Mat Irvine: The kit is classic for its era, with, upwards from the base, the engines, two fuel tank spheres, and a crew module at the top. The various elements are held together by spindly girder-like beams that terminate as landing legs. Add a dish antenna and a solar-boiler power generator and you have the archetypal look of a late-1950s spacecraft concept.
Most parts (below) are made of white styrene, but there is a small runner in transparent red, holding components for the window ports and engine bells. The decal sheet includes a blue and white American star that was missing from later releases.
Instructions for this reissue (above, below) are basically the same as those included with the 1958 Lindberg kit.
Apart from cleaning up flash, the kit is easy to build, with most of the work being in assembly of the main modules and supporting girderwork. Attach the rectangular landing pads to the legs, and that’s about it. Three figures are included, and these dictate a sense of scale for this future-faction subject. In my book Creating Space (see link at bottom) I listed the scale at 1:70, though Round 2 has changed this to 1:96. On reflection, I feel this is probably more accurate.
The completed US Moon Ship model (above, below). The fact that the design comes from a lunar orbiter, which wouldn’t require an egress ladder, is reflected by the model having no visible method of getting the crew from their compartment at the top down to the lunar surface.
The crew module has a set of transparent red ports (below) though neither airlock nor exit ladder are included.
The supplied base can be painted to represent the lunar surface, the three astronauts positioned where you wish. There's no sign of that ladder though, and it's something from the spares box that should be added to the model, if only for the sake of common sense.
The ship's design is not credited. Similar subjects from Strombecker - many reissued by Glencoe Models - were based on Walt Disney’s work with engineers such as Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley, and illustrators like Chesley Bonestell.
The pic (below) is a conversion project I completed, using a Glencoe-issued Lunar Lander as a basis, to represent the orbiter that Chesley Bonestell painted for Collier’s magazine in 1952.
My conversion is detailed in Chapter 3 of my book Scale Spacecraft Modelling (link at bottom).
This is the fifth issue of the kit from US companies. Lindberg itself issued it three times, in 1958 as the US Moon Ship, then in 1970 as the Mars Probe Landing Module, and finally in 1979 as the Star Probe Space Shuttle. Glencoe Models also issued it in 1993 as the Lunar Lander. This latest release brings back the original Lindberg name, and virtually the original box-art, although the box itself is larger in size.
The box (below) for the rare Lindberg ‘5 Space Ships of the Future’ kit. It was from this box, which shows the Moon Ship on the left, that artwork for the new box was adapted.
The original box (below) from 1958. Note ‘40 parts’ sticker.
Lindberg US Moon Ship
Parts: 42 (plus 1 spare)
Manufacturer's ref: HL602