This past winter, a club member donated a number of cool kits that he had picked up at NARAM last year. He set up a yankee swap/white elephant exchange/whatever you want to call it at our monthly meeting to determine who got what. I ended up with this Damon era Estes Mars Lander model K-43: I looked it up and it seems this kit was made sometime between 1969 and 1974. The kit has seen some wear, but looks pretty good for being 45-50 years old! It looks like there’s been some moisture damage to the box and, as you’ll see below, some of the parts. Here are those parts: As you can see, a previous owner started cutting some of the landing gear struts out, but that looks to be as far as he got. The parts are in relatively good shape. The pattern sheet is yellowed but still legible. The fin stock looks like it might have some moisture stains, but the 1/8” sheets are not warped. My biggest concern are the wraps and decals. Some of the wraps are crinkled. One of them has a folded corner, as well. We’ll see how they look when I form the shrouds. If they’re bad enough, I’ll order a set from Erockets. The decals might need replacing, especially the US flags and “Martin Marietta” decals. In the kit was a replacement set of the “Martin Marietta” decals, but they are much larger than the original version. I don’t know the story behind that. So I’m going to build this kit, but I’ll be taking my time with it. Updates will be infrequent, between other projects and work (I’ve got a LEGO lunar lander to build with a 7 and a 4 yr old, plus repairs of all my NASA stuff in time for next month!) The first challenge will be cutting the fins from the stock, since I don’t have a lot of experience with that, save for some Fliskits models I’ve built. Additionally, the two struts already cut out are a little short of the pattern. I’m going to try, but if I muck it up, I reserve the right to get the laser cut stock from Erockets. We’ll see. Either way, this looks like it will be a really fun kit to build.