Pegasus Hobby 1/144 Rocket Ship X-M
KIT #: 9112
PRICE: $29.99 SRP
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Very simple kit.


Rocketship X-M (a.k.a. Expedition Moon and originally Rocketship Expedition Moon) is a 1950 American black-and-white science fiction film from Lippert Pictures, the first outer space adventure of the post-World War II era. The film was produced and directed by Kurt Neumann and stars Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery, Jr., Hugh O'Brian, and Morris Ankrum.

Rocketship X-M tells the story of a Moon expedition that, through a series of unforeseen events, winds up traveling instead to distant Mars. Once on the Red Planet, its crew discovers the remnants of a Martian civilization destroyed long ago by atomic war and now reverted to barbarism.


The kit comprises a whopping seven pieces, two of which are clear. The two fuselage halves are the main part with two of the four fins molded onto one of the halves. Up in the top of the rocket are windows. The kit provides these on two curved pieces of clear plastic which, like the windows of an Airfix airliner, simply plug into place. It would be wise to prepaint the upper rocket prior to installing these as that will save any issues with masking these tiny areas.

The rest of the kit consists of the other two fins as well as the rocket exhaust area. That, as they say, is it. No decals and no detail on the inside, though you couldn't see it anyway.

The instructions are quite generous, consisting of a large folded sheet of paper with the construction diagram on the inside and a painting guide (as in silver/aluminum). No stand and no display base, which would have been nice. When I build mine, I'm going to put some weight in the lowest level of the body as it looks as if it might be a bit top-heavy.

First step was to remove all the standard plastic parts and clean up the attachment points. I found a small amount of flash on a few piece, but it was quite minor and easily removed. With that done, I test fit the fuselage halves and, as expected, found I'd gotten a tad too aggressive with the sanding, despite trying to be careful. One thing I really dislike about having sprue attachment points on the gluing surfaces is that I can never seem to sand it just perfectly so I always have to use filler.

I also glued on the other fins as I saw that these would not be in the way of cleaning up seams. You can feel a teeny step up near the nose section where the mold wasn't perfectly aligned. I decided to leave it as is and see just how it looked under a coat of silver paint.

After painting the forward sections of the fuselage, I installed the windows. These are a fairly tight fit and like the fuselage halves, go together with clicks and snaps. I taped over the windows and used filler on the fuselage seams. It appears that the alignment pins cause a slight step in the halves so I recommend removing the ones forward of the fins to help keep this from happening. The result was a lot of sanding. The teeny steps were quite visible once the silver paint was applied so that area was sanded down as well.

It turns out that prepainting the front part, then installing the clear bits and masking over them didn't work out all that well as, using spray can paint, there were ridges where the tape stopped. So I sanded down the ridges and used liquid mask to cover the windows. Then I repainted, found I put on too much paint, sanded and repainted..... Well, this went on a couple of times until I got it right. I guess I'm not a spray can sort of guy. The exhaust section was painted a dark steel shade and on the inside of it I placed 10 grams of weight otherwise the rocket was quite topheavy and tended to tip over at the least bump (the reason for at least one of those repaints).

Once again, I managed to take a simple kit and spend far more time on it than I thought it would take. However, it isn't as if I'm in a hurry and I now have another nice movie space vehicle to add to my collection.


27 October 2017

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Thanks to me for picking this one up.

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