1/32 Roden Stearman PT-17 Kaydet

Gallery Article by Rafi Ben-Shahar on Aug 21 2020



Roden's Stearman is a short run in the disguise of a production kit. The plastic is soft and parts require cleaning. Test fitting is imperative and connection pins are better be removed to assure proper fit, particularly with the fuselage halves.

The bi-plane structure and accompanied rigging requires careful planning. Unfortunately, the engineering of the kit further compounds the building process. You need to love the aircraft to muster sufficient patience for the building process.

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So, why did I choose to build a second Roden Stearman? I consider it to be among the best-looking model I ever built. The size and shape of the model bring back to life memories of the toy like aircraft.

Here are some tips that may help you to successfully complete the difficult kit. Standard styrene cement is better used to attach lower wings to the fuselage. Ignore for the time being the glaring gaps. Use a strong glue to attach the struts to the lower wings. Turn upside down the model and glue the struts to the upper wing. The flexibility you gained in the first stage will help you align and attach the struts to the upper wing.

Wheel oleos are not designed to carry the weight of the model. I was afraid to correct the position of the wheels before the photography session. Now, I can risk breaking them and also fine tune the direction of strings.

I chose another IDF aircraft. Originally the aircraft served as a trainer. Later it was rebuilt while in private hands and found its way back to the IDF, currently flying in the Air Force Museum.

Rafi Ben-Shahar

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Photos and text by Rafi Ben-Shahar