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Lunar Models Aries from 2001: A Space Odyssey


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Greetings!

Thanks for having a look at my recently completed build of the ancient resin kit from Lunar Models of the Aries spacecraft from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Perhaps the first kit of the Aries when introduced in the 1980's, it suffers from glaring accuracy issues and poor quality. A product of the pre internet age when detailed information about the film was still relatively difficult to find, it is probably better to think of this kit as the Aries 1A rather than the 1B featured in the film due the problems with accuracy. I replaced the kit engine parts which were absolutely horrible with scratch built units and extensively modified the landing gear parts. Adding a scratch built landing platform and LED lighting to both the spacecraft and landing pad greatly enhanced the completed display. This was a challenging project and I would not recommend the kit to anyone as there are much better alternatives now available.

Many thanks for viewing the images, your questions and comments are always welcome.

Cheers,

Bill

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Oh my goodness! Considering what you started with, the results are incredible! Plus, I don't recall ever seeing anyone else even finishing a Lunar Models kit of the Aries, certainly not to this high standard.

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Thank for the kind words! I am pleased you enjoyed the images. Although this was tedious project, working with poor quality parts and significant accuracy issues, I am glad I stayed with it to completion rather than assigning it to the rubbish bin.

Cheers,

Bill

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for having a look! I really don't know the scale of this kit, but the sphere measures approximately 5 inches across and the overall display including the base is 12 x 7.5 x 6 inches.

Cheers,

Bill.

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  • 4 years later...

Excellent work! I've been looking for a Lunar Models Aries 1B kit, not for the accuracy, but the approximate scale. According to the book 2001: The Lost Technology by Adam K Johnson and The 2001 File by Sir Christopher Frayling, the diameter of the Aries is 42 feet, so at 5 inches the kit would be around 1/100 scale. I know that Larson Design Catalog just re-released the old Lunar Models kit of the Orion III Space Clipper in 1/72, which I just started,  and hopefully a new and corrected kit of the Aries 1B will be coming soon too! If anyone is aware of a 1/72 scale (or close to this scale) kit in any medium: resin, plastic, 3D, etc., please let me know! I'm currently writing a kit review and history for the Orion III Space Clipper at the International Resin Modellers Association (www.internationlaresinmodelers.com). 

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17 hours ago, zanenobbs said:

Excellent work! I've been looking for a Lunar Models Aries 1B kit, not for the accuracy, but the approximate scale. According to the book 2001: The Lost Technology by Adam K Johnson and The 2001 File by Sir Christopher Frayling, the diameter of the Aries is 42 feet, so at 5 inches the kit would be around 1/100 scale. I know that Larson Design Catalog just re-released the old Lunar Models kit of the Orion III Space Clipper in 1/72, which I just started,  and hopefully a new and corrected kit of the Aries 1B will be coming soon too! If anyone is aware of a 1/72 scale (or close to this scale) kit in any medium: resin, plastic, 3D, etc., please let me know! I'm currently writing a kit review and history for the Orion III Space Clipper at the International Resin Modellers Association (www.internationlaresinmodelers.com). 

 

I'm sure you are aware Moebuis have an large scale injection (no scale to date has been mentioned) shot styrene Aries 1B in the works, it was due Q1 this year, but obviously its been delay by Cv19. Personally I would wait for that one, but each to their own.  No disrespect to the Lunar Models kit, it was great when it was originally produced and definatley ahead of the curve as was LM as pioneering company in large scale sci-fi subject matter. But there have been a lot of better options since.

 

As far as I'm aware  there has been no 1/72 Aries . However, probably the best to date is the 1/48 rotocast resin CAD designed  AJA  kit (produced and researched by Adam Johnson - so one will know it will as accurate as references peermitted at the time) complete with interior, sadly that is out of production Mine still looks at me saying 'build me'!

 

Other than those Aries kits mentioned above there have been a few others:

 

- Stargazer 1/144

 

- Captain Cardboard/Atomic City 1/96

 

Atomic City had a 1/32 kit in the works, but everything went wrong leaving a sour taste in many a mouth inculding mine - which is a shame as Scott Alexander's work is good.

 

Tommo.

