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Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) Kit

Three Stooges Productions 1/72 Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2013 Manufacturer Three Stooges Productions
Subject Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72001 Primary Media Resin, Photo-Etch
Pros Unique subject Cons None noted
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $46.00

First Look

Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV)
Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV)

The Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) was a vertical take-off and landing platform designed to simulate the last few seconds of flight of the Lunar Module as it was supposed to land on the moon. The LLRV used a turbine engine to counter 5/6 of the vehicle's weight so that the on-board hydrogen peroxide rockets could simulate the descent and lateral movement of the vehicle to a desired touch-down point. Because the LLRV would only fly up to 500 feet above ground level and had no appreciable ground speed, the vehicle was equipped with an ejection seat should the pilot run into trouble. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the only person to eject from an LLRV (two were built). The success of the LLRV lead to the construction of three Lunar Landing Training Vehicles that featured improvements over the LLRV.

Three of the folks that organized the 2013 IPMS/USA National Convention also created a new brand - Three Stooges Productions. Their first offering is the LLRV in 1/72 scale andas you can see in the images, this kit is an interesting bit of engineering. The photo-etch was produced by Paragrafix while the resin parts were produced by BTTG. As you can see in the image above, the kit goes together nicely with some careful bending and soldering of the photo-etched airframe and attachment of the resin lift engine, fuel cells, ejection seat, pilot, etc.

Only a handful of these kits were produced by Three Stooges Productions and sold out at the IPMS Nationals at the TAG Team Hobbies booth. A second production run will is underway and will be sold on the TAG Team Hobbies website though examples may appear on other venues as well. This a limited run kit and if you're a spaceflight modeler, this is one subject you don't want to let slip away.

My sincere thanks to Three Stooges Productions for the review sample!