The First Guppy
Here’s a conversion in 1/72 scale of the “Pregnant Guppy”, the first of Aero Spacelines’ series of “Guppy” outsize cargo airplanes. The Pregnant Guppy, Super Guppy, and Mini Guppy were based in my home town and they were fascinating to watch fly.
Two Academy Stratocruiser kits were used to stretch the fuselage, then vacuform shells made to replace the original kit’s upper fuselage. A framework was built up for the “forehead” area and filled with Apoxy Sculpt. I also used Eduard’s C-97 photoetch set to detail the cockpit and landing gear, and Cobra resin cowls, exhausts, and landing gear parts. I also cut out the lower cargo/entry door and added a basic lower deck using Evergreen sheet plastic.
After sanding, priming, and rescribing the upper fuselage, the model was painted with Model Master enamels and Alclad. I designed the decals on Adobe Illustrator and they were printed by Draw Decals.
I couldn’t find any props close enough, so ended up making a master and casting the blades and spinners in resin. The blade tips really were clipped on the real thing – had to clear that new fuselage!
The door details were made from sheet plastic and parts from the spares box. The mechanic figure comes from Preiser’s 1/72 range.
Two of the photos of the model were taken with the Santa Barbara airport as a background. The original Guppy hangars are still there in the northeast corner of the field.
Hope you like it, and thanks for looking!
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.