News & Reviews Product Reviews Menards Rocket Launching Tower blasts off

Menards Rocket Launching Tower blasts off

By Hal Miller | April 26, 2023

This O scale accessory captures the fun and excitement of the space race

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The Menards Rocket Launching Tower is out and I have to say, it’s a lot of fun.

Menards Rocket Launching Tower
The Menards Rocket Launching Tower is ready for lift-off on your layout.

Commencing countdown, engines on.” The words from the David Bowie song Space Oddity got stuck in my head when I saw this accessory.  It harkens back to late 1960s Lionel when the race was on to put satellites into orbit and land astronauts on the moon.

Menards Rocket Launching Tower

The Menards rocket is 13 1/2 inches tall; its launch tower is 16 1/2. The model represents a Saturn V and the attendant infrastructure needed to service it. It’s not quite to scale; the prototype is about 360 feet tall, which scales out to 7 1/2 feet in O. Trust me, the model is more manageable and will fit on a layout much more easily. In fact, it wouldn’t look out of place on an S gauge display.

Menards O gauge Rocket Launching Tower at night with lights
Nighttime is the right time for this accessory with the lights and steam from the launch pad.

The tower has latticework walkways and gantries. Take care when removing it from the packaging; some of the crossmembers are easily dislodged.

Lights and steam

The model has a couple of sockets to plug in a 4.5-volt transformer- (Menards Nos. 279-4061/4361; 4062/4362; or 4050). One is on the side of the base, the other is a pigtail underneath so it can be wired through the layout surface. When you supply electricity, you get lots of lights (40 or so). The ones on the tower column are steady; on top and the launch pad they flash.

Menards Rocket Launching Tower side view
The tower features lots of piping, as well as walkways and gantries.

The other cool feature is the steam effect from the launch pad. Add water to the pair of heaters under the rocket – there’s a reservoir underneath – and plug it in. In a few minutes the rocket looks like it’s just seconds from blast off with vapor rising from underneath. A note of caution: do not use oil-based smoke fluid, it will ruin the electronics.

The accessory is pretty economical on real estate, having only an 8 3/4-inch square footprint. The item (No. 2759032) is $99.99.

2 thoughts on “Menards Rocket Launching Tower blasts off

    1. It’s typically a German shepherd but you make a good point, I didn’t see one!

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