Author Topic: Imsjim - Rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner  (Read 8720 times)

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lmsjim

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Imsjim - Rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« on: April 13, 2009, 07:51:47 AM »
I picked up this built model of the Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner from the late 30's early 40's. Luckily it was built by a person who did not like to use sandpaper or good glue. The modeler used the crappy powder glue that Strombecker always supplied with their kits. The great news is it does not hold at all so I had it apart in a few minutes. The other good news is the builder did not sand a thing so the model is almost like new with only requiring the removal of the paper decals and varnish. I was also luck my friend Steve Remington had a copy of the instructions and the paper markings supplied with the kit.

http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2683

http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2684
Plans

History
The 1942 catalog describes this kit as the First 4-engine plane in use by U.S. Airlines. Scale is 3/32” -1’ or 1/128. It was sold between 1939 and 1942 as far as I can tell. So it had a short run before they suspended most model production during the war. It was not picked up after the war since Strombecker had moved on to better kits. The kit consists of 13 wood pieces, 4 metal props with nails and two wire landing gears. The markings were printed on paper and I think intentionally printed with an off white background. The reason I say this is because the instructions say to just cut them and glue them to the plane before varnishing because the markings are made to blend into the wood color,


As I got it in the mail
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2682

RESTORING
After I got it apart I started by removing all the paper decals. I then started to sand down the parts to the correct shape. I did notice that this is the hardest wood I have ever run into with Strombecker.


After disassembly and cleaning off paper decals
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2679

I also had to make two landing gear doors which were shown on the plans but were either not put on the model or were lost over the years. However once these were glued on I realized something just did not look right so I went back and did more research. I am not sure where Strombecker come up with these doors but the landing gears on the 307 are very similar to the DC-3 and just retract into the engine without any doors so I removed them.


Parts ready for reassembly
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2678

I reassembled the model starting with the tail using Elmer’s wood glue. The wings were next which was difficult since I had no indication on the model where they went. I finally got them on to my satisfaction and the added the engines. After the wood glue dried I filled in all the gaps with Squadron Shop green stuff and sanded everything down. I did this a couple of times to get all the small holes filled. The next step was to give the model three coats of sanding sealer while sanding a lot between coats.


After several coats of sanding sealer
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2677


After I had sanded down the last coat of sanding sealer I sprayed the entire model with gray primer. This always helps when trying to identify small holes are rough filler areas. I cleaned these up then sprayed it with Tamiya Chrome silver. Using a rapidograph pen I marked out the general outlines of the control surfaces. I kept this simple since the plane was a pretty rough copy anyway.


With primer coat and some sanding
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2676


With several coats of Chrome Silver
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2681


With final coat of paint and control surfaces added
http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2680
Decals to follow

Jim

dave_t

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009, 10:46:50 AM »
What an improvement! The original did have a nice antique toy character though. It mat be a bit late now, but here's a reference drawing...
http://www.umt.fme.vutbr.cz/~ruja/modely/podklady/Boeing/B-307/B-307.jpg

lmsjim

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 11:16:01 AM »
Dave,
Thanks for the drawing. I actually had one but quite as good.

Jim

lastvautour

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 11:22:07 AM »
Excellent Restoration. I admire how you apply your silver finish.

Lou

lmsjim

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2009, 11:26:25 AM »
I should have mentioned I work just a few miles from the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Aerospace Museum and they have the only surviving Boeing 307. It was recently restored and flown here when the museum open a couple of years ago. Apparently they only build 11 of these guys before the war started. I am talking about the real one here. It ended up at Boeing in Seattle and was restored for the museum here but they managed to run out of gas on a test flight and dumped it in a lake or sound or something up in Seattle so it had to be restored a second time. It is a beautiful plane with Pan American markings.

lmsjim

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2009, 11:28:51 AM »
Thanks Lou I am pretty happy with it too. I got some of the decals on last night and it really starting to look good.
Jim

Oceaneer99

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 11:45:05 AM »
The 307 ditched into Elliot Bay in Puget Sound, within view of downtown Seattle.

from Wikipedia commons:


If I'm not mistaken, Ray saw the 307 flying that day, moments before it ditched.

Garet

dave_t

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 12:46:07 PM »
Garet, that photo looks remarkably like the Hudson River and another recent ditching.

lmsjim

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 06:12:18 AM »
Yes it does. If you read the accident report it mentions the pilot made a perfect water landing just like the recent one. All the crew did get out before it sank.

Jim

lmsjim

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2009, 04:34:55 AM »
The rest of the story.
I cleaned up the scan of the original decal sheet that I got from Steve and printed in on clear Laser decal paper. I took a couple of evenings to get all the decals on okay. After the decals had dried I sprayed the plane with two coats of Future wax.

http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2695
The scanned paper insignia sheet that came with the kit

 I took the metal propellers which were badly rusted and cleaned all the rust off them with my Dremel tool. I then sprayed them the same silver paint I used on the airplane. I cleaned up the small nails with my Dremel and used them to mount the propellers again.


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2694
Completed Model


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2693


http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-2692
Thanks for all your encouragement guys
Jim

lastvautour

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 04:41:34 AM »
Outstanding restoration Jim. A model that anyone or any museum would be proud to display. Congratulations on a fantastic project.

Lou

Paul

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 05:54:01 AM »
A beautiful airplane!  In our age of basically disposable toys, its great to see you restore something durable and unique.

R.F.Bennett

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 06:22:46 AM »
Yes, Great work as usual Jim. I'd like to see someone restore a plastic model so many years from now.   :P
And thanks to you and Steve for yet another great set of decals.  ;D
"The Dude Abides"

dave_t

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 02:43:38 PM »
Are those metal props typical for Strombecker kits?

It would be nice to see a group shot of your restoration projects. They all look terrific.

lmsjim

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Re: rebuild of Strombecker Boeing Stratoliner
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2009, 08:42:41 AM »
Yes those are the typical props they used on almost all their kits that they supplied props with. Of course during the war they dropped the metal parts. I know they aren't all that great but I try to build the kits as they were originally intended with the exception of the decals. They did not issue plastic parts like props till after the war. Maybe I will line all mine up and take a snap shot soon.

Thanks