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Space Clipper

Moebius Models 1/160 Space Clipper Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2011 Manufacturer Moebius Models
Subject Space Clipper Scale 1/160
Kit Number 2001-2 Primary Media Styrene
Pros All-new tool of the Orion Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look

Space Clipper
Space Clipper
Space Clipper
Space Clipper

It was the beginning of the 21st Century and man was not only on the moon, he was expanding the moon base to support exploration into the solar system as well as study the geological history of the moon and its relationship to the Earth. In one of those geological digs, an artifact was uncovered like nothing seen before - a black monolith devoid of any features.

Word of this discovery quickly carried back to Earth and a scientific team was dispatched to the moon to see the artifact first-hand. After an uneventful Pan Am space clipper flight into orbit, the team awaited their connecting flight aboard one of the orbiting space stations. From there, a lunar shuttle carried the team to the moon base, where they took a moon bus out to the dig site. As the team gathered around the artifact, the sunrise struck the previously buried artifact for the first time and it shot a message into deep space. And so ends the second act of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Moebius Models has returned with its second installment in the 2001 A Space Odyssey series, the Space Clipper. To be more precise, this is the Pan American Space Clipper Orion, but evidently Moebius Models ran into licensing issues with the movie studio, the owners of the Pan American legacy, or both, hence the generic Space Clipper title.

Molded in white plastic, this kit is presented on two parts trees, plus the lower wing half and two-piece fuselage. One tree of clear parts plus a clear display stand patterned from the Aurora stands round out the kit.

This kit is all-new-tooling at 1/160 scale, not to be confused with the really old toolings of the Orion from Aurora and Airfix. Assembly is quick and easy. In an interesting twist of design, the surface detailing on the kit is minimal because Moebius provides a large sheet of decals to replicate the panel lines and panel shading, similar in concept to the Aztec decals produced for the USS Enterprise kits.

Interesting that there are indeed several aftermarket interior options including one photo-etched interior available from CultTVman Hobbies. As I was reminded recently, this kit is essentially N-Gauge in scale, so you can use figures made for N-Gauge railroads to put into these seats (though the photo-etch set gives you figures as well).

As mentioned previously, there is a large sheet of decals included in this kit to provide surface detailing and panel shading. Oddly enough, no Pan Am markings are included indicating licensing issues but I fould a set of Pan Am markings on the CultTVman Hobbies where I also purchased this kit.

If "the third time is the charm" then Moebius got this one right. While they could have added an interior to this kit, you'd be hard-pressed to see any of it after assembly without some interior lighting and other complications that would only raise the price of this kit. At under $30 USD, the modeler can either have a simple build to put on the shelf or partake of the aftermarket products that are coming out for this kit. Either way, this kit hits home as it should represent what spaceflight should have looked like a decade ago.