1/240 Varney US Navy Fleet Submarine - The First Plastic US Ship Model
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: Good+
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 carrying the kits due to a lack of re-orders. 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 it was released by O-Lin and later Lindberg. This kit is a a very nice, never started and complete example. The box top grades 'good+' and has nice color as shown, general light stains and wear, three solid corners and one closed split corner. Three sides are as nice as the top, with one small piece of clear tape on both long sides. The right short side does have a 3/4" x 1/2" tape tear but is fine beside that . Inside, it is complete. The yellow parts display is intact and in 'good-' condition. The original krinkle small parts bag is present but split open; I have included the bag and all parts are inventoried complete. The original glue is present but the tube shattered; I have put it in a zip lock. The stand was glued to the yellow at the factory; the glue has come off. The factory glass rectangle for the stand arm is still present and in it's holder. The heavy one-piece molded hull is in rare crack-free condition and cradled into the holder. The base is in very good condition also. Very large instruction sheet is 'very good++' 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 'very good' condition on the hull and 'excellent' on the stand base. A rare example of a classic kit. Shipped with insurance only.