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CLEVELAND MODEL & SUPPLY KITS OF THE 1930s - SOME EXAMPLES

There is a fascination with Cleveland model kits that transcends the mere collector value of the vintage stick and tissue scale models - there is a spirit of adventure in the boxes of balsa which Cleveland's Ed Packard created over a thirty-five year period. The scale models represented the real airplanes that the youth of the period held in high esteem - constructing a Fokker DVII gave the young builder a feel for the World War air battles over Europe which filled the pages of Flying Aces, Battle Aces and similar pulps of the 1930s. Also, the dogged pursuit of the marketplace for model kits by a gentleman (and his family) who truly appreciated the beauty of scale model kits and the lore of aviation history is a story in itself which has been aptly told by author Herb Schreiner in Aviation's Great Recruiter - Cleveland's Ed Packard, a must-have book for the wood kit collector and scale model enthusiast.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, some years ago, had an exhibit case devoted to Cleveland scale models - this exhibit has been retired and I have no idea of its present whereabouts. The exhibit was put together by Maj. Royal Frey with the cooperation of Ed Packard. Besides being an interesting display of early Cleveland memorabilia including some Cleveland-built airplanes which were used for advertising (Me 109E, Curtiss F11C-2, Boeing B-9), one of these models, the Boeing B-9, represents an example of the tubed kits used into 1932; I have the B-9 kit JSF-1005 in my collection, and photos of it, and the museum display, are used here to celebrate Cleveland model history to accompany the previous discussions and photos of Cleveland kits on this website. Schreiner's book has a single photo of the museum display on page 280.

The 1930s were a very exciting era for Cleveland scale model kits. They expanded from the first 3/4" scale Great Lakes Sport Trainer kit SF-1 in 1929 through dozens of designs with emphasis on Thompson Trophy air racing, sport planes, transports, War Birds of the Great War, and American fighter aircraft. All-balsa construction was introduced by Cleveland with the SF-1 and subsequent kits became the typical former and stringer construction with cutout balsa pieces for tips and ribs which dominated the model kit field and which were used in Cleveland kits to the end of the line.

Cleveland's early direct-mail promotional material, aside from their looseleaf catalog, consisted of leaflet-style mailers and the newspaper-size Cleveland Model Engineering News which first came out in 1932 . The magazine format, Cleveland Modelmaking News & Practical Hobbies, was also begun with Vol. 1 No. 1 issued in December 1932. This was a fabulous magazine for the hobbyist; each issue carried full size plans for "C-D" ¾" scale airplanes, railroad and other projects along with three-views, articles and hobby features. A total of seven issues were published on a quarterly basis - a wonderful Cleveland collectible today. The 1932 announcement leaflet can be viewed by clicking here. Early catalogs and magazines are pictured below.

Cleveland catalogs and sheet inserts from 1930.

The Great Lakes Sport Trainer loose leaf catalog sheet from 1930 - eighty-five years old! This sheet is a terrific item to add to a Cleveland kit collectio. This particlar sheet (pictured) was double folded and three hole punched for inclusion in the Cleveland catalog. You can own this desirable Cleveland ephemera for only $6, shipping included.

Ad in July 1931 issue of "National Glider and Airplane News."

Cleveland Modelmaking News assortment.

The last issue dated 1934 with Hubbell painting of the Vought Corsair. This Vought V-65 painting was offered as a 4-color reproduction, free, with the order of two kits; offer good until September 1, 1934. This issue has 42 pages with color covers inside and out. A remarkable issue. The one pictured was bound with 16 double pages - perhaps because some of this last issue were lost in a fire at the publisher's facility which doomed the future of the magazine (see below). No. 7 came with detail plans for the Corsair V-65 (SF-41), flying model AX-32, the 1932 Tilbury-Fundy Flash, boat model BX-2 Pair Oar Racing Shell Without Coxswain, 3/8" scale JSF-3 1932 Lockheed Sirius Seaplane, automobile MX1Packard Phaeton, railway RTB-2 Union Pacific Streamlined Train, Model DY-1 Working Model of Civil War Field Gun, 1/8" scale historical model AT-56 1932 P.A.A. Consolidated Commodore, railway RTB4 The U.P. Streamlined Motor and Trucks, and project DX-1 A Royal Indian Elephant and Howdah. All of these full size plans with this one issue! What a bargain for 25 cents! Plus there are many three-views in the issue, including the DC-2.

