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Moa

Republic Seabee - 1/72nd Mach 2 injected plastic kit

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As we all know, there is a dark side to model-making.

I am talking about the modeling horror stories that adult modelers tell their kids or small relatives in those dark and stormy nights in front of the fireplace, about kits that are evil, produced by manufacturers in damp and cold dungeons or scary-looking towers with bats whirling around.

We know the dreaded names, and I would add just one: Mach 2.

I am still traumatized by the vision of the pair of their kits that I had the misfortune to look at close by. I can't describe the moment but as a crime scene, with the opened boxes and the parts lying around, like misshapen model guts surrounded by flash.

But, in spite of that somewhere else in BM I promised to myself no more Merlin or old Dujin kits, it seems that Mordor is attempting to cast a shadow on my modeling again, in the form of what is reputedly one of Mach 2's better kits, the Republic Seabee.

I saw it on a dusty pile in a hobby store in the Palm Springs desert; apparently harmless, lying still, quiet. I cautiously approached, which was a mistake. It bit me and will not let go. I had to carry it home. Mind you, I even had to pay for it! Yes, I wasn't bribed or paid a big sum to take it -as it should be with this kind of kits-, I paid!

Anyway. Gathering all the courage I had laying around -in the form of a pithy liquid made in Isla contained in a bottle-, I muttered the Expecto Patronum spell and opened the box.

To my surprise, no dark cloud of evil came forth. Just a couple of sprues, that, if not obviously cursed or badly mutated, still had some flash, no locating devices, and what looked like not perfectly molded parts. But nothing, so far, that screamed hasty retreat, or calling for the help of @Martian Hale. Accompanying the sprues was a dubious transparency, like the fogged eye of a monster, thick, milky, hissing. A one-side instruction sheet (that to my surprise was not scrawled on parchment) containing some (never better said) guidance and a small decal sheet. I believe the caldron and iron tongs have to be purchased separately.

In any case, who else would make a Seabee, you may rhetorically ask yourself. Well, there is a Glencoe 1/48 (excuse my language) kit of it, and what seems even more ancient versions of it. I have spotted what looks like a resin CMR kit box (72-183 and CMR1083), but no more info on that anywhere I looked.

So I guess we should thank Mach 2? We will see.

 

The plastic has fair engraved panel lines and some detail, the flying surfaces have nice corrugations, but the plastic is a bit grainy. Some of the relief is overstated (especially the stiffeners on the hull). The detail is what you would expect from a kit of this nature. An interior is provided with cockpit pan and bulkhead, seats, a separate instrument panel, console, control wheel and a little stick. The only part that so far calls for an exorcist is the propeller, that deserves its own paragraph.

It's poorly defined, which is something you expect, but both blades are pitching more or less toward the same side, one more than the other. To be clear: if you look at a prop from blade tip to blade tip, you should see an X. Here you see (exaggerating) just /. Of course the blades can be cut off and re-positioned, no big deal...but: The pitch has to be reversed, as it is wrong as molded on the prop. Looking from behind, the prop should turn clockwise (actually anti-clockwise, thanks Wlad for the correction). I guess the prop is better replaced.

So far no terrible things, just a very poor transparency (vacuum-form a replacement may be?) and a discardable prop.

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The box cover. I will not be building that version, of course. There were (and still are) a large number of beautiful, colorful, smart civil schemes to chose from:

IMG_7266+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Contents:

IMG_7267+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The detail is soft on some parts:

IMG_7268+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7269+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The (optimistically-called) transparencies:

IMG_7272+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

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Some engraved detail:

IMG_7273+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Completely overstated stiffeners:

IMG_7274+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7275+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The prop blades slant towards the same side, the rotation motion is incorrect anyway. It rotated clockwise (actually anti-clockwise, thanks Wlad for the correction) seen from behind, as explained above:

IMG_7277+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 You can see some good intentions regarding detail:

IMG_7283+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

A bit marred by the molding process:

IMG_7287+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Instrument panel, again, good intentions:

IMG_7287b+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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Wow!  Might as well scratch build most of this one Moa...Nice looking aircraft anyway.  Looking forward to your artistry!

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14 minutes ago, Courageous said:

Looks better than my Dujin racer :weep:

 

Stuart 

It's the thrill of the challenge that keeps us going, Stuart!

My Yorkshire lass tells me that over there it's all about stiff lip and carrying on!

We support you!

Cheers

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4 minutes ago, Moa said:

all about stiff lip and carrying on!

I've never given up on a kit yet and it's not going to happen on the Dujin kit either :fight:.

