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Steve E
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1/48 Strombecker X-1B Restoration

April 11, 2015 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.8K

It's not quite finished, but thought I would post anyway.

I got this model off ebay. It was an estate sale purchase.
I paid way too much for it, but I like the old dogs and it is an original Strombecker kit.

It arrived in pretty bad shape. I can only imagine the pride the original owner felt building this kit all those years ago.

After a few years of off and on work to it, this is how it appears today:

I kind of went overboard with it. I replaced the kit wings with the wings out of the Eduard kit, The landing gear wheels and nose gear strut were replaced with the Eduard parts.

As far as finish, I admit, I suck at NMF, so I decided to go for "the dull, well-used X-Plane look" of the model. I still have to paint the canopy and find some instrumentation probes.

All the decals are either from the spares box or I digitally created and printed them on decal paper.


Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Well on the way to a beautiful restoration, Steve...the finish looks fine to me. Nice save!

  2. Glencoe has this back, again. Did the pilot bust come with it?

    • said on April 11, 2015

      The pilot's head and shoulders are molded into the cockpit area of each fuseage half. Pretty typical for kits of the era.
      Glencoe does give you an instrument panel decal if you want to open up he cockpit...

      • Tom, or you had the Lindberg "tadpole", or the Hawk (Dauntless, Texan) Buddas, and the Aurora pilots head 'n shoulders on the shelf where the cockpit was. Revell had some that had a single piece cockpit you added, with pilots, which I thought at the time was just incredible. "Paint pilot brown". We've come a long way!

    • No Bernard, it was just the aircraft. No bust was included. I had no idea Glencoe re-popped this kit until a few months ago. I found one and picked it up. Eventually, I will build it, but scratch-build a real front office for it, may be re-scribe the wings and fuselage.

  3. Those decals seem great! Nice work!

  4. Greetings :
    Nice restoration project, brings back memories. The very interesting fact of the pilot bust, if it was my project, I would leave it as is. It gives one the feeling of how modeling was way back then, you got a treasure there, hold on to it.

  5. I feel like Rip van Winkle. I went to sleep and woke up in 1958. Not a kit you see every day that's for sure.

  6. Steve - nice refurb! Gonna bring in to the club meeting to show it off?!

  7. Steve,
    Great job on this restoration. You have brought this poor neglected model back to a better condition it started as. Restoring old models is a satisfaction in itself. I love what you have done with this

    • It was a lot of fun bringing this one back to life. When I found it, my only thought was that if it didn't sell, it was either going to get tossed in the trash or given to kid to be played with until it destruction. I felt obligated to rescue it.

  8. Did Strombecker focus on experimental planes? The only other kit I associate the name with is the Sea Dart. (I've found one MIB, but don't know if I want to shell out the money for it and ruin something a model collector might want. Maybe I can find one to rescue myself.) As for the X-1, don't worry about the finish, it looks great. (I thought the X-1B was painted white anyway.) Yours looks pretty much like pictures and video I've seen! (Also the fuselage looks much better with the stove bolts sanded off!)

    Nice rescue!

  9. Josh, Strombecker was a wood model company, then they had wooden aircraft with plastic parts, kinda transitional. I remember a 1/72 Sabre and FJ Fury. My buddy had the Sabre, I had the other.

    Latterly, they had the Temco TT-1 pod and boom Navy trainer and the T-37 Tweet, in 1/48thish, which Aurora later reboxed and sold.

    The TT-1 had stencil decals, first I'd seen. Auroras rebox didn't.

    The Sea Dart was another one that got away. Curses! I was waiting for the molds to reappear, but of they did, I missed it, again!

    How many $$$ do they want for the Dart, now?

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