Mars Gravity Probe 1 from "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" (1964)
About the Design
"Robinson Crusoe on Mars" (1964), directed by Byron Haskin, was the Little B-Movie that Could. In addition to intelligently re-telling a Daniel DeFoe tale of a voyager marooned far, far from home, the movie boasted vehicle designs that marked a clear demarcation between the Streamline Moderne ethos of the Buck Rogers era and the clunky, utilitarian sensibilities that would reach their pinnacle just four years later in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey."
In fact, it's possible to see the precursor of Kubric's Discovery One in "Robinson Crusoe"'s MPG-1: The rounded forward command module, the long trailing spine and the large atomic-powered engine at the rear. In fact, early concepts for the Discovery featured elongated radiator fins almost identical to those seen here on the Mars Gravity Probe.
About the Kit
The Mars Gravity Probe 1 kit was released by Fantastic Plastic Models in January 2013. The kit was mastered and cast exclusively for Fantastic Plastic by John Fleming of Millennia Models International (MMI). This multi-media kit featured steel and brass details in addition to resin and styrene components. The 1:144 model was 14 inches long when built.