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Aurora Plastic Model Kits


Depending on your age, you may or may not know Aurora model kits. They were around in the 1960's and 1970's, and then, unfortunately, went out of business. But they made a valliant effort. They made many different kinds of models, of almost any subject, that will never be seen again.

Throughout my model life, I've heard many stories about the molds they used to make the models with, and what might have been their fate. Ultimately that they disappeared. Some say it happened in a train wreck. Some say they sank on a cargo ship. And some say they probably ended up as scrap, and were melted down. It seemed no one truly knows for sure. But the truth is, many Aurora kits are still among us. They get reissued all the time. But under different model brands. Model business' that bought the Aurora molds, and now reissue those kits under their own logo and name (for instance, Revell and Atlantis).

What brought this to my attention is a model I haven't seen in many years. Indeed, I don't think I've seen one since I built th kit in the 1970s (as a teenager). Back then, I used to belong to a model club (Aurora) and I used to get models in the mail. One of the models was the Russian Aircraft Missile Ship the "Moscow". It scales at 1/600, but I don't remember it being that small. It seemed a good size to me when I was young. I do remember the landing deck, and the doors could open to house the various helicopters. This was one of many kits. I also remember a Viking ship (Molded in orange!), which has recenlty been reissued by Atlantis models (though, it could be a Revell mold, since Revell ended up with most of the old Aurora molds).

I remember a Braniff 747 (molded in bright orange no less!). Another great kit was the Boeing Tucumcari Hydrofoil. If that was reissued, I'd buy that kit in a heartbeat. Recently Atlantis models tried a campaign to reissue the Aurora Sealab II, but the public just couldn't come up with enough funds to cover the cost of restoring the nearly 50 year mold to reissue the kit. There were other kits I received over time. I remember some ship models (maybe a USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier?). After a while the kits stopped, and that's because either my mother canceled them, or Aurora went out of business (timeline wise, it was probably the latter).

I still built many Aurora kits that I bought (or my mother bought) at the stores, like K-Mart and S.S. Kresge. Some of the models were the Seaview, the Flying Sub (now owned by Revell), the Moonbus, and some others. It's been a lot of years since then, I really don't remember them all. The thing is, many Aurora kits still get out, but there are some that have never been reissued since the demise of the company. Maybe the molds don't exist, or the model companies don't think there's enough demand. It's hard to say.

Just as a note, some later model companies made fresh molds of Aurora subjects. The Moebius Moonbus is a good example. They issued the model (with a few improvements), but it was not made from an original Aurora mold. That's ok, I can live with that. I'm just glad they made the kit so modelers could build one, especially since an original Aurora model would be worth hundreds of dollars. I'm all for doing this if it brings back an old kit I can do again.

If you were lucky enough to build some Aurora kits, and the right age, you should feel lucky. Those were some great kits for their time, and they did subjects no model company will touch today. It was a great time for modeling!





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