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Anigrand 1/144 Boeing 307 Stratoliner


ewahl
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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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Edited by ewahl
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Thank you, Mike, for the kind words.

 

Yes, I did accent the main panel lines and flying surface joints with a sharp No. 2 pencil after decals and Future were dry. In this scale, most metal-to-metal seams are virtually invisible, so I do not pop them out.

 

We did search for a 247--any 247--kit in 1/144 scale. Lots of people referred us to the Williams Bros. kit, but then realized that kit is 1/72 scale. Nothing in vacuform, injection plastic, resin, solid metal, plaster, wood, clay, silly putty, pot metal, etc., exists in 1/144 scale.

 

Ed

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Hi, Kevin. Thanks for the compliment.

 

I have to work with an optivisor magnifier at all times, no matter what scale I am working with.

 

Ed

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Stunning work Ed! Magnificent! I built a 1/72 scale C-75 from Maquette and it was the most challenging model I ever did. Still it does look like a C-75....

 

I'd love to get Boeing 247 in 1/72 scale. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.

 

Once again, I bow to the Master of natural metal finishing!

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Hi, Mark,

 

I vividly remember your tale of woe when building your Maquette 1/72 Boeing C-75. I'd go looking for your photos if I did not know they were obliterated by Photobucket last year. I will not pay their ransom extortion. Thanks for your compliment, but I am not a true "master" of bare metal finishes. I'd gladly pass that honorary title to Gil Hodges, who will promptly pass it along to someone else.

 

I used Alclad II Black Base and then Alclad Polished Aluminum for the main bare metal finish. The new chrome paint pen provided the bright accent on the landing gear and on the four propeller hubs. I used Model Master German Metallic Silver on the fabric surfaces. Rub-n-Buff Silver Leaf gave the landing gear legs, wheel hubs, and prop blades a different silver finish appearance. I brushed on a coat of Future to prepare for decals. The decals went on perfectly. They responded well to Micro Set and Micro Sol, with the clear carrier film virtually disappearing. Another brushed coat of Future sealed in and protected the decals.

 

Ed

Edited by ewahl
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Thanks for that explanation Ed! I'm taking copious notes.

 

My pics of that C-75 were actually wiped out when the LEM went down as I was using their gallery. I refused to use Photobucket more than a decade ago after having some difficulty getting any pics loaded to my favorite Forums long before their extortion started. The LEM's gallery, and now the Modeler's Alliance Gallery are far better for linking and posting my pics. The only problem I have with posting my pics here is the limit that this site has; other than that, it's a breeze! I am thrilled that the limit is the only issue I have. I do still have those work-in-progress pics somewhere on my computer....

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