Schoenfeldt Firecracker Air Racer 1:32 Scale Wms. Bros. Kit #32118 Review

2013 April 8
by Doug

RoR Step-by-Step Review 20130408*
Schoenfeldt Firecracker Air Racer 1:32 Scale Williams Brothers Kit #32118
Fig 000

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In the early 1930’s, many designers began looking at the new four and six cylinder Menasco engines to install in the small racing planes.  One of these designers was Keith Rider, an Aeronautical Engineer since 1915.  Keith Rider built 5 aircraft. The R-4 and R-5 both flew in the 1936 National Air Races. William “Bill” Schoenfeldt attended the 1936 air races and became interested in air racing.  Being a wealthy man, he purchased Keith Riders R-4 and began modifications, to the extent it became potentially the fastest racer of all.  For the 1938 national races (this model represents that time period) overhaul of the engine and fuel leak repairs were made.  Upon arrival at Cleveland, Schoenfeldt told Tony to “see how fast the Firecracker can go”.  After several mild passes near 300 mph, Tony applied full throttle for a pass that topped 330 mph.  However a new “special racing fuel” burned a hole in the top of a piston during a pass.  A complete overhaul was required before Tony qualified the following day at 260 mph.

For the Modeler: This 1:32 scale Williams Brothers kit #32118 is long out of production but you can still find these kits easily at online auctions and garage sales. At a piece count around thirty there’s not a lot to this kit, but detailing it for a standout shelf display is still an option for the patient modeler. The finished dimensions are; 6.75” wing span and a length of 7.3”. Keep learning and have fun!

Covered in this Review: If you want to perfect your build, basic construction; preparing parts for better finishing; opening up the wheel wells; making the canopy brighter with floor polish; removing the yellowing from aged decals; using Alclad for metal surfaces; realistic wood techniques; paint and adhesive selections and applications; detailing the cockpit; choosing the correct version parts for your build; detailing and black washing the engine; identifying and dealing with seams and sinks; masking and finishing the canopy; using aftermarket methods to detailing the oil cooler; painting techniques; scratch building vents for realism; replacing the exhaust tubes with brass; using decal setting solutions for realism; decal application procedures; undercarriage assembly and detailing, are all fully examined in this extensive 21 page, full-color Step-by-Step review. 


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