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Lockheed PV1 Ventura F240


rob Lyttle

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aRight O fellow Frog enthusiasts, I'd like to play here 👋

Being a long-standing Lockheed Twins fan, I picked one of these up at a show, in a bag, in the "remainders" boxes for next to nothing. 

Seems that F240 came out just as Frog were closing down and never got properly launched into the public domain. The tooling made its way around the Eastern world though and has been repopped by several manufacturers. 

No box of course but I can show you the sprues, what came in the bag 😏 

20240126_153606

 

20240126_153633

 

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That little decal sheet is actually from the Academy kit, saved and put away with this one for future use. 

Having said that, they probably won't be used for this one either. My tendency is to aim for the civil aviation world and many PV1s and PV2s- Harpoons-- were bought cheap after the WW2 as surplus and used for all sorts of work. Some recieved extensive makeovers as Executive and Company transport and a few even ended up on tricycle undercarriage. 

Others were pressed into service with much less modification, externally at least. 

That's probably the direction I'll be going. 

"Here's one I made earlier" as they say...😃

20240126_153911

This is indeed the Academy Minecraft product. I don't think TAB ever had converted Venturas but I built this as a stable mate for my Curtis C46. South American aviation is a treasure trove of improvisation and reused, preowned, surplus airframes working hard for a living. Bolivia is right up there. They had B17s in service transporting beef carcasses! Yeah, it's on my to do list some day...

I'm up to here with projects and unfinished builds etc right now and I don't know when I'll get to make a start here, but I wanted to put a marker down and stake a claim in the Frog territory. Many of you are up and running already and I'll have some catching up to do. 

Plenty of time though 🤭

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The Somewhat elusive Frog Lockheed Ventura. It’s always nice to see moulds of kits that didn’t quite see the light of day, however I do believe and have seen (on FB) a few examples actually made it out of Margate boxed and all. 
 

Please make a start whilst the enthusiasm is still up, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be distracted by something else in a few weeks and forget all about it. 
 

 Here’s and best of luck.. Dave 

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Delighted to see this one joining the GB.

 

I hadn't appreciated the background story to this kit, and it's apparent collectability, with a Frog boxed one currently on evilbay for £150 and no that isn't a typo !

 

Best of luck with it :like:

 

Cheers Pat

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21 minutes ago, JOCKNEY said:

with a Frog boxed one currently on evilbay for £150 and no that isn't a typo !


Be nice to have a prize for ‘Best voted Frog kit’ for this GB, although not sure we’ve got pockets deep enough to afford that one… Struth!! 

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Just found the eBay listing… also wants the equivalent of $125.00 Aussie dollars to ship from the UK (suspect via the planet Jupiter) to Australia! I’d be wanting to see the contents inside the box too, could be Frogspawn plastic. 

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1 hour ago, JOCKNEY said:

with a Frog boxed one currently on evilbay for £150

(Falls down laughing... 🤣!!)

 

As you can see from the sprues and reference documentation included, it's right up there with the WNW range of kits...

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On 1/27/2024 at 7:45 PM, Rabbit Leader said:

Just found the eBay listing… also wants the equivalent of $125.00 Aussie dollars to ship from the UK (suspect via the planet Jupiter) to Australia! I’d be wanting to see the contents inside the box too, could be Frogspawn plastic. 

Yes, eBay's Global Shipping Piracy.. er Program has a LOT to answer for.

By the way, Dave @Rabbit Leader, did you see the other listing that comes in, all up to Australia, at about half that AU$125 shipping cost?

Sorry for the thread drift Rob.

Cheers,

Chris.

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23 minutes ago, marvinneko said:

Did Frog get more details right than Academy?

 

- port side door only

- rudders more evenly proportioned

- flaps with cutouts near fuselage

 

Not having built up a Ventura as yet, these are interesting questions.

Prior to this GB, I had always thought that the Academy kit was just a rescribed Frog kit, however I have now learned that's not the case. 

Good conversation piece, I'd be happy to learn more. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

 

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@marvinneko correct on all points 😃

Upon examination I can see that the flaps have the cutouts on the inboard edges, the fin/rudder demarcation is far better and just the one door, rather heavily lined out. 

The panel lines are raised in the old style and finely done✔️.

They have fallen for the flaps underside mistake though 

20240129_000211

 

(there's the cutout, by the way)

That big wedge is designed to extend the aerofoil shape right out onto the dogleg extension. 

