1950s Plastic Space Model Kits:


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Space Shuttle

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Classic Plastic
Model Kits:

& Value Guide

by Rick Polizzi


Nasa and Space Exploration



Feature Article
Strange New Worlds  Issue 14 - June/July 1994

Vintage Spaceship model kits and popular
publications of the 1950s
by Elliott Swanson

Glencoe Reissued Model Kits Made from Vintage 1950s Molds

8-glencoe-retriever.jpg (18996 bytes)Nick Argento, CEO of Glencoe, loves these old space kits. The brochure/instructions that come with the "Blueprint For The Future" models includes a quotation by Ray Bradbury, "It is part of the nature of man to start with romance and build to a reality." That is probably the most concise statement as to why these old designs are so wonderful. They are the romance that preceded the reality of actually going there.

Because of Nick, you are getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire some of the classic spacecraft models for about $10 each. It took Nick years to secure and restore the vintage molds for these '50s kits, often literally from the scrap heap. Since injection molds often tip the scales at a few thousand pounds each and several are usually needed to make a complete kit, digging them out of junk piles can involve massive effort. There is also the heartbreak of finding all except one crucial mold needed to "shoot" a kit, and then discover it has been hauled off as scrap. Also, if one mold fails, the kit is history.

These molds have a very limited useful life remaining and are so touchy that Nick often has to personally baby the operation of the injection machines to get them to work. The only things different in the Glencoe reissues of the Strombecker kits are the box art and the decal sheets. The Ron Miller box art is every bit as dramatic as the original Cal Smith work done for Strombecker, if not more so.

Few people are going to build a vintage $300 model kit, but at $10, why not? Models were made to be assembled. Many of the people I know into space kits are picking up a half dozen of each of the Glencoe Strombecker reissues.

In addition to Strombecker, Glencoe is always scouting for other old injection molds. The "Blueprint for the Future" line also includes Lindberg reissues.

Note that the scales may sometimes be different than those shown for the original kits. Many of the original kits were issued as "box scale" — in other words, whatever would fit in a standard box. Scale is not always stated. For the Glencoe kits, I’ve listed the scales shown in their brochures. However, the kits are identical. Trust me.

All models were scheduled for release in 1993, although some may not have actually been produced yet. If your local hobby store doesn’t have them, check the mail order ads in Fine Scale Modeler. Current retail price for these kits is approximately $10.

Retriever Rocket, (photo above) Kit #05002. 1/72 scale. Reissue of Strombecker D34-100 "Walt Disney’s RM-1 Rocket Ship."

Lunar Lander, (photo on left) Kit #05003. 1/72 scale. Reissue of Lindberg 1003 "US Moon Ship."

Three-Stage Ferry Rocket, (picture at left) Kit #05908. 1/288 scale. Reissue of Strombecker D26-100 "Man In Space Ship." The Glencoe brochure states, "Wernher von Braun design for launching cargo and shuttlecraft into space. Build one of two versions." From this statement, I assume that the top stage for the Strombecker D35-100 "Walt Disney’s Satellite Launcher," a bullet-like section designed for lofting cargo and satellites, is also included.

Nuclear Powered Space Station, (pictured below) Kit #05909. 1/300 scale. Reissue of Strombecker D32-100 "Walt Disney’s Space Station."

Transport Rocket, (not shown) Kit #05910. 1/200 scale. Reissue of Lindberg 1001 "Transport Rocket."

Convair Observation Vehicle, (not shown) Kit #05911. . 1/200 scale. Reissue of Strombecker D39-100.

Solar Powered Space Station, (not shown) Kit #07901. 1/350 scale. Reissue of Lindberg 1002 "US Space Station."

Convair Lunar Reconnaissance and Nuclear Powered Interplanetary Vehicles, (not shown) Kit # 07902. 1/96 scale. Reissue of Strombecker D37-100 "Convair Manned Lunar Reconnaissance Vehicle" and D38-100 "Convair Manned Nuclear Interplanetary Vehicle."

Article continues...

bulletHawk Model Co. Vintage Kits
bulletLindberg Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletMonogram Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletRevell Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletStrombecker Vintage Model Kits