Curtiss Condor

Joined: November 19th, 2012, 1:28 pm

March 5th, 2018, 10:41 pm #1

I saw this one for £7.50 on a dealers stall at Telford last year and liked the look of it. So thought what the heck go for it.
This was the last American biplane airliner and was a direct development of the Curtiss B-2 Condor bomber. The airliner model was completely different, 45 were built in five versions. The first aircraft was delivered to Eastern Air Lines in 1933 and the second to American Airways four months later. It was a good plane and it looked like it had a great future ahead or itself. But, and there always is, it had the misfortune that a revolutionary new aircraft arrived on the scene, the Douglas DC-1 and the rest is history. Production stopped in October 1934. It gained its place in history because of its association with the 1933 Byrd Antarctic Expedition. The aircraft were operated by the Chinese, Peruvian, Colombian and Argentine military services.

IMG_20180305_160618 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

Later upon examination I found that the decals were completely shot having been exposed to dampness at some time. The photo doesn't do justice to the condition that they are in.
IMG_20180305_160652 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

I tried the internet etc. for replacement ones but as its a weird scale, 1/81 couldn't find anything out there. So emailed Glencoe and they came back to be saying that even though the kit is out of production for a long time they still had some in stock. These arrived today in the post FOC from then, thanks Nick. Not just one set but three as he said that they were old decals and he hoped that I would get sufficient to complete the kit.
IMG_20180305_160712 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

Wondering how it came in such an unusual scale, 1/81 came across the following in the instructions!
IMG_20180305_160809 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr
This is the oldest kit that I have ever tried to make. I was one year old when this was released.

So onto the kit. Its crude, there is probably more plastic in the sprues that in the actual kit itself. The plastic is very brittle and I'm not looking forward to removing some of the smaller parts never mind the larger one. Is came in two sealed plastic bags (except for the decals and the windows). Originally released only as a float plane for the 1933 Bryd Antarctic Expedition.
IMG_20180305_161211 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

When the moulds were rediscovered in 1988 Glencoe released a wheeled version with two extra decal options. The second bag contains the Glencoe parts for the rereleased kit. The extra options are for the one on the cover of the box, American Airways 1933 or a 1938 Argentine Navy.
IMG_20180305_161651 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

The pilots seem literally to be a bit under scale. Actually upon further inspection of the instructions one is the pilot and the other is supposed to be a passenger!
IMG_20180305_161502 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr.

I have found one or two reviews on the kit and none of them are very optimistic, with twisted fuselage / tail assembly also the new set of lower wings seemingly don't match up very well with the older upper wings. Looks like another load of filling and sanding, filling and sanding, filling and sanding, filling and sanding. I thought that this one might be a bit easier that the Vickers Veron Commercial, looks like I thought wrong.

If you have managed to stay awake and read all this many thanks. :clap:
Cheers
Joe M



Last edited by Joseph M on March 5th, 2018, 11:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
On the bench in order of nearest to completion;
A Z Models 1/72 Morane "WR". (Schneider race entry from 1914).
SRAM Models 1/144 SIA 7-B (Resin)
Valom Models 1144 A pair of Sopwith Pups
MSD Models 1/72 Vickers Vimy 66 Commercial
Revell 1/72 Fokker D.VII conversion to a two seater
Curtiss Condor (added 24/4/18) 1/81




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Joined: November 19th, 2012, 1:28 pm

April 10th, 2018, 11:14 pm #2

Decided that I better do a bit of work on this one as well as the Spad A2.
Some reviews mentioned that the replacement half to the lower wing was not great and was a bit undersized. Also it was designed for floats and not wheels. See for your self!! :cry:

So basically the 'new' replacement half is (1), too narrow in cord and (2), short in length.
This is with both sides of the engine attachment points lined up correctly. You can clearly see how its too narrow and short!
IMG_20180410_231805 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

If you try and go the other way and line up both ends of the wings the engine attachment point are now way off and the wing is still to narrow in cord!! :-/
IMG_20180410_232004 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

I decided the best way forward was to use the original half to the lower wing and cut out the wheel wells as they are portrayed in the undersize replacement wing. This looks like it will work O.K. I have to clean up the cuts and a bit of filler will be required. Also add some detail into the wheel wells.
IMG_20180410_232057 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

I did a mock up of the aircraft, just taped the fuselage together and dry fitted the lower wing. Besides needing a fair bit of filler I was truly amazed when I looked at it. It looks like a very modern for the time monoplane. Its hard to believe that there is another biplane wing to be fitted above the fuselage.

Filler will be required.
IMG_20180410_170603 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

It kinda looks like a DC1
IMG_20180410_170550 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

Thanks for looking guys.
Cheers
Joe M

Stick & String Rule O.K.

On the bench in order of nearest to completion;
A Z Models 1/72 Morane "WR". (Schneider race entry from 1914).
SRAM Models 1/144 SIA 7-B (Resin)
Valom Models 1144 A pair of Sopwith Pups
MSD Models 1/72 Vickers Vimy 66 Commercial
Revell 1/72 Fokker D.VII conversion to a two seater
Curtiss Condor (added 24/4/18) 1/81




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Joined: June 6th, 2017, 11:19 am

April 11th, 2018, 1:54 pm #3

Like the build, you seem to have a huge stock of terrible kits of really interesting subjects.
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Joined: October 28th, 2012, 6:03 pm

April 11th, 2018, 10:00 pm #4

Marklo wrote:Like the build, you seem to have a huge stock of terrible kits of really interesting subjects.
Or 'classic kits' as some might call them! :D

Look forward to following this one Joe and good to hear about the replacement decals - fair play to Glencoe.