The following is from a February 1934 Cleveland ad in Popular Aviation:

. . . and now a NEW, BIGGER, BETTER Cleveland Modelmaking News & Practical Hobbies! Beginning with Issue No. 7, the policy of the magazine is to be changed with only one thought in mind . . . BETTERMENT! BETTERMENT!! BETTERMENT!!! Therefore, in addition to other very valuable articles, there will be found a beautiful ¾" scale drawing of the Vought Corsair V-65, complete in every detail as are all Cleveland-Designed drawings. This drawing will, of course, be much larger than those contained within 4, 5 and 6. The ¾" scale Packard Phaeton (touring car) drawings are to be included as will be ¾" scale drawings for a "bread and butter" type, jigsaw cut, easily "carved" Elephant and Howdah. Numerous eighth scale airplane drawings will continue, and, since many requests have already been made for solid models of a slightly larger size, we will include a few to the 3/16" scale to see how they will be accepted. There will also be included articles on a brand new and unique scale model Railway system that even aeromodelists will crave, on boating, military equipment and on architectural modeling. Since some desire another scale for flying model aircraft, we will for the first time, since their invention in 1930, give drawings for one of our 3/8" scale flying models - Lindbergh's Lockheed Sirius. Many other varied and fascinating features to follow, which never become "stale." So, for the year 1934 there will be only 4 issues beginning with Issue No. 7 ending with Issue No. 10 (issue numbers will continue consecutively, volume only to change yearly) and published according to the seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.

CLEVELAND MODELMAKING NEWS & PRACTICAL HOBBIES - VOL. 1 NO. 2 For Sale: Issue Number two of the terrific Cleveland model magazine which features a full scale plan(s), articles, railcar plan, ship plan and more. The full size plan of the SF-29 Boeing F4B3 fighter and Monocoupe SF-28 also has a building plan for a 53' Auxiliary Centerboard Ketch and an advanced soaring glider in 3/8" scale, JSF-2. This plan carries the notation that it is a "Supplement" to the Vol 1 No 2 issue.

Also, in the magazine, 3-views are included for a Curtiss A-8, Sopwith Camel, P-6 Polish Fighter, and Wedell Williams 1932 Racer. This magazine is dated March-April 1933 and the original mailing envelope from "C.M.&S.Co." is included. The magazine and plan are in excellent condition. Note that this is an original magazine, not a copy. The plan is original - if you bought copies of the plans today, just the SF-29 and SF-28 would cost $18.00 for the two. A superb piece of modeling history, the magazine has numerous catalog descriptions for Cleveland kits of that era. This 1933 Cleveland item is available for $35.00.

Vol. 1, No. 1 First Issue. The first issue is dated January-February,1932. This issue has a full size plan for the 1932 Gee Bee SF-27; also on the large plan sheet back is SF-26 Heath Parasol LNB-4 plan and JSF-1 3/8" scale Primary Training Glider. This is the correct plan which states on the bottom that it is a "Supplement." Additional 1/8" scale airplane plans are included, a rail car, a 1/32" Santa Maria plan and more. This copy has no envelope; the spine has some separations and tears. Price of this original 1932 Cleveland magazine is only $SOLD. The cover is pictured below.

Vol.1, No. 6 Issue. The next to the last issue, No. 6, of the CLEVELAND MODELMAKING NEWS & PRACTICAL HOBBIES has a full size plan of the Aeronca C-3 included and 1/8" scale plans for other aircraft along with many features. This magazine is available for $25.00. The cover painting of a C-3 Aeronaca was painted by the famous artist, Charles Hubbell.


The early Cleveland kits, starting with the first SF-1, were packaged in red "hobby" tubes, primarily because they were cheaper for the fledgling company to use as compared to printed boxes. The tubes eventually were labeled with paste-on labels featuring a picture of the model and descriptive text along with a note on where to slit the tube. In order to see the contents, the tube's label had to be split which means that a never opened, intact kit is quite rare. The "hobby" tubes were used into 1932 when a new box design was introduced which had a silver background and twin royal blue or black stripes with an all-text label, quickly changed to a label which had a picture of the model incorporated. These box designs are shown in the Vintage Model Kits Annex 4 page on this website. These two box styles also featured a "security" label - the end label werapped around to the bottom so the lid could not be opened unless the label is cut. This style of "security" ended with the "All American" boxes. Cleveland product sheets for the SF-1 kits, along with some history, from the SF-1 to SF-1G kits, can be viewed on the Vintage Model Kits Annex page. It is of economic interest, that by August 1930, in the Junior Mechanics and Model Airplane News, as the Great Depression struck, Cleveland was advertising the Great Lakes Sport Trainer at a reduced price of $4.95 and that it could be purchased by monthly payments of $1.00 - imagine buying a kit with a $1.00 down payment! By 1933, the price of kit SF-1 was dropped to $1.95 as part of a price reduction on the entire Cleveland line - advertised as "deep cut prices."

The red "hobby" tube kits are a rare find for the Cleveland kit collector - these were made in much smaller numbers than the later boxed kits and are seldom seen offered for sale. These "genesis" kits are the time machine which gives us a glimpse of what started Cleveland kits on the road to their huge success in the 1930s and 1940s.

Also in 1930, Cleveland decided to come out with a line of "Class B" kits which they called "near scale." These were to be an intermediate step between the very early Cleveland stick kits and the 3/4" scale kits. The first of the "CB" kits was the Boeing Fighter, CB-1C. Advertised as having "no complicated parts to make" and "simple to construct." This line may have become the basis for the later "REP" (Representative-Duration)kits; the REP kits of the mid-1930s all had 20" wingspans (except for 28" Sikorsky Amphibian)and were priced at 50 to 75 cents. The REP kit designation was "R".

