I have built a model of the Mercury Redstone rocket at the 1/48 scale. Having already two rockets with this scale (Soyuz and Titan II - Gemini), I expected to get a range of manned launchers at the same scale. So far three launchers have been built at the scale 1/48

For the launcher itself, I was using the Glencoe Jupiter C / Explorer 1 rocket that I converted into a redstone. I have then added a few centimeters for the extra lenght of the redstone booster compare to Jupiter C. This was done by adding a cardboard cylinder, make sure to fill all imperfections and holes using plaster and sand paper, then painting the model with wood finishing coating. However prior to add the coating there was also a need to add extra details such as the access doors and the antennas.

For the Mercury spacecraft I was using the Monogram 1/48 mercury. Since I wanted to use this model to build a Mercury Atlas booster I decided to build a "copy" of the spacecraft using resin casting. The Mercury capsule was then made of polyester inclusion resin.

For details I was using some of the following information :

Other people have already tried to convert the Glencoe Jupiter C into a Mercury Redstone and two interesting articles have been written on this subject:

These articles propose to use two kits of the Jupiter C rocket but this is not the only option, one is to scratchbuild the instrument section as I did with my model and the other is to use a conversion kit. One is available from New Ware

The model has been completed on January 1st, 2000. Here are the various steps between the Jupiter C and its final conversion into the Mercury Redstone 8 booster of the Mercury 4 mission (Liberty Bell 7).

Adding extra lenght to Jupiter C

The original Mercury Monogram model

The Mercury RTV rubber mold

The polyester "copy"

Fixing the Mercury capsule on top the Redstone booster and adding the spacecraft/booster umbilical fairing

I have built the attachment ring, put details on the Redstone extension and added wood finishing coating for plastic appearance.

I have added the clamp ring cover pulley damper

I have added the welded seams in tank-slight bead, the booster is almost ready for painting

22 June 99, I am starting to paint the instrument section

27 July 99, The instrument section is almost completed and I am painting the fuel tank

9 September 99, the capsule and attachment ring are painted, the fuel tank is painted in gloss white an the oxydizer tank in flat white. This represents ice on the rocket as it will be represented during liftoff

30 September 99, I have added the UNITED STATES letters, as the booster will be presented in flight configuration the word STATES appears covered by frost (in this case flat instead of glossy white).

14 October 99, I am building the model base by gluing several circles of balsa wood. I will then need to sand it to give a perfect hemispheric shape.

21 November 99, the instrument section is now complete, the antennas have been added and the decoration of the Liberty Bell spacecraft is also complete

23 November 99, the model base has been sanded and vernished. It is now ready for painting

23 November 99, Contruction is going on the Mercury spacecraft

27 December 99

27 December 99, the top part of the escape tower made out of a plastic tube for medicine

30 December 99, the unpainted escape tower

1 January 2000, the model base

1 January 2000, the engine section

1 January 2000, the model is complete