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1950s Plastic Space Model Kits:
Buyer Beware
1950s space books
Glencoe Reissues
Lindberg Spaceship kits
Monogram / Willy Ley kits
Revell model kits
Strombecker / Disney kits


Related reading:

The Story of Revell Models,
Vol. 1, 1950-1986


Remembering Revell Model Kits


classic-plastic-model-kits.jpg (9199 bytes)
Classic Plastic
Model Kits:

& Value Guide

by Rick Polizzi

Other sites of interest:


Revell-Monogram home page


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

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Vintage Revell Spaceship Model Kits

The Revell "S" series of rockets and missiles includes some of the most highly desirable spacecraft kits. The "S" indicates that the box has a picture of one of the tubes of old Type-S cement promoted on a side panel. All kits have great box art. There is a Revell gift set G-291 with four kits called the "Space Age Gift Set." However, it only includes one actual space kit, H-1825 and three aircraft kits. Even so, it’s highly sought after by collectors and extremely scarce. The box illustration looks like it was done by the same hand for most of the kits, but I don’t know the name of the artist. If anyone out there does, I’d appreciate the info.

Revell Manned Space Ship Model

H-1800-198. XSL-01 1/96 scale? Issued 1957. Designed by Systems Laboratories, Inc. Contains three stage spacecraft with launch gantry and a booklet describing the operation of the ship. One of the classic space kits. It looks remarkably like the Soviet Vostok launch vehicle that was the workhorse of their space program. Current value: $250-$350.

Revell Space Station Kit

H-1805-498. 1/96 scale? Issued 1959. Designed by physicist Ellwyn E. Angle. This kit contains the space station, space ship, space taxi, a research and maintenance vehicle, ten figures, and an "Operations Manual for your Space Station." (pictured at bottom left).

All sections of the station open to show interior details of this kit, which contains nearly 200 parts. Current value: $500-$700. (It sold for a whopping $4.98 when originally issued. Big money at a time when the average allowance was a buck or less per week.)

Revell  Moon Ship Model Kit

H-1825-79. 1/96 scale? Issued 1959. This is a reissue of kit #H-1800-198, XSL-01 Manned Space Ship, sans the first two stages and the gantry. Current value: $75. Reissued with H-1828 as H-1850 "Space Pursuit" with pop-art box . Current value of H-1825: $200. Current value of H-1850: $$175-$200.

Revell Convair Space Shuttlecraft Model Kit

H-1828-98. 1/160 scale? Issued 1959. Designed by Krafft Ehricke. This is an unusually hard-to-find kit. This kit is a fascinating prototype version of the space shuttle concept. Current value: $200-$250. Reissued with H-1825 (see H-1825 for details.)

Revell HELIOS Nuclear Powered Landing Craft Model Kit

(pictured below) H-1829-198. 1/160 scale? Issued 1959. Designed by Krafft Ehricke. HELIOS stands for Heteropowered Earth-Launched Inter-Orbital Spacecraft. Designed to be lofted by a chemical powered engine and operated beyond the atmosphere with a nuclear engine. (An actual nuclear rocket engine, NERVA, was test fired at Jackass Flats, Nevada, but this nasty piece of radiation-spewing hardware fortunately was scrapped in the early '60s.) This fascinating kit comes with a roll of thread that mechanically operates the nuclear reactor. Current value $250. Reissued as H-1851 "Atomic Space Explorer Solaris" with a pop-art box (pictured below). Current value of H-1829: $200. Current value of H-1851: $150.

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bulletGlencoe Reissued Models (made from original vintage molds)
bulletHawk Model Co. Vintage Kits
bulletLindberg Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletMonogram Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletRevell Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletStrombecker Vintage Model Kits

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