ARTICLES on this page:

♦ COSMOSTRATOR – A very unique rocketship design from the movie, First Spaceship On Venus.

PAN AM CLIPPER – The Orion-III passenger liner from the movie, 2001: a space odyssey. (scroll down).

ROCKETSHIP X-M – 1950s spaceship from the movie of the same name (scroll down).




BACKGROUND:   ORIGIN – Sci-fi movie, The First Spaceship on Venus.    RELEASE DATE – 1960 (Finland), 1962 (U.S. & Sweden)     PRODUCTION Co. – Centrala Production     RELEASED BY – Crown International Pictures     IMDB RATING – 4.5 / 10     ALTERNATE TITLES – Planet of the Dead,  Spaceship Venus Does Not Reply, Silent Star, The Quiet Star     WRITER – James Fethke     DIRECTOR – Kurt Maetzig     CINEMATOGRAPHER – Joachim Hasler     STARS – Yoko Tani, Oldrick Lukes     PRODUCTION NOTES – Total Vision & Technicolor     PLOT SUMMARY – An ancient artifact is discovered. A team of researchers discovers it came from outer space & contains a message of some sort. It is decided the message came from Venus. Originally slated to go to Mars, the Cosmostrator rocketship is reassigned to go to Venus & determine the source of the strange message. The ship’s international crew get to Venus, discover the true meaning of the message, and return to Earth safely.     COMMENTS – A bit cheesy by today’s movie-making standards. The dubbed dialogue is often trite & efforts at ‘scientific talk’ often come off sounding like gibberish (which it mostly is). However, this film has good visual effects and an interesting story line; it’s one of those ‘classic’ films that are ‘so bad, it’s good’. Lots of fun to watch, even if you can’t make sense of the dialogue sometimes.

THE MODEL:   MADE BY – Pegasus     SCALE – 1/350     MATERIAL – Plastic     FEATURES – Crisply cleanly molded parts. One part is clear plastic for the beacon (just below the nose-cone). The kit accurately depicts the unique four spire design of the Cosmostrator – a central, elongated conical body is set between three ‘spires’ containing the ship’s engines. In an age where some sci-fi movies were still using footage of V-2 rocket launchings, this was a unique & dramatic departure from the ‘basic rocketship design’.     ADDED FEATURES – Ship is set on a Venutian landscape (gray and pink sand, real rocks & hand sculpted Celluclay boulders). The ship’s (3) rocket motors are mounted on clear acrylic rods; the rods are lit with flashing red LEDS from inside the display base.  I’ve built two versions of this kit – the first had only engine lighting effects, the second had a white LED added inside the hull to light the beacon.


COSMOSTRATOR / Vsn.1 – No beacon lighting.

COSMOSTRATOR / Engine lighting effect



















COSMOSTRATOR / Green screen outer-space backdrop

COSMOSTRATOR / Vsn.2 with Beacon lighting.













































FSOV / DVD Box Art








FSOV / Movie Poster







FSOV  Poster / Right title, wrong spaceship





FSOV / Movie clip – Engine tests











FSOV / The beacon

FSOV / Yoko Tani












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BACKGROUND     ORIGIN – Sci-fi movie, 2001 A Space Odyssey.    RELEASE DATE – 1968 / April 2 (U.S.), April 15 (G.B.)     PRODUCTION Co. – S. Kubrick Productions     RELEASED BY – MGM     IMDB RATING – 8.3 / 10     ALTERNATE TITLES – none     WRITER – Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke     DIRECTOR – S. Kubrick     CINEMATOGRAPHER – G. Unsworth       STARS – Kier Dullea (as Dave Bowman),  Gary Lockwood (as Dr. Frank Poole), William Sylvester (as Dr. Heywood Floyd)     PRODUCTION NOTES– Super Panavision & Metrocolor.     PLOT SUMMARY – In the beginning, prehistoric ‘apes’ discover a giant black monolith. Contact with the strange object seems to increase their mental abilities & they discover rudimentary tool usage. The next thing we know, Dr. Heywood Floyd is on his way to a space station via a Pan Am space liner. From there, he’s off to the moon, where the same monolith has just been excavated. This time, contact with the monolith causes it to send a signal to Jupiter. An expedition to Jupiter is launched on a ship controlled by a HAL-9000 computer, which just happens to be neurotic and tries to kill off the human crew.  Frank Bowman, the last surviving crewman, disables the computer & continues the mission amidst a wondrous barrage of visual effects. Strangely, he is able to live (quite comfortably) on Jupiter in the care of some unseen guardian. He dies of old age, but is reborn as the ‘space baby’ & returns to Earth (with a message).     COMMENTS – An excellent and engrossing story. Superb acting performances, intelligent dialogue, and amazing visual effects. All in all, fantastic sci-fi movie.

THE MODEL:   MADE BY – Aurora     SCALE – 1/144     MATERIAL – Plastic     FEATURES – Well molded parts. Clear plastic for the windows. The kit accurately replicates the Orion-III space clipper’s exterior and engines, but has no interior detail.     ADDED FEATURES – None, my model was built ‘from the box’ with nothing added.

ORION-III / side view









ORION-III / Top view





















ORION-III / Pan Am markings














ORION-III / Rear view






















ORION-III in space / Green-screen photography.



2001 / Movie Poster







2001 / Movie poster












ORION-III / Approaching space station






HAL-9000 / AI gone psycho











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BACKGROUND:   ORIGIN:   Movie, Rocketship X-M    RELEASE DATE:  1950.     PRODUCTION Co.:  Lippert Pictures.     RELEASED BY:  Lippert Pictures.      IMDB RATING:  4.9 / 10     ALTERNATE TITLES:  Expedition Moon.     WRITER:   Kurt Neumann, Dalton Trumbo (uncredited).     DIRECTOR :   Kurt Neumann.     CINEMATOGRAPHER:   Karl Struss.       STARS:  Lloyd Bridges,  Osa Mason,  Hugh O’Brian, Noah Beery Jr.,  John Emery.     PRODUCTION NOTES:   B&W.      PLOT SUMMARY:   The X-M in the title stood for Expedition Moon. As it suggests, the rocketship & its crew were supposed to go to the moon.  Liftoff & the initial flight go well, until the ship encounters a gravity anomaly that hurls it off course.  The next thing the crew knows, they’re landing on Mars.  The story degrades into typical 1950s fantasy-fiction from there.  Filmed in B&W, the movie was buoyed up by its great cast & their excellent performances, despite a script that was rather thin in spots. The film was light on special effects – blast-off, landing, and (I believe one meteor swarm) were about as good as the effects got.  The X-M was an imaginative design, breaking from the standard V-2 rocket configurations in movies of the time.     COMMENTS:  Personally, I like cheesy science fiction, especially when it has the excuse of having been made back in the stone age (uh, 1950s). I thought the movie was fun, even though it’s not nearly up to today’s movie making standards.

THE MODEL:   MADE BY:  Pegasus.     SCALE:  1/144     MATERIAL:  Plastic.     FEATURES:   Very simple kit, only 7 parts.  The kit includes 2 clear parts for the flight cabin portholes.      ADDED FEATURES:   Both versions I’ve built have added LED lighting in the flight cabin and in the engine compartment. The engine lighting effects are animated by a chaser board.  To check out the lighting effects, click on the YouTube link below.

X-M / Green screen photo

X-M / Old static model






































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