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      tomcat72


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      Post #78340, posted on 06-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      For anyone contemplating building this kit at some point I thought Iíd share this info, following another great Cafe lead by DanaK.

      The kit is a pretty good one (as are all the Academy kits Iíve bought) however Dana made me aware of an AM engine and prop set which are more accurate and Iíve managed to secure one.

      Originally manufactured by the Cobra Company (in both 72 and 144), when it went out of business it apparently sold the tooling for the sets to Lone Star Models.

      I managed to track down its owner (one man operation) at the following site:

      https://lonestarmodels.com/

      Note - for some reason he sold the 144 set to a U.K. company - Black Bird Models and itís available on eBay.

      Apologies if youíve heard this before but I thought Iíd post this for any new propliner enthusiasts considering this 1/72 kit (or the Minicraft 144 kit).

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      Ken Miller


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      Post #78344, posted on 06-05-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Chiming with a positive note about Cobra Company/Lone Star Models. Back in 2000ish I built the 1/144 scale Minicraft B377/C-97. The kit engines and props are a definite weak point. The Cobra Company parts were beautiful. I bought a few more sets when I read that things were changing hands.

      Ken

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      radioguy


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      Post #78345, posted on 06-05-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      I agree with all the positive comments on the Cobra parts. Unfortunately,
      the Lone Star site seems to be inop for now (at least for me). Can't link
      to the parts.

      Alan Aronoff
      CYUL

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      tomcat72


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      Post #78347, posted on 06-06-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Radioguy - try sending an email to lsmodels@pdq.net as he responded to me via email.

      The ownerís name is Mike (sorry, didnít get his surname).

      If itís the 144 parts you would like, theyíre on eBay in the U.K. at least - item #153413137149. Theyíre approx US$16.

      Ken - I was almost going to buy the 144 Cobra set for a half-finished Minicraft kit however Iíd bought the VFD decals for the PA meatball scheme and Dana confirmed that the flat-tipped props would be wrong for that livery. Since youíve obviously built Strats, do you (or anyone else) know where I might obtain a set of appropriate props?

      Iím assuming that it wouldnít be possible to re-fashion either the kit-supplied or Cobra props into the correct shape.

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      Ken Miller


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      Post #78348, posted on 06-06-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      I don't have my info in front of me. C97's and Stratocruisers had either Curtis Electric or Hamilton Standard props. One prop is skinny the other fat. Cobra Company and Minicraft made both sets. The Cobra Company parts are worlds better.

      Ken

      http://www.internetmodeler.com/2000/september/new-releases/cobraco.htm

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      tomcat72


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      Post #78349, posted on 06-06-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks Ken.

      From an Airliner Tech book on the 377 I confirmed that the Pan Am aircraft had HS props (there were a few exceptions, following purchases from other airlines).

      In early years they had flat tipped props although in later years (possibly coinciding with the change to the meatball livery) they had round-tipped props. So, although the Cobra parts are HS, it seems theyíre the wrong variants for my Minicraft build 😀

      Since my last post, Iíve noticed that the 144 parts being sold by Black Bird models in the U.K. (who acquired the molds from Lone Star) appear to include resin props whereas the original Cobra parts had white metal props, as per the article you quoted. Not sure if that would reflect on the quality.

      I also spotted the original 144 Cobra parts available from a US seller on eBay for $22.64, item #114805134187, in case anyone is interested.

      Iíll pursue my quest for the correct 144 props (maybe an old 144 B-29 kit) but at least I have the correct ones for my 72 / Academy build.

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      electraglider


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      Post #78363, posted on 06-09-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Good luck .

      Maybe the announced forthcoming B-50 kit will have rounded tip props, but will also probably have that complex spinner over the H&S prop dome. If so, at least you'll have rounded tip blades to marry to the old B-377 prop hubs with some effort.

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      tomcat72


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      Post #78367, posted on 06-09-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      I guess you must be referring to the Minicraft B-50A that appears on Scalemates as a ďfutureĒ kit John, but it looks like itís been sitting at that status since 2018.

      Iím currently looking at a Minicraft B-29 on eBay although Iíd like to avoid cannibalising a kit just for the props.

      Iíll try to find another way and others have obviously done this, looking at memberís photos of Minicraft 377s.

      Interestingly, Minicraft seem to have 3 variants of C-97s as well as a slew of 377s in various airline liveries.

      They sure got their moneyís worth from the same sprues!

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      NX28388


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      Post #78370, posted on 06-09-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      If you need B-29 props in 1:144, no need to scrap a whole kit when there is an excellent set by Brengun, developed for the 1:144 Fujimi B-29:

      http://www.hauler.cz/e-shop/1-144-accessories-19/proppelers-for-b29-superfortress-723

      These pop up through some sellers on eBay, which is how I acquired mine. Brengun also makes a nice set of 1:144 B-29 engines with correct cowls, which I acquired for the XC-97 project I will build someday (at my current production rate, it'll be about five years after I'm dead).

      Jodie Peeler

      "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." - Sayre's Law

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      tomcat72


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      Post #78374, posted on 06-10-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks for the excellent lead Jodie.

      I located a set of props on eBay and just placed the order.

      The Brengun engines look excellent as well although not on eBay at present. I assume the cowals for these will be correct for the 377, since they work for the XC-97?

