Various views of the Lindberg "Star Probe". It must drive kit collectors halfway bonkers to see hacks like me actually build vintage kits like this one. Or maybe every time I ruin a vintage collector kit, the value of theirs, hermetically sealed in dry nitrogen in a radiation-proof safe, goes up.
Either way, I like models like this. I can't get enough of that vintage future-factual space stuff, perhaps because it takes my mind off our current near-futility in space. (And it probably drives the fans of unmanned space exploration bonkers when I say things like that, because unmanned space exploration seems to be enjoying a sort of Renaissance. And that's cool. But for me, anyway, what's the point of having a space program if somewhere in the fine print it doesn't have a manned landing on Mars as a long-range objective?)
I didn't use the kit decals, obviously. They'd become as brittle as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the only way to save them would be scan them, clean up the digital image, and reprint them on decal paper. Given that my printer is being stubborn and my scanner went to its reward ages ago, I figured I'd use scavenged decals for the time being and, when I've worked out my office problems, I'll repaint the Star Probe and apply the refurbished decals. And I painted the portholes blue instead of red because I think the red ones are altogether too insectoid.
I love the little "specimen" (if you've seen The Right Stuff you know what I'm talking about) in their metalized Michelin Man suits.
One question, though: how exactly do the little specimen get from the habitation part of the ship to the ground? Am I to presume that somewhere there's a really long ladder lashed to the outside of the ship? Or maybe they shinny up and down on ropes? Probably no big deal on the moon; even I could handle that. But suppose Commander Falcon lands the thing on Mars - four tenths of a gee might be more than my slack forearms could deal with. But the alternative, I suppose, is to imagine a tunnel going through the middle of the propellant tanks and emerging somewhere between the clustered rocket engines, which doesn't seem like a good solution either.
Maybe the best approach is to open a beer, forget about it, and leave it all in Commander Falcon's capable hands.