Thursday, December 10, 2009

2001 A Space Odyssey

                                                                                                                                                          Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 a space odyssey has to be the greatest science fiction movie of all time. A movie in which all other science fiction films are compared. However despite its importance and popularity not very many model kits were released based on this movie. Aurora models did make the moon bus and the Orion shuttle but when Aurora went belly up in the mid 70s the molds I believe were sold to Revell/Monogram. To try and buy these models nowadays fetches a collectors premium. Why Revell/Monogram never rereleased these kits in 2001 is anyone’s guess. (update) The old Aurora molds of the Orion II and the Moonbus are now released again under Moebius Models. Airfix did rerelease their Orion shuttle in 2001 but it is such a poor representation as being not really worth the purchase in my opinion. Garage kit manufacturers like Atomic city and Lunar models have produced wonderful 2001 models that far better represent this movie. However production runs on these models can be extremely limited and at times costly. I understand Atomic city makes an 11 foot model of Discovery one. So what does one do? Answer Scratch build! First here we have my scratch built model Space Station 5. At the time when I built this model there were (or at least I don’t think there were) really any reliable blueprints of this model kicking around. So what did I do? Answer put the movie into the player, fast forward to the pertinent points in the movie and start taking measurements which is exactly what I did. Now some eagle eyed individuals will no doubt point out some mistakes on my model when compared to the original (which by the way was tossed into a farmer’s field in the early seventies and then was never seen again, what a crying shame). All I can say to those eagle eyed viewers is Hey! I took the measurements off a friggen TV set for crying out load gimmi a break! The next model for your viewing pleasure is the EVA pod. Now very accurate blueprints are kicking around on the Interweb. This model I built from an 11 inch mirror ball I found kicking around in a top floor disused space in a really old building on the outskirts of downtown Edmonton. How it got there I couldn’t even begin to guess (how I got there I couldn’t even begin to guess). Measuring around a sphere can at times be a little tricky. The partial image of Discovery one in the background is another scratch build I did but the front section of this five and a half foot monster was damaged so I will post images of this model in the future just as soon as it is repaired. Next we have the American nuclear satellite This is the first ship you see in the movie even if only for two and a half seconds. It happens .during Stanley Kubrick’s famous three million year jump cut. First you see the man ape Moonwatcher in typical kubrickian glee throwing a bone in the air just after dispatching a rival ape. As the bone spins in the air with the sound of wind in the background it suddenly with a single film splice jumps to the American nuclear satellite and the beginnings of Strauss’s Blue Danube in the background. Finally we have the Orion 3 space shuttle by Lunar models. This beautiful kit is a resin cast model. If you have never built a resin cast kit before I would strongly recommend that before you build one to rub down all parts with Easyoff because if you don’t the paint will not stick properly to the parts. I tried looking for Lunar Models the other day on the Interweb but I cannot find them any longer. It would appear that they are out of business. If so it is sad indeed, they made such beautiful model kits .


Anonymous said...

Great page, I was poking around the internet looking for some reference to these 2001 models. I had both the moon bus and the orion shuttle as a kid. The moon bus was purchased at a small store in Ft. Macleod on the way to the united states with my grandparents. I wasn't a very developed model builder then and it didn't turn out as it could have, I don't remember at what point or what conditons the model was disposed of. The orion however turned out quite well although a piece was missing from the engine from a sealed package (the tail cone came off to display the engine). At any rate the model was disposed of during the sad time at which I left home and as a young person starting out had no real way to harbor collectables. I really agonized about discarding it and wish I didn't now. Cheers... Mark

-Warren Zoell said...

Actually Mark the Moon bus is available again through Moebius Models and they apparently have the old Aurora Orion III molds. So It's just a question of time before that's re released as well.