Mercury Redstone Rocket
Project Mercury and the Redstone Rocket
The Mercury Redstone was the first rocket used to send American astronauts into space. I've always been fascinated by America's space program, and since I'll never be an astronaut I enjoy building models of the different rockets used in the space program. One of the easiest to build is the Mercury Redstone. Several excellent kits have been available over the years, so it's easy to build your own Mercury Redstone model rocket and fly your own Mercury space missions...
Update: I just got an Estes Redstone kit that I'm going to start building soon. Check back in about a week for a review of the kit. After that I'll have weekly updates of the build...
Mercury Redstone videos
Build Your Own Redstone Rocket
Building a model of the Mercury Redstone is easy. You can get kits made by Dr. Zooch or Sheri's Hot Rockets, or find an (out of production) Estes Mercury Redstone on eBay. Dr. Zooch's "ant scale" Mercury Redstone is only 13.75" tall, and Sheri's is over 40". The Estes kit is about 24" tall, probably the most practical size...
Dr. Zooch Mercury Redstone (BT50)
The Dr. Zooch kit is the smallest flying model of the Mercury Redstone you'll find. It's only 13.75" tall with a fin span of 2.8". In spite of the small size it has good detail and would make a nice display model. You would need to make some sort of stand because the engine mount design on this model rocket extends below the fins so it can't be free standing. It's also a fairly simple kit to build (except for the escape tower) so it would be a good second or third kit choice if you're just getting started in model rocketry.
Dr. Zooch Mercury Redstone (BT60)
This Mercury Redstone kit is 23.5" tall with a fin span of 4.15", making it slightly smaller than the Estes kit. It includes decals to build all 4 versions of the Redstone rocket: MR-1A, MR-2, MRBD, MR-3 (Freedom 7), and MR-4 (Liberty Bell 7). This model only flies half as high as the BT50 version above, but the larger size makes it a little easier to build (at least for me) and in my opinion this is probably the most practical model of the Mercury Redstone available. It can also be free standing so it makes a better display model IMHO.
Estes Mercury Redstone Model Rocket (#1921)
The Estes model of the Mercury Redstone is 28.75" tall. Unfortunately it's out of production and prized by collectors. That means it's easy to find but usually too expensive. You can find them on eBay and I saw one listed on Amazon for over $400 - I don't think it's worth anywhere near that but if you can find one of these at a reasonable price it's one of the nicest flying models of the Redstone ever produced.
1/24 Scale Mercury Redstone Kit
This 1/24 scale Mercury Redstone kit by CJS Aviation (formerly Sheri's Hot Rockets) is the most awesome model of the Mercury Redstone you'll find anywhere. It stands over 40" tall and flies to around 800' on an Aerotech G77R-4T motor. The Mercury capsule and escape tower are molded from resin, have great detail, and the escape tower is much easier to build than the one included in some of the smaller kits. This model includes decals for both the Liberty Bell 7 and Freedom 7 capsules, but you'll have to supply your own parachute (the kit doesn't include one). I just bought one of these and I can hardly wait for my garage to warm up so I can build it.
Want to know more about the Mercury Project? - This book on Project Mercury rocks...
Project Mercury - Mankind's path to space...