From Aviation's Great Recruiter:

In retrospect, 1932 was indeed a pivotal year for C-D's mercurial growth in so many ways that it had to be extremely challenging for its twenty-six-year-old president. Before the year was out, he would manage to keep abreast of the many milestones in new aircraft designs by announcing the JSF-1005 kit of the Boeing B-9, a radically revolutionary low-wing, twin engine bomber that, with its nearly 200 mph top speed, exceeded that of most of its escort pursuit comtemporaries.

Ed, never to shirk his dedication to authenticity, reproduced the multi-engine configuration by having the motive rubber power housed in the fuselage, with a pulley transmission to each nacelle. This power feature had never been offered by any other model manufacturer. His prior multiengine powered models, the FL-301 Cleveland Amphibion (sic), the FL-302 Cleveland Trimotor, and the FL-304 Commodore Flying Boat, had all utilized rubber-powered motor spars outboard of the fuselage.

Also in 1932, the earlier Cleveland Model Engineers News, a tabloid-style broadside, was expanded into a magazine format entitled Cleveland Modelmaking News & Pracitcal Hobbies. The first issue, Vol 1 No 1, came out in December 1932 with twenty-four pages and an advertisement was included for the new Boeing B-9 kit, JSF-1005, which I believe is the only scale kit made by Cleveland in the 3/8" scale - other 3/8" kits were profile (FL) models. The last issue of the Cleveland Modelmaking News & Practical Hobbies, No. 7, carried a full-size 3/8" scale plan for the Lockheed Sirious Seaplane which was numbered JSF-3 but I'm not aware of this being kitted - if you know of a kit, please let me know. The ad is shown below.

The B-9 kit had been first advertised in the June 1932 Universal Model Airplane News as seen below.

Also, the September 1932 issue of Universal Model Airplane News featured a B-9 on the cover along with an article and plan by Howard McEntee on "Building the Boeing Bomber" which incorporated the central fuselage rubber power with pulley transmission to the nacelles, the same as the Cleveland model - McEntee stated that, "This method of transmission is, in a way, experimental, and the model is rather a difficult piece of work, so only the more experienced builders can be absolutely sure of results, because quite a bit of experimenting may be necessary to get the transmission working." The Universal Model Airplane News B-9 plan had a 26" wingspan compared to 28 5/8" for the Cleveland model. Interesting that McEntee and Cleveland Model & Supply came out with a similar model - makes one wonder how "experimental" the Cleveland kit was! The cover and Cleveland ad are shown below.

The photos below show the Air Force Museum exhibit of Cleveland models.

Uncovered Curtiss F11-C2 - see kit below.

A single example of a "tubed" Cleveland kit is exhibited at the AMA Museum in Muncie, Indiana - see this exhibit at Vintage Model Kits Annex 4 page. I have several photos of a Cleveland exhibit when the AMA museum was in Reston, Virginia and there were three tubed kits at that time - a large tubed Lockheed Vega SF-24 (1931) and two profile kits, the Boeing Mailplane FL-108. Neither of these are in the current exhibit. The photos below show the AMA Museum kits in 1990/91 at Reston.

The following photos are of the 3/8" JSF-1005 Boeing B-9 Bomber kit of 1932. This model kit came out within about a year of the airplane's maiden flight on April 13, 1931. Note that these "hobby tube" kits did not have printwood - all formers, ribs, tips etc. were to be copied from the plan with carbon paper to supplied balsa sheets. Sorry, but I have not removed the contents for these photos as the rolled plan with parts is difficult to repack without damage to the plan as you can tell from the end shots of the contents - certainly careful packaging by Packard's superb crew.

Cleveland later sold the JSF-1005 Boeing B-9 kit in a cardboard box with top opening flaps sealed with gummed tape. Interestingly, Cleveland did not invest in new labels but used the sealed tube label on the box. The use of the box in place of the red tube strongly suggests that the tubed kit era lasted less than two years making the tube kits rather rare today.

The FL profile kits came in small diameter tubes as there was very little wood in the kit. An example of the simple FL-112 Curtiss Falcon kit with a 14 1/2" wingspan is shown below.

The Cleveland kit of the Curtiss JN4D, Model SF-4, came out in 1931. The plan is two-sided with details of all parts which had to be transferred to the included balsa sheet. A portion of this plan may be viewed and printed out by clicking here.

The hobby tube kits had two main flaws insofar as sales were concerned. The tubes were not dealer friendly as they couldn't be displayed easily and the requirement to transfer parts outlines to balsa sheets made building more difficult. Cleveland remedied both of these problems in 1933 by adding printwood to their kits and by packaging in lid boxes instead of tubes. The very first printwood kits (4) were advertised in March 1933 in a giant 2-page ad in Universal Model Airplane News as shown below. Subsequent kits, and reworked earlier kits, were thereafter equipped with printwood. The SF-1 kit became a redesigned SF-1G with printwood and easier construction.

