Project Orion Battleship (1963)
About the Design
Project Orion was one of the most ambitious -- and radical -- spacecraft concepts ever developed. Central to the concept was substituting conventional chemical rockets with a string of low-yield nuclear bombs "spit" out the rear to create a series of powerful blast waves that would accelerate the spacecraft to high velocities.
The "piece de resistance" of the Orion development project was the Orion Battleship, a 10-story-tall spaceborne "doomsday" weapon that would carry more nuclear firepower than a nuclear submarine. Its proposed armaments included 500 20-megaton thermonuclear missiles, 3 naval Mk 5-inch gun turrets, at least six Casaba Howitzer nuclear directed-energy weapons systems and numerous 20-mm close-in weapons. Propulsion would consist of several thousand 5-kiloton nuclear pulse weapons (that would also serve as powerful EMP weapons if detonated in the upper atmosphere). Six "landing boats" were on board for use in crew transfer, resupply, emergency escape, etc.
When the Battleship concept (including a scale model) was shown to President Kennedy in 1963, JFK was reportedly so freaked out that he immediately cancelled the project altogether.
About the Kit
Fantastic Plastic's first release of 2010, the Project Orion Battleship Kit was designed in CAD by Scott Lowther and then "printed" and cast by Mana Studios. The kit featured three "gun bays" with one naval Mk 5-inch gun and two Casaba Howitzers each, plus a landing bay with two "landing boats."
The kit was designed with working pistons so that the "shock absorber" could be positioned at will.