Author Topic: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 599 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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While the film Silver Streak was the blockbuster hit of 1976



Less well-remember is the sequel that came out the following year.



While Silver Streak II lacked box-office punch, it did have some things the first movie lacked. Not only was it filmed in the revolutionary new process known as Seaplane-o-Scope 360, but while the original Silver Streak mostly took place on a train



the follow-on movie was set on a plane.



The Silver Streak II centered around an airline expanding into service from the Finger Lakes to Miami, Florida and the hijinks that ensued on the last of the grand passenger flying boats ever built, namesake of that famous globe-girdling explorer.



Built by Martin just as the era of large, piston-engine flying boats was ending, the Magellan was fated to be the only one of its kind.



In what design historians now consider the last and perhaps penultimate piece of Aero Art Deco, the aircraft certainly stood out with its cockpit perched up high above the nose and the domed dining/dancing/bar area convertible to a honeymoon suite in back.



The Martin Magellan was briefly trialed by Pan Am who were still using sea planes on some of their Caribbean and South American routes but by the late 1960's, interest had waned perhaps due to the dawning of both the Jet and psychedelic eras.



Martin had thoughtfully put the Magellan in storage and there it waited for one last call to service. The Canadian charter airline Worldways had expanded with a new U.S. subsidiary and they wanted a PR blitz. The film Silver Streak II was seen as the perfect vehicle for this even if featured star Gary Coleman was often bad-tempered and difficult to work with.



Worldways purchased the Magellan and in keeping with the concept of a Silver Streak, the aircraft was suitably re-painted and the airline's eye-catching logos added.



While it was nothing short of a miracle that this one-off flying boat could take off again after being in storage so long, take off it did to the delight of director John Guillermin who grinned with anticipation of all the footage of this majestic aircraft he'd have for his film.



While the director got some of his shots, he didn't get many as the aircraft broke its back upon landing after the first day. Fortunately, enough of the fuselage survived to finish filming but all of it would be scrapped in frustration to make up for steep losses the movie incurred.



Since so little of the Magellan or the Silver Streak II in general survives today, not only are there so-called "experts" that deny this aircraft ever flew but also film buffs who doubt the movie ever was either.



However, we know better, don't we?

Brian da Basher



« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 12:05:53 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 12:32:47 AM »
You might remember that Italeri CANT Z 501





from a recent project and wondered what happened to the rest of the kit. Well here's what I did with most of it, saving the choicer parts for another day.



The wings were from a 1/144 Minicraft DC-6 and were a very nice fit if placed on the CANT Z fuselage upside down. I covered the wheel wells with card.



The belly blister from a 1/72 Airfix Halifax was stuck on the front for the cockpit and a nameless bit of smash-forming in clear acetate was added as the dome on back. Horiz stabs were swiped from an Fw-190 (I think) and those little fuselage sponsons are fins from a sub kit.



The engines are for a B-17 and I added a little ADF football on top.

Painting was done with the old hairy stick and a lot of acrylics, gray primer for the undercoat and Polly Scale Silver over it.





The dome over the dining/dancing/bar area convertible to a honeymoon suite was tinted black on the inside to match the windows which were mostly from a custom sheet (thanks a million Frank!).



The props were painted with Model Masters Steel and some cheap, no-name craft store metallic was used on the front of the cowlings to simulate engines.





I just love Minicraft's attention to detail here. Not.





Then again, there's a new 1/144 DC-6 out there that probably has better engines and is at least three times as expensive.
I can forgo the details in the name of frugality.



That cool-as-the-other-side-of-your-pillow Worldways livery came from a sheet from Airline Graphics for a 1/200 DC-8 I think.



The codes are from a sheet for a Northwest DC-6 and the rest of the decals are from spares. The entire project took about a week but I was delayed in posting so I could become another 2018 flu statistic. Here's a shot with a U.S. penny for scale.



I'd like to thank Bill for the kit, Frank for the windows and all the rest of you who stopped to look.



I hope you enjoyed the Martin Magellan and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history that fell off the silver screen.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 12:35:45 AM by Brian da Basher »

Online Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 04:03:08 AM »
Wow!  Without the coin for reference to size and scale it would be hard to determine how large that model is.  Certainly on the tiny side.  Great kit bash and that big bubble on the nose reminds me of some exotic guppy :)
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Offline Acree

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Offline pigflyer

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 04:20:52 AM »
Another splendid article on lost aviation history.  Superb build and tremendous back story.  All hail.

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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 07:51:01 AM »
Did Martin hope to be first featuring "styled cockpits with character"?    Anyway - not something that caught on.
Lot of movie potential there.  Sorry to hear was not to be box office hit.  Thanks for digging this story out of deep archives.
Fine likeness of Martin Magellan you made of hull part of Cant Z 501 and DC-6 wings.  Is what one (a BTSer) does if therez no kit of it.  :smiley:

« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 08:00:18 AM by finsrin »

Offline ed s

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 07:57:53 AM »
Brilliant as always. Fascinating conversion.

Offline Tophe

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 11:39:29 AM »
The big bulge for the cockpit is disgracious but brings a strong personality like no other plane! I will remember this weird plane/mix, thanks! :-*

Offline b29r

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 11:36:33 PM »
This one really made me smile  :smiley:.  Thanks for bringing a forgotten piece of history to brighten my day!  This would just be perfect in one of those sci-fi films from the 50's  8)

Thanks and best regards,
Kem

Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 03:45:43 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Awesome as always, hilariously perfect!!!

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 01:08:10 PM »
It really does look like a Beluga! I bet the honeymoon suite caused a lot of "turbulence".


Offline FAAMAN

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 07:09:41 AM »
Poor thing looks like it needs a doctor :o :o :o
Great Whiffery Mr DaBasher 8) 8)
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 01:16:00 PM »
It really does look like a Beluga! I bet the honeymoon suite caused a lot of "turbulence".
That far aft of the CG, I'll bet it did.  I know of one Arabian-owned jetliner (777, yet!) that has the belly-dance floor located right on the cg to keep "turbulence" to a minimum.

Offline ericr

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Re: The Martin Magellan Flying Boat - A Silver(ing) Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 05:25:09 PM »

excellent flying boat !

the looks of the cockpit is extremely specific  ;D Beluga might have been an appropriate nme indeed  ;)