Pegasus Hobby 1/144 Rocket Ship X-M
Scott Van Aken
Very simple kit.
(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.
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
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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