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Old 09-19-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
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Default Need help to repair manufacturer display model

I have a metal model of an Aero Commander 500 in approx. 1/35 scale that is the only keepsake I have from my deceased father. It has suffered some damage over the years, but was recently broken (wing assembly separated from fuselage, vertical stab bent) by my children.

The model is now in the UK in customs, and I am trying to get it back. I had sent it to Westway Aircraft Models, but they have become inexplicably contentious over the customs duty which I offered to pay. They keep saying that they will not refund the duty. First, it hasn't even been paid yet, and second, I offered to pay it, but can't yet, because I need a 17 digit number that they have and won't give to me. At this point, I don't even think they are reading my emails.

But, assuming I get it back, who is able to do a first class repair on a model such as this? I am willing to pay several hundred dollars, and understand that it will not be cheap. Please email me if you have any ideas I will attempt to attach photos below:

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Old 09-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

these are sweet aeroplanes, the Aerocommanders...Lovely humble lines, a true classic ! Hope you get what you are looking for, have you tried asking Martin in the UK, from Smallworld!? cant remember anyone else right now....good luck !
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

Wow, a very cool model. Did your father work for Aero Commander? I am trying to find out more information about the company. So far though I haven't found much.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

A sad story. I've dealt with Westway once or twice, and never had any problems, but maybe I've been lucky, and I am located in the UK. Is it possible that you could get the model back to the US? My suggestion would then be to speak to the guys at Atlantic. I hope you get a good outcome whatever you decide to do.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

To all: Thank you for the kind thoughts and suggestions.

As for Aero Commander, yes, my father worked for them managing the service department in the late '50's and early '60's. The plant was located, if I remember correctly, at Twin Lakes airport in Bethany, Oklahoma. We lived within a mile of the airport. He died of a heart attack at the age of 47. I really don't know a lot more about the history of Aero Commander, other than it was later acquired by Rockwell. One strong memory I have is of the first flight of the Jet Commander. It was bitter cold and windy, but we were all dumbstruck by the awesome rate of climb. I think the Jet Commander was later built by an Israeli company as the Westwind.

Twin Lakes airport was later expanded and renamed Wiley Post Airport (PWA).

Again, thanks to all.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

I had a damaged PacMin Dornier 728 model. One engine broke off the wing. I contacted PacMin via email and they were very nice and friendly and helped me a lot. They repaired the wing and really did a great work.
I do not know if they can help with metal models, but I guess you should ask.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

As for the repair I have done several and can give you some advise....that would be to do it your self it should be a very easy fix with some epoxy and shouldn't rake any special skill. That is what appears to have been used on the original model to hole the wing to the fuselage and the missing spinners should be easy to find from a hobby store or off ebay....if you can't find any let me know I could make some on my lathe....I have the Aero Commander as well as the Jet Commander and could use them as a pattern.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

Thank you for your advice. If I just epoxy the wings back to the fuselage, it will still be much worse than before, given the amount of paint chipping that happened when the wings broke off. The paint is very thick, and just repainting the damaged area probably wouldn't look that great. I would not be able to strip the old paint, or do a very good job with the repainting. I could paint in a single solid color, but I don't think I could do the pin striping.

Plus, the vertical stab is slightly bent. I'm not sure how I might straighten it out without damaging the paint. Maybe some type of hydraulic press, or just hitting it with a soft mallet?

Anyway, still waiting for it to be returned. Parcelforce has assured me that it will be returned to me if not claimed. Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

So your story is still ongoing. Sorry to hear that you still have not got your model back. This is just my own opinion, but I do think that it's worthwhile to have the model professionally restored. Its quite a rare piece, and it deserves to be made to look good again. But I guess it wouldn't be cheap.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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Yes, I'm definitely going to have it restored professionally. It means a great deal to me. Sort of like spending $2000 on a surgical operation for a pet that is worth nothing financially but is priceless emotionally.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo1 View Post
As for the repair I have done several and can give you some advise....that would be to do it your self it should be a very easy fix with some epoxy and shouldn't rake any special skill. That is what appears to have been used on the original model to hole the wing to the fuselage and the missing spinners should be easy to find from a hobby store or off ebay....if you can't find any let me know I could make some on my lathe....I have the Aero Commander as well as the Jet Commander and could use them as a pattern.
I have a Westway cutaway 72 scale BA 747 model that I've trying to get restored by someone who is capable of doing this. I can't find a dependable restorer, and I'm willing to pay what it takes Seems like they are few and far between. Are you capable of doing this and/or do you have an interest? If not, any reference for a professional restorer? Thanks
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

[QUOTE=jgard;910741]Yes, I'm definitely going to have it restored professionally. It means a great deal to me. Sort of like spending $2000 on a surgical operation for a pet that is worth nothing financially but is priceless

Really weird, I've not long ago paid a hefty sum for an operation on my cat. Price was not an issue for me, even if I Would have had to sell some of my winged masterpieces. Please post pics after the work has been done.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Need help to repair manufacturer display model

Jgard, you can try Rick's Restorations in Las Vegas, the people who do "American Restorations" on the History Channel. If price is no object, they might be able to help you, they give free estimates.
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