Old Models For Sale

Recently, I was contacted by Joe, a friend of mine, who had acquired a container full of old model kits to sell. The collection turned out to be a fascinating hodge-podge of plastic and wood kits from many eras. Joe was asked to try to sell them for another church member who was bequeathed the kits from family members. He asked if I could help him with pricing and to make an offer on anything I wanted. I looked up a couple of kits online, but don’t have the time for serious research. I also do not have the time to build static models nor the space to display them.

Below are most of the kits and other items that are available. There appear to be some fine collectible items among these kits. If something piques your interest and you want more information about it, I’d be happy to oblige. As far as price, just make a reasonable offer. Click on any image to make it larger.

This is a Marx HO beginner train layout. It does have a switch, but I did not see a transformer. I did not set it up to see if all the track was there, but it doesn’t look like it was ever used.

This is a beautifully detailed Chris Craft kit from Sterling that I actually considered acquiring. It is designed for 2-channel R/C control. The picture of the receiver showed vacuum tubes! Not a kit for a beginner.

A receipt for the original purchase, maybe?

A kit that’s as old as I am… It seems to have several moving parts and a lot of detail.

A control line glow-plug model. It is still shrink-wrapped, so I did not open it.

A simple Aurora Ship model. It looks like there is a little construction begun on the deck. This is the initial release of this kit from 1957.

This is an old, but detailed model of the Flying Cloud. The hull and deck have been assembled.

A basic balsa and tissue kit from Guillow’s. It includes some plastic parts and the rubber bands for power. There’s a bonus glider also in the box.

A PT type wooden kit from Billing Boats of Norway. I did not take the parts out of the box, but did find a picture of the kit online. The internal formers are made of heavy cardboard instead of wood and I don’t remember a motor, but it’s possible. Very hard to find online–listed as vintage.

A Revell kit of the USS Lexington. This one is of her last incarnation and her planes are from the Korean War era. Research shows this particular kit is from 1961.

A Monogram mode of a Jet powered racer that apparently can be a powered model. It was still shrink-wrapped, so I left it unopened.

A Revell kit of the Fletcher class destroyer USS Sullivans. By the time it was launched, the ship was named the USS The Sullivans. There is no copyright date on this, but research shows that Revell released it in 1954 as their first Fletcher Class kit. The pieces are off the sprue, but no construction is evident.

These two I am particularly impressed with. At some point, many years ago, I wondered what model building was like during WWII. These are in almost mint condition. There’s not really too much to them, and any detail work was up to the creativity of the builder. To aid the builder, this was contained in the B29 box and was probably included in all the similar kits:

If you are interested in any of these or want to talk about them, please email me at [email protected].

Expanding the Fleet

Monday, November 19, 2018

At the flying field this morning, there was some discussion of our favorite types of planes. Doug, a fellow member of the club, asks me if I’d like one of his gliders, since he had just bought a new one. I told him how much I would appreciate that — I was looking for a stable platform on which to mount a camera in the near future. So, I followed him to his house after flying, and he presented me with a beautiful EPP foam glider with a six-foot wingspan. It would barely fit in my car.

But, as we wandered through his neat and well-apportioned workshop, Doug starts handing me some other excellent models, with the explanation that he really needed to thin out his collection. I was flabbergasted and very appreciative. The models are magnificent and includes this well-built plane from Green Models/Maxford known as the “Butterfly” (which I believe has been discontinued). It’s a slow flyer with a four-foot wingspan.

Then he handed me a Pitts Special made from EPP foam. With a wingspan of 34″, this one is heavier than expected — it’s going to be fast, so it scares me just a little bit!

Finally, Doug gave me a beautiful (discontinued) eFlite offering: a Curtiss Jenny with a 34-inch wingspan that looks like it has never flown.

With the addition of these four planes, I’ll need to research the power requirements, order new batteries, and configure my transmitter. What’s more pressing is I need to look hard at storage configurations to have a safe place to put them.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

To alleviate the storage situation, I remembered the plane racks that Doug and Dave have and decided to duplicate that idea. After clearing out a section of the garage and purchasing the necessary dowel rods, I finished the rack in a couple of days.

