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Not 1/72 

This is the page where I will post models I've built that are not 1/72 scale.

Atlantis (ex-Revell) Convair Space Shuttlecraft (1950s)

Atlantis (ex-Revell) Convair Space Shuttlecraft

This is the Atlantis 2019 reissue of the 1959 Revell 1/150 scale kit of the Convair Space Shuttlecraft, designed in the 1950s by German rocket scientist Krafft Ehriche at Convair Astronautics Division. I owned a 1970s Revell reissue of this kit, which was combined with the Revell Moon Ship portion of the XSL-01 spaceship kit and packaged in Peter Max-like psychedelic boxart as "Space Pursuit!", a space coppers vs space pirates concept. I built the shuttlecraft, carefully filling the gaping seams with modelers putty, but never painted it.

This was a fun build, and I cleaned up the still-gaping seams with lots of styrene shims, superglue and copius quantities of 600 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper. I was a little stymied by how to paint and decal it, being not very intrigued by the kit decals and suggested paint scheme, until a search on the internet revealed many imaginitive modelers' ideas for alternative finishes. I borrowed liberally from several of these splendid efforts, with the results you see here. The white USAF markings are quite overscale, but my choices for available white markings on black paint were extremely limited.

All paint was Testors Model Master, decals were from the kit, Superscale, and leftovers from an SR-71 decal set. Final overcoat was Testors Model Master Clear Semi-Gloss Lacquer. Click on the thumbnails below for larger images. Three, Two, One, Ignition...Liftoff!

Revell XSL-01 Manned Space Ship (1957)

Revell XSL-01 Experimental Space Laboratory

This approximately 1/96 scale kit was released in 1957. Based on a sincere projection of a possible future space ship that could carry three astronauts to the Moon, land, and safely return, this kit was designed for Revell by an actual rocket scientist of the time, Ellwyn E. Angle. Called the Experimental Space Laboratory (XSL-01), the kit included an instructional pamphlet describing how the three stage rocket would work.

Although this kit was popular, reportedly the high price tag ($1.98!) made it a poor seller, OR the molds were lost (depends on who you ask), and it was never re-released. However, the third stage Moonship at the top of the booster rockets was issued as a separate kit in 1957, and this winged spaceship model was later combined in 1968 with the Revell 1959 1/160 scale Convair Space Shuttlecraft, in psychedelic boxart, as "Space Pursuit!", a kit I had started but never finished, back in the late 1960s. Moebius Models is reissuing the Moon Ship in 2021; I've already preordered two.

After re-reading a splendid tome about the history of factual and/or fictional space-faring models by Mat Irvine, called Creating Space, I sought and lucked upon a nearly mint example of the XSL-01 kit on eBay, and promptly bought it. It was great fun to build such a relic, one that had been manufactured two years after I was born.

I used AlClad II metallic lacquers where appropriate, and Testors Model Masters enamels for the other colors. Decals were a combination of reproduction aftermarket decals made (relatively) recently for the XSL-01 kit, and TechMod alpha-numeric decals for the rest. The concrete base for the orange-painted launch stand (included in the XSL-01 kit) was a round disk of 0.10" thick Evergreen styrene, scored at the expansion joints and splatter-painted with Humbrol. The final overcoat was Testors Clear Semi-Gloss Lacquer. Truly, this was one of the most fun models that I have built in a long time.

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images:

Glencoe (ex-Strombecker - 1955) Three Stage Ferry Rocket (1993)

Glencoe (ex-Strombecker) Three Stage Ferry Rocket

This Glencoe kit is a 1993 reissue of the Strombecker kit created in 1955 as a tie-in to the Disney "Man In Space" TV series of the 1950s. The rocket design was inspired by artwork created by Rolf Klep and Chesley Bonestall for the series of articles published in Collier's magazine, also in the 1950s. The kit is either 1/250 or 1/256 scale, depending on who you ask.

Because of the limits of the original mold technology, the fit of the parts of this model was pretty rough, and required a lot of careful fitting and shaping of the joints, and a lot of wet-or-dry sanding, but where's the fun in a kit that is too easy to build? Rather than finish the model per the Glencoe decals and instructions, I opted to paint and decal it to resemble the model built for the "Man in Space" TV series, as shown in the book "The Exploration of Mars", published in 1956, written by Willy Ley and Wernher Von Braun, and illustrated by Chesley Bonestall

I amplified the detail of the base and of the access mast based on splendid ideas other modelers had imagined, which I found in a Google search of images of the built kit. All paint was Testors Model Master and Humbrol, and the alpha-numerics were TechMod decals. Final overcoat was Testors Clear Semi-Gloss Lacquer.

