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These days I mainly specialise in inter-war aircraft models in 1/72 scale, but within that rather large field my favourite area is the 1926-41 'Golden Age' of U.S. Civil Aviation. This is a largely untapped field for models (and likely to remain so), which neatly combines my twin passions of scratchbuilding and historical research.

 

Lloyd Stearman was one of America's foremost designers of civil biplanes. Having been the Chief Designer of both Swallow and Travel Air, in 1927 he left to start his own company, initially in California, but soon relocated back to Wichita, Kansas, then known as the 'Air Capital', for its concentration of civil aircraft manufacturers and suppliers. The fourth successful design of his own company was the Model 4 Junior Speedmail (an earlier model was the larger 'Speedmail'), which he described as 'the finest airplane I ever designed'. Intended primarily as a mailplane, only around half the 40 constructed actually saw service in that role (with American Airways and Canadian Airways). The rest were bought for corporate use, or by wealthy private owners. Top of the range were the 4E models with 400+hp P&W Wasp power and finest of all were the 3 specials constructed for Standard Oil of California and used by their flying salesmen up and down the west coast, 1930-35.  Surprisingly, around a dozen of the Stearman 4s built survive, including 2 of the 3 SOCal planes.

 

Latterly, I've been building most of my models in pairs, which I've found to be a more efficient and fun way of increasing my modest output. So here are my models of a Stearman 4EM mailplane of Canadian Airways (Eastern Lines), Montreal, 1931 and Stearman 4E Special 'Stanavo 4' of Standard Oil of California, San Francisco,1930.   Models are 100% scratchbuilt and were completed in 2017.

 

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4EM mailplane :

 

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4E Special :

 

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WIP Parts spread:

 

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Cockpit parts:

 

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One of my favourite 1930s biplanes..........

 

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Absolutely magnificent models, both of them, but I especially like the livery on CF-AMB! 

 

Stunning work!

 

Keith

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Absolutely amazing models!  WOW!  They both look incredible; that must've been some kind of masking job on the 4E Special!  Man, that's some wonderful modeling right there!! :worthy::worthy::worthy:

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Sublime, Roger

Exquisite builds of very beautiful planes.

Cheers

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Those are absolutely beautiful models of lovely aeroplanes.  I only found out about Stearman's pre-Kaydet types when I found a Stearman pictorial in the local charity shop.  They all seem to have a nice balanced appearance, but the Speedmail is particularly attractive.

Thanks too for showing there's no need for a kit.  I'll admit my few scratch efforts need a fair bit more application to match your superb models.

Cheers

Will

 

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1 hour ago, Gary Brantley said:

 that must've been some kind of masking job on the 4E Special! 

Tell me about it !    You won't be surprised to hear it took more than one attempt to get it right  😣

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47 minutes ago, malpaso said:

Those are absolutely beautiful models of lovely aeroplanes.  I only found out about Stearman's pre-Kaydet types when I found a Stearman pictorial in the local charity shop.  

 

The Kaydet was actually a purely-Boeing design, but has colloquially become known as a 'Stearman' because it was built in the Stearman factory which Boeing had taken over during the Depression.

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Beautifully done, both of them. Fantastic results! 

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What a beautiful models !  

 

Especially the wingrips profile. How did you built those difficult round fuselages?  Did you build them with scribed thin plastic sheet on a frame ?

 

I like them very much and in 1/72.  Thumbs up !

 

greetings

JohnHaa

 

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, JohnHaa said:

 How did you built those difficult round fuselages?  Did you build them with scribed thin plastic sheet on a frame ?

 

I vacformed them over carved wooden patterns. Then, covered with 'scribed thin plastic sheet'  😁

 

Regards, Roger

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Outstanding! Congratulations!

 

Excellent choice of subject to direct your skills at, beautiful airplanes (& nicely contrasted versions).

 

Any of us would be most impressed if these were result of careful attention to a quality kit .. but scratch built .. fantastic!

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25 minutes ago, Gary Brantley said:

Wait, what?  1/72?!?  Oh man, I had missed that part- Sacre Bleu!  That tilts the incredible meter even further towards amazing!!  😀

Sometimes, it feels like watchmaking in that scale.  Getting everything 'to scale' on 1/72 biplanes is a tough ask, why I don't really like building kits as nearly everything is too clunky....

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Two most lovely golden agers! Superb modelling, absolutely unbeatable.

You're right about twin modelling, Roger. I've been doing it too since about 20 years. It gives me a better understanding of the subject, the possibility to exchange parts and a good deal of synergies.

Cheers, Michael

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6 hours ago, Hobo said:

Absolutely stunning! Love the Golden Age birds. What paint did you use?

I use enamels mainly.........Xtracolor, Colourcoats, Testors, Humbrol

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2 hours ago, Toryu said:

Two most lovely golden agers! Superb modelling, absolutely unbeatable.

You're right about twin modelling, Roger. I've been doing it too since about 20 years. It gives me a better understanding of the subject, the possibility to exchange parts and a good deal of synergies.

Cheers, Michael

Building 2 together is better and quicker than building 2 separately. The second one goes smoother as you just copy the first, rather than have to work it all out again.

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