The very earliest red tubes (mailing tubes, or "Sealed Hobby Container") had a label (seal) with no picture of the model and which bridged the gap or split in the tube. These labels, as shown below for the 1917 Rickenbacker SPAD-XIII (Fighter), had the following guarantee:

This container is guaranteed complete (as advertised) by the manufacturers only when these seals are not broken. Please do not ask salespeople to open it for your inspection unless you are purchasing it. Cee-Dee model kits have long ago, gained the reputation of being really complete quality kits and these factory seals - the builders assurance of completeness.

Later tube kits featured a picture label with instructions as to where to cut the label to open the tube. This particular kit may or may not be an anomaly. The label is for the SF-13 version which came out in the early 1930s; the original kit (SF-13) had no printwood, yet the kit in this tube is the 1934 version, SF-13-B, which features printwood. Did Cleveland use up the old tubes and labels when the "B" version came out? By 1934, the SF-13-B kit would have normally been packaged in the silver box. The two-sided S.P.A.D. XIII plan appears to be normally rolled as appropriate for the tube, but why this combination of an early tube and a printwood kit? Did someone repackage the kit? In any case, it's an historic kit, complete with several containers of "Cleveland Enamel-Dope." These bottles are unusual and possibly represent the earliest examples of Cleveland packaged dope - notice the diamond opening where you are to see the color (as if the clear backside was invisible!).

Photos of the SF-13-B kit are presented below; this S.P.A.D. XIII would make a very handsome kit - notice the gummed paper insignia and markings.


CLEVELAND SF-1G KIT - GREAT LAKES SPORT TRAINER - Unusual box, the "Gold Sealed Hobby Box. Cleveland kits presumably made the transition from the red "hobby tubes" to the various silver lid boxes around 1932/33 as printwood also became standard in the SF kits. However, there are exceptions as would be expected of this growing model airplane company fighting the Great Depression in 1933. The exceptions are probably small in quantity and escape mention in both the contemporary advertisements of the period and in modern articles of research published in books and magazines (and web). The Cleveland box pictured below has never been profiled or cataloged that I can find, even in Schreiner's book, Aviation's Greatest Recruiter… (reference page 119 of the book which doesn't show the "mailer" box either). Note that the box consists of a heavy cardboard surround with a sliding tray which can slide out either end.

The unusual gold label on this box states that this is a SF-1E kit, but in fact, the kit inside is the later 1933 version which was redesigned and includes printwood. The gold label is not one that was used on the red hobby tubes as it specifically states that it is the "Gold Sealed Hobby Box." Perhaps this "Hobby Box" is the very first container for the SF-1E kit before the "hobby tube" - it has been reported that Cleveland's first boxes proved to be too expensive so the tubes were used. However, the fact that the SF-1G kit from 1933 is in the box might suggest that some of these boxes were saved and used for the later model.

This was a very elaborate box with multi-boxed contents - but without any printed graphics, it probably was a less expensive alternative. It is of heavy construction and without any labeling on the ends , which, as with the tubes, was probably not to dealers liking for shelf visibility. As the box tray was fully slid out, the contents appeared as below.

The contents of each box are pictured below. Note that the larger sticks have the Cleveland "Diamond C" logo printed on them. Numerous small parts were included. The ribs in the envelope are a mystery since all of the printwood ribs are included and these cutout ribs are devoid of any evidence of printing. White covering tissue was provided.

This must have been an interim use box at some point in the 1930s and the SF-1E label would suggest that it was the early 1930s. It is a very significant package, perhaps used during the period of changeover from the "hobby tubes" to the silver boxes, or maybe used prior to the tubes. If you can provide any further information, please contact CollectAir.

Cleveland Great Lakes Trainer built by Marc Knoll. Courtesy of Marc Knoll, 2009.

The 1933 version of SF-1G also appeared in the "All American" silver box which came out around 1935. Oddly, the title block on the SF-1G notes that it is a "1/4" inch scale, not the usual 3/4 inch - a minor error I guess. Some of the silver box kits did not contain liquids and were advertised as "dry" in 1937 so the desirable "All American" box kits can be found with or without liquids. An example of SF-1G in the "All American" box without liquids is presented below.

The April-May 1930 issue of Aero News and Mechanics has a write-up on the Great Lakes Sport Trainer. To view this page from the magazine, click here. Use the back arrow to return.

Cleveland sent out a sales brochure for a 1933 MidSummer Clearance Sale. It was noted that the items listed for sale "are in conformity to NRA rules since we are closing out and discontinuing all the articles listed." Keep in mind that this was at the height of the Great Depression. As shown above in the round tube, all of the "FL" profile kits were discontinued along with the JSF1005 Boeing Bomber 3/8" scale, also shown above in the round tube. This brochure confirms that none of the FL kits, or the Boeing Bomber, appeared in anything but the round tubes (with the exception of the JSF-1005 in a cardboard box shown above - an anomoly), as they were all summarily dropped from production, probably well before the summer of 1933. Also, the excellent 8 1/2" x 11" three-view drawings were being closed out for many of the aircraft types, each "D-SE" drawing being sold for 2-cents! Also being closed out were the early kits (presume the ones without printwood) of SF1, SF2, SF6, SF7, SF8, SF13 and SF15 - you cound buy a $4.00 kit for $1.50. The brochure also touted the coming 3/4" scale model of the Boeing 247 which was to be out by August 19, 1933. The balance of the 1933 sales sheet, showing all of the discontinued "tubed" kits, may be viewed by clicking here.

