Author Topic: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737  (Read 2553 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« on: December 09, 2012, 02:58:04 AM »
While Boeing was divested of its airline under anti-trust laws in 1929, the new carrier, United, still worked closely with the aircraft maker. In 1931, needing a new airplane that could fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii non-stop carrying passengers & freight, Boeing was asked to design a new airliner for United.

Given the number 224 but known colloquially as the "Boeing Big 'Un", there was much excitement after the new 4 engine liner was given FAA certification and readied for its route-proving flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The passengers were mostly United and Boeing executives. United designed a new livery for the flight. Optimism ran high.









The media of the day were also excited at the planned new route across the Pacific.



The 224 "Big 'Un" took off on time to great fanfare. Unfortunately, the four Hupmobile engines gave out minutes into the flight and the pilot was forced to make a dead-stick landing at Atascadero.



United never could get those darn Hupmobile engines restarted and demanded a full refund. The airframe languished at Atascadero for another 11 years before being donated to a war time scrap metal drive.





It all started with an Airfix Boeing 737.



The box art is impeccable as always and even the back is an excellent guide:



Not that any of this hard work by the nice people at Airfix would be of any use to me.

This Airfix kit is a little bare-bones compared to some more modern offerings.



Mine was even more bare-bones than most since it was missing the passenger windows. But I bravely persevered.

Of course, some modifications were called for, starting this time with the tail.



After the better part of a weekend grafting on the wings & tail from an Airfix HP 0/400 and a new fin & rudder and scratching engine nacelles and spatted landing gear, things were beginning to take shape.











The fin & rudder were donated by a 1/48 Willow trainer. The engine nacelles were scratched from drop tanks with wheels added on the front end as cowlings. The props are from Airfix DH Comet racers.



The spatted landing gear were built using my patented process of gluing a half-tire to the end of a stick of sprue and wrapping sheet stock around it.





Behold the Boeing 224 airliner!









I hope you enjoyed this little model and the silly back story. Remember, fly the Friendly Skies!



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 03:18:00 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Tophe

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 03:02:43 AM »
Very beautiful transformation! :-*
Congratulations once more!

Offline jschmus

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 03:05:12 AM »
Wow.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 03:20:29 AM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline deathjester

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 03:46:03 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D SPAT-TASTIC!!  Very nice mate!  Might have to get me one of those - looks pretty good!

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 04:22:26 AM »
Nice combination of old and new, you did exactly as you had described to me over the phone and your paint scheme looks very good!
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Offline apophenia

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 05:45:35 AM »
Brilliant as always Brian! Love the trousered undercarriage. A pity about those Hupmobile engines. If only Boeing had waited for Hupp to take over the supercharged Cord 812!
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Offline sotoolslinger

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 06:47:50 AM »
Dang that is cool :-* :) Amazing how the old and new elements work so well together.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 12:37:11 PM »
The spats make the plane! If they had used floats, though, they could have floated to Hawaii!

Offline finsrin

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 05:15:00 PM »
The spats make the plane! If they had used floats, though, they could have floated to Hawaii!

Good point and that no doubt would have been more successful considering Huppmobile's most powerful engine I know of was 120hp.  Takeoff likely required a 15000+ft down hill runway.

Brian,,, your willingness to model aviation's failures is a noble trait.  :)
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 01:10:00 AM »
I can't wait for Brian's interpretation of a Farleigh Fruitbat!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 Boeing 224 from an Airfix 737
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 05:54:07 AM »
I can't wait for Brian's interpretation of a Farleigh Fruitbat!

Well, I'm at the research phase and so far it's been a real uphill climb (on my knees, through two feet of snow on gravel). Information on this beastie is mighty hard to come by!

Glad you enjoyed my Boeing Big Un. I've got something on the bench that might be a worthy successor.

Brian da Basher