iModeler Review: Revell 1/48 Stearman PT-17
May 3, 2014 in Aviation
Revell 1/48 Stearman PT-17
Product ID: 85-5264
Skill Level: 3
The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 8,584 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman or Kaydet, it served as a primary trainer for the USAAF, the USN (as the NS & N2S), and with the RCAF as the Kaydet throughout World War II. After the conflict was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civilian market. In the immediate postwar years they became popular as crop dusters, sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in airshows.
After having only the Lindberg 1/48 Stearman kit for the past 30+ years as the only option in quarter-scale, Revell has gone outside of the model-manufacturing box and come up with this; A new, state of the art Kaydet in 1/48. Where most new releases over the last several years have been Messerschmitts, Supermarines, and North Americans, as they are sure-fire sellers, Revell has surprised a lot of people with this release. And, based on the amount of online retailers that are consistently out of stock of it, they seem to be seeing their risk paying off early.
The box is of the typically thin, flimsy cardboard I am used to seeing Revell kits come in. Happily, the box is top-opening. Eleven sprues are individually bagged, one of which holds only a (wooden) propeller.
The 60 parts (2 of which are clear windscreens) are all cast in white plastic. This will help those modeling the yellow Navy version achieve brighter colors, but I feel that the plastic is slightly brittle as a result. I much prefer gray styrene, and the associated density. However, this is strictly personal preference on my part.
The wings were the first parts I looked at, and what I noticed immediately were the very thin trailing edges. There won’t be a need for any sanding of them to achieve scale chord. The wings are upper and lower parts that need cemented together. There are cut-out hand holds on upper and lower wings, where they should be. Revell has shown good attention to detail here. Fabric detail here, and on the aft flying surfaces, are nicely restrained and appropriate. The starboard elevator underside has “Revell 2014/Made In China” molded onto it. This will be easily removed with a little light sanding.
The cockpit features a complete tubular frame in addition to rudder pedals, heel boards, linked control columns, throttles and fire extinguisher, instrument panels, and two seats. The seats have molded-on seatbelts. The instrument panels have raised bezels, but no other details. IP decals are provided on the sheet. Sidepanels and molded ribbing inside the fuselage halves themselves round out the well-thought interior.
The fuselage is typically split; a port and a starboard half. Additionally, the cockpit holes are molded onto a small, top part. Metal panels are neatly engraved and there are a few raised rivets, fasteners and inspection panels. The cabane struts are molded in a fixed position on the fuselage, which will ensure proper alignment and poisoning. The landing gear struts, as well, as molded directly onto the fuselage bottom. The kit’s wheels have nicely-detailed tread patterns molded onto them. A full engine is provided, along with an oil tank, push rods, tubular engine mount, and exhaust collecting ring. The details apparent should really look nice with some careful drybrushing. The kit has two propeller options; one metal (US Navy), and one wooden (US Army). Wood-grain decals are included for the wooden one.
The decals are in excellent register and colorful. Markings for 2 machines, one Navy & one Army are provided. The instructions are clear and concise. A rigging guide is provided but, sadly, the attachment points aren’t marked on the parts. That would have been very helpful…extra care and thought will be required by the modeler who chooses to rig the model. I do like that the instructions have the needed lengths diagrammed out for easy trimming of each rigging wire.
• A much needed subject in 1/48 scale
• Excellent raised and recessed details
• Intelligently engineered kit
• Molded in white plastic
• Optional propellers
• Excellent decals
• Low price point
• Molded in white plastic
• Plastic may be perceived as slightly brittle
• Fixed flying surfaces
All in all, this appears to be a great little kit. Here’s a link to Eugene Clark Cook’s excellent build of this kit: http://imodeler.com/2014/04/new-revell-148-stearman-completed/
My thanks to iModeler for the review sample.
23 additional images. Click to enlarge