CLEVELAND QUICK TO COMMIT NEW DESIGNS TO KIT FORM. Cleveland Models was noted for coming out with kits soon after prototype aircraft designs were revealed. Note the Boeing B-9 mentioned earlier. One of the best examples of a kit following a real aircraft roll-out is the Boeing P-26.

Boeing first revealed the Boeing Model 248, the XP-936, c/n 1678, on March 17, 1932. The three Model 248s were Boeing owned while being tested by the Army. The Army acquired the three aircraft in June of 1932 and the designation was eventually changed to P-26. The Army ordered the P-26A in January 1933 and the first P-26A was delivered to the Army in December of the same year.

Boeing XP-936 on roll-out.

Cleveland went to work and came out with a ¾" scale kit of the Boeing XP-936 with a design date of 1932. The original title block of the drawing for SF-23 calls the aircraft a "Boeing Experimental Pursuit" with "Prototype on Trials Reported Traveling over 225 MPH." The rudder marking on the plan shows "XP936 BOEING." The designation of P-26 does not appear on the plan. Note in the plan sideview shown below that the headrest is significantly lower than was used on the P-26A and that the wheel fairings had a pointed aft section which were eliminated on the production versions. Since the Army used the P-26 designation for the three test ships during the latter half of 1932, it would appear that the drawing was made soon after roll-out. Once the kit was released, however, the advertising and the box copy stated that it was a P-26, "formerly known as the Boeing XP936." As noted elsewhere on this site, the P-26 kit SF-23 was one of the first four Cleveland kits to have printwood, as advertised in 1932. The SF-23 kit was in production for a number of years, even after the 1937 P-26A version was issued, Kit No. SF-60.

Title block of SF-23 dated 1932.

Compare the 1932 Boeing XP-936 plan and the 1937 P-26A plan sideviews below. Note that the structure was changed on the newer version with different placement of formers etc.

The early silver box with blue stripes and a picture label is shown below for the SF-23 kit; note that "P-26" designation is used.

The label on the box, above, states that this is a "Sealed Hobby Container." These silver box labels, in some cases, were the same labels that had been previously used for the early kit hobby tubes. For example, the "De Haviland-4 Battleplane," kit SF-3, packaged in a silver box with blue stripes, has a label which reads, "This Sealed Hobby Tube Contains One Complete 3/4" Scale" although the end, wrap-around label is obviously printed for a lid box and it states, "This Sealed Hobby Container..." Cleveland made good use of existing material.

Note in the Cleveland ad shown below, from the January/February 1933 issue of Cleveland Modelmaking News, that the P-26 designation is used.

The 1937 Cleveland catalog shows the new P-26A kit, SF-60, which is dated 1937 - the advertising still shows the earlier P-26 Kit SF-23 also. Leftover production?



The above catalog item is from the Cleveland 1936-1937 catalog. I have not seen a Cleveland 1/4" scale solid model kit - have you? If you have one, I would appreciate it if you would send a photo to be used here. I suspect that the solid kits being sold were not Cleveland kits at all, since it is stated in the ad above that they are "Not C-D's."

The full line of Cleveland Dwarf kits, as shown in the "Cleveland Modelmakers Hobby Catalog No. 1" dated 1936-1937, can be viewed as catalog pages by clicking here.

From Vol.1, No.4 "Cleveland Modelmaking News & Practical Hobbies" magazine of 1933.

In May, 1934, Cleveland, in its newspaper-size Cleveland Model Engineers News, announced that custom built models are available of their ¾" SF kits. Built by "master model craftsmen," the exhibition models were offered along with the standard kits. As an example, an exhibition model of the complicated Boeing 247, Kit SF-35, could be purchased for only $110.00. Sound cheap? Well, $110 in 1934 is equivalent to $1769.85 today! Even kits such as the Mystery Ship ran over $500 (today's equivalent price) for an exhibition model.

