by: Richard Tonge [ ]
The historyThis aircraft type has been covered in detail within the previous "in the box" reviews that were done by Ms. Jessica Cooper & Mr. Stephen T. Lawson here at Aeroscale. I highly recommend that you see them as well! In general there were 479 Beech Stagger Wings built. That is 67 Civil & 412 Military. The Engine is the Pratt & Whitney 985 (39,000 produced).
P & W 985 also used in other Aircraft, but not limited to:-
a. Beechcraft Model 18
b. Vultee BT-13 Valiant
c. De Havilland Beaver
d. Vought OS2U Kingfisher
e. Sikosky H-S Helicopter
The kitKit Accuracy:- When assembled it looks like a Stagger Wing!
Suggested Improvements to kitI put this at the front to suggest that the reader may want to consider these possibilities and include them in their build.
1. Vacuum formed front windshield.
2. Re-work window and door molds to fit openings.
3. Correct Mass arm's length by 1/3.
4. PE parts for Cockpit Dash and Cabin window brace.
5. Control rods for float steering
6. Positive locations for floats to hull. Care is needed when adding float pylons. Note my images include a jig I built from sheet stock plastic.
7. In depth rigging drawings.
The BuildStep 1: Remove flash from Cowling 1A-4A (There are no location pins to align ring halves).
Step 2/3/4/8: Clean flash off 8A. Dash panel 10A remove ejector pin marks and drill a hole for 10A. Seats 1C need to have large ejector marks removed. The control column 14D is very delicate! 15A mold lines to clean up. Paint and assemble cockpit.(IMG #4376).
Step 5/6: Cabin doors and windows all need to be filed to fit! Note on my example the clear plastic was brittle.
Step 7: Assemble engine and paint. 7D drill out for prob pin. As per Stephen I replaced over size rod on 7D with .010" rod.(IMG #4416 & 4524).
Steps 8/9: follow instructions.
Step9/10: Glue door and install cockpit(IMG #4378).
Step11: Assemble fit together well with minimum filler. #6 windshield cracked (Operator error!). 4D is very thin I replaced with brass wire.
Step12-15: Drilled wings for rigging. Glued wings 4H/6H & 5H/7H together(IMG #4409). Glue 3C to lower wings. Primed and painted body/tail and inner side of wings. Glue on top wings 12/13. Add rigging and paint outer surface of wings. Decals were added at this time.
Step 16-17: Assemble Floats,some filler required on lower joint.(IMG #4410). More rigging could be added at the stage.
Step18: Floats 17/3L are primed and painted. I made a jig to aid in location of 3L(IMG_4531). Glue 3L to floats(IMG #4530). I cut back 9c to 1/3 as per Jessica C advise.(IMG #4529).
Step19 Final assembly attach floats/prop and 12D Loop. I did not use beaching wheels in my build. (IMG_4535)(IMG_4536). Paint used:- Model Master and Tamiya.
Kit Decals1. Beechcraft SD17S Staggerwing, “Yellow 5” of the 28th Composite Group, USAAF, Alaska, 1941.
2. Beechcraft SD17S Staggerwing, “KA 08”, 1st Air Base Group, USAAF, Langley Field, 1938.
3. Beechcraft SD17S Staggerwing, CF-BIF, USAAF/RAAF mixed fighter group, Brisbane, Australia, 1942.
For future issues of this kit I would like to see:
China Air Ambulance (China/Japan conflict), Mail carrier, Pacific Western Airlines, Spanish Civil War or Bush Plane. (Some of these have different cockpit configurations).
ConclusionKit will build into a good looking model with above suggestions it would be a great model!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Click here for additional images for this review.