"Another Day at the Office..."

Here's what John has to say about this model:
I purchased the XSL-01 through Ebay and--after receiving the model--discovered that it was marred with glue and paint. To refinish the kit, I soaked it in Palmolive Gold dishwashing soap to remove all the glue and paint. Then, I painted the spacecraft with various shades of Testors Metalizer including steel, titanium, and alumninum so that I could achieve contrast between different areas of the ship. The portion of the craft that covers the crew area was painted gloss white, allowed to dry, and then coated with spray varnish. I buffed SNJ aluminum powder into the tacky varnish for a shiny metal sheen.

The boosters are painted in basic aluminum and white with roll bars constructed from decal film. In addition to having been marred with glue and paint, the kit also lacked one set of engines for the second stage boosters and most of the launchpad. I used two F-1 engines from a 1/144 Monogram Saturn V to change the XSL-01 into an XSL-01B. Decals used on the rocket were taken from the Revell ThorAble/Jupiter kit.

The launchpad consists of parts taken from a Glencoe Three-stage rocket kit, a piece of packing from a package of Gillette Sensor razor blades, parts taken from a Railroad accessory building, and Plastruct. Rather than build a detailed LUT, I decided that a 50s-era Service Tower might have a simpler appearance. I constructed the Service Tower from Plastruct and parts taken from a railroad water tower kit. In addition, I used plastic card, vacuformed parts, and railroad accessories to construct the base for the service tower. Rails and stairs were from Plastruct. Decals for the tower were taken from the IPMS NASA decal set and the old Revell Lunar Lander kit.

After seeing several pictures in The Modelers Vault of NASA work scenes, I used about one dozen figures from various sources to create the effect of preparing the model for launchday. While the cars are Williams Bros kits, the flatbed truck is from Rocco. I constructed the crane from railroad accessories and stretched sprue.

The entire diorama occupies a 11" x 14" canvas painted and scored to resemble concrete. I constructed the diorama as a tribute to the designers of the old classic kits and to the engineers who had the vision to think about shuttles during the 1950s.

Base kit: Revell
Scale: 1/96
Model by: John Ross
Photo by: John Ross