The Peerless Model Airplane Company began business in Cleveland's backyard, the suburb of Lakewood. The story is that a Cleveland C-D draftsman went to work for Peerless and developed a style of scale kit based on the Cleveland SF series. To check this out, I've compared the Peerless Curtiss Army Hawk P6-E kit , VC7, in ½" scale to the Cleveland 1933 U.S. Army Hawk P6-E Pursuit kit, SF-21B kit (dated 1934 - the original Cleveland SF-21 came out in 1932/33). The Peerless kit is dated 1934 which would have allowed Peerless to "copy" the earlier Cleveland kit, if desired. The design of the Peerless kit, though, is clearly different than the Cleveland kit, even though Peerless did adopt a similar style of construction - even the Ideal Super Detailed kits and others, including Miniature Aircraft and Wanner, had similar styles of construction. I understand that Cleveland's Ed Packard felt that Peerless had infringed on Cleveland's C-D concept. Nevertheless, Peerless was bought out by Cleveland in May 1942 and many of the Peerless designs and plans were offered by Cleveland in their catalogs. Peerless limited their advertising to small ads in Universal Model Airplane News in the early 1930s. Peerless kits are quite nice and make excellent collectible model items.

As mentioned previously, Cleveland used several kit box designs before alighting on the superb "All American Carton" silver box which came out around 1935. This attractive silver design was used up to 1941 when cost considerations caused a redesign to the larger picture box used during WW2 and into the later 1940s which is the most seen box style today. The silver boxed kits, from 1935 up to 1941, are the most appealing, with compact packaging of kit parts and liquids contained in a red tube in some kits (Cleveland couldn't get away from the red tube!). Some examples of the silver box kits are shown here, beginning with the SF-21, Curtiss P-6E Hawk Pursuit. It has been reported that this was Ed Packard's favorite. Many years ago, I sent Ed Packard a note, along with a photo of this kit, requesting the date of issue. I have his return note which says, "Would you dare to trade for several Plans? - Packard" - his company ink stamp on the note states "Edward T. Packard - Aviation's Best Friend." The silver box kits, as with the hobby tubes, are not commonly seen for sale. This P-6E kit has several paint bottles; the two larger bottles in the tube are still liquid! The smaller glass tubes with cork stoppers are, of course, dry. The printwood and stringers, enclosed in the covering "silkspan", have never been unwrapped.

These "All American Cartons" continued the Cleveland practice of sealing the container with a label - the end label wrapped around to the bottom of the box so that the contents could not be viewed without breaking the seal.

The "All American Cartons" were also used for the larger, twin-engine "D" dwarf kits in 1/2" scale which first came out in 1935. Although the single engine kits came in several different, small end-tab style boxes, at least some of the twins were packaged in the same silver box as the 3/4" SF kits. Two examples of twins are shown below - the D-55 "Douglas Transport DC-2" (1934) and the D-45 "Martin Bomber" (B-10) (1934).

Above photos of Cleveland dwarf kit D-55, Douglas Transport DC-2.

And the Cleveland dwarf kit D-45, the Martin Bomber (B-10).

Dope still liquid!

The Cleveland Dwarf line of kits was introduced during 1935 which added to the existing line of 3/4" scale kits which numbered around fifty. The August 1935 issue of Model Airplane News carried three full pages of Cleveland ads including the back cover; the centerspread was devoted to the Dwarf line of kits. Click on the MAN cover pictured below for a look at the expensive back cover ad.

The 1933 Boeing 247 was featured as the first of the really large C-D model kits with a 55-inch wingspan in the 3/4" scale. This huge kit, SF-35, was advertised in several aviation publications in October 1933. The Universal Model Airplane News carried an impressive Cleveland ad on page 1 which can be viewed by clicking here. Note also in this ad that four more "new" kits (2 redesigned old ones) have "printed-out wood in them" - the Lincoln Sport, Buhl Bull-Pup, 1931 Gee Bee and the Howard SF-18. The kit was so large that it was shipped in a 40-inch wood box. The 1934 kit of the Martin B-10 was also in 3/4" scale, measuring 53-inches with a kit weight of 10 pounds - it was first advertised in October 1934 in MAN. The dwarf version in 1/2" scale is shown above. A truly giant model of 78-inch wingspan, the Stinson Reliant, kit GP-66, came out in 1937 in 2" scale (see British offering of this kit below). Following WW2, Cleveland manufactured several large 3/4" scale kits, including the B-17, SF-100, and the Douglas DC-3, SF-165. Probably the largest scale model designed by Cleveland was the Martin M-130 with an 8-foot wingspan. A completed M-130 model, C-D 300, was used by Cleveland for displays in 1937; this model had at one time hung in the Lorain Avenue hobby shop of Cleveland's. Later, in the 1980s, this model was rebuilt with aluminum covering by Dan Scherry and, for a time, was displayed at the Treasure Island Navy/Pan American Museum near San Francisco. This model is so unique that a large resolution photo is attached for your viewing; you can return with the back-arrow after checking this Martin M-130 out; click on the photo to enlarge it. The Treasure Island museum closed down many years ago and I believe that this model is now displayed at the San Francisco International Airport's museum.

The Premier Aeromodel Supplies catalog of 1939, from the U.K., advertised "Kits of distinction." With a shop located near London, the Premier catalog has a detailed map of directions complete with tube stations, railway and bus routes. A kit for the winning 1938 Wakefield design by Bob Copland, the G.B. 3, is offered on page 7 (see page below) and Copland offers some modeling advice on page 8. A number of rubber-powered kits designed by Bob Copland and C.A. Rippon, Technical Advisor, are featured, ranging from simple to scale.

