O-Lin Fleet Submarine (Gato Class, Ex-Varney)
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: Exc
Very, very rare investment piece for the advanced collector. From the late 1940s. This is the first one I have had in 20 years of dealing with kits and among the finest condition I have seen. Molded in the correct, gloss olive-drab plastic with a two piece hull, fore and aft decks, sail and detail parts and full instructions and the correct stand marked 'FLEET SUBMARINE.' The kit has never been started and is inventoried 100% complete with all parts and 'Very Good++' condition instructions. The box is graded 'excellent' (not perfect!) and has very nice color and gloss, four solid, original corners, no price tags or tag tears, no tape except for the remains of clear tape on the two long sides where the box was factory sealed, no tape tears and no box tears, fades or missing litho. Wear includes general light shelf wear as shown and some corner and edge wear. NOTE: must be shipped insured. This kit has 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.