June 24th, 2009

The coolest spaceships EVER!! Kids, build your own!!

There are not many things cooler than a 1950's Wernher von Braun spaceship design.

In the 1950's, the ex-German (to put it politely) rocket scientist, in the post-war era spearheading Americas thrust into space exploration, produce stacks of fantastic speculative spacecraft designs that just looked so thrilling that who could possibly not vote in favour?

Von Braun teamed up with some of the most inspiring illustators and imaginative publishers to create a fully functional, far ranging, engaging and exciting space program.  It didn't exist, but you could almost touch it. 

Here's one of the classic spacecraft from the Great Imaginary Space Program:




WOW!!  This is the well known and often illustrated Ferry Rocket design.

Would it ever be neat to build a model of this wonderful speculative design!  Like this:



And you can, by buying the kit from Frontier models,at this link:
http://www.frontiermodels.co.uk/Von-Braun-3-Stage-Ferry-Rocket-p-17852.html

But gosh kids, the kit costs $264.86 in US dollars. 

(Yes, the decimal is in the right place.  That's Two Hundred and Sixty Four etc. dollars Yankee American.)

And its a resin kit too.  These things are tough to build and unless you are very experienced and dedicated, your model is not going to look like the above.  You have to trust me on this.

Now what would you say if I told you you could build a great looking model of Warner von Brauns Ferry Rocket for free?  And that you can build it in a few hours with household tools and no special skills? Would you like that? You would?

You can, and here's where to get your complete kit for free, complete with detailed instructions and construction hints:

http://jleslie48.com/braunmodel_spaceplane.pdf

Here's a few shots of the completed model.  It was easy to build accurately, its nice and solid, and only took a couple of hours from start to finish.



















































Footnotes:

There are many great resources to follow up on if you are interested in the Great Imaginary Space program of the 1950s.   A few internet searches using keywords such as Chesley Bonestell, Willy Ley, Fred Freeman, Rolf Klep, and Cornelius Ryan will get you a long way.

Often overlooked, however, is the fabulous DVD collection, still available, of Walt Disneys Man in Space series.  If you have never seen these thrilling films, or haven't since you were a kid, you are in for a treat.  Try Amazon.com or any other comprehensive DVD source and get the popcorn poppin!