Ryan L-17B Navion / USS CV-32 Leyte – 1/72
The Navion was originally designed at the end of World War II by North American Aviation. Ryan Aeronautical Company acquired the design in the summer of 1947, launching production at its San Diego factory in 1948. Ryan built 1,240 Navions (powered by 205 hp Continental O-470 engines or 250 hp Lycoming O-435 engines), including 163 aircraft for the US armed forces, before production ended in 1951. USAAF bought 83 L-17As from North American in 1946, as a liaison and staff transport aircraft. These were supplemented by 163 L-17Bs from 1948, which were ordered by the USAF on behalf of the Army and National Guard, with 129 going to the Army and the rest of the National Guard. During the Korean War, the US Army's Navions added casualty evacuation and forward air controller to the aircraft's liaison and light transport duties. Alongside its standard uses, the L-17 Navion was used in the Korean War as the personal aircraft of General McArthur, General Walker, commander of the 8th Army in Korea, and his successor General Rigway and by General Moore. The aircraft also served the US Navy and the National Guard and was even used on the USS CV-32 Leyte aircraft carrier.
One of the two options of the 1/72 scale Valom kit, represents the Navion aboard aircraft carrier CV-32 Leyte in 1950, which was my choice, due to its uncommon facts. The kit has good shapes and fits well, with two clear parts options (closed or opened cockpit), and a lot of small (really small !) PE parts. Building was OOB in my current painting standard: Tamiya White Putty, all paints and clear varnish in polyester based products from Dryco. As I forgot to put weight on the nose, I had to adapt an "almost invisible" thin wire on the base, to hold the nose wheel on the ground. The wood base has a printed deck paper, which is originally blue painted as I got in some modelling sites, but there is a question about that.
As I do build models for my own pleasure and not for contests, this was another model in my collection full of fun, in bright colors.
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.