Rocketship X-M from "Rocketship X-M" (1950)
About the Design
Based on a moonship design that appeared in a January 1949 issue of LIFE Magazine, the X-M was the titular vehicle in the first of two "first man on the moon" movies to appear in 1950. (The other was the technically superior "Destination Moon," produced by George Pal.) The irony, of course, is that, due to an engine malfunction, the X-M doesn't go to the Moon at all, but all the way to Mars!
Unlike "Destination Moon's" Luna, the X-M (Experimental-Moon) is a more scientifically plausible multi-stage rocket, although its shape seems to fluctuate wildly during the movie. Multiple viewings suggest that, unlike the "real" multi-stage rockets that came later, the X-M has a very small first stage, its release still leaving the craft with a lot of "dead weight" as its fuel burns.
"Rocketship X-M" was actually produced after "Destination Moon," but because of production delays with the George Pal project, "X-M" made it to the theater first. Shot in less than three weeks, it starred Lloyd Bridges, Hugh O'Brien and Noan Berry, Jr.
About the Kit
The Rocketship X-M was the third in Fantastic Plastic's 1:288 "Classic Rocketships Series." Released in January 2011, the kit was mastered by Vince Hoffman (His first kit for Fantastic Plastic) and cast by BLAP! Models.