Gemini Astronaut (1965)
About the Design
On June 3, 1965, astronaut Ed White (1930-1967) opened the hatch of Gemini spacecraft GT-4 and became the first American astronaut to perform an extra-vehicle activity (EVA). (History's first "spacewalk" was actually made by Soviet cosmonaut Alexi Leonov on March 18 of that same year.) Tethered to his spacecraft by an umbilical cord, White used a hand-held rocket-powered maneuvering gun to moved freely in space for 5,000 miles until his gun ran out of fuel and he was forced to pull himself manually back into the capsule. The entire event was covered live via worldwide radio. (At the time, TV was not an option.) Instantly world-famous, White would later perish aboard Apollo 1 in a tragic launch pad fire.
About the Kit
This small, rather unimpressive kit was one of Revell's few forays into human figure models, a field totally dominated by its chief rival, Aurora. It's actually a scaled-down version of a larger figure kit -- one measuring some 11" in height -- that was released in 1967.
The kit's base is meant to depict the GT-4 spacecraft with its hatch open, but is both out of scale and completely inaccurate. The kit was released in 1969 and again as a "Selected Subjects" kit in 1994. This is a copy of the original 1969 model.