Shapeways Planes Arrive!!

I received notice in my Gmail box that my Shapeways order had been shipped.  I totally forgot until I arrived at home today and found a wee box sitting on my front porch.  We’re on deadline this week so it’s going to be difficult to get much painting done.  I snatched it up and took it back to school with me and promised to look at the planes inside later.

Well I’ve had a chance to paw through them.  I looked at some of the smaller entries first.  I ordered the two different versions of the Keith Rider San Francisco.  One has much longer wings than the other.  I suspect the longer winged version was probably used for distance racing, while the shorter winged version was for pylon racing. The miniatures are simple and nice, but in need of a two bladed propellor.  I’ll have to see what I can do.  They are well cast in white resin with sufficient detail to make the very simple aluminum monoplanes interesting.

Keith Rider’s San Francisco blazed the way for a series of very lightweight racers with a simple monoplane design.

Another plane I received was the Howard “Mike.”  This is another pretty small low wing monoplane with fixed landing gear.  Again, it could definitely be enhanced with a prop.  I’ll have to see what I can make. Unfortunately, this came with some battle damage.  The very fragile undercarriage was damaged on one side.  I think it can be repaired with a little Zap, but that was disconcerting.  To be fair these landing gear have very light struts, but I still expect them arrive intact.

Howard’s Mike was an extremely successful design of the middle 30’s, sweeping the National Air Races in 1934.

Next up was a Wedell Williams 44 from the 1932 air races.  This is a much larger monoplane with much more substantial wheel spats.  Again, it’s a beautiful miniature with gorgeous lines sprouting off an enormous engine.  There were three of these present in the 1932 National Air Races, and I’m likely going to paint it as Wedell’s own plane.

There were three modell 44’s that appeared at the 1932 National Air Races. I’ll paint this version for my collection.

Finally, I also ordered and received a Gee Bee Z that won the 1931 Thompson Trophy.  Short and stubby, but not to the steroid dimensions that appeared in the later Gee Bee R’s, the Z is my favorite air racer.  The miniature is quite faithful to the racer, demolished in a 1931 crash.

Replica of the Gee Bee Z at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

I’ve received five of the 13 air racer miniatures designed by Arctic Skunk.  In addition to that I have the Reviresco TravelAir Mystery ship.  There were four of these planes produced.  I’ve decided to paint mine the colors of the Texaco 13 air racer.

Texaco 13 was purchased from Travelair. It mostly participated in distance races. Other model R racers had two sets of wings. Short ones for pylon racing, longer wings for distances.

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