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Scratchbuilders 1/32 Staggerwing


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#1 Gene

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:47 PM

Got inspired to dust off another interrupted journey with the Scratchbuilders 93001 Beechcraft Staggerwing (I think this opening up of new projects has something to do with kit prices - maybe). Historically there have been 3 kits in 1/32 scale of the Staggerwing, ITC, Staggerwings Unlimited and then Scratchbuilders; they are basically all the same except SCR's kit was resin and had different decals, some interior pieces and an apparently 7 cylinders of a Williams Bros 'Twin' Wasp kit. From SCR's old web, this pic was available:

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  • 01_overall_kit.jpg


#2 Gene

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:53 PM

Looking over the history of the Beechcraft Model 17, one finds a confusing array of model designations and it basically relfects Beechcraft's attempt to blanket as many markets as possibe. I've settled on attempting to do the Mocel D17S being it was the most produced and most expensive. The SCR kit attempts to be an F17D with a 7 cylinder Jacobs engine. The D17S sported a 450-hp Pratt & Whitney 'Wasp' of 9 cylinders. Fortunately, Williams Bros. had made a 'Wasp', used mostly for the Gee Bee kit, etc. It was selected as the basis of my D17S. Following is a comparison of different cowls - the lower right is scratchbuilt just for this project:

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  • 03_cowl_comp_w_4_noted.jpg

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#3 Gene

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:56 PM

Three shots of the progress of building the 9-cylinder Wasp. First, test fit stainless steel tubes for pushrod housings, and oilers between cylinders. Second, the wiring for spark plugs, and Last, the final assembly:

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  • 02_engine_3_steps.jpg


#4 Gene

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:59 PM

And last for this segment (for the time being), the cowl development. First in primer white, next with color (overall scheme witl be an Ivory/Off White with Navy Blue and Orange pin-striping). More later on the making of the cowl shell and the scratchbuilt spinner:

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  • 04_in_cowl_3_steps.jpg

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#5 LSP_Kevin

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 10:55 PM

Impressive work Gene! SCR = Scratchbuilders?

Kev

#6 ssculptor

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:39 PM

If all three of these kits are based on the oricinal ITC kit, then have you checked the wingspan? As I recall the wingspan of the ITC kit was too short by an appreciable amount.
The wingspan of the original D17 was 32 feet. This comes out to I foot (12 inches) in 1/32 scale. A nice neat figure. However, I believe that the model has a wingspan of only 11 inches. Is the wingspan correct in your resin kit?
The late Dave Thompson was starting to produce a resin model kit of this aircraft and we used to have long discussions about it on the phone. He decided that the ITC kit was so far wrong that he would have to start from scratch with his own master. However he put it aside to work on his resin REX but his untimely sudden death ended all his plans.
As everyone knows by now (I have such a big mouth) I am not bothered by minior details and slight variations from scale and accuracy. But I had one of the old ITC Staggerwing kits I had built back in the 1960's. About thirty years ago I took a good look at it and got rid of it. I think I traded it off for something else. Even I have my standards.

But this airplane is certainly worth a good build and I hope the resin kit you have does it justice. There is something inherently pleasing about the design and it is hard to find anyone who does not like the plane. There are a number of good sites on the internet, starting with Wikipedia, where you can get a lot of info on it. If you want a military version it was used by something like 14 different countries. It was in the Spanish Civil War and then was used during WW2. In the 1930's it was even a contender in air races.

Good luck with this model and please let us see how you progress.

Stephen
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#7 JRutman

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 01:40 AM

Nice beginnings and a needed break from the military subjects.
J

#8 MostlyRacers

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:14 AM

A Staggerwing at last !

I'm gonna follow this thread attentively.

Hubert.

#9 Gene

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:00 PM

Thanks guys! A little encouragement goes a long ways!
Regarding scale (SSculptor), the resin kit's wingspan checked correct (even the 5'-0' chord checks) but the length is short for a D17S which is 11.some" longer. I'm lengthening the plane accordingly. My literature indicates the extra length was in the fuselage (I had been assuming it was int he cowl because of the 9-cylinder, but not so). It is a handsome bird and with the extra length even more so. On to the build. Here is some info on how the new cowl was built:

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  • 05_cowl_copper_skirt.jpg
  • 06_cowl_nose_dev.jpg

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#10 Gene

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:05 PM

It appears that the 1946 G17S model introduced the big bulbous spinner, but it seems to have gotten very popular with current owners of the other models - me too, I wanted one also!
A tube armature was made and then smothered in Milliput. This was chucked into my Dremmel and turned down to match dimensions and then polished as far as I could get. Then it was covered with Bare-Metal-Foil. There are foil overlaps and I'm still working on this technique, but I see the fast moving train at the end of the tunnel and my misery will cease!

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#11 ssculptor

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:35 PM

Thanks guys! A little encouragement goes a long ways!
Regarding scale (SSculptor), the resin kit's wingspan checked correct (even the 5'-0' chord checks) but the length is short for a D17S which is 11.some" longer. I'm lengthening the plane accordingly. My literature indicates the extra length was in the fuselage (I had been assuming it was int he cowl because of the 9-cylinder, but not so). It is a handsome bird and with the extra length even more so. On to the build. Here is some info on how the new cowl was built:

What a great way of building up the cowl.
So simple but so few of us see it until someone like you shows us the obvious.
Please show us how you lengthen the fuselage.
Thank you, we do indeed learn something new every day.
Stephen
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The Shadow knows!
Nyah hah hah hah hah.

#12 Peterpools

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:53 PM

A Beech D17S Staggerwing ... Walter Beech's gift to aviation and certainly, one of the most beautiful airplanes to ever grace the skies. . . Never have flown in one but always admired their beauty and power from the flightline and at air shows. Will be flowing thread ever so closely, as the staggerwing takes shape and form.
Peter

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#13 Gene

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 04:20 PM

Thanks guys! Yes, SCR is/was a moniker for Scratchbuilders.
Various things needed to be sorted out (length, etc.), but my first concern was the windscreen. With the fuselage partially assembled, I packed some clay into the cabin and sculpted it into shape. Taking a plaster negative and a positive from that, I heated some Squadron clear plastic to pull over the form. Fortunately, the windscreen is actually a series of single radius curves (as opposed to compound curves) and it took shape readily. The last shots shows the promise of actually being able to see into the cabin!! The real problem is going to be trimming, but that is a session down the road.

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  • 09_windscreen_dev.jpg


#14 Tallyho

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 06:31 PM

This'll be a fun to watch build for me as I was fortunate enough to get 3 hours of right seat time in a fully restored stagerwing back in 1979. It was owned by a gentleman named Steven Parker of Odessa Texas. In 80 or 81 he donated it to a museum in (I think) Mississippi or Alabama.

Fred
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#15 Gene

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:59 PM

That ride in the Staggerwing must have been quite a treat!! I'm jealous! Would you describe the cabin as
a.) roomy b.) confining c.) or outright cramped? Reason I ask, I'm working on the cabin now. Here are the components supplied in the kit and some beginning work to enhance the instrument panel:

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  • 09_cabin_stk_n_instr_pan.jpg





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