Of particular interest to U.S. modelers, this catalog features some of the Cleveland scale models and suggests that the modeler send for a C-D price list. It is rather rare to see the Cleveland kits show up in a British pre-war catalog. The Cleveland Stinson Reliant, GP-66, and the Rearwin Speedster, GP-69, both gas powered free flight models, are pictured in the catalog, as shown below. Also pictured in the catalog are the Gold Seal Ohlsson, 9 c.c., and the Ohlsson "23", but no other gas or diesel engines of European design - rather interesting!

The Premier hobby shop, run by Mr. F.R. Barnard, must have had some kind of tie-in with Cleveland Model Supply and Ohlsson. If any of the U.K. modelers can shed a light on this subject, please contact CollectAir.

The F11C-2 Goshawk which was featured uncovered in the Air Force Museum exhibit, was kit No. SF-49 - the model displayed was the XF11C-2 version; a plan supplement for an export version accompanied later kits by 1936. The 1936 version of the silver box kit is shown below.

Plan for the center section of the XF11C-2 as displayed at the Air Force Museum.

Plan from contemporary magazine.


Cleveland introduced the "REP" line of kits in March 1936. The REP line were simple kits featuring a 20-inch wingspan and a sales price of only 50 to 95 cents - these kits satisfied the market for easier to build, lighter and cheaper, flying "scale" kits. Good value, the kits were packaged in flap boxes which had somewhat similar graphics as the "All-American" kits. The 1937 Cleveland Hobby Catalog had a two page spread devoted to the C-D "REPS"; you can view these pages by clicking here. Use the back arrow to return to this page.

The kit number R-59 shown below is dated 1936 and is titled, "Hawker Low Wing Merlin-Powered Fighter" - the kit was later called a "Hurricane" but the title block was never changed. The box is the first REP box with pictures and names of all the REP line at the time. The kit design is competitive with other flying scale, low price models of the era, though not up to the scale quality of the Dwarf or 3/4" S-F kits.

By 1942, Cleveland was pricing the REP kits at only 25 cents and had changed the box graphics. A typical later REP kit box is shown below along with the smaller, earlier style. I'll leave it to you to figure out what "fighter" is depicted on the box. The particular graphics would suggest that this box design is from around 1941. It would appear that the REP kits were slowly phased out by the end of the war. The REP kits must have been produced in large numbers, yet they are scarce today; the lower price kits were throwaways while the more expensive SF kits, in their large boxes, were less likely to get pitched. The old dime-scale kits, of all manufacturers, are hard to find now, but they had to have been made in huge quantities at the time.

REP kit Number R-X5001, The Cleveland Amphbion, with a 28" span, is ". . .designed along Sikorsky lines. . ." according to the plan. Details of this 1936 REP kit plan are shown below.

The 1937 REP kit number R-70 of Maj. Al William's Grumman Gulf Hawk is a particularly nice flying scale kit; even though it was at the low end of Cleveland's kit range, it is competitive with the Gulf Hawk kits of Megow and others of the period. This kit came in the early style box.


The two REP kit boxes pictured above are the only graphic printed REP boxes that I've encountered. However, Cleveland also used a plain brown box for postal shipping of the REP kits. The ad below is a portion of the Cleveland ad appearing in the August 1938 issue of Model Airplane News. Note that the shipment is "post free."

This "Hi-Speed Fairy(sp) Battle" kit was shipped on June 21, 1938 in the plain Cleveland postal box, free of any graphics. Note in the pictures below that the postage was 10 cents, netting Cleveland 55 cents for this kit.


From Cleveland's Model Airplane Catalog #39 for 1942.

The era of the "All American Carton" extended into 1941 as the first of the SF kits came out in the large picture box although some of those first kits were also packaged in silver boxes. For the vintage kit collector, the silver box defines a time frame, from 1935 to the eve of WW2 for America; this period of gathering war clouds and tough economic times was also an active period for young model builders who thrived on the wonderful kits from Cleveland Model & Supply.

The P-6E kit in the silver box was followed by a P-6E, Kit No. SF-21, in the large picture box which came out around 1942. This kit is pictured below.

A two-page Cleveland sales flyer from the World War II period (around 1944-45) can be viewed and printed out by clicking here. Note the complete emphasis on WWII airplanes.

The first two light planes to be issued as Cleveland kits after WW2 were the Culver "V" and the Globe Swift, both dated 1946. The Swift kit, IT-96, had a wing span of 30" and is a very nice kit. The box type is shown below.

The Cleveland designation of "SF" was dropped from their advertising following WW2, around 1947-48 or so; the "SF" designation was clearly used in their large, 2-page ad in the August, 1946 issue of MAN. A full-page Cleveland ad from the February 1948 issue of Model Airplane News can be viewed by by clicking here. Note that the scale kits are called "MFM" or Master Flying Models and carry no kit number. The large picture box, used throughout WW2, was continued after the war for at least several years. The 1947 Sea Bee, for example, was issued in the attractive picture box. I suspect that Cleveland used their supply of boxes and kits until exhausted, thereby making statements about exact dates when certain box types emerged a difficult exercise prone to error.