      I could just order the Cobra clones which are currently available from eBay U.K. at a reasonable price. I notice someone nabbed the original Cobra set with the metal props that I spotted on eBay a few days ago!

      Re your last point, I guess the trick in this game is to build them at least the rate youíre acquiring them however, as Iíve discovered since taking up this hobby, the finding and buying is extremely addictive in itself 😀

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      NX28388


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      Post #78376, posted on 06-10-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      tomcat72 :
      The Brengun engines look excellent as well although not on eBay at present. I assume the cowals for these will be correct for the 377, since they work for the XC-97?



      For a 377 you will want the Cobra Company engines. The Brengun parts represent B-29 engines, which were a whole different animal with a whole different shape. The XC-97 was not far from a B-29 with a C-97 fuselage. The production C-97 and B377 were considerably different, including the use of the R-4360 engines with the round cowl, which is what the Cobra Company parts give you.

      My long-term plan is to use a Fujimi B-29 and a Minicraft C-97, as well as parts from Cobra Company and Brengun, to yield an XC-97 and a WB-50.

      Re: acquisition, it makes me think of Schopenhauer's saying about buying books would be good if we could also buy the time to read them. If only....

      Jodie Peeler

      "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." - Sayre's Law

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      Ken Miller


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      Post #78377, posted on 06-10-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Jodie's mention of the Fujimi 1/144 scale B-29 props gave me a laugh and a flashback moment. I'd have to really dig for my kits but am pretty sure that the prop hubs are square shaped. Maybe something one could overlook in a small scale build but DEFINITELY NOT a prop to seek out to use for an upgrade.

      Ken

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      Post #78378, posted on 06-10-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      Ken Miller :
      Jodie's mention of the Fujimi 1/144 scale B-29 props gave me a laugh and a flashback moment. I'd have to really dig for my kits but am pretty sure that the prop hubs are square shaped. Maybe something one could overlook in a small scale build but DEFINITELY NOT a prop to seek out to use for an upgrade.



      Yeah, that's why Brengun offers the replacement props. The otherwise very, very nice Fujimi B-29 has propellers with square hubs. Go figure! (See also "why the Otaki L-1011 came with toylike wheels.")

      Jodie Peeler

      "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." - Sayre's Law

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      Post #78385, posted on 06-11-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      At least the blades can be cut off and remounted to the Minicraft's hubs.
      I thought the Cobra conversion part kit was nice touch, but why weren't the exhausts there to reflect the difference between the KC-,C-97's straight pipes and the rubbery,over sized "tubocharger " discs on B-377 exhausts?

      And while I'm on it, Why does everyone think that that aftermarket companies multi scale propeller blur looks so real? To me no matter how that blur is painted it still stands out as a stationary object mounted on the engine cowling without the partially impaired vision of the areas between heavily shadows of the moving prop blades themselves. At least clear plastic discs can be airbrushed to relieve that plain clear see thru look to a point. Black and yellow tipped being the easiest to do. Civilian with cuffs, metal finish changes mid blade, the deicers and tip colors being the hardest.
      Pewter prop blades would be nice, but no one is going to go to the trouble of making all the variations of different blade shapes and make any money from doing it.

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      tomcat72


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      Post #78387, posted on 06-11-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      NX28388 :

      For a 377 you will want the Cobra Company engines. The Brengun parts represent B-29 engines, which were a whole different animal with a whole different shape. The XC-97 was not far from a B-29 with a C-97 fuselage. The production C-97 and B377 were considerably different, including the use of the R-4360 engines with the round cowl, which is what the Cobra Company parts give you.

      My long-term plan is to use a Fujimi B-29 and a Minicraft C-97, as well as parts from Cobra Company and Brengun, to yield an XC-97 and a WB-50.

      Re: acquisition, it makes me think of Schopenhauer's saying about buying books would be good if we could also buy the time to read them. If only....

      Jodie Peeler



      Thanks Jodie, on that basis Iíve now also ordered the cloned Cobra set to obtain the 377 engines to use with the Brengun props. Iíd have ordered the original Cobra set I saw a week ago except someone bagged them before me (maybe another Cafe member 😀). Iíll have a spare set of flat tipped 377 props if anyone wants them, although theyíre made of resin and not the original Cobra white metal ones.

      [On a similar note, I just took delivery of a SAC set of metal landing gear for my Testors SR-71 and theyíre beautiful!]

      This all feels like some Indiana Jones type adventure to find the holy grail, but I guess thatís part of the fun!

      As a complete aside, I happened to visit a small aviation museum in the north of England today on my way home from a trip and one of the exhibits contained a display of machine guns used on board aircraft as well as by ground personnel. One of those was a Bren Gun, which I always thought was British but the design was apparently licensed from a Czech company. I wonder if thatís why the Hauler site you pointed me to is Czech or itís just a coincidence?

      It sounds like you like your Strats and Iíll check out your photos if youíve posted them. Minicraft seem to have made this their specialty with Cruiser, cargo, MATS and tanker versions of the same kit.

      Itís a great shame there are no surviving examples of the 377 as Iíd love to have seen the inside of one. I did see a YouTube video of an operating C-97 from a few years back however itís the commercial version with its luxurious interior Iíd love to have seen in a museum.