Soviet Minishuttles kit resources

    The story of the Soviet minishuttle is long and intricate, and still not fully understood.  The small Spiral one-man minishuttle was started about the same time as the X-20 Dyna-Soar, suffered setbacks and temporary cancellations, and finally ended as a re-entry testbed for Buran systems.  The Uragan three-man space interceptor is still officially denied by sources inside the former Soviet Union, but was intended as a bigger Spiral with a gun, to shoot down the U.S. Space Shuttle.
    Both shuttles are modeled here with their launch adaptors; the Uragan was launched atop a Zenit, so a one-piece adaptor fits it to Rho Models' Zenit.  The Spiral was to be launched atop a Soyuz launcher, so a two-piece adaptor and upper stage serves to convert the Apex Vostok or Sputnik kit into the Spiral launcher.  (Realspace Models' Soyuz would probably work as well).
    The Spiral with adaptor is 4" long; Uragan, 3.75".  The kit includes 11 resin parts, decals, and instructions.

Soviet Minishuttles Kit Instructions


        The completed models.  Left, without adapters; then atop Rhomodel Zenit and Apex Vostok.  Kit comes complete with adapters at right.

        The decals are a simple affair; red star and CCCP for each side of the fin.  Somewhat whimsically, I've included the "MiG" bureau decal as well, though whether it would have been fitted is doubtful.
        Other markings visible on the models are scribed panel lines (I have perhaps over-scribed them), thruster ports, viewports (complete with gold-mesh EMP protection), warning signs (small red dashes) for the ejection seat, and, on the Uragan, the exit port and exhaust ports for the Nudelmann recoilless rifle.
        The adapter sections are entirely conjectural.  I've kept the Uragan's adapter white to match the Zenit, while the Spiral's is army green and bright orange, like a Soyuz would be.  Abort SRM's are painted silver.

        Do NOT try to mount the Spiral on an Airfix launcher kit; inaccurate scale of the Airfix models means it won't fit properly.


Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica has far more information on the Spiral and Uragan.

Ninfinger's Quick Look review of the kit (Sven "Ninfinger" Knudson is an independent reviewer).