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Moa

Merlin Models Lockheed Air Express, a Modeling Horror Story Part 2

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I Know exactly what these Merlin kits are: an attempt of Kaos to disrupt the modeling world, to sow utter confusion among unsuspected modelers, to drive Control mad trying to build unbuildable, amorphous lumps of plastic in a vain, futile effort to obtain a model!

This "kit" should be a prominent character in one of Poe's or Nathaniel Hawthorne's scary stories, or be in one of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu myths...

Oh, the horror...

 

If you have the strength of heart, and can bear it, you may consult the step-by-step Modeling Noire genre story here:

 

Yes, after all that time and inordinate amount of painstaking effort, a not totally indecent model was produced. Was it worth it?

Get yourself a Planet Lockheed Air Express (I did after this!) and trash this miserable lump of Merlin plastic if it happened to have sneakily crawled into your stash. Or donate it to a Museum of Horrors, to be displayed aside (or better in) the torture chamber.

Or wait -if you don't like resin kits or their prices are not for your modeling budget- until a manufacturer produces these Golden Age beauties in styrene form.

 

One very good thing came of it, though: I commissioned the decal sheet from Arctic Decals (the kit decal sheet was as miserable -and wrong- as the plastic), and it is superb, of exquisite quality.

So I now have spare decals for my other Air Express, yippee!

 

I represented the plane as flown by Frank Hawks in the 1929 National Air Tour, as a pathfinder plane for the entrants.

Once again I reiterate that this plane went through a large number of modifications in details and marks (some listed on the WIP post), so be careful, if you attempt to model it, with your research, and base it not on drawings, but on photos.

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Edited by Moa

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Just read the WIP - You deserve a medal for coming up with this out of that - er - kit! Probably would have been better off scratchbuilding the whole thing.

 

It is a lovely looking aeroplane and your model looks nice but the clunky tail surfaces spoil the effect somewhat.

 

Hopefully the Planet models version is a little more subtle?

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Baldy said:

Hopefully the Planet models version is a little more subtle?

We'll see during the Planet models kit WIP...

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Anyway, those times when you go through horrible ordeals usually provide good material for interesting write-ups! QED in the WIP… 

 

She looks great! And that bold red livery tends to lessen the importance of razor sharp trailing edges, and so forth.

 

Top marks for stamina and inventiveness to wrestle the monster into submission!

 

However, if this were a Stephen King story, in the middle of the night you would hear… noises of struts freeing themselves from the bonds of CA. In the bleak light of dawn, you'd see inexplicable fingerprint smudges on the once immaculate paint finish, a minute wrinkle or two in the Texaco logo on the fin, a slight fogging on the inside of a window…

 

Not being able to stand the sight of these inexplicable imperfections (how could you not have seen them?), you spend hours repairing and touching up. There!

 

The next morning, though…

 

I'll leave it here.

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

 

 

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3 hours ago, Spitfire31 said:

However, if this were a Stephen King story, in the middle of the night you would hear… noises of struts freeing themselves from the bonds of CA. In the bleak light of dawn, you'd see inexplicable fingerprint smudges on the once immaculate paint finish, a minute wrinkle or two in the Texaco logo on the fin, a slight fogging on the inside of a window…

 

Not being able to stand the sight of these inexplicable imperfections (how could you not have seen them?), you spend hours repairing and touching up. There!

 

The next morning, though…

 

A whole new field: modeling psychological thrillers.

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Great looking model. Years ago I tried to build the merlin models Me309, went in the bin!!!

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I feel your pain .. yet the result is stunning, very attractive!  Still, I hesitate to suggest ‘it was worth it’ .. if only the journey had been less arduous for you!!

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How you got that huge wing to sit squarely on those spindly cabane struts is beyond my comprehension! Beautiful finished product!

Mike

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Just now, 72modeler said:

How you got that huge wing to sit squarely on those spindly cabane struts is beyond my comprehension! Beautiful finished product!

Mike

😉

And you can see in the WiP that I accidentally smashed it and had to re-glue that wing.

Oh, the joys of modeling!

 

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A brilliant result from less than promising raw material, congratulations 👏

 

AW

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