1/48 Ryan PT-20 US Army Air Corps Trainer
Here’s one for your enjoyment that’s hot on the heels of my XP-51. Tonight’s “Pre War” themed article is about the ancient Testors kit that I finished early last year. It was the first plane that I completed in 2016.
I’m pretty sure that Testors re-boxed the old “Hawk” kit when this one was released back around 1983 as kit number 510. It’s a very simple model and doesn’t even have a cockpit. It came with two pilots and has a cockpit floor. That’s it… It had a small plastic base (that was molded to look like water with impressions for two floats to sit into). It had a set of twin floats and Danish markings as a building option. I’m pretty sure it’s original DNA evolved somewhere during the mid 1960’s when Hawk originally released the kit.
I bought this kit way back when it was new from Testors ! As a kid I mowed a few of our neighborhood lawns with my trusty push mower and had my dear old Dad take me down to the local hobby shop. That’s where I found this little gem… and I departed with some of my earnings.
This kit sat for many years in storage first at my parents house after I joined the Army and I went away to see the world. Then life happened, and so on.
Fast forward about 35 years or so, (give or take a few) and I found this tiny plane in my collection. This plane has a special sentimental value to me since it brings back those childhood memories when life was much simpler.
Not long after I purchased this kit (many moons ago), I had the opportunity to fly “front seat” in a real PT-22. The PT-22 is a very similar type plane to the PT-20, but instead of a 4 cylinder inverted Ranger engine, it has a 5 cylinder radial. It also has a distinctive sound which is unlike any other, due to the unique exhaust pipe arrangements where two cylinders dump into one exhaust pipe, and the other three cylinders dump into individual pipes on the other side. If memory serves me correctly, the main landing gear were not covered in wheel pants either. The wheels were right out in the open.
Since this model is so old, I didn’t even bother attempting to use the original kit decals. Instead, I decided to try something different and came up with this fictitious but plausible set of markings .
So I made up a set of spray masks for the 4 position wing insignia, and gave it a go. I also sprayed the 13 red and white rudder stripes. The number 39 was something I had in my decal spares. I trimmed off the excess clear decal material, since I have found that if you do not it seems to take away some of the luster when they are applied over a silver or metallic base coat.
I made some minor improvements with this one. First off, the original clear parts were missing… So I formed a set of wind shields from clear sheet plastic from a package container. I added the flying and landing wires using clear sewing thread. I replaced the two struts that go from the upper surface of the wing to the fuselage sides just ahead of the front cockpit using leftover parts from another previous build.
The plane was spray painted using Model Master enamels. I also covered this one with bare metal foil, using chrome, ultra bright chrome and matte aluminum shades of material.
This thing looks tiny sitting next to my other WW2 Warbirds…
As usual, comments are encouraged.
Thanks for looking. Enjoy.
19 additional images. Click to enlarge.