Old Plastic Model Kits
Plastic model kits, model airplane kits, etc.
1/240 703-98 Lindberg US Fleet Submarine (ex-Varney)
NM Injection Molded old
Rare kit with a fascinating history. These molds may well be the oldest production ship kit in US plastic modeling history. The kit started as the Varney Fleet Sub in the mid 1940s. It is widely believed that it was the very first USA all-plastic construction kit of a military vessel. Varney produced an all plastic aircraft kit at the same time, the PT-17. It is the #1 candidate for the first plastic airplane kit in the USA. Varney was a famous manufacture of model trains, first O then a leader in HO models. The two new additions did not sell very well - remember, the Gowland/Revell 'Highway Pioneers' had yet to be issued, so the boom in modeling had not occurred. Varney soon sold the molds for the Fleet Sub and the PT-17 to O-Lin (along with the molds for a fantastic multi-media kit with a wooden hull and plastic fittings, the Varney PT Boat ). O-Lin was a joint venture by Paul Lindberg and Mr. Olsen. O-Lin successfully issued the PT Boat (the PT Boat was given an injection molded hull and deck), PT-17 Stearman and Fleet Sub but modified the molds for the Sub. The original Varney kit had a solid, one-piece black hull and gray fittings. O-Lin engineers created a two-piece hull that provided a hollow hull and made from the same shot of plastic as the fittings. The 'Lin' in O-Lin, Paul Lindberg, was already well known for his publication of articles and plans for flying model aircraft in some of the leading aviation publications in the 1940/50s. Mr. Lindberg soon bought out Mr. Olsen and began marketing the same O-Lin kits under 'The Lindberg Line'. One immediate change was the box art. O-Lin box art was usually two or three color and not very exciting. Near the end of O-Lin, the partners asked Ray Gaedke to provide some box art. The bright colors and vivid action were an immediate hit, and Paul Lindberg took this lesson and Mr. Gaedke's artwork along to the new 'Lindberg Line'. Lindberg continue to issue the old Varney kits with the O-Lin modifications. The kit has been issued by a resurgent Lindberg as late at 2009, likely making it the longest running plastic ship kit in US history. This model is in superb investment condition. The Ray Gaedke box art has perfect color as gloss as new. The box is near mint with only very slight wear as the only flaw. The model has not been started. The parts are either in factory sealed bag(s) or inventoried 100% complete with all parts, decals and instructions.
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