One Mir Equals One Fleet

by MXSavant 05/24/05

One of my first memories is of sitting on a braided rug in the family room watching one of the earliest space flights on an RCA black-and-white television. Even though my age was in single digits, I think I had a grasp of the wonder of this new frontier as I sat, no doubt gaping at the images on the TV screen. So when the Mir space station was handed over to the gravity well and sent to a fiery doom, I couldn’t help but feel a little wistful that an important era in space flight was coming to a close.

Recently my very understanding spouse found some Revell-Monogram Mir “SnapTite” model kits deeply discounted at a local salvage store and bought me one just for kicks. As I assembled it (See Figure 1) I realized that the different modules that comprise the space station could form the basis of an entire fleet of kit-bashed space craft for Silent Death and similar games. So I returned to the store and bought two more of the 1:144 scale kits as a store of parts.

MX010Fig01
The fully assembled Mir Space Station model from
Revell-Monogram (1:144 scale).

There are seven major modules. For the purposes of this article I made up three of them based on the Krystall module as the basis of a larger warhound class vessel, plus the smaller Progress and Soyuz craft to serve as sentry satellites.

MX010Fig03
Warhound based on the Kristall module (top) and sentry
satellites based on the Soyuz Craft (left) and Progress Craft (right),
assembled and ready for priming.

The key to doing kit bashing in this scale is to make sure you have lots of bits to work with. At the moment, my stock is somewhat depleted; many were jettisoned prior to our last move. But I still had some small turrets, guns, missile pods, and sensor dishes left over from some other projects. If you decide to do kit bashes on a regular basis, you will find that building and maintaining a stock of parts can be an interesting activity in and of itself. Just don’t get so attached to your trove of “treasure” that you can’t part with it and use it to build new creations, like these:

MirBlue03
The completed warhound, painted, drybrushed, decaled and
based – ready for battle.

You’ll notice the decals. At least I hope you do. Having a good store of decals is a great way to give your kit bash creations that extra flair.

MirBlue02
Sentry satellites, painted and based.

This was a pretty fast job; just two or three evenings is plenty of time even for a slowpoke like me to turn out these creations. So, if you run across the Mir Space Station kit, even at full price, you ought to consider buying it; you’ll get the makings for some interesting ships that are sufficiently odd-looking that they won’t be obvious to the casual observer as some historic space hardware that’s been given a very serious makeover.