Guys with regard to other classified sites here we have astrobuysell.com.au and iceinspace
But i can tell you that the clamshell mount was a later modification to this model - the earlier ones had rings as I am led to believe.
Thanks to Charlie for his pictures - but do you need any other photos ?
Mine has the rings. The first time I saw the clamshell was in the 1978 Optica b/c catalog. All earlier Optica and Royal Astro catalogs have rings on the LN4-E.
Interesting question fellas - it'd be nice to know the serial numbers of each of your models...Charlie places 1978 as the likely clamshell appearance here - I do know that Tasco had clamshells almost identical back in 1970/71 & in fact the restored & painted one I've shown in this thread is from one of their mounts of that era which fits perfectly for the Royal Astro, albeit it is for a different 4.5" scope...I restored it & added a short dovetail bar to allow me to mount it on a modern mount whenever I desire.
Perhaps "almost identical" is the important point however: the RA clamshell has the Dec tangent arm worm assembly ends as part of the casting along with other necessary differences to the Tasco etc castings, which are separate to those mounts' tangent assemblies...meaning the switch to a clamshell by Royal Astro would've involved a major changeover to a substantially different casting at the top...
Anyone know when these scopes ceased being produced..?
Not doubting you people...but all this is part of the interest in all these "classics" to me beyond just the scopes themselves!
Anyway, here's my Royal Astro's I.D. tag which I thought I'd posted before although I couldn't find a pikky so I took one just then.