Gee Bee Model “Z” Super Sportster – 1:32, Williams Bros with lots of scratch
This is my finally finished Gee Bee “Z” from the venerable Williams Bros kit (not bad just a bit old) with lot of modifications and – hopefully – upgrade. I started this kit years ago but I had some issues with – as I think – too old paint (yellow) and set it aside until the “mojo” collected again to finish. You can follow the build in the WIP section and the iModeler at the movies group. Here I post some WIP pictures also just for sure you believe that I worked hard 🙂 . I upgraded the engine, rebuilt the interior (at the same time I cut out the canopy from the fuselage and vacformed a new part to replace it), cut out the ailerons, elevators and rudder, rescribed/riveted the surfaces and altered the originally over exaggerated ribbing. I also remade the carburetor intake cut out the louvers and modified the wheel pants so I could install the wheels after the painting. The painting wasn’t easy, not just the masking of the scallops and the thin red demarcation stripes but I’d like to replicate the high gloss finish of this racing plane. As I read somewhere on the original aircraft the painting was made by a local car painter and made it like on a contemporary automobile – layer by layer carefully polishing one by one before applying the next one. Finally I made the painting nearly the same manner. I polished the layers (to polish out the dust and imperfections) and finally I polished the lacquer layers also with 12000 grit grade Micromesh, polishing cloth and finally Tamiya modeling wax (I worked in gloves whole time). The wax is a great thing as it effectively prevents the surfaces from fingertips which is always an issue with such a high gloss finish. I ordered a spare decal set also from WB because I thought the original is too old and it was wise step as I had to use all of them (the old and the new as well). I made the rigging from fishing line this time with heated up Q-tip and thin insulator attachment points. Finally I made a base for the little GeeBee and placed a table next to it (for the removed canopy) and an advertising board with the Bigelow’s Flying Circus ad on one side and the 1931 Nationals ad on the other side – it’s a little joke as my model is more close to the replica flew in the movie “Rocketeer” or the Kermit Week’s replica than the ill fated original. For me, this aircraft is the Art Deco itself, and this model is also a tribute from me for the brave ones who dared to fly with these “machines” and risk their lives in the golden age. The kit won the gold in the “1:48 and bigger propeller driven aircraft “master built” section of the recent Moson Model Show. Hope you like it, all C&C are welcome as usual. Cheers: Gabor
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