Mounted here are all the larger planes of the fleet, including those that won’t fly again until major repairs are undertaken.

Lady Lake Swap Meet

I attended my second swap meet today. This one was in a neighborhood community center in Lady Lake, near The Villages.

This one was very different from the previous one at an Ocala flying field, and I found very few good deals. Most of the planes were too expensive — no more big bucks for planes! My only purchase was a small engine and a matching speed controller that I found for five bucks.

I also learned a valuable lesson about these swap meets. There was a nice plane — about a 36″ wingspan — going for $10. I strongly considered it, but since I had just arrived, I wanted to see what else was available. Two minutes later, I returned to the table only to find the plane had already been snagged. If you snooze, you lose! Then again, there are always more planes out there….

One cool find was a PT variation of the model I am currently constructing.

This is a model of a Fairchild PT-23, the major difference being the canopy installed over the pilot and student. I understand that this modification was for the Canadian version of this craft because of the harsher climatic conditions. This is about the same scale as mine and nicely constructed.

Testing the Learning Curve

Most of the planes I fly are the small, lightweight Park Flyers. Any crashes have been easily repaired with glue and scotch tape.

The only exception was my ill-fated Mitsubishi Zero model. A balsa and plywood model kit with a wingspan of about 40″, it was larger, heavier and more unstable than my other models. My efforts to fly it resulted in 2 quick crashes. The construction log and final flight of the Zero is illustrated in the  “Models that Fly” section of Hobbies and Pasttimes.

Way back in July, (while the Zero was still under construction), I stopped by Rob’s Hobby Shop in Ocala for glue or something and saw a beautiful model of a Hawker Hurricane hanging from the ceiling. It was being sold on consignment for half the cost of a new one — a deal I found difficult to pass up. It had a tremendous amount of detail for a foam model, but with a 48″ wingspan,  I knew I wasn’t  ready to fly something that large and relatively heavy — yet.

Last week, I installed a receiver, balanced the model around it’s center of gravity, and programmed the transmitter to control the plane. Today, I felt it was time to give the Hurricane her maiden flight. I was really nervous, because the flying weight of the plane is 3.75 pounds. If it tumbles out of the sky at speed, it might leave a mess. This knowledge, coupled with my failure to fly the Zero model, made me a nervous wreck, but I needed to face my fear if I was ever going to advance in my skill level.

The flight actually lasted about three minutes, but I’ve condensed it here to conserve space:

Whew! My hands shook for another 15 minutes after the flight. Now I need to work on the Corsair which is a similar size and made by the same company (Dynam).

Lessons Learned

Besides building the PT-19 and doing occasional yard work, I continue to fly as often as I can in the morning. Some of my time is spent preparing new planes and repairing as needed. Many of the members of our club meet almost every day at the soccer field in Holder.

Last week, Doug was flying FPV (viewing his flight with a tiny on-board camera) when the camera battery went dead. His Bixler glider had gotten so far away — and we dropped the ball in spotting for him — that it sailed away out of sight. We searched the area and a little beyond, but no luck. Doug has his name and phone number in it, and hopefully it will turn up sometime soon.

Today, I was flying the planes from my current fleet of small craft. Shortly after I took this shot, I fired up the largest of these, the “Wingo” at the upper right. I am considering using this as an FPV platform, so I’m trying to get comfortable with her flight characteristics. She’ll glide very well, but without ailerons, all turns are performed with the rudder, making it a little awkward and susceptible to losing altitude quickly.

I was flying at a fairly high altitude and frequently cutting the throttle to glide on the slight wind. Evidently, the upper-level winds were a bit more than I was experiencing on the ground and the Wingo slowly gained altitude and drifted farther away. It was soaring over the high-tension power lines before I realized it was too far for me to discern which direction it was pointing. I could still see it as a dot, but had to guess if it was pointed to me to bring it back. Finally, I gave up and killed the throttle allowing it to settle to earth on  its own.

