Moon Bus from from "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)
About the Design
Another strictly utilitarian vehicle from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 sci-fi epic, the Moon Bus was designed to shuttle men and material to various destinations on the lunar surface. Capable of carrying six passengers, a two-man flight crew, and a limited amount of cargo, the moon bus used six belly-mounted rockets to fly several hundred feet above the treacherous lunar landscape, but did not have enough power to achieve orbit -- or escape velocity.
About the Kit
The "2001 Moon Bus" was supposed to be the flagship kit of Aurora's 1969 line. Given the prestigious cover of its 1969 products catalogue, it was the second "2001: A Space Odyssey" kit to be released (following the Pan Am Space Clipper) and should have opened the door for a full line of "2001" vehicle models. But something went wrong. Either the kit didn't sell as well as anticipated or it was just too expensive to produce to be profitable. Whatever the reason, the kit was only released briefly in mid-1969, and then went immediately into permanent retirement. (Personal note: I bought this model in its first week of release and never saw it on store shelves again!)
The kit, which comes with a complete interior and five astronauts, contains numerous inaccuracies, including a curved aerodynamic windscreen -- which has been eliminated in this refurbished original issue. Also, the passenger window section originally had a single clear plastic pane running its entire length; this, too, has been corrected to more accurately reflect the filming miniature.
Another problem with the kit was that its removable roof panel was warped, making a clean fit impossible. This accounts for the numerous gaps visible in the completed model.
The Moon Bus was re-released by Moebius Models in 2010. Using the original Aurora molds, the kit suffered from many of the same problems as the original.
This model was built from the original issue.