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What is a thing that looks like a Lockheed Model 12 Electra and a Beech 18, but is neither? A 1937-born Barkley-Grow T8P-1, of course! Continuing with the vacuum-formed building trend, here is a product from Execuform, that gives you the basic shapes as a sort of base onto which you have to add the detail you want. Only the main shapes come in the kit with some leaflets containing a plan, images and information. The decals and accessories (engine, wheels, cockpit and cabin detail) are to be provided by the modeler. I have built products from this brand before and they should be considered a white canvas onto which you can express your modeling artistry, on subjects most of the time nowhere to be found as injected or resin kits. If do some scratch-building, Execuform saves you a lot of time by producing the masters and pulling the styrene shells, but they are not meant as complete kits. The Barkley-Grow was not a particularly successful design, although it managed to operate with a number of airlines and private owners. Three airframes seem to be still today being exhibited at museums. The Barkley-Grow was operated on wheels, skis and floats, making it especially useful as a bush plane in Canada, where it saw a bit of recognition, negated to it in the US. The seaplane version had an additional, smaller, central vertical stabilizer. The land version had a fixed landing gear with characteristic pants. Of pleasant lines and uncomplicated design, especially on wheels, it makes a good candidate to try your skills at this somewhat neglected media. It teaches you in the process quite a bit. Notable operators were Canadian Pacific, the US Antarctic Service, Yukon Southern Air Transport, Pacific Western, Northland, Prairie Airways, Associated Airlines, a private individual: Alexander Papana (YR-AHA, Trăiască Regele "Long Live the King", same exact registration by the way wore by Papana's Bellanca 28-92 trimotor), and the Peruvian government (OB-GGK, Cruz de Chalpón). This is what you get in the Execuform package. The basic shapes and reference material: Outlines with a permanent marker to easily located the edge of the parts: Parts off the backing sheet (keep the scraps. they will be used later): Parts sanded up to the line previously traced: Excursion to the spares bin and aftermarket parts drawers to find engines, props, wheels, etc.: Separating the future cowls: Gluing the cowl and float halves (not sure yet if I will present the model on floats are panted wheels): Floats and cowls with a cursory tide-up (notice the roundish stern on the floor, that has to be sawed off: Stern sawed off to real shape (the floats are a few millimeters longer to allow you to do this): Float noses also come with the kit, in case you feel you need them to achieve a better shape -or mess-up): The kit provides cowl fronts: Carburetor intakes from unknown donor. As they are hollowed and firm in the drill bit, the mold edges are cleaned up: Just in case the struttery for the floats is being prepared (I WANT MORE CONTRAIL AEROFOIL MATERIAL!!!!): Inner "N" float struts assembled. Passenger seats scratched, pilot-copilot seats and control wheel from spares box: Remember I said do not discard the scraps? here a cockpit/cabin floor is made of from a piece: Dry run of the setup: To deal with the roundish (inaccurate) finish of the float step, a cut is made: A styrene sheet piece is inserted in the cut with glue: So the blobby area can be later on removed: After the glue has set, then you can cap the stern: The float bottom flutes will have to be "sharpened" a bit using sandpaper wrapped on a dowel of appropriate diameter.
Here is the completed model of the Barkley-Grow in its seaplane configuration. For the step-by-step building article please go to the WiP post: The kit presents only the basic shapes, you have to fabricate or provide everything else: cockpit, cabin, exterior details, decals, engines, etc. This one will surely help you develop those modeling skills! I used a set from Arctic Decals, which worked perfectly as usual. This is a nicely-shaped plane that has many possible finishing schemes, and can also be built on skis or wheels. It takes some time, but you can make a pleasant model from it. And you won't see this one around much, that's for sure!