As I memorized the tallest objects that it went behind (it was easily a half a mile or more–across hwy 491), it dawned on me that I had procrastinated putting my name and address in the plane. If I didn’t find it, the Wingo was a goner.

I grabbed my transmitter, jumped in my car, and headed across the highway. On the edge of the road were pieces of white styrofoam. I thought, “Well, I guess I can glue it all back together”, but closer inspection revealed a destroyed cooler instead. It was also revealed that I was standing in a large patch of sandspurs which quickly (and painfully) filled my socks. I didn’t have time to fool with that, so I just endured the pain and continued to search. Directly across the road was a huge fenced-in power substation. My white plane did not appear amidst the high-voltage equipment, so I parked on the little driveway that served as access for the power workers and spiraled outward from there. I searched the nearby woods and fields and tried my best not to add to my collection of sandspurs around my feet. Every few minutes, I would activate the throttle control on my transmitter, hoping to hear the responding whir of a propeller. Unfortunately, the high-voltage machinery gave off a steady hum that may have masked the sound of a prop.

After about 45 minutes, I decided to check-in with the guys, accept the well-deserved admonition from them for my stupidity, collect my stuff and continue my search on the way home. I was going to pick off the sandspurs before I left the flightline, but finally decided to just remove my socks and take care of it later.

I parked again on the little access road and explored the area beyond the substation, including a fairly extensive RV Park. I walked a little further northeast, approaching a cleared area on a hill. It was quieter as I left the vicinity of the substation, and I picked up a very faint noise one time when I applied full throttle. I headed closer to the clearing and was able to clearly discern the sound of my propeller. The Wingo had glided to a landing, about four feet within some woods — and it was right-side up.

Amazingly, it was completely undamaged as well! I gave the pilot a commendation, and doubled his salary.

I had dodged a bullet. This evening, I printed out my name, address, phone number, and AMA # on all my larger planes (like I was supposed to do). I will also be more careful to stay in the proximity of the flying field from now on. Whew!

Ocala Swap Meet

Today, I visited my first R/C swap meet — this one at the very nice facilities at the Ocala Flying Model Club. It was an informal event, so anybody that wanted to sell or trade stuff were set up around their vehicles.

There were some beautiful planes, but I hadn’t planned on acquiring new models –I just wanted to see what went on at these things. What I did find were some great deals on building supplies. I picked up sheet balsa for a fraction of the price and an almost new motorized hinge saw for two bucks, which was exactly what I needed.

I found Greg Stoner, the past president of our Club, showing off some very nice aircraft and sat with him for most of the event. I had brought a huge gas-powered trainer that I have had in my attic for years, and Greg had me display it with his stuff. I just want to get rid of it, but he suggested I schlep a $20 price tag on it anyway. (I ended up taking it back with me.)

These are all his:

I really was eyeing the Albatross above, but before I could ask Greg about it, someone came up and snagged it from him. What I did see was a neat little foam plane that I thought might make a great FPV platform. He gave me a great deal on it, and the “Wingo” was mine.

So, when I returned to my chair after taking the Wingo to my car, Greg surprised me with another plane that he was including with the deal. It’s kind cool, too. It is known as a “Lazy Bee”. I really appreciate his generosity.

Periodically, I’d wander around to the displays. I noticed a gorgeous Corsair at one place. It was a huge Dynam model — the wingspan was almost four feet and it was in immaculate condition. The price on this $180 model was insanely low and I couldn’t pass it up. Even though I don’t feel as confident with my level of expertise with these heavier models, I’m getting there. This is a good companion to the Dynam Hawker Hurricane that I acquired a month ago on consignment.

I’ll fly the Wingo and Lazy Bee first before getting to these big birds. I worked with the Wingo, adding a Lemon receiver — the control surfaces worked great and it balanced up nicely. The cockpit was open, and so I constructed a cover and re-enlisted my pilot from the wrecked Zero to take control of the Wingo.

It was an amazing day, and I have new things to fly.