 

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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@zanenobbs

 

From your post it was not clear if you were seeking info about Aries or Orion, if its Orion the following may help:

 

- A UK company (who's name I can't recall, but were located  in the Bristol area, if memory serves) produced a large scale resin kit with a polystyrene core to reduce weight - which would have worked dout close to 1/72. It was beautifully cast and had delicate engraved details. However, regretably it was upscaled from the Airfix kit, so it was WRONG in pretty much every aspect. I sold my copy on pretty quickly after it landed.

 

- Atomic City produced a large scale Orion in 1/72. The masters were finished off for Scott by Adam Johnson and the pre production build ups looked absolutely beautiful and having  the Adam Johnson stamp of accuracy, it wa a must. However, it went the same way as the Aries leaving that bitter taste mentioned up thread. But, to add insult to injury Scott starting selling copies on eBay much to annoynace of those like me who had stumped up on pre order several 100 quid. I hasten to add other than finish the masters Adam Johnson was not involved in the Atomic City debacle.

 

Stargazer did a true 1/144 (original) scale Orion sold through Starship Modeller, that was a beaut! The second iteration cast by Blap was even better.

 

Many a garage kit manufacturer up until the appearnce of the upgraded Aurora kit produced by Moebuis had a tilt at it with varying degrees of success. The Aurora kit along with the Moonbus is surpringly accurate as they had access to Warners Bros art dept original drawings. Again, Adam Johnson was involved with the upgrade of the Moebius Orion so don't overloook that one albeit its not 1/72.

 

Tommo

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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1 hour ago, The Tomohawk Kid said:

@zanenobbs

 

From your post it was not clear if you were seeking info about Aries or Orion, if its Orion the following may help:

 

- A UK company (who's name I can't recall, but were located  in the Bristol area, if memory serves) produced a large scale resin kit with a polystyrene core to reduce weight - which would have worked dout close to 1/72. It was beautifully cast and had delicate engraved details. However, regretably it was upscaled from the Airfix kit, so it was WRONG in pretty much every aspect. I sold my copy on pretty quickly after it landed.

 

- Atomic City produced a large scale Orion in 1/72. The masters were finished off for Scott by Adam Johnson and the pre production build ups looked absolutely beautiful and having  the Adam Johnson stamp of accuracy, it wa a must. However, it went the same way as the Aries leaving that bitter taste mentioned up thread. But, to add insult to injury Scott starting selling copies on eBay much to annoynace of those like me who had stumped up on pre order several 100 quid. I hasten to add other than finish the masters Adam Johnson was not involved in the Atomic City debacle.

 

Stargazer did a true 1/144 (original) scale Orion sold through Starship Modeller, that was a beaut! The second iteration cast by Blap was even better.

 

Many a garage kit manufacturer up until the appearnce of the upgraded Aurora kit produced by Moebuis had a tilt at it with varying degrees of success. The Aurora kit along with the Moonbus is surpringly accurate as they had access to Warners Bros art dept original drawings. Again, Adam Johnson was involved with the upgrade of the Moebius Orion so don't overloook that one albeit its not 1/72.

 

Tommo

Thank you! Yes, I am referencing the Aries 1B in 1/72 or close. I just received the Larson Design Catalog Orion III Space Clipper! Currently working on a review for them. It has a hollow passenger compartment, so will be lighted similar to the Aries 1B on here. Thank you for all the information! I'll wait for the accurate kit. I'm not sure if Chris Larson will be doing an Aries 1B or not. There is also a new 1/96 scale model of the Discovery coming from Kaiyo of Japan! It will be 3D printed from what I can find out and should run about USD $400 or a finished version for $1,500. 

 

All my best,

 

Zane

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Hi Tommo,

 

I was just on Atomic City where Scott Alexander posts, and he mentions doing a 1/80 scale Aries B1 a few years ago. Not sure if this might be similar to the one by the maker in the UK or not. Just thought this might be a useful bit of information to have.

 

Sincerely,

 

Zane

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Zane,

 

There is no 1/72 kit of Aries 1B. There nearest is the Captain Cardboard/Atomic City/Auroashouda 1/80 (which I wrongly quoted at 1/96 up thread) and that is long out of production. That, was almost certainly Scott's most sucessful kit. Someone (who's name escapes me) did an aftermarket flight deck kit for it - there was no passenger cabin kit to my knowledge.

 

There was no UK Aries 1B kit, I assume you are thinking of Stargazer 1/144 kit, this was mastered by Ian Walsh who is indeed based in the UK, Torquay if memory serves. However, all the kits were cast in the US and sold via US outlets.

