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Refurbish Little Joe II 1/45 Scale

By Danny Almond

Centuri - Little Joe II {Kit} (5138, KS-8) [1968-1977]

I received this 1/45 scale Little Joe II kit from a friend in pieces. It looked very sad at first glance, ya bilge rat, but I knew this bird still had some life in her. I drew on me skill and experience t' breathe new life into this forgotten rocket.

One fin was missin' from t' rocket. Blimey! I just made a template from one o' t' other fins and set about t' construction o' a new fin. Ya scallywag! I laminated several pieces o' balsa wood together t' get t' proper thickness after I cut them out usin' t' template I made. Avast! Once t' glue dried, matey, I shaped and sanded t' fin t' match t' others.

T' Escape tower be put together poorly and came apart easily so that I can refinish t' tower and put it back together with some stronger glue. T' same was true for t' Escape Tower Motor. Avast! Blimey! I can also paint t' ends without tapin' t' them.


T' kit was missin' only t' 3 engine mount tubes, ya bilge rat, easy t' replace. T' display nozzles were terribly beat up, but thanks t' a friend that donated them, I will build a new set o' them from an Original kit.


Up Next...

Step by Step process that I used t' refurbishin' this Little Joe II capsule and escape tower.

Pay attention now, cause I'm only gonna say this once.... Ha.


I added toothpicks t' 2 holes nay filled with broken plastic t' keep out paint. Blimey! I Can scrape t' paint off t' other two when it's time t' reassemble t' tower. This 1/2" Dowell I had layin' around was perfect for a holder t' paint with.


Pin strippin' tape is your front line defense for tapin' curves maskin' tape won't do.


Then comes t' Maskin' Tape. Next cover entire capsule in a wrap or a bag.  Paint top/tower. 

I always bend back a Tab on t' Tape for easy removal.


Here I just used paper. Avast!  Time t' paint .


Painted. Arrr! Now it's a waitin' game.



Looks like t' paint job turned out pretty good. Begad! This tower looks brand new! 

Startin' on t' display nozzles now. Begad! Nothin' like good old clothes pins t' get them t' stick at t' seam.


Good, old Fashion hand paintin' be t' only way t' detail t' insides o' t' nozzles, ya bilge rat, before assembly.  Outsides o' Nozzles will get same when assembled. 


Scale data shows t' skirts were black. Blimey! I added t' Orange. Nozzles will be White on t' outside, arrr, as too, me hearties, per scale data.

I used a piece o' BT 20 t' paint t' nozzles on. 


 Be back soon...


--- I am DannyMrMissile !


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Buildin' t' missin' fin

Dissected escape tower rocket

Extra clean Little Joe II, Rocket has never been flown

In t' beginnin' Poor Little Joe II

New engine shroud sheet donated by a friend

Sandin' and shapin' t' new fin

Time t' build and install stuffer tube

What You Can Do