Friday, June 6, 2014

Tom Sanders Sends Me an e-Mail

Friday, June 6, 2014
  Cool and overcast, with  
        occasional rain

Tom Sanders Sends me an E-Mail

   This week has been the 70th anniversary of D-Day. There has been a lot of of other news, but nevertheless, this important anniversary still managed to keep its place in the news and history. I always like "coincidence", even though its just that.  Let me explain.  Have you ever thought about someone whom you haven't spoken with, and all of a sudden they phone you? Or you're thinking about not having enough money in your pocket and will have to use a credit card, and you find 10 cents on the floor right in front of you.

 And so it was with Mr. Tom Sanders. I'd written about Tom a while back (August 1 & August 9, 2012), when yesterday, I received an e-mail from Tom. He gave me some encouragement for continuing to write a fine blog, and also sent me some material to which to write a few posts. Of course, as I previously mentioned, this is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the allies entered the coast of France to start to end WWII. And that's the confidence here.

  For today's post, I'm writing about tom's fine craftsmanship of taking old toy airplanes and remodelling them into replicas of vintage airplanes from the past.  I've added Tom's own writing below in light blue.when people tell nice stories, I find that it's best to add the story in their own words.

"Earlier this year I was contacted by a former Air Force pilot whose father flew B-17D’s early in WW2. He was a small child at the time and distinctively remembered that few (read no) Boeing B-17’s were manufactured in pressed steel. He remembered his father’s airplane had the early “shark fin” tail and always wanted one. Could I help? Was there a way to create one from a vintage “air frame”?  After doing some research, I decided that the best candidate would be the 1930’s Marx Mainliner. The original design was meant to complement the new Douglas DC-4E (Excalibur) of 1938. Problem was the toy look very little like the full-scale airplane. Marx continued producing the toy and eventually morphed the toy into a quasi-bomber. It was this toy that would be the baseline for the B-17D."

The pictures attached will tell the story

Modifications started with the nose. It was re-contoured covering the original cabin area and I used the original nose cone. A new cockpit “turtle” deck was grafted on next….

That's the start of the airplane below.
This is lightyears ahead of my level of skills for any model creation!

Below is an illustration of the airplane that Tom worked on. Because Tom receives requests from people who are very knowledgeable about airplanes, he does plenty of research to ensure the accuracy of his new creations.

Then the aft part of the fuselage lost its original tail assembly. In its place a new shark fin tail and larger stabilizer that were manufactured for installation.

The original Marx bomber had wing racks for a pair of bombs. These rarely are in any condition to function and it took a while to carefully re-build the racks. I made new bombs from brass fishing sinkers and the system now works reliably. In fact, the new owner regularly has bomb runs when his flying buddies drop by!

Other changes include new engine cowlings (the original toy had none), new cast props w/ shafts, belly gun tub, new main wheels and tail wheel. The paint work complimented the one seen by the owner as a child. Last month I was contacted with an update from him. 
I like the inclusion of the reference books that Tom uses to accurately create his masterpieces.

I asked Tom for his permission to isolate some of his photos of this airplane against white, 
and he said yes.  

This is how Tom's photo looked before I modified it on the white.
His photo is excellent as it is, but against the white, I find that toys show themselves even better.

This one-of-a-kind bomber will shortly be featured at a new children’s museum in Texas whose mission is to create funds for a “Boys’ Town” facility.*

 I like what Tom write above at the end of his e-mail .
 I could not have written that any better.

 Thanks for dropping by to visit,
and as always, 
have a great part of the day,
wherever you may be,

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