Saturday, April 9, 2011
Cashulette Saturn V with Gantry & Crawler
Here's another space model kit my Dad came home from work with and gave me. Bought from the Rockwell company store at Palmdale Plant 42 no doubt; the store probably had these on sale as this kit went out of production by the early seventies. It was originally produced in Jacksonville Florida by a company named Countdown, and was later issued by Cashulette Engineering. I had the Cashulette version in '75, and I was excited to find an unbuilt Countdown version on EBay a couple years ago. They are very much the same including the box art. This Countdown version I rebuilt however had an unmarked Saturn V rocket, while my old Cashulette one had the black roll patterns and USA markings pre-colored on the white plastic rocket body. I liked the pre-colored one better because this Countdown version uses stickers, and they don't stick very well after forty years. I had to use some Micro Metal Foil Adhesive to get them to stay on.
This model is extremely fun to build because there is no painting, and not much to it. I used Plastruct liquid cement on almost the whole model which was perfect for the kind of joints and attachment points this kit has.
I remember not being satisfied with the orange color of the gantry on my old one, and I painted it red to match the photo on the box. I actually made it look worse! I also remember taking pictures of it in my back yard on J-5 with an old Kodak Brownie camera. Most of the shots I took of it were blurry because I didn't understand the Brownie could not take pictures close up. I still wish I had those old pictures though because a couple were in focus, and in vivid color.
It's nice to have this model again to look at and enjoy. It looks like it could be a toy, but it's really a fine scale model when one considers the challenge of shrinking down such a huge, complex object, and engineering it to be assembled in parts of styrene plastic. I wonder where the moulds for this kit are; hopefully they weren't scrapped and melted down. It would be nice to see a reissue of this model again some day.