This is the first of the Lockheed twins series to cross the completion threshold. It is the L12 Electra Junior, designed for a niche market; namely, users who thought the Electra itself was too large. It is roughly equivalent to a Beech C-45 and did have military application. But being a fan of airliners in 1:72, I had to put it in commercial markings.
I have owned the Special Hobby kit of the Electra Junior since it came out a number of years ago but always shied away due to key parts being in resin and a vac canopy, which means my personal bête noir superglue comes into play. Still, since I had a strange urge for this series of aircraft and had bought the massive yellow book Lockheed Twins published by Air Britain a few years back, I decided it was time to take the plunge.
This is what I would consider a mid-period SH kit. Not the early days of very basic shapes and bad fit, but not the current days of excellent detail where most of the parts are plastic injection, including the canopies. The cockpit is basic but adequate, and the passenger cabin has no detail at all. Though, given the small number of windows on the Junior – and the fact that I was going to use Kristal Kleer for the glass – I didn’t see that as a downside. The lower wing is one piece, which gives a very steady bond to the model.
I almost went for the Draw Decals TWA set for the type, but got interested in the “camotint” option that came with the kit. By common consensus, it seems that most of us consider this mysterious color to be very close to Sky, and the Xtracolour treatment of this color is what I used. The anti-glare panel was Dark Sea Grey.
It seems that this plane was used by pilot Sidney Cotton to do some surreptitious aerial recon in the early war period. Bulged windows (also designed by Cotton) were installed in the side of the cockpit to make it easier to get the photos. A very clever and sneaky use of a passenger liner.
While there were some struggles with the resin and vacform bits, I’m pretty pleased with the overall model. Certainly pleased enough that I almost immediately started work on the L10 Electra and did some prelim work on the PV-1 Ventura. Lockheed twins will figure large in this summer’s model output.
This is completed model #401 (#26 for the year), finished in June of 2012.