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Discussion Starter #1
I've been accumulating items for a space and military themed layout. One piece I haven't gotten yet is the #175 rocket launcher set (reproduction #6-14237). What are opinions of this? It's rather pricy and looks like it takes up quite a bit of space, so I haven't decided if I want to commit to it yet.

Any thoughts?

 

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I have that. It takes up some space but it has been the favorite accessory on my layout with the kids for years.

Lionel manufactured the reproduction with the ramp upside down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't even know there was a ramp on it. Is it underneath the rolling gantry?

Since you're an owner, how well does the launch controller work? The graphics suggest you can "program" it to launch the rocket on different flight trajectories. Does it really work like that?
 

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It launches the rocket strait up and it falls strait down which is a problem because it comes down on the tower and has cracked the cheap plastic railing. I shimmed mine so it is slightly crooked and will launch the spring loaded rocket away from the tower.

The digital countdown controller is cool. Although the Chinese engineer who built it didn't bother to accurately program the countdown. 10 seconds is actually 15. And the launch smoke doesn't really work. Still, with the flashing lights, movable gantry, and blastoff, this is one of the more popular features on the layout. :)

As for the gantry ramp, look carefully at the ramps that the astronauts would walk on to enter the rocket. It's installed upside down! Going by the overall performance of this, I think I know why the Chinese space race is so far behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It launches the rocket strait up and it falls strait down which is a problem because it comes down on the tower and has cracked the cheap plastic railing.
Well, some rockets have gone straight up and fallen right back down on the pad!



Thanks for the overview...this does sound like a fun accessory. I have it's smaller cousin, the #470 missile launcher.

http://www.tandem-associates.com/lionel/lionel_trains_470_acc.htm

I'm thinking a missile test range might make for an interesting layout.
 

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I have a video of the Lionel rocket launch set prototype in action.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree it's using a spring to launch the rocket. The video also shows a string extending behind the rocket in flight. I thought this might have just been to keep the rocket on a predictable path for filming, but other videos of this car have it too. I think once the string is pulled taught, the rocket and capsule are pulled apart.

Along the same these, here's a companion commercial for more pieces of the space & military collection.

What you are about to see is TOP SECRET...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et8-EwJARm8
 

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Ahh ... nothing like being a kid growing up in the Cold War. Spending hours and hours playing with toy missiles, bombs, weapons of mass destruction! I remember it well ... and somehow survived to tell the tale!

TJ
 

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It was fun to actually build the stuff, too. I remember being at Yuma in 1978 for the first launch of a Hellfire missile from an Apache. We missed the center of the target by about 8 inches at a range of 3 miles. Not bad for the first shot.
 

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I have a question regarding the 175 rocket launcher... I don't own one, but a friend does and it seems to be having some issues when resetting the rocket. When taking it apart and looking at it, it seems like there should be a spring or something underneath the trigger so that it can be reset.... but there's nothing there. When trying to reset the rocket, the trigger seems to get stuck underneath the plunger, rather than setting on top of the ridge of the plunger, allowing it to be reset. I don't see any springs or anything under the trigger in any diagrams that I have found. Does anyone happen to have any ideas on this? THANKS!!!
 

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Thank you so much! I'd seen the pictures, but not the parts list, and that was helpful. Definitely no spring under the trigger, it's just a little testy b/c it's so old. It's an awesome addition to any set!! It doesn't smoke like the newer ones, which I think would be cool, but it's awesome just the same! Thanks again!!
 
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