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  1. As part of our Chapter's group build of "The Magnficent 7's" for the 2017 Nats, I drew the Boeing 307 Stratoliner as one of my contributions. I had never seen a kit of this aircraft, let alone one in 1/144 scale. It turned out that a kit did exist, made by Anigrand in resin, but it is a brand that never appears on the LHS shelves. It had to be ordered. Actually, the kit is of the C-75, not the 307. Pan American Airways System decals were available in the aftermarket, so I bought a sheet. The Boeing 307 Stratoliner had the first pressurized airliner cabin in commercial use. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Stratoliner was a parallel development of the Boeing B-17C Flying Fortress. It is interesting that the large curved tail of the later B-17E was first used on the Stratoliner to solve a directional stability problem caused by the smaller "shark fin" tail carried over from the B-17C. Otherwise, the circular fuselage of the Stratoliner was mated to the wings, engines, landing gear, and horizontal stabilizers of the B-17C. Not many were built. Pan American received three and TWA received five. The coming war clouds meant that Boeing's production capacity was shifted over to the B-17 series. When military transport aircraft were needed, the five TWA 307s were absorbed by the USAAF and redesignated as C-75s. Pan American kept theirs. When TWA got theirs back in 1944, Boeing rebuilt them with new wings, etc., from the B-17G series. TWA's aircraft were then Model 307Bs. The Pan American airliners were not rebuilt. Fortunately, the Anigrand resin kit contained the earlier B-17C pieces to correctly build a Pan American version that went perfectly with the decal sheet. Words of high praise go here. Anigrand must have some amazingly skilled pattern makers used in the resin casting. All of the parts fit together perfectly with virtually no visible seams at the joints. The wings and horizontal and vertical stabilizers had pins that fit into molded holes in the fuselage. Likewise, the landing gear struts had locator holes in the wings that matched perfectly. The details of the intake scoops and engine cylinders on the engine cowlings in 1/144 scale were all provided on each of the four pieces. The fabric covered surfaces on the rudder, ailerons, and elevators were textured differently from the adjoining metal surfaces. The wheel hubs had details that are often skipped on larger scale models. The propeller hubs had three holes each for the separate blades that had to be inserted. As everything was cast in resin, I had to use super glue to assemble them. There were some remains of the resin mold pour stubs on some parts, but they were minimal and easily sanded off. I was very pleased with the results here. Ed
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