XSL-01 Manned Space Ship (1957)
About the Design
The XSL-01 (Experimental Space Laboratory Number 1) was designed in the mid-1950s by aerospace engineer Ellwyn E. Angle. Formerly associated with the Bell X-1 and X-5 projects, Angle was working for a new spaceflight startup company, Systems Laboratory Corporation (SLC) in Sherman Oaks, California, when he was put in contact with Revell Models in nearby Venice, Ca., which was interested in original designs for its expanding line of space-related model kits.
Angle conceived a multi-stage launch system topped off with a three man atomic-powered glider/lander that would touch down vertically on the moon and then land like a conventional airplane upon its return to Earth.
The XSL-01 enjoyed its one and only release in 1957; lost molds reportedly prevented it from ever being reissued. The Moon Ship glider was released separately in 1957, and again in 1969 as part of the funky "Space Pursuit" set.
About the Kit
This scaled-up 1:72 interpretation of Ellwyn Angle's original XSL-01 concept spacecraft was Fantastic Plastic Models' first release for 2012. The kit was mastered by Scott Lowther and cast by BLAP! Models. JBOT provided the decals, their design based on the original 1957 Revell kit
Unlike the original kit, this model featured a solid cast upper stage (no interior) and a simplified launch pad. Otherwise, the model was an accurate, albeit larger reproduction of the original 1:96 scale plastic kit.