During the 1930's,
the Granville Brothers produced some interesting racing aircraft and
this example, powered by the Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr was one of them.
The 1:32 scale kit produced by Williams Bros during the 1960s is
typical of a short run kit, although the details are quite good.
There was some flashing that required cleaning up but the kit did not
pose any building problems
Starting with the cockpit, all items were cleaned up and painted before
assembling. Seat belts were added along with the heal skid plates
behind the rudder petals.
The interior of the fuselage was sprayed with Alclad Aluminum to
simulate the aluminum coating on the fabric surfaces. The fuselage
tubing structure was then added and the fuselage sides were closed up.
the main structure assembled, it was painted with Model Master enamel
and the scallop pattern from the kit drawings were copied then used as a
pattern which was transferred to the model using a soft lead pencil
The engine was a kit in itself, requiring quite a bit of fiddly work
under a magnifying glass.
masking required a lot of care using 1/16" tape (on the right).
This product is used by custom car guys to mask those incredible flame
schemes. Painters tape was used to cover the rest of the model.
Model Master Gloss
Black enamel was airbrushed on the model and when dry, the tape removed
to reveal a pretty decent finish... and no, I'm not going to try to add
the very thin Red trim line between the black and yellow !
With the final
assembly finished and decals applied and steel flying wires installed,
this quicky build was finished.
With regard to the decals; they went on perfectly even they were more
than 40 years old.
Now compare these two 1:32 scale models; both are nearly the same
span and length but the Gee Bee Z has 450 hp while the Grumman AA1A has
only 115 hp.
The Gee Bee Z raced at about 230 mph while the wee
Grumman cruises at 135 mph. The big Barrel burned 45 gph but the
Grumman burns 7 gph.