 

Stuart

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A photo that future teratologists will study. To be fair, this a 20-year old kit, still....:

IMG_7288+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

All parts but the smaller ones off the sprue:

IMG_7289+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Lots of flash removed already, still have to get rid of those ejector towers:

IMG_7290+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

There, better:

IMG_7290b+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

All parts have been cleaned up, and again in fairness all seems pretty normal, give or take a little:

IMG_7291+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The wing floats:

IMG_7294+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

In the original, they were made of stamped sheets of metal, so there was a visible flange present.
I will replicate it by gluing the part without the strut to a very thin profile exceeding the float by a fraction, and then glue the parts together:

IMG_7295+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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The horror......the horror....you probably turn this beast of burden into a joy for life when finished😜

 

with godspeed...

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The canopy, which is as explained irredeemably despicable, is given a metal polish and then plastic polish treatment with a nice cloth.

Now at least you can look at it without crying, but no hope of getting a good, clear, clean look:

IMG_7296+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Thick as a bottle:

IMG_7298+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The "flanges" are glued on to be later refined. The wing halves match quite well after thorough cleaning, which was a real surprise:

IMG_7299+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

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For a modelling monk these kits are obviously the equivalent of self flagellation and mortification of the flesh.

 

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.....

 

AW

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Since some of you may be unfamiliar with the type, I thought a brief introduction wouldn't be superfluous.

The Seabee is the product of one of many post war big contractors (Republic) trying to keep their satchels full as they were doing so far by injecting new products into the civil market.

Indeed during research I have seen ads published before the war even ended, singing the praises of this little touring amphibian.

This time zone is outside my accustomed envelope of earlier endeavors, but its unusual appearance merits its inclusion.

This four-place amphibian was their bet, being marketed as... well, as all the truths and lies marketers always come up with.

Many were made, and many are still flying, which I guess it's a testimony to some sort of acceptance, if not the resounding success their creators may have hoped for.

Powered by a six-cylinder, horizontally-opposed Franklin, it was a design aimed to low cost while keeping quality and performance reasonable.

The design has a much more complex history than it would appear, being first built as a former model made of wood, the Spence Amphibian Air Car, and later on evolving into a twin-engine type (the Twin Bee).

Photos show many changes, some cosmetic and some important, so, in the very unlikely case that you may build a Seabee, check, as I always say, photos. Plans and kit instructions are mere resemblances of reality many times, look at them with a healthy doses of skepticism.

But ultimately what attracts me to a specific plane is not success, how popular it was, how many were built, and not at all how many people they killed, but its aesthetics, in a very broad sense of the word (I love the Farman Jabiru, that gives you a clue).

And so we continue.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Andwil said:

For a modelling monk these kits are obviously the equivalent of self flagellation and mortification of the flesh.

 

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.....

 

AW

 

:P

I think of it more as an attempt to reverse the process Mordor used to turn Elves into Orcs; turning Orcs, if not straight back into Elves, at least into something you can look at without dismay.

 

:angel: Ora pro nobis

 

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2 hours ago, Courageous said:

I've never given up on a kit yet and it's not going to happen on the Dujin kit either :fight:.

 

Stuart

That's the spirit!

But I would use a bigger club.

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Ok, thinking out loud:

The Seabee had three doors, two on the sides and one smaller, mooring hatch, at the front of the cabin to the right.

I like to open things in models, to me it lends some sense of business, activity, complexity.

Here I could open a door or two (for example the left side door and the mooring hatch), for which I would have more likely to use the transparency as a plug to vacuform some clearer-thinner ones. That means of course that I would have to cut into the fuselage sides too.

Or I could open the engine top faring to show a scratchbuilt engine (there is one modeler on the Net that did just that).

Still I have to bear in mind that due to the semi-beastly nature of the kit a lot of work elsewhere is also needed, consuming time and energy, so I can't get easily carried away.

For example, I would like to replace, if possible, the poor landing gear legs and the absolutely dismal prop, plus the water rudder and other small things that look chunky and coarse.

Some pondering and planning is required, out with the Laphroaig and the sketchpad then.

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The horizontal tail members lack hinge lines:

IMG_7301+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

So do the flaps and ailerons on the extrados of the wing:

IMG_7302+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

That area needs filling and sanding, the ailerons did not go that far:

IMG_7303+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Flap and ailerons need separation lines:

IMG_7304+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 Watch out for the tabs, located on many surfaces. You may try to keep them or sand them away and replace them later with thin card stock:

IMG_7305+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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The missing hinge lines are engraved on all surfaces. All seats had sink marks that had to be filled up and sanded:

IMG_7306+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

A new water rudder is made to match more closely the real thing:

IMG_7307+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Exhausts are drilled on both sides of the engine fairing, as per photos of the real plane:

IMG_7308+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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I' sure there is a good model in there somewhere Moa, not sure where but doubtless you will find it.

