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
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).
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!