For those that aren't familiar, that extra bit on the trailing edge should just be a flat plate fastened onto the tops of the 5 rails that hang out the t.e. of the wing. A lot of kit manufacturers incl Frog make the flaps in the style shown here, and it took me a long time to get to the bottom of the situation 😀 

I'll be sorting it out in the build at which point it'll all become obvious 😎

The engines aren't too good, being a plate disc with 9cyl in relief. There's a cowlings aftermarket product in resin apparently but I'll see what I can do with these Frog ones. 

Transparencies are iffy, turret like an ice cube, dimples on windows, but the cockpit canopy looks fine. 

That's all I can see for now 

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Appreciate the explanation of some of the Frog Ventura’s finer points. Must admit, the wing trailing edge notes have lost me a bit, however (as you say) I’ll pick things up once you progress this build. 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

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27 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Appreciate the explanation of some of the Frog Ventura’s finer points. Must admit, the wing trailing edge notes have lost me a bit, however (as you say) I’ll pick things up once you progress this build. 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

 

This is what the underside of the wing flap area looks like

 

6-F2987-E9-248-E-4-E80-B10-E-36904-E5944

 

My Ventura build includes building the upper and lower flaps elements.

 

 

 

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@Rabbit Leader, Dave, it's a bit obscure but if you have a look at this picture of a Lodestar.... same wing as the Ventura...

Gc60-2

...so rare to get a good picture of wings,  tops or bottom views. 

The kink in the t.e . by the flaps is created by a strip fastened onto those rails. The flap itself as you can see does not reach back to match it. The flap panel is parallel front and back. 

It's to do with the way the wing evolved from the Hudson wing by having that strip added for aerodynamic reasons by Lockheed. 

All the kit makers (except Special Hobby) make the mistake of extending the flap shape right back. 

That photo help??

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@marvinneko, that's one hell of a Ventura built WIP.... very nicely done. 

@rob Lyttle, appreciate the underside photo, that seems a little clearer, I'll be watching on to see how this build progresses. 

 

Cheers.. Dave  

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On 1/27/2024 at 7:01 PM, JOCKNEY said:

a Frog boxed one currently on evilbay for £150 and no that isn't a typo !

 

OMG.... It's already got two bids on it!! 

You reckon the winning bidder would be prepared to build it for us here???

 

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1 hour ago, Rabbit Leader said:

 

OMG.... It's already got two bids on it!! 

You reckon the winning bidder would be prepared to build it for us here???

 

 

Perhaps someone's going to buy it for you Dave as a late Christmas present :fingerscrossed:

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6 minutes ago, JOCKNEY said:

Perhaps someone's going to buy it for you Dave as a late Christmas present :fingerscrossed:


Hardly likely…. but could you imagine the joy if that was the case!! 

 

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1 hour ago, Rabbit Leader said:

 

OMG.... It's already got two bids on it!! 

You reckon the winning bidder would be prepared to build it for us here???

 

Not guilty this time but I have had such bursts of madness to a lesser degree in the past. Maybe we could start a ‘crowd fundraiser’ and buy it for the Community…..?

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9 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:

@Rabbit Leader, Dave, it's a bit obscure but if you have a look at this picture of a Lodestar.... same wing as the Ventura...

 

...so rare to get a good picture of wings,  tops or bottom views. 

The kink in the t.e . by the flaps is created by a strip fastened onto those rails. The flap itself as you can see does not reach back to match it. The flap panel is parallel front and back. 

It's to do with the way the wing evolved from the Hudson wing by having that strip added for aerodynamic reasons by Lockheed. 

All the kit makers (except Special Hobby) make the mistake of extending the flap shape right back. 

That photo help??

 

Rob, this one is going to be a beauty with all that attention to detail. Looking forward to seeing this build unfold (no need for expensive punts on ebay!) Regards, Mike.

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8 hours ago, Ventora3300 said:

no need for expensive punts on ebay!

Absolutely none!! I think I paid £4 or less. I got a Vacform PV2 at the same time and a wee discount on the total. 

