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Tue, Nov 08, 2022

Estes Releases Falcon 9 Model Rocket

1/100 Scale Kit Brings Latest Space-Age Tech to Model World

Model collectors and rocketeers can now enjoy a detailed, accurate rendition of the SpaceX Falcon 9 from a collaboration with Estes. 

Where previous models of the Falcon 9 Rocket were regular, "inert" model kits for display, the new release is capable of a true-to-life rocket launch in 1/100 scale. The pre-finished Falcon 9 is detailed to match its real-life counterpart, with a series of silvery nozzles at its base, full color branding and silkscreened text around the fuselage. Measuring about 25" tall, the model comes packaged with the kind of panache that makes it apparent the kit was made with SpaceX. (The Falcon's matte black, sophisticated packaging definitely outshines the Estes rendition of SpaceX competitor Blue Origin's New Shepard kit.) including a display stand for parking on the shelf or desktop at home. When it's ready to fly, the kit may be launched with a C5-3/C6-3 model rocket engine up to 300 feet before it deploys its miniature Dragon Capsule and parachute.

Sadly, the model version could not retain the self-landing capability of its full size namesake, an unsurprising imposition of reality on the scale version of a much more expensive, vastly more complex rocket. At an MSRP of $149.99, the auto-landing feature is just a tad too difficult to engineer, perhaps at a price point ten to one hundred-fold it would be more plausible. Instead, the Falcon 9's landing legs are molded into the body of the rocket and given a glossy sheen leading down to the display tailcap of Merlin engines.

When prepping the rocket for launch, operators remove the piece to accommodate the rocket engine and stabilizer before setting it off with an Estes launch system. 

While pricing is a bit higher than similar pieces in the same vein - Blue Origin's own 1/66 scale New Shepard kit from Estes is merely half the price of the SpaceX rocket - the Falcon 9 is a cut above the rest of the lineup. Fit and finish seems to have received a greater attention to detail throughout the kit, and as far as pre-built, pre-painted versions of the Falcon come, it's one of the most attainable - and licensed. While Estes has not announced a closed-edition for release, they do expect stocks to move quickly.

The kit is available through Estes or the SpaceX online shop. 



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