Disneyland Rocket-to-the-Moon (1958)
About the Design
Based on the half-scale mock-up that originally graced Disneyland's Tomorrowland in Anaheim, California, this elegant one-stage rocket takes the classic ogive shape of the German V-2 and dispenses with tail fins in favor of three retractable landing legs. With seemingly plenty of room for passengers (Note the low position of the porthole windows) but scant space for engines, this is a purely fanciful post-War concept with virtually no basis in practical spacecraft theory.
Note: Although influenced by the work of Dr. Werner von Braun, Willey Ley and others, the Moonliner was actually designed by John Hensch, a Disney "Imagineer." (Thanks to Mat Small for this insight!)
About the Kit
Released briefly in the mid-50s from Strombecker, the Disney Moonliner was a rare find until the early 1990's when Glencoe Models re-released the kit as the "Mars Liner." It was the same ship but with the TWA name replaced with the fictional "Fastways" logo. The change was most likely a trademark issue, although it was prescient in that TWA would, in fact, go the way of Pan Am by the first years of the 21st Century.
This model is the retooled Glencoe edition with Disneyland-style TWA decals. The "NASA" variant is from a special kit issued for an IMPS convention.