, especially on instrument section, intertanks and engine sections.
Apex: The worst problem is that boosters are shorter and upper joints between 1st stage and boosters are in incorrect positions. The only acceptable solution – as used in New Ware previous Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2 conversion sets) of this problem is to shorten 1st stage removing cca 4 mm from bottom cylinder, removing joints from 1st stage body and replace them by new ones at correct position. This way the silhouette of R-7 is correct, but you will get 4 mm shorter model (see "modified Apex" on illustrations). Next problem is that on boosters there are negative panel lines, but on 1st stage positive ones. As 4 PE (or other material) cable covers running from booster joints up to 1st stage instrument section should be added, positive lines on 1st stage should be sanded and new negative ones scribed using scribing templates. Especially this operation is not easy and is intended for experienced modelers only.
Airfix: General shape of model is incorrect, especially diamater of boosters, and there is no way how to correct it.
For the first look it seems that buying – for example – New Ware NW092 1/144 R-7 Vostok 1 kit for $ 79 is much more expensive than to buy injection molded kit for cca $ 26 + detail / conversion set, but price of such set will be about $ 30 (including stencils decals), So the comparison is at the end $ 79 for resin kit compared to $ 56 for inj. molded kit + conv. set. The difference is about $ 23, I hope it is worth of difference between correct resin kit and injection molded kit -partially - corrected by detail set. New Ware R-7 kits are based on world known Vladimir Minakow drawings so are accurate in scale and detail as much as possible.