1/240 Varney US Navy Fleet Submarine
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: Exc+
This model is a landmark in the history of Plastic Kits. The Varney Fleet Sub is the primary candidate for the first all-plastic ship kit made in the USA. The famous HO/O train manufacture, Varney, branched out into other scale model kits at the end of WWII. In late 1945, they introduced what are thought to be the first USA produced plastic model kits - the Fleet Sub and the PT-17 Stearman. Both kits were excellent scale models given the state of modeling at that time. However, Varney was 6 years too early. The Fleet Sub and PT-17 met a cool reception when it was introduced to retailers. Hobby Shops were not sure if it would sell, and did not know how to sell it. Consequently, most retailers would not order it and those who did put them where they were not seen by the public. Distributors stopped carry the kits due to a lack of reporders. The result was inevitable - they did not sell, and Varney pulled both kits from production very quickly. Varney was committed to cutting the molds on the LST and it was released in 1946 with the same result. That marked the end of Varney's venture into non-train scale plastic models. Varney dedicated all production to HO trains and in the late 1940s they sold the molds for the Fleet Sub, the LST and the PT-17 to O-Lin. The molds underwent modification (the hull was divided into two parts instead of one) and were released by O-Lin and Lindberg. This kit is a superb, investment-grade "excellent++" example. The box top has like-new color and gloss, four solid corners with no repairs, no tape or price tags, no marks from tape or tags and no tears or other litho damage. Flaws include very light and even edge wear (as shown), very slight 'dishing' inward and very light foxing on two box sides. Inside, the kit is still as it came from the factory. The yellow parts display is 'very good++' and the only flaw is the scuffing as shown. The small parts bag is still factory sealed and factory stapled to the yellow display. The glass display stand arm is tucked into its holder. The heavy one-piece molded hull is beautiful and in rare crack-free condition and cradled into the holder. The base was factory glued to the yellow display but has come loose. It also includes the unused factory tube of Testors cement in its own holder. Very large instruction sheet is near mint and folds out to illustrate construction and offers numerous display ideas for this new medium in hobby kits. Decals were not provided with the kit. This kit was made with gray injection molded details, glass stand arm and black injection molded stand and sub hull. I have seen versions with no paint on the base and hull; however, this one has the base and hull factory painted gray. The paint is in 'near mint' condition on the hull and 'excellent' on the stand base. A rare example of a classic kit. Shipped with insurance only.