The "SF" kits were reissued, and some plans redrawn or new title blocks added, by 1949. One of these kits is shown on a previous page. By the mid 1950s, a P-6E kit was issued with the designation of SF-21-B, again in the "mailer box." Oddly, this kit retains the original SF-21 plan with the original 1934 copyright date, not the 1949 redrawn title box. This 1950s kit used the 1949 printwood. Details of this "last" version are shown below. It merely adds to the confusing kit designations used by Cleveland Models over the many years of business. Oddly, Cleveland's full page advertisement in the April 1950 issue of Air Trails promotes "...This Grand Old-Timer P6-E" but doesn't use any kit number - the rest of the ad shows numerous models, none with any kit number designation, only the type and price. You can view this Cleveland ad from the 1950s by clicking here; some really nice drawings of the Hawk.

This kit is offered for sale, as listed below in the 1955-56 catalog.


Nice 3-view of P-6E from 1967 American Modeler cover.

By 1949, many kit manufacturers were coming out with die-cut, inexpensive airplane kits. Cleveland kits, including the late 1940s "IT" kits, required the modeler to carefully cutout parts from printwood; in addition, the Cleveland kits, even the least expensive, were priced higher than the new die-cut offerings from competitors. To counter this trend, Cleveland launched the "E-Z" series in 1949; these kits had 20" wingspans and all die-cut parts (die-crushed would be more like it!) and were priced at 50 cents. Nicely scaled, these kits required standard stick-and-tissue building, but with the pre-cut parts. The Cleveland ad of August 1950 touted the "Half-Dollar Die-Cut 'E-Z' Kits" along with their higher priced lines. The March 1951 ad mixed all of their line without regard to kit numbers, just price, including the 50-cent kits. By mid-1951, Cleveland reduced advertising for their 50-cent E-Z line and came out with new, higher priced, easy to build kit lines: the "Simplex" at $1.00 and the "Quicky" kits priced at $.59. The Quicky line were junky little slab sided kits, not even close to the quality of the E-Z kits, but obviously aimed at the beginner. The Simplex line were so-called "flying" models (initially all jet fighters) with die-cut and interlocking parts. The May 1953 advertising touted the Simplex kits (now 9 kits), the IT kit fighters at $1.50 and the $.59 Quicky kits (7 kits); the higher priced Cleveland kits were not being pitched. The December 1954 Air Trails Hobbies For Young Men had no Cleveland ad whatsoever. The August 1955 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men had no Cleveland ad yet the flyer advertising the new, "revived" SF kits was in the mail. Some advertising for the "revised" SF line was run in Model Airplane News (see ad in Kit Annex 4) and the significant 1955-56 catalog was coming out (see below).

An early 1953 dealer's sell sheet for the "cheap" Cleveland kits is exhibited below. Note that by 1953 the E-Z line was still available but at a reduced price of 29 cents and the line is touted as being "Designed for 6-12 Yr. age group;" also, new models were added to the E-Z line and others removed, such as the Cessna 120 shown below. The "Quicky" kits, at 59 cents, are mentioned as being "Designed for 6-14 Yr. age group," and the "Simplex" being "Designed for 10-16 Yr. age group." It is obvious that Cleveland was pitching dealers to the very young market for easy to construct kits. Something must of gotten Cleveland's attention at this juncture (sales?) because by 1955 Cleveland was again advertising the C-D line of elegant kits.

1953 Cleveland Dealer's Sell Sheet.

An excellent example of the "E-Z" kit line is shown here, the Cessna 120 (an airplane in which I've logged many hours). These E-Z kits had a rather short production life.


Cleveland display at the AMA Museum in Reston, VA, 1991. CollectAir photo.

Close-up of Ed Packard's photo in display; autographed photo given to Herm Schreiner, Packard's biographer. What a stern look!


The May 1992 issue of the AMA's magazine, Model Aviation, carried an article on E.T. Packard and what remained at that time of the Cleveland Model and Supply Company in Cleveland on Detroit Avenue. You can view this article by clicking here. Return to this page with the back arrow.



CLEVELAND MODEL RAILROAD KITS. Model railroad plans were featured in the Cleveland Modelmaking News & Practical Hobbies magazine and the earlier Cleveland Model Engineers News. I'm not certain when Cleveland first included a model railroad section in their catalog, but the first 1937 catalog has a rather large section devoted to model railroad equipment plus an interesting announcement concerning C-D railroads. The rail section in the '37 catalog consists of rather expensive, cast metal locomotives, parts, freight cars and passenger cars in O Gage (1/4" scale) - these items were not manufactured by Cleveland but were, in fact, made by Scale-Craft, Monarch, Auel and Southern Pacific Hobby Kits. Items such as locomotives were offered in kit form and in complete, ready to run condition. As an