William Wylam Drawings - RC Groups
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Mar 16, 2005, 02:24 PM
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P_J_Glor's Avatar

William Wylam Drawings

For years I have treated the William Wylam drawings as an ultimate source of authenticity for scale modeling. Recently, however, when cross-checking the Stinson drawings against Juptner's Civil Aviation series and an on-line reference regarding U.S. civil registration number assignments, I found that none of the registration numbers on his drawings match the actual aircraft types that are depicted.

For example, the Stinson SR7 Reliant drawing I posted in E-Challenged's thread says "NC-16131 was Orange background color, silver grey trim color and black pin-stripe."

But there was no actual Stinson SR-7 with registration number 16131, so what about the rest of the information on the color scheme and what was his source? Similarly, there is a beautiful model of a Stinson straight-winged SR Reliant in a recent Aviation Modeler International built to the Wylam color scheme of Metallic Green and Silver for a Borg Warner owned plane, but again the registration number does not match. I haven't found any photograph for that plane, or even of a similar one with a registration that is close. I have looked at old Borg Warner ads for logo color info, which do not go all the way back to 1933, but the oldest I found shows the same logo with yellow and white letters on a navy blue background. That makes me wonder why they used green and silver for the plane -- why not Navy blue and white? Or if there even was a Borg-Warner owned Stinson SR.

Years ago, the Air Force Museum changed the color scheme for a P-51 that was just "representative" to that of an actual aircraft that had flown in World War II because at least one kit manufacturer had provided decals for the museum color scheme and many modelers thought it depicted an actual World War II fighter.

So I gues my question is whether the color schemes depicted by Mr. Wylam's drawings were based on his actual observations or photographs or were they -- similar to the Air Force Museum's P-51 -- just "representative."

Ok -- there is my "rant." I know most of you won't have an answer, but there might be someone out there who had some kind of contact with Mr. Wylam or someone that knew him. Until then, being somewhat "pendantic" [as Peter R. would say] about color and markings, as much as I love the Borg-Warner SR and the other Stinson markings in the Wylam drawings, I will have to avoid them without some other confirmation of their accuracy.

Pete G.
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Mar 16, 2005, 03:52 PM
Scale Builder
I don't know about his drawings for vintage civil aircraft but many of his drawings of WW2 warbirds contain errors much more grievous than a false registration. I would check and double check before designing from any of his drawings.
Mar 16, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Martin Irvine's Avatar
Wylam was the first to show modellers the sort of accuracy and detail they should be looking for. However, they are old drawings and accuracy has greatly improved since then. His detail stuff on some is worth looking at in conjunction with a better drawing.


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