 

Optimistic of Mars 👽

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Oh, nice.

 

I have one of these in my 'collection'. Looking forward to seeing how you get on. 

 

I would like to do a nice civilian scheme, but not too sure about designing and printing my own decals. Interested to see how you tackle it.

 

Cheers.

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Interesting build! :D - You're a brave man! :winkgrin:

 

I'm not sure, but didn't Bond use one of these in 'The Man with the Golden Gun'? :hmmm:

 

Cheers :bye:

Hans J

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I am re-purposing a resin prop from a Khee-Kha engine/prop set, to replace the bad prop in the kit, but I will have to reverse its pitch:

IMG_7309+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The blades are carefully separated, and all parts drilled to accept a metal pin:

IMG_7310+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7311+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7312+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 And here is the new prop:

IMG_7313+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The wing floats have been assembled, and the flange carefully trimmed closely to represent the real thing:

IMG_7314+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

I made new landing gears legs too:

IMG_7318+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Smudge said:

Oh, nice.

 

I have one of these in my 'collection'. Looking forward to seeing how you get on. 

 

I would like to do a nice civilian scheme, but not too sure about designing and printing my own decals. Interested to see how you tackle it.

 

Cheers.

The kit, even with its many very faults, is buildable provided you improve things a little.

It's up to each modeler the amount of fuzz they want to go through.

I used to make my own simple decal projects, but my color printer died long ago, and every time I go to buy a new one, I am disgusted by how unethical the printers' companies have become, employing strategic tricks to sell you one and then charge you an eye for the next ink cartridges/toner, and including software that falsely tells you to replace those even when they have plenty of live in them, not to mention the horrid shenanigans you have to get through to interconnect your devices (if you are lucky) due to poor/incompatible software.

So I order my decals, but have to wait a while to get them sometimes (currently waiting some to finish the Ente and Vultee V-1D).

There are many decal services (beware the price will be higher than a normal sheet, since it is a special commission), but I buy mine from Arctic Decals (many of my builds here have them) due to their exceptional quality, but they have a long cue of requests, I believe.

Cheers

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3 hours ago, HansReggelsen said:

Interesting build! :D - You're a brave man! :winkgrin:

 

I'm not sure, but didn't Bond use one of these in 'The Man with the Golden Gun'? :hmmm:

 

Cheers :bye:

Hans J

Indeed, Hans:

https://jamesbond.fandom.com/wiki/Republic_RC-3_Seabee

 

http://www.seabee.info/rc3_105.htm

 

Not really brave. I rather build many of these than just one old Dujin or Merlin.

This is so far quite doable.

The kit has issues as stated above, but hey, it's a Seabee, and for example the corrugation on the flying surfaces is quite nice, even, and well done, more than I could say for similar effects in many other kits.

The despicable canopy and very bad prop, those are the major let-downs of this kit.

I have built much worse.

Cheers

 

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Excellent build, and excellent photos, too! I recall the Seabee from my childhood in the lakelands of Central Ontario - a cottager used to fly in from the city in one of these. It inspired me to buy the Lindberg kit, decades ago!

 

+1 on your printer comments, too - a couple of years ago I was fool enough to accept the advice of a clerk at a well-known electronics chain - "Get a Brother - all they make is printers, so they must be good!". Yeah, right - whatever happened to just clicking on "Print" when you want to print something, and then having your printer actually print the blasted thing?! Sorry - I'm getting a bit OT. And OG...

 

John

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On 30/11/2019 at 13:38, Moa said:

The prop blades slanting towards the same side, the rotation motion is incorrect anyway. It rotated clockwise seen from behind, as explained above:

IMG_7277+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Moa,

 

I think you meant they rotated anti-clockwise when viewed from behind, so the lower blade shown above has the right pitch and the upper has the incorrect pitch. American piston engines rotate counter-clockwise when viewed head on; the Seabee has its engine rotated 180 degrees on its vertical axis, so when seen from behind it rotates counter-clockwise. I followed your advice and checked photos to confirm, here's a link: https://sky4buy.com/1947-Republic-Seabee-Fully-Restored-131322891007/0307. Unless you meant from behind the engine. This can get really confusing 🤪

 

You rotated the blades correctly on your build. There is a catch in doing that though: the wash-out towards the tips becomes a wash-in (the tips will have a higher incidence angle than the roots) which can be noticeable depending on how much wash-out was there originally. At any rate, it's an improvement over what the kit provided.

 

Following your build with interest.

 

Cheers,
Wlad

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