Gee Bee Air Racer (R-2 Conversion) 1/32 Scale Wms Bros Model Kit #32711 Review

2013 November 1
by Doug

RoR Step-by-Step Review 20131101* 
Gee Bee Air Racer (R-2 Conv ONLY) 1/32 Scale Wms Bros Model Kit #32711 Review
Fig 000

Review and Photos by Robert Byrnes Robert Byrnes P47 Thumbnail

The Gee Bees, perhaps the best-known of all “Golden Age” American racing aircraft, were produced by the five Granville Brothers, from which the name “Gee Bee” was derived. Beginning in 1929 with biplanes, the Granvilles soon turned to construction of low-wing sport aircraft, with a sideline excursion into canard experimental machines.  Competition types were the next step, and as the result of early successes, work began during early spring of 1932 on the R-1 and R-2 racers, which were structurally quite similar, and the R-1 was ready by August!  A Pratt & Whitney Wasp Sr. engine of approximately 800 horsepower, and targeted for the closed loop course racing, powered the R-1.  The R-2, designed for use in cross country events, featured a Wasp Jr. Engine of approximately 550 horsepower, and an additional fuel capacity.  Lee Gehlbach, piloting the R-2 sister ship, placed fourth in the Bendix cross country race, fifth in the Thompson Trophy event, and third in a competition limited to aircraft with engines of 1,000 cubic inches or less displacement.  The plane had proven itself and the reputation of the Granville company was sound as aircraft designers, although some pilot mishaps also drove a later, the erroneous reputation that their aircraft were “killers”

For the Modeler: This is the Gee Bee R-2 Air Racer 1/32 Scale Williams Brothers Model Kit #32711 conversion review. For full information on constructing the basic Gee Bee model airframe please see that Step-by-Step review here. This kit consists of ~70 highly detailed plastic pieces molded in white and one clear canopy piece and two black plastic tires. The radial engine is multi-piece construction for added details. The fuselage features recessed panel lines and the kit comes with colorful waterslide decals for two versions and well-Illustrated instructions. This review describes how to convert the Gee Bee R-1 to the optional Gee Bee R-2. You can also use the current Wms Bros. Gee Bee R-1 kit #32511 to make this R-2 version as well. Finished dimensions: Length: 6-5/8″ (168.27mm) & Wingspan: 9-1/4″ (234.95mm).

Covered in this Review: Please note that this is the review for conversion of the Gee Bee R-1 to the R-2 version. The basic construction information is found in a separate review here; special construction and selection of the R-2 parts including; R-2 engine construction; scratch building the correct headrest; opening up the pilot’s access door for realism; scratch building the pilot’s access door; removing the R-1 fuselage panel lines and features; location and scribing the R-2 panel lines and features; scribing techniques; scratch building the tail wheel features; clamping techniques; reshaping the wheel flares to R-2 specifications; R-2 paint schema; R-2 decal variations; R-2 rigging changes; glue, paint and material selections; and decal preparation and application with setting solutions, are all fully examined in this 17 page, full-color Step-by-Step review.


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