RAREPLANES


1/72 Beech King Air B200 conversion to B350


by Fred Harris


Construction

The attached image compares the Rareplanes King Air 200 (top), modified 200 (middle)  and the King Air 350 (bottom).


The kit

The original Rareplanes kit suffered a couple of faults, primarily the excessive slope of the windscreen and the fuselage 1/4 inch too short ahead of the wings, a small amount in 1/72nd but a significant 18 inches full scale. The nose also appears too pointed.   Since it is easier to remedy these faults on resin parts than the original vacform, a plaster mould was made of the Rareplanes fuselage halves and two sets of resin castings made. One set was used to correct the windscreen and the rear section cut off 1/4 inch aft of the leading edge of the wing cut-out. The second set was cut off at the leading edge of the wing cut-out and mated to the front section of the former set and the resulting gap ahead of the wing  filled, so correcting the length problem.

A second plaster mould was made using the above as patterns to produce KingAir 200 fuselages and two sets of fuselage castings for the King Air350 patterns. For the '350', the front 93mm of one set was mated to the rear 98 mm of the second set and the wing cut-out restored to its correct shape with filler. These patterns were used to make the moulds for '350' fuselages.

The Rareplanes wings can be used as is for the '200' but require winglets and wing root extensions for the '350'. The nacelles  also require  lengthening and slight modification for the '350 but the project has stalled for the time being and these latter modifications have not been completed.


photos courtesy - Air Force News

Plaster moulds, although not producing the high quality reproductions of RTV moulds, were used for economic reasons. Accuracy can only be as good as the reference material available.

 

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