1/48 X-2 Maircraft Douglas DC-3 United Airlines' Mainliner 180 - Scale Solid Model Kit
Wood and Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: Good++
One of the rarest and most valuable aircraft models in US history, and certainly the finest solid model ever produced. The add from Model Airplane News in 1947 states 'MUCH MORE THAN A MODEL - IT'S A MINIATURE AIRPLANE!' - and it's true. The company originally produced solid scale models, but plastics were just coming into play and plastic was not considered a 'strategic war material.' Maircraft decided to produce their first deluxe kit with many injection molded details, and the excellent P-61 Black Widow model was introduced in 1945 at a very high price for that time. The P-61 must have sold, as the next project was determined to be the DC-3. Development of this great kit must have taken 1/2 a year or more as . Maircraft started to run adds in late 1946 modeling magazines with a 'price to be announced' statement; the January Model Airplane News add showed the whopping price of $9.95 - almost unheard of during that time. Maircraft's timing for such a wonderful model was unfortunate - almost all model manufacturers predicted a huge boom in sales once the war ended and the opposite occurred, causing poor sales and high inventory levels. Maircraft went out of business shortly after introduction of the DC-3. I purchased this model from the original owner who purchased it new in 1947. This kit has never been started and is complete. The box is complete, has great colors, no tears, solid original corners and some litho bubbling. There is no fading, stains, writing or tears in the cardboard or the litho. The box has general age and shelf wear as shown and is slightly crunched as it appears that someone place a heavier box on it at one point. The kit has never been started and is inventoried 100% complete. All internal display packing cardboard is intact. All injection molded details are still factory-affixed to the red display - landing gear and braces, two exhaust stacks, main wheels, rear baggage door and door frame, two air scoops, two cowls, two props, two P&W engines, forward cargo door and door frame, tail wheel, VHF Range and Glide Path antenna, loop antenna, two clear landing lights, main entrance door and door frame, tail wheel well and strut, two oil coolers and two clear landing lights. For the wooden parts, high quality balsa is used. Wings and stabilizers are cut to profile, except the center wing section was finished to an airfoil by the factory. Engine nacelles and fuselage sections are factory-cut and about 70% to shape. Many other factory-carved and stock wooden parts are present as well. The elaborate 'Douglas DC-3 Complete Template Sheet' is intact. Clear window material for cabin windows is included and the bag of hardware is still factory sealed. Paperwork is complete and excellent as well, including the parts order sheet, sheet, 'Note from the Engineering Staff' and the 'Douglas DC-3 Illustrated Instruction Brochure' book are all in excellent condition with light foxing as the only flaw. The plans - the crowning glory of the model - are perhaps the most accurate ever produced outside of Douglas Aircraft Company. They are in excellent condition and have probably been opened two or three times judging from the lack of wear. The large and colorful decal sheet is 'excellent' and flat and has only light yellowing and age wear. Please note that the fuselage is hollow when built and full details are provided for cockpit and cabin detail and notes on lighting the model. A true investment-quality piece of modeling history for the advanced collector. For the protection of the buyer this model will only be shipped via Express Mail Insured. Maircraft was originally founded in the early or mid 1930s by Gordon Christoph and went by the name Aircraft Model Company. The company produced a typical line of solid 'profile cut' kits that required the usual high talent levels for carving and finishing. A former Comet Model Airplane & Supply Co. salesman, Jack Mair, bought the company in the early 1940s and renamed it Maircraft.