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Gee Bee Z

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.



With 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.
The 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.

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Last modified: 10/05/12