Posted 6 years ago
Another "the Fix Is In" story. This one is an ultra rare factory model of the Lockheed Lodestar L-14 Super Electra. These were faster airliners than the Douglas DC-3 and even later spawned into a very handy patrol bomber for the RAF in WW2. This is a solid brass casting with original chrome and was cast with a pedestal integrated into the belly of the airplane. It was purchased at auction with the port stabilizer bent down almost to 90 degrees and a prop blade was missing. It sat for a two years until a plan could be developed...
Dimensions: Wingspan 12" x Overall length of 8-1/2"
... So the plan started with straightening the tail assembly. My experience
has proven a simple but tedious solution- WET HEAT. I simply kept a pot of boiling water and dipped the tail in to get the molecules moving. I then slowly began re-bending the stabilizer and the fin back into their correct alignment. The next chore was to carve and polish a new propeller from a chunk of aluminum. I made a template from an existing blade and proceeded with the aluminum work. Interesting to note that the "engines" on the model are actually two ball bearing orbital races! Once the new prop blade was installed, the next chore was to create a base to mount the model and handle the very heavy mass of the airplane.
Being a staunch "off-the-shelf" parts resourcer, I looked for something that may be vintage, chrome plated and quickly adaptable. The answer came by the convenient design of a Milbern Creations Mid Century Modern Chrome Tray. These feature a teardrop chrome dish/tray top with a hardwood base. One was found on auction and quickly modified. I simply removed the wood base, flipped the tray with top side down and bolted it onto the model. Does not come much simpler and the parts are very close to the same vintage!
Picture- From left, the first two show the model as it is with the new prop, new base and the tail all squared up. Next shot shows the new prop blade being carved, shaped and polished. The last shot shows the Milbern chrome tray which became the model's new base.
Happy Holidays! Tom (Sandman Overhaul)