Always have a rummage in the remainders boxes at model shows 🤩

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The history of this kit seems rather confusing. According to the Lines/Hellstrom book which was published in 1989, Frog never released it, but both Novo and Red Star are shown as potentially having the moulds but again never releasing it - at least prior to the book being published. Scalemates seems to show that Donetsk Toy Factory were the first to actually produce one. Their production run seems to have properly started in 1991 but they may have produced a bagged version a year or two before that, as happened with my anonymous "Made in Russia" Shackleton. They also show Novo/Novo Export as not having released it and I gather that Red Star did try and "buy back" some of the moulds shipped to Russia without success. The moulds for the ex Frog kits they actually produced were bought before they went to Russia and are the ones now released as Emhar. The ones advertised as Frog may be genuine if Frog did actually do a short production run, contrary to perceived "wisdom", or may perhaps be a mating up of the boxes Frog presumably produced (as they certainly did with the decs as I have several sheets), together with plastic moulded elsewhere. I would certainly be very wary of buying a "Frog" one sight unseen.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Copies of this kit were available to compare against the Academy one, when Academy were accused of a direct copy, which it wasn't.  Quite.  One modelling magazine of the time showed a photo comparing the two.  I suspect that if the kit is in the familiar Frog dark blue plastic then it is likely to be one of the short production run common to many (if not all) from the tools intended for Russia, but then available from someone (I believe, an ex-Frog worker) who gained possession of kits from these runs and was selling complete kits or desired parts from them.  I know I obtained several kits also Blenheim and Dornier engines/cowlings for future conversions, possibly others.  I certainly saw bagged Wellingtons being sold at an airshow and did get one at some time. but didn't like it and passed it on. Memory suggests I saw a boxed Ventura at this time but I can't confirm that this isn't a false memory considering later knowledge.

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8 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Copies of this kit were available to compare against the Academy one, when Academy were accused of a direct copy, which it wasn't.  Quite.  One modelling magazine of the time showed a photo comparing the two.  I suspect that if the kit is in the familiar Frog dark blue plastic then it is likely to be one of the short production run common to many (if not all) from the tools intended for Russia, but then available from someone (I believe, an ex-Frog worker) who gained possession of kits from these runs and was selling complete kits or desired parts from them.  I know I obtained several kits also Blenheim and Dornier engines/cowlings for future conversions, possibly others.  I certainly saw bagged Wellingtons being sold at an airshow and did get one at some time. but didn't like it and passed it on. Memory suggests I saw a boxed Ventura at this time but I can't confirm that this isn't a false memory considering later knowledge.

Sounds feasible. Reading between the lines (no pun intended) I get the impression that initially the deal with Russia which involved setting up the UK end of Novo was to send only the older moulds to Russia where a portion of the kits would then be returned to the UK to be sold, thus providing extra income for Frog, but the management of Dunbee Combex Marx who had bought Rovex from the receiver had other ideas and ended up selling the lot,  apparently against the wishes of the the local management. The Frog book does in fact mention some boxes may well have been printed and that up to 100 complete examples from the test run seem to have ended up "on the collector's market" which I had not noticed before so Graham's suggestion of them being "liberated" seems to fit.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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I didn't mean to suggest "liberated", you trying to get me into trouble?  Perhaps more "cornered the market".  His sales were done quite openly and any misbehaviour would have been readily identifiable.  Perhaps he just knew someone.

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All I have for the manufacturers name or identity is a vague and faded sheet. The front page is this...

20240131_211215

By extracting the text and pasting into G.translate I have the following legend...

 

Lockhitz
,BEHTVPA"
Pere1 assembly, study the assembly ri
Sunon. Prepare your pocket knives
chelkhmy pilnak Details from block3z
hon o e yat stashes. On hotels
+#z. UAH collection of glued legal documents
let it dry
240
pomplentnsste PSstavki
Samslet details
--a zomllen:
2. Instructions for sbe7.e -1u;
3. bottle
4. Decal
PC
5. Packaging bag -
PC
pa

 

Thought you'd enjoy that 🤭

Anyway, there's a little logo at the top and may be recognised by someone. I'll assume it's of the Donetsk Toy Factory until I hear otherwise. Should add that the sprue frame tab clearly shows "made in USSR" so a chancer trying to fob it off as genuine Frog would have to get quite creative 

7 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

when Academy were accused of a direct copy, which it wasn't.  Quite.

My opinion is that there wasn't any copying going on by Minicraft or Academy. There are big similarities but let's face it, they're both meant to closely represent the same thing, namely a PV1 Ventura. 

Marvinneko has listed 3 variations. Also the Fuselage is deeper aft of the ventral gun position, Academy give Double bank radials and much better transparencies.

But ultimately they both end up as Venturas 

Well, I started fiddling with a few parts by way of preparation. First up is the top turret position, it's got to go. I think I'll keep the astrodome but the turret needs blanking off.

20240130_210528

 

20240131_214457

The item in the foreground is the bomb bay doors in one piece. They featured a big reinforcement strip midline which I want rid of so that is now honed away as shown. 

Wondering now about windows--  thinking and pencilling but nothing cut. 

Gun ports on the nose are filled and the bombardier aiming window space is filled in both fuselage halves. 

So, here we go 😎

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