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Joe Caputo
154 articles

Minicraft 1/144th Boeing 314A “Dixie Clipper”

April 14, 2015 · in Aviation · · 19 · 5.4K

This kit has been around forever, under several brand names, (Airfix, etc.) It is a very simple kit, aout 73 parts, with little filling, and pretty good fit considering it's age. I have two. I had come across this picture from Life magazine, of the Clipper in WWII camo, and decided to see if I could pull it off. At the time I started, I didn't know there was a specific kit for this version, albeit, it's turns out to be one of three kits in a "presidential package". I was fortunate enough to come across the decal sheet for this version, and was able to pirate the I.D. numbers as well as a few other markings. The "camo" decals just looked too neat to me, so I didn't use or need them.

Upon reading the history of this particular aircraft, I found it was used to fly FDR to a meeting with Churchill in Jan. '43, equipped as a "communication center", covering over 11,000 miles over U-boat infested waters. Although in "USN" markings, it had a Pan Am crew. It was probably the first aircraft used in the manner of "Air Force One".

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

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19 responses

  1. Joe, very evocative photo. The model itself is so neat it looks like a die-cast model, at a glance.

    • Thanks, Rob. I forgot to mention that all the smaller windows, and wing lights, were filled with "Elmer's washable Clear school glue". Handy, affordable stuff for this kind of application, and easy to work with.

  2. Very effective paint work you'd ya do it? And 73 parts sounds like a lot for a 1/144th scale - must be a pretty good sized model. By the way, your 'photo booth' looks a lot like what I use. 😉

    • The paint job was a combination of brush painting (acrylics), and airbrushing (enamels). I must have given it 4-5 coats to get it where I wanted it, but painting was more fun than building it.. The wing span is around 12 in., length, 9 1/2 in. (would love to see it in 1/72) If memory serves, you were my inspiration on the "photo booth". Thanks.

  3. Lovely work Joe.
    A fine build with a little history thrown in yoo.

  4. Flying boats...Sadly far too few flying these days. I wish Kermit Weeks would get his Sunderland back in the air!

    • Josh, you must be one of us "local" boys... I've been in that Sunderland a few times, myself. Who doesn't like flying boats ?

      • As have I...I think the place is still closed. Haven't heard different.

        • By appointment, for special events, I'm told. Being "general public", I wasn't paying attention. I hope you got the opportunity to do the hangar "across the street".

          • No, I'm from Oshkosh, but it was here one year and what a glorious site in the sky! (It actually spent the winter at the Pioneer Marina that year.) I was at Fantasy of Flight in 2010 when my Dad and I came down for a shuttle launch. (Sadly we missed it, scrubbed five days in a row, but he and my Mom caught it in January of 2011.)

  5. Nice work, as usual, Joe, as you say, who doesn't love flying boats.

  6. I built this many moons ago, I think it was by Airfix. Nice clean build. By the way, I receive a copy of your club's monthly newsletter and follow your model building "exploits". Looks like a very active club...

  7. It's just too cool! 🙂

  8. Very nice model, I would imagine this is the old Airfix tooling.

  9. Nice! I really like your paint/finish work on this.

  10. beautiful clipper joe!

  11. Joe,
    I love it. What a great looking model of a very famous airplane. You did a great job replicating the color scheme and the overall model is outstanding.

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