1/48 Revell Stearman PT-17

Gallery Article by Mike Muth on Feb 11 2015

 

      

You've seen them at every airshow you ever attended, flying around the outskirts of the event, giving people a chance to fly in a "real biplane." 2 times I got to fly the venerable Stearman Primary Trainer at Waldo Wright's , adjacent to the Fantasy of Flight Museum. The airplane is a joy to fly, especially for a novice like me. I took a few photos before and after my flight and upon returning home decided to model the airplane I flew.

 

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For years there really hasn't been a good kit of the Stearman in 1/48 scale. Those who wanted to do one had to use the Lindberg kit or one of its later reincarnations. Revell has changed that situation with its new tool kit of the Stearman in 1/48 scale. This is not an up-scaling of its 1/72 kit but an entirely new molding. The kit goes together without any major difficulties. What is especially nice is that the cabane struts are molded onto the fuselage halves, guaranteeing proper alignment of both wings. The only problem I ran into was when I popped the interplane struts into place and decided to rubber band the top and bottom wings to put some pressure to guarantee a strong bond...the strut is very thin and bent. After much grumbling, I straightened it out and upon gluing a second time, no rubber band was used! 

The interior is busy enough since most of it can't been seen after you close up the fuselage. There are 2 decal options provided, but since I wanted to do the one I flew, I had to use decals from my spares box and from the Caracal PT-17/N25 Kaydet sheet where I sourced the black and white numerals and "US NAVY". Paint colors were Model Masters Camouflage Gray for the fuselage and Chrome Yellow for the top wing and tail. The belly band was a dark green from Testors from its small bottle. Rigging was done with sliver sewing thread. The kit is an easy build for your first biplane with not too much rigging, but just enough to show off.

Mike Muth

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Photos and text by Mike Muth