Monogram Willey Ley Passenger Rocket


PS 47


$15.00 when reissued




Scott Van Aken


1996 boxing


Ley's book Die Moglichkeit der Weltraumfahrt (1928) inspired Lang's film "Frau im Mond" (1929), which in turn inspired a generation of Germans to take up rocketry (The first V2 rockets had Frau im Mond painted on them). Willy Ley emigrated to the US where he continued to write and had quite an influence on millions of Americans (this one included) with his many writing and stories. Monogram latched onto his ideas and put many of them to plastic, including this Passenger Rocket. Willy Ley passed away in 1969.


To my knowledge, this kit has never been reissued until this 1996 boxing. The kit is molded in red and white, with the red portion being the lower rocket and the white being used for the upper component as well as the wings of the lower section. Allegedly this is so that no painting is required! All of the panel lines, including the control surface lines, are raised and mostly are finely done rivets. It is quite convincing and considering that rivets = detail in the late 1950s, it was definitely cutting edge stuff. No scale is given, but judging from the people provided, I'd have to say around 1/200 - 1/250 or so.

There is no real cockpit provided though there are pilots to be placed on small pedestals molded to the lower half of the various fuselages. Clear canopies and cabin windows are provided, though I'd probably paint them over on the inside as there is nothing to see. The parts themselves are well molded and free from flash. There are a few sink areas opposite thick interior bulkheads and a few ejector pin marks on the underside of wings and a few other bits, but nothing like what I've seen on even more modern kits. The kit comes with a base on which you can place a few figures and some supports to hold the rocket in place.

Instructions are just as they were in the 50s with photos for each construction step and a written construction sequence. An exploded view of all the parts is also provided. A painting guide is also provided. Decals are for Trans Space Lines and are quite thick and gloss. I'm not really sure just how good they'd be, so I'd have some other options available in case they don't work.



These old kits are a real nostalgia kick for many of us. I missed doing these when I was younger, preferring the Lindberg Flying Saucer and other Lindberg space kits (I can remember getting a gift set of three or four of those as a Christmas gift one year). I'm definitely not passing up on them this time around!

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