Ohio Valley Soaceport

Ohio Valley Soaceport

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Look at the Classic Aurora/Moebius 2001 Moonbus

One of my favorite motion pictures is the 1968 film '2001: A Space Odyssey'. When I first viewed this film in the late 1960's I was convinced that what was portrayed on the screen would be something I would live to witness in the early 21st Century... Well, I got that one wrong! With the state of the current U.S. space program I am not so sure there will be anything like the Clavius Moonbase or massive interplanetary probes like the Discovery for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, kids like me in the 1960's were provided with 2 '2001' kits by the legendary Aurora Plastics Corp: The Moonbus and the Orion space shuttle.

While the Orion was reissued at least once in the 1970's the moonbus became one of those "grail" kits that commanded insane prices on Ebay and at shows like Wonderfest. Happily Moebius Models re-issued this classic in 2010 and offered many of us "old-timers" another shot at building this classic kit!

With the growth in Sci-Fi aftermarket companies in recent years it did not take long for one to produce two outstanding products shortly after the release of the Moebius moonbus. Paragraphix created two neat aftermarket products: A photoetched set and a resin detail set.

Moonbus PE set that mostly consisted of frames for the windows, handles, and detailed replacement parts for the kit.

The moonbus detail set contained highly detailed replacements for the kit's rocket nozzles.

A breakdown of the detail set. The wires were for the rocket nozzles.

Although the detail set was rather straight-forward to build I did have some difficulty with the rear bulkhead in seating it to the Moebius kit.

Some puttying and sanding was required to fit the rear bulkhead into place.

Another area that required some time, effort, and care were the RCS housing on the sides of the moonbus. The kit supplied parts required cutting out places to attach quite close-fitting RCS nozzles. I would highly recommend a Dremel tool for this.

All in all both detail sets add quite a bit to the appearance of the kit. Below are some photos of the finished product.

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