Dermot
Last edited by Dermot on April 11th, 2018, 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 19th, 2012, 1:28 pm

April 26th, 2018, 9:17 pm #5

Marklo wrote:Like the build, you seem to have a huge stock of terrible kits of really interesting subjects.
Hi Marklo,
I like your train of thought. Terrible kits of interesting subjects. :>
I wish I had some of your skills to turn out an aircraft from plastic card and various other bits and pieces. :clap:
I'll have to stick to trying to make silk purses out of some sows ears!! ;)
Cheers
Joe M
Stick & String Rule O.K.
On the bench in order of nearest to completion;
A Z Models 1/72 Morane "WR". (Schneider race entry from 1914).
SRAM Models 1/144 SIA 7-B (Resin)
Valom Models 1144 A pair of Sopwith Pups
MSD Models 1/72 Vickers Vimy 66 Commercial
Revell 1/72 Fokker D.VII conversion to a two seater
Curtiss Condor (added 24/4/18) 1/81




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Joined: November 19th, 2012, 1:28 pm

April 26th, 2018, 9:32 pm #6

Hi Guys,
I decided I better kick on with this one.
So the upper and lower wings are glued together but not attached to the fuselage.
The lower wing went together O.K but required copious amounts of Glue!!!!!!!!!!!
Both parts of the upper wing were / are warped out of shape. Again I glued them together using even more glue than on the lower wing. The plan is to allow it to glue over night, then steep it in hot water and then clamp the hell out of it between two straight bits of metal of wood. I'll batter it into submission. :bat: Hopefully this will sort it out.
I'll be boggle eyed from the smell of the glue. :blink:

Upper wing, this doesn't really show how bad it is but hopefully it will give you an idea.

IMG_20180426_220058 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

The more I look at it I wonder why they ever bothered with the upper wing. :-/ The wing is not glued to the fuselage at the moment and the tail feathers are only held in place with some blue tack.

IMG_20180426_215802 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

By my standards this is going to be a reasonably big aircraft. The top wing is 29.5cm and the lower wing 27.5cm.

IMG_20180426_215938 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

Cheers
Joe M

Stick & String Rule O.K.
On the bench in order of nearest to completion;
A Z Models 1/72 Morane "WR". (Schneider race entry from 1914).
SRAM Models 1/144 SIA 7-B (Resin)
Valom Models 1144 A pair of Sopwith Pups
MSD Models 1/72 Vickers Vimy 66 Commercial
Revell 1/72 Fokker D.VII conversion to a two seater
Curtiss Condor (added 24/4/18) 1/81




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Joined: June 6th, 2017, 11:19 am

April 27th, 2018, 8:19 am #7

wrote:I wish I had some of your skills to turn out an aircraft from plastic card and various other bits and pieces.
There's nothing there that isn't in your builds. Believe me I've found the Deperdussin much easier then the MIG 21, reworking bad kits is hard.

The scratchbuilds I've done so far are really all in the planning, firstly of what to build and then of how to break things down into easily made shapes. There's also a tonne of stuff on the internet on how to scratchbuild. Early planes tended to be made more or less by hand, so with the exception of Albatross fuselages and things like the BAT Bantam most of these planes boil down to simple shapes.

I wouldn't even dream of taking on anything later than the 20's (at least in my main collection, as (aliens dropship notwithstanding) there's nothing much from the modern era that I want in it) as they would require some serious scratchbuilding.

After that it's down to patience (which I don't have a lot of :) ) and a good stock of card, rod, tube, and tools.

On a separate note I really do like the Condor, it's just like a DC3 but with an extra wing, perfect. (of course the technical reason for the extra wing is to generate more lift and lower the overall wing loading, but maybe the designers just didn't have the nerve to make it a monoplane :) )
Last edited by Marklo on April 27th, 2018, 8:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: November 1st, 2012, 12:05 pm

April 27th, 2018, 8:18 pm #8

This is going to be nearly as interesting as Marklo's build. The late Don would have been proud of you both!

Philip
"To boldly go..."




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Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 11:06 pm

April 28th, 2018, 12:33 pm #9




Very interesting model. Look forward to following this




Pat McGrath

Work to become not to acquire




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Joined: November 19th, 2012, 1:28 pm

May 11th, 2018, 9:43 am #10

Time to crack on a bit with the Curtiss Condor!
I have joined the lower wing to the fuselage and a modicum of filler is required!! :D

IMG_20180511_094430 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

IMG_20180511_094422 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

IMG_20180511_094353 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

That largish hole in the underside of the fuselage I think was for some form of stand when originally released in 1954!

IMG_20180511_101056 by Joseph Moran, on Flickr

There will be a lot more filling and sanding before this little piggy goes to market.
I haven't even started to try and straighten the top wing!!

Cheers Guys.
Joe M

Stick & String Rule O.K.

On the bench in order of nearest to completion;
A Z Models 1/72 Morane "WR". (Schneider race entry from 1914).
SRAM Models 1/144 SIA 7-B (Resin)
Valom Models 1144 A pair of Sopwith Pups
MSD Models 1/72 Vickers Vimy 66 Commercial
Revell 1/72 Fokker D.VII conversion to a two seater
Curtiss Condor (added 24/4/18) 1/81




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