Ariane IV

    This model kit has few parts (only 30). They are all big parts. Finaly, it is a 60 cm tall model (~ 23 inches). The assembly is very simple and can be done without glue. The Heller mold has some defects that can be easily corrected. The painting is very easy too. Only few colors are used : Silver (Humbrol-11), satin white (Humbrol-22), matt red-brown (Humbrol-100) and a clear brown (Humbrol-119 for example). This last color will be used to show the refractory brick seam on the 2nd floor. It seems that the bricks kind has changed since 1988.

    The assembly is done without any problem. Let's talk about the painting. The painting map has a fault on the nozzle cowl of the main floor (part #8). The map says to paint these pieces in silver but these nozzles are normally painted in white. The most interesting part is the refractory bricks floor. This floor must be paint in matt red-brown (Humbrol-100). In reality, Ariane has 8 brick floors. On the model kit, this floor is 54 mm tall (~ 2 inches), so it takes 6.75 mm (~ 1/10 ")  to represent a single brick floor. I did use a paper stripe where I have drawn 7 horizontal lines. At this point, the perimeter is 67 mm (~ 2.6"). I decided to make 5 bricks per floor. So each brick is 13.5 mm long (~ 0.5"). Always with paper stripes, I draw the vertical limit of the bricks and placed it in staggered rows. Then I painted the brick bound roughly in clear brown (Humbrol-119). On the real Ariane this bound is made with refractory mortar so it is not important to make them accurate (efficiency is not necessary nice).

   Next step is to apply the decals. But Heller didn't make it clear. The three "ESA" logos are places at a 120 angle each from another, like the three "CNES" logos. The "ARIANESPACE" logo is used only twice at a 180 angle.

   Here it is ! Ariane is raised on its base. A last thing, it seems that the small fins placed on each booster has disappeared  in the 90's. If you want to represent a later flight, you will have to withdraw these fins and lighten the bricks color.


Have a good luck....

Here is a Heller model kit

proposed as #80440 reference.

It represents the 31st flight

of Ariane IV at the 1/125 scale.