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neil foster
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Boeing 314 Clipper 1/144

September 22, 2018 · in Aviation · · 32 · 3.9K

This is another ancient offering that has been on the "to do" list my whole life, I always loved the graceful lines of this aircraft even as a kid, it somehow oozes art deco,but as a young lad with limited spending money it must have seemed like too much of a risk.

I learned a lot from this kit, "Oh? ," I hear you say "what did you learn?", well the first thing I learned is that Allan J Withers is a much better modeller than me, I take my hat of to you Allan, it was his rendition of the same kit a little over a year ago that inspired me to find one by hook or by crook and build one of my dream kits. The next thing I learned is that patience is a virtue, as this kit started to take shape I was so keen to see it finished that I painted the overall silver first and the black and red areas on top as I usually like to apply the paint in the order I think it would have been done on the actual machine, however on something at this scale that made for a much more difficult job, what I should have done is painted the red/black areas first then masked them of before applying the silver , the next thing I learned is that this scale is much too fiddly for my clumsy fingers and rapidly failing eyesight 1/48 for me thank you.

I spotted this kit languishing in a bargain bin at a model show and after being assured by the vendor that it was complete I took a punt and handed over my 3 quid, a princely sum you'll agree, I'm joking of course £3 won't even buy you a beer in the U.K., that said it doesn't matter how cheap something is if it's no good and the first thing I noticed upon opening the smoke damaged box was that the decals were completely FUBAR, but not to be put off I spent sometime at the same show trawling through boxes of unused decals and found not one but two sets of slightly better sheets which would allow me to make a complete set.

Had I attempted this kit as a yoof I would have probably made a complete hash of it because trust me this is not any easy build but I soldiered on enjoying the challenge and got there in the end it is not perfect I know ,I decided that the de-icing boots on the tail section and the framing on the observation blister were beyond me and would probably spoil all my hard work so here it is finished ,waddaya think ?


Reader reactions:
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32 responses

  1. Where do you start, Neil? My “young lad with limited spending” was a love affair with a 1/24 Airfix Mustang in the window of a local shop. The Clipper just screams elegance, and regardless of what you think of Allan’s, this is a lovely, lovely aircraft you have made.

    The stand takes me back, too. I bet the smell of the inside of the box takes you back also. Ah,’s not what it used to be.

    You’ve learned some stuff, got a great model, ticked off a modeling bucket lister, and written a brilliant post. Job done, I’d say.

    • Ahh that Mustang... "THIS IS IT" ,what a statement ,the Roy Cross artwork, the sheer size of it to a young lad back in 1975/6 it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen ,I still drool a little bit at the thought of doing another,nostalgia is a thing of the past though(heehee geddit ?), it is easy to get of course but not with that decal sheet and I can't find the sheet in 1/48 either.
      Thanks for looking Dave and yes I couldn't resist using the original stand.
      Cheers N.

  2. Nice work, Neil. I picked one up at a show too, and haven't built it because of the decals. My kit looks like it sat in a damp shed for 50 years.

    • Hey John,I will happily send you all the decals I have left over if you want,I definitely wont be building another!.
      If you want them just PM me your address.
      Thanks for looking, N.

  3. A stunning plane and I think a flawless build.

  4. Thanks Mon, she is nice but not flawless ,she's what I'd call a six footer, that is to say best viewed from 6 feet away!

  5. Six feet away or not, you made a middle aged kit look young again 😉 it’s a graceful plane indeed. I see one like yours built from balsa in a very large scale (1/12?) hanging from a hotel lobby ceiling in the Açores. It seem the Clipper used to moor there during those Trans Atlantic routes. Thanks for sharing it with us

  6. Good work..I love it. 🙂

  7. Love it! That Airfix box and stand ! Looks great. This was always on my to do list. I think more recently Minicraft has done one.

  8. Neil, Great job! She's a classy looking gal. Now you just need to build the 30's Art-deco style office around her and she'll really look at home. Again, nice looking model.

  9. Another beauty, Neil! You're dead on about the elegant lines of this airplane. They sure don't make them like this anymore.

    While in 757 school in Seattle a long time ago, I got a behind the scenes tour of the factory on Lake Washington where the Clippers were built. The seaplane ramp ran right from the factory doors into the lake, and the concrete bollards to tie the airplanes to were about a hundred yards from the dock out in the water. It was a magical place for sure. It's all gone now, as Boeing demolished the place a few years ago when they had no further use for it and the developers were wanting the land the factory sat on. B-17's and B-29's came from that place as well...

  10. Hey Jaime buddy nice to hear from ya pal, pleased you like it ,I nearly gave up at one point glad I didn't now.
    Hope you and yours are doing well.

  11. Beautifully built & painted, Neil!

  12. you knocked it out of the park Neil

  13. Well 6 foot or not she sure looks good from where I sit. A graceful looking bird for sure Neil, glad to got to finish her.

  14. Thank you for those kind words Neil, you've done a fine job on this, I dread masking silver but you seem to have done so without any problems, a lovely model, well done.

  15. Allen you are the grand master of these ancient Kits so for me that is high praise indeed.
    Cheers Neil.

  16. I have to agree with Allan, Neil - that masking job is outstanding! And Allan is the masking Ninja!

    Three quid and a scramble through the decals rejects box has resulted in something really fantastic - well done, indeed!

  17. Looks great to me! I have more fun with the oldie goldie kits than I do with the new-tool anything. I think you made this one shine! Brings to mind Ken Follet's "Night Over Water."

  18. Hey Greg, thanks for looking Buddy, nice to hear from you it's been ages, I do love these old Airfix kits.

  19. Hi Neil, that looks so cool! sorry for late reply, I meant to take a look at your latest model when you said you had just finished it, well it really does bring back a few memories! i built this one at least twice as a youngster, did you sand all the rivets off ?
    anyway it looks great well done Mate.

  20. Thanks for looking Mark, There wasn't any rivets to sand off , it was raised panel lines but very finely done so I just left 'em alone , you should do another I'm sure you could make a way better job than I did, check out Allen J withers's model.
    Cheers Neil.

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