Real Space 1/72 Vokshod II

KIT #:  
PRICE: $35.00
NOTES: Resin kit with metal parts

The Soviets got off to a good head start on the Americans in the very early years of the Space Race. There was Sputnik, the world's first satellite, Laika the first space animal, and Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space. Luna 1 was the first spacecraft to hit the Moon. It wasn't long before the US started racking up the firsts, and by the beginning of the Gemini Program, at least seen in hindsight if not always at the time, it was clear that the US would go on to be the leader at least until the end of Apollo.

One of the USSR's other early "firsts" was the first spacewalk. The cosmonaut was Alexei Leonov, and he flew with his fellow cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev in the Vokshod II spacecraft. It was an update of the Vostok which Gagarin used on the first human spaceflight, but with the ejection seat replaced with two (and in other missions, three) regular seats.  

For Vokshod II, it had an inflatable airlock attached to allow Leonov to exit the spacecraft for EVA. This was because the design of the ship's cooling systems prevented a complete depressurisation, unlike the US Gemini spacecraft from which several spacewalks were performed not too long after this flight. 

Leonov spacewalked for 12 minutes and because his suit was so pressurised, he found it hard to bend his joints enough to get back into the airlock. He sweated profusely from the physical effort, and ended up deflating his suit in a dangerous way just to get back inside. These facts only emerged much later, in true Soviet style.

Belyavev died a few years later but Leonov went on to enjoy a long career in his country's space program. He flew on the historic Apollo-Soyuz joint mission in 1975.
This one is an interesting kit of a subject I don't believe has been released in an injection moulded format. You get several parts. Five of the major pieces you see in the photo form the spacecraft, and there is another large part to represent the inflatable airlock. There's a cosmonaut with a body and two arms, plus a long piece to represent the umbilical cord. I feel like it is too thick for the scale. The long straight resin part is the stand, and the star is the base. The various wires are used to make the prominent antennae.

Generally the mould is pretty good though as you can see, especially on the star, there is what I guess we can call "flash". In my limited experience with resin, this stuff is super easy to get rid of.
Personally I feel the star is a bit silly, and the box seems to show a brass rod for the stand rather than a resin piece. I will probably make my own stand, but this kit will certainly need it because those protruding antenna and the spacewalking cosmonaut will make it a fragile model once finished.
There are no decals.
All in all I am pretty pleased with this purchase and I look forward to building it. as always the service from Real Space Models was very good.
If you have one or two simple resin kits under your belt, I think you'll enjoy this rare but historically important subject. 

Richard F

April 2017


Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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