VF-261 (Vern’s Fantasy)


1950 – A blockbuster Science Fiction film called “Destination Moon” based on a Robert Heinlein book is released. The movie is sci fi wonder and uses the art of Chesley Bonestell. In the movie the rocket is named “Luna” and inspires a generation with it’s clean and beautiful design.

1961- Vern and Gleda Estes prepare to release an early catalog of their model rockets.Vern sketches out a rocket on the cover inspired by the “Luna” from “Destination Moon”. The catalog is released while Estes is still at their Denver address prior to moving to Penrose, Colorado. Gleda Estes stiches these catalogs on her personal sewing machine. The catalog is extremely rare but stands out as the first booklet style rocket catalog. Here it is.

2007- Semroc releases the VF-261 (Vern’s Fantasy-261) for NSL 2007. A homage to the Estes catalog 261, they have released an easy to build kit with the standard high quality Semroc parts. The kit includes balsa nose cone, balsa tail, laser cut balsa fins, kevlar shock cord, 12 inch chute and water-slide decals. The Semroc instructions state that the rocket was ” the result of 46 years of seeing the rocket on the 1961 cover”. One curious item was that Semroc included as part of the decals windows of the spacecraft with Woody Woodpecker looking out. It turns out that in the “Destination Moon” movie Woody makes a guest appearance in a short that explains how rockets work. A nice little piece of trivia that Carl and crew have thrown into this kit.

Here is mine completed.


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2 Responses to VF-261 (Vern’s Fantasy)

  1. Pingback: Heinlein Centennial « Rocketry Blog

  2. Mike Schau says:

    Looks very nice! Ahh love that Heinlien. Have all his books and still re-read them

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