Pegasus Hobby 1/144 the Luna Rocketship
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||12 pieces including base|
When their latest rocket test fails and government funding collapses, rocket scientist Dr. Charles Cargraves (Warner Anderson) and space enthusiast General Thayer (Tom Powers) enlist the aid of aircraft magnate Jim Barnes (John Archer). With the necessary millions raised privately from a group of patriotic U. S. industrialists, Cargraves, Warner, and Barnes build an advanced single-stage-to-orbit atomic powered spaceship, named Luna, at their desert manufacturing and launch facility; the project is soon threatened by a ginned-up public uproar over "radiation safety." The three idealists circumvent legal efforts to stop their expedition by simply launching the world's first Moon mission well ahead of schedule; as a result, they must quickly substitute Joe Sweeney (Dick Wesson) as their expedition's radar and radio operator.
On their way to Moon, they are forced to go outside Luna in zero gravity, wearing magnetic boots to stay on the hull, in order to free a frozen piloting radar antenna greased-up by the inexperienced Sweeney hours before the launch. In the process they carelessly lose one of the crew overboard, untethered in free fall; he is cleverly retrieved by using a large oxygen cylinder as a retro rocket. After achieving orbit around the Moon, the crew begins the complex landing procedure, using too much fuel during the Luna's descent phase.
On the Moon, after exploring the lunar surface, they begin to calculate the mass needed to lighten their spaceship in the Moon's one-sixth gravity to get them back home with their remaining fuel. No matter how much non-critical equipment they remove and leave on the lunar surface, the hard numbers radioed from Earth continue to point to one conclusion: Someone will have to stay behind on the Moon if the other three crew are to return safely to Earth. With time running out for their return launch window, the crew engineers their way home. They first jettison the ship's heavy radio equipment, losing contact with Earth, and finally their sole remaining space suit. The suit's air tanks and space helmet are used as tethered, suspended weights to pull the space suit outside through the airlock, which is then remotely closed and resealed. With their critical take-off weight finally achieved and with just a few minutes remaining,Luna safely blasts off from the Moon with all aboard. As the crew approaches the Earth, the film's traditional "The End" title card heralds the dawn of the Space Age: "This is THE END...of the Beginning."
This was the second space movie produced by Hollywood, being beaten to the box office by 'Rocketship X-M' which was shot in 18 days and with a budget 1/5 that of 'Destination: Moon', and it shows in many ways, including the lack of scientific knowledge about gravity and weightlessness shown by the X-M movie. 'Destination Moon' had Robert Heinlein as a creative director on the movie and his knowledge of the subject shows quite clearly in what is a much better film. The matte paintings used in the film were created by renowned astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell. Your editor has one of his art books from 1953 and it is superbly done.
With just 12 parts, we are not talking about something that is complex. The kit comes with two fuselage halves, two clear inserts for the nose windows, two large fins with the fin bulges requiring a second half, the small fin and the even smaller fourth fin/skid. Last rocket bit is the exhaust nozzle. The kit also has a very nice base, probably added to add bulk to the kit and not make it seem not worth your nearly $30. Doesn't matter as those of us who are into things like this would buy it anyway.
Instructions are very simple and provide clear steps, though most of us will not need them. The only painting guide is the very nice box art, which shows what is an overall aluminum ship.
So, if you are an old time sci-fi nut and like to have a collection of vehicles from these movies, add this one to your list.
May 2014 Thanks to me for the preview kit. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to me for the preview kit.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page