Recognizing gneius

Do we ever hear from the guys who designed the kits? Do we ever hear tales of what it was like to take an airplane or tank (or whatever!) design and covert it to a plastic kit? So far, I've never read anything by anyone who worked for any company ... no tales of how hard it was to reverse-engineer a given design, or what discussions went on during the process of figuring out where to put the tabs so the thing could be glued together?

Alkso, I seem to recall my Gulfhawk kit having retractable landing gear. The prop would spin, but if I pulled it out a bit it engaged a gear and the Boeing landing fgear would fiold into the fuselage. Was there a patent for that landing gear? For the wing-swing mechanism on the X-5 kit?

Seems to me that maybe there's untapped resources in this question.


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Gulfhawk was made by Grumman. The Monogram kit was also released as the F3F-1, but the real Gulfhawk had different wings from an F2F-1. That monogram kit also had some of the smallerst styrene pieces that I ever saw in a model. The collets that held the pieces of the landing gear were about 1mm in diameter and were too tight a fit for the pegs they were supposed to attach to. Needless to say, the landing gear on my model are in the "down" version - only!

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The Old Man

This is actually pretty interesting read -

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I never would have guessed that the guy behind the "Lord of the Rings" movies would have been a model builder, let alone pirated the CG people from the production crew to start a model company...and done it so well so there's genius.

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Don't ask me how, but I did indeed get mine to work after a lot of work, and help from my Pa as a kid. Actually had that kit around for many many years too.... Got an unbuilt one hanging around here still.

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I remember the one I built as a kid in the early '70s went together well & the gear really did work. I remember tho, I had put the prop shaft in backwards or something & that was how the gear worked, so instead of pushing it or pulling it, I had to do the opposite to make mine work. I've got a couple of them off of eBay that I plan to do again some day. That was one of my first models I ever built. The other model that had retracable gear that I built & was fascinated by its mechanism was the Revell 1/40 Skyraider & I plan to do another one of them one day, too! The functioning dive brakes seemed a marvel as well. I think that one took a real 'gneius' too.

On Mar 22, 7:09=A0am, AM wrote:

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