Author Topic: Imsjim - Strombecker China Clipper A51 model restoration  (Read 3179 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lmsjim

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
Imsjim - Strombecker China Clipper A51 model restoration
« on: November 12, 2008, 09:48:47 AM »
Another oldie. The very first airplane kit produced by Strombecker was this China Clipper Kit A51, which came out in 1936.  Much later they produced a second version at almost the same scale  somewhere around 1/144, which was almost their last wooden plane kit plus a plastic version soon after the last wooden kit was issued.

This is one I picked up along with a couple of other old Strombecker prewar models which were already assembled.
The model was actually in pretty good shape since when it was built the model did very little sanding and the wing was attached with a screw, Interesting the instructions say to use a nail. I managed to get a set of the instructions from the internet.

http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2267



http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2266
Model as received

The good news everything was present except 3 of the wing struts. My first job was to disassemble the model. I was able to get everything apart except the top cabin piece. To get it off would have damaged the fuselage too much. The problem is the cabin in not quit centered but it is very close so I decided to leave it alone.


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2265
Disassembled

I then started first to remove all the paint by sanding. After that I went back and shaped the pieces like they were supposed to be. This model of course was only to considered a toy and not a scale model so the instructions only shows rounding off edges rather than shape them correctly. The wing was really too thick so I sanded it down some but not too much because I wanted the engine nacelles to still fit. The trailing edge of the wing was thinned and the tail surfaces were shaped correctly. The propellers were rusted so when I cleaned them up I could not restore the plating they originally had so I will just paint them later.


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2264

I then started to reassemble the model. I glued the wing and engines on plus the tail. I did leave the sponsons off to allow easier access to under the wing for filling. I then started filling all the areas that needed it with Green stuff.


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2263

I then added the sponsons and struts which I made out of a small wood dowel I had in my scrap box.

http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2270

I then started painting with sanding sealer and sanding in between coats. I then scribed the main control surfaces on the wings and tail using an Exacto knife. I added about 4 coats then sprayed the whole model plus the propellers with Tamiya Chrome Silver. The bottom was masked and I sprayed it Tamiya Gloss Black. I then proceeded to spray the model with four coats of Future floor wax getting it ready for the decals.

The kit did not come with a stand of any kind and I was not interested in hanging it from the ceiling like I use to do as a kid so I decided to make one that looks like the ones they issue with their later kits. I cut one out of scrap lumber using the one that came with the B-47 kit as a pattern.  I then finished it like I did the model and made a wire out of clothes hanger wire.


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2269


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2268

Working on decals now.

lastvautour

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5904
Re: Strombecker China Clipper A51 model restoration
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 12:29:20 PM »
Outstanding work.  Were the engine installation original. I never saw a drilled wing for installing the engines. That is a novel idea that may help me out in later projects. Again, you do fantastic work. I await the finish model.

Lou

lmsjim

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
Re: Strombecker China Clipper A51 model restoration
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 07:43:55 AM »
Thanks for the kind words Lou. Yes the wings were predrilled for the engines.

Final story

Decals
I really had to think about this. I try to build these Strombecker kits as they originally were intended but without any decals it looked way to plain. Apparently Water soluble decals were actually invented in 1936; they were called “water-mount-decals”, but not sure when model companies started putting them in their kits. At any rate Strombecker included paper insignia sheets in some of their kits until after the war when they started including decals. Unfortunately this kit was not one that got even the paper ones. The instructions do say you can paint the model if you do not want to leave it in the natural wood finish. If you are real good you could paint your own windows but not this kid. Since I had a scan of the decal sheet that came with the later wooden China Clipper I decided to use it. So I printed up two sheets, one white, one clear, own my laser printer at work.



http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2281
I added the decals and then sprayed the model with a couple more coats of Future floor wax to seal them.


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2282

http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2283


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2284

For anyone who would like to see the instructions for this kit here is the link to my friend Steve's website. http://www.collectair.com/File0023.PDF

Jim

cliff strachan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 796
    • Cliff
Re: Strombecker China Clipper A51 model restoration
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 03:22:34 PM »
A really well done China Clipper. As all in the group will recall I've got a special interest in the China Clipper from the time that my dad built me one from the 1938 kit by Comet - a copy of the original plans I've posted with the Group. But in regard to decals especially as they apply - or rather don't - to early solid scale it is interesting to note that in the original Comet plans for the China Clipper it was instructed that you were expected to cut out from the plans themselves the wing numerals and even the PAA logo for the fuselage and then paste them onto the model. (On the plans that I submitted it's possible to see where my dad cut the logos from the plan.)

Cliff.

lmsjim

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
Re: Strombecker China Clipper A51 model restoration
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 05:01:42 AM »
Cliff, Thanks for the compliment. Yes Strombecker did a few where you were supposed to cut things out of the plans. They even did it postwar in their train sets.

Jim