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images:

Moebius Pan Am Space Clipper (2018)

Moebius Pan Am Clipper from 2001: A Space Odessey

This is a 1/160 scale model of the imagined Pan American Space Clipper from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". Aurora Model Corporation produced a plastic kit of this subject in 1968, and this Moebius kit is a big (and readily available) improvement on the Aurora kit. 

The 2001 movie did not show the viewers how the Space Clipper was launched into space, nor how it landed back on Earth. The Aurora (and Moebius) kits got around this problem by including a clear plastic stand to support the model, as if it were in flight. However, I was intrigued by ideas for how this machine could operate, and enjoyed searching Google for people's speculation on the subject. I found a couple of modelers, and one computer animator, who imagined at least some sort of wheeled landing gear for the return to ground. I also thought a little about the real NASA Space Shuttle, and decided to develop some plausible undercarriage for the Space Clipper.

Leftover wheels from a cannibalized Italeri B-58 Hustler bomber were pressed into service, and telescoping brass tubing was assembled for the main landing gear struts. A landing gear strut from some long forgotten plastic kit found in the spares box was adapted to become the front landing gear. Rectilinear holes in the wings and fuselage were carefully whittled through the kit parts and boxed in with Evergreen sheet styrene to form wheel wells, and appropriate doors were fabricated from more Evergreen sheet. Tiny brass wires bridged the gap between fuselage and doors, for a strong mechanical connection.

All paint was Testors Model Master. Decals were an assortment of cottage industry Pan American markings (the Moebius kit did not include Pan Am decals, perhaps because of copyright issues with whomever owns the Pan Am logo). Final overcoat was Testors Clear Semi-Gloss Lacquer.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images:

(In March, 2022, I added new images where I tried to get the white finish of the model to appear more white.)

S.F.M.A. Martian War Machine from "War Of The Worlds" (1980s)

S.F.M.A Martian War Machine from the 1953 movie "War Of The Worlds"

This was a vacuum formed kit, approximately 1/72 scale, from a long-gone company called Science Fiction Modelmakers Association. It was based on the Martian War Machine from the 1953 George Pal movie "The War Of The Worlds", one of my all-time favorite movies. I built the kit sometime between 1984 and 1988. I don't remember exactly how I found the kit; this was pre-internet, so it probably was on some Xeroxed model list from a mail order kit seller. I subscribed to several mail order retailers, back before everything became so easy to find on the web.

I don't remember much about building the kit, except that I tried an arts-and-crafts product called "Rub-N-Buff" to achieve the coppery finish. Many years later, probably in the early 2000s, I scratch-built a 1/72 scale diorama base with a cast resin ruined church, Walthers HO scale sidewalks, Kibri cobblestone paving and Woodland Scenics talus as a stage for photographing some 1/72 WWII armor I was building. Sometime after that, I got the idea to attach the Martian War Machine to the diorama base, to give it a setting, instead of it just resting on a shelf.

All paint on the ruined church diorama was Humbrol, with Poly-Scale Clear Flat overcoat. Both of the US Army vehicles are pre-built and painted 1/72 collectibles, not kits I built, added for color and scale. Click on the thumbnails below for larger images:

Aurora SEAVIEW from "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1980s)

Aurora Seaview from the TV series "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea"

This Aurora model of the imaginary nuclear-powered submarine Seaview from the Irwin Allen science fiction TV show "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" was built sometime before 1986, I think. I had built this kit once in 1966, when I was 11 or 12 years old, and I built a second one around 1976 or so, which makes this the third time I've built the Seaview. Although I thought the 1968 VTTBOTS TV show was pretty lame, I liked the original 1961 VTTBOTS movie, and I really liked the Seaview, apparently. I've got the Moebius Models 1/128 scale movie version of the Seaview kit in the stash, for someday, maybe.

For this particular 1980s issue of the kit, Aurora included an undersea base originally molded for the Aurora kit of the US Navy Sealab project. Because of the size of this base, I had room for adding a scratchbuilt Flying Sub, which is admittedly oversize, compared to the approximately 1/315 Seaview. On a Xerox machine, I shrank a drawing of the Flying Sub until it seemed close enough to go with the Seaview. I whittled the Flying Sub out of laminated layers of thick white styrene sheet plastic.

It wasn't until many years later, when the two different Polar Lights kits of the TV and movie Seaviews came out, that I realized the TV Seaview with the Flying Sub was noticeably different from the movie Seaview, particularly at the glazing at the bow. Oh, well. Time travel, or something.

The model was painted entirely with Humbrol enamels, with the final overcoat in Poly-Scale Clear Flat. Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images:

Scale 1/72

Email: AtomicCannon(at)embarqmail(dot)com