 

I would personally wait for the Moebius Aries kit. However, if you cannot wait try and source the AJA one, as it is the best currently out there by some margin albeit it is 1/48.

 

The Kaiyo Discovery has been due/in the works for an absolute epoch, I would file it in the lost projects for the time being.

 

Tommo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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On 4/13/2021 at 5:38 PM, zanenobbs said:

Excellent work! I've been looking for a Lunar Models Aries 1B kit, not for the accuracy, but the approximate scale. According to the book 2001: The Lost Technology by Adam K Johnson and The 2001 File by Sir Christopher Frayling, the diameter of the Aries is 42 feet, so at 5 inches the kit would be around 1/100 scale. I know that Larson Design Catalog just re-released the old Lunar Models kit of the Orion III Space Clipper in 1/72, which I just started,  and hopefully a new and corrected kit of the Aries 1B will be coming soon too! If anyone is aware of a 1/72 scale (or close to this scale) kit in any medium: resin, plastic, 3D, etc., please let me know! I'm currently writing a kit review and history for the Orion III Space Clipper at the International Resin Modellers Association (www.internationlaresinmodelers.com). 

Many thanks Zane!  This old Lunar Models kit was a big deal when it appeared in the 1980's as was the Discovery XD-1 -

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234967867-lunar-models-discovery-xd-1-from-2001-a-space-odyssey/

 

I enjoyed both of these resin kits from Lunar Models and eventually sold them a few years ago.

 

In the late 1990's I had a few of the original 1/80 scale Aries 1B resin kits by Scott Alexander (Captain Cardboard).  Scott sold the initial version of this kit in the "Models that Aurora Shoulda have made" boxing.  The resin quality in these early kits was absolutely superb, but the lower hull panels were smooth without detail.  Scott later added this detail in subsequent versions.   These initial versions are excellent 1/80 scale kits of the Aries 1B, I don't know about the quality of subsequent offerings.  Scott also produced a 1/32 scale 15 inch diameter Aries 1B with interior and a 1/48 scale 44 inch Orion Space Clipper, both of which build up into very impressive displays -

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235060208-atomic-city-pan-am-space-clipper-orion/

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235058966-132-scale-atomic-city-models-aries-1b/

 

I don't know about current availability of Atomic City kits, but I highly recommend them.

Cheers,

Bill

Edited by Jeddahbill
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22 hours ago, Jeddahbill said:

  Scott also produced a 1/32 scale 15 inch diameter Aries 1B with interior and a 1/48 scale 44 inch Orion Space Clipper, both of which build up into very impressive displays

 

 

 

He sold a few kits on eBay, much to the chagrin of the very many (myself included) who had paid100s of dollars in pre-orders, that where never delivered.

 

Tommo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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9 hours ago, The Tomohawk Kid said:

 

He sold a few kits on eBay, much to the chagrin of the very many (myself included) who had paid100s of dollars in pre-orders, that where never delivered.

 

Tommo.

 

Many, myself included, experienced frustration with Scott.  In late 1999/.early 2000, I signed on with Atomic City as one of the original 6 underwriter investors for the development of the large scale 2001: A Space Odyssey models.  Despite visiting Scott in his studio/workshop twice and many years of waiting, I never received my kits as an Atomic City investor and only managed to get the Orion and Aries through eBay and that involved long delays.  

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4 hours ago, oldmodeler said:

IMPRESSED!

you have made a superb model from the Luna Models kit!

Once had their Discovery, but sold it on, just as Mobieus made their 1/144 version.  

Looking forward to Mobeius making the Aries.

M

 

 

Thanks!  I finished the Lunar Models XD-1 kit before Moebius introduced their 1/144 version which I now am working on.  Moebius has done a very good job with this kit and it is a vast improvement over the ancient resin Lunar Models kit.  I also have the large scale XD-1 kit from Timeslip Creations which is a superb resin kit .

Bill

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1 hour ago, Jeddahbill said:

 

 I signed on with Atomic City as one of the original 6 underwriter investors for the development of the large scale 2001: A Space Odyssey models.  Despite visiting Scott in his studio/workshop twice and many years of waiting, I never received my kits as an Atomic City investor a

 

Ouch!

 

Tommo.

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