The main differences I could tell before I started to create the 3D model was that the Soviet Orbiter has the nose gear further from the nose, no OMS pods and the lack of main engines. After a an hour of modelling, I started to notice more and more differences that you can't really tell from photographs.
- The wings on the Soviet Orbiter are slightly more forward.
- The wing profile and leading edge is completely different, compare to the US Orbiter
- The after the payload section on the US Orbiter, the rear section extends out slightly, on Soviet Orbiter, the 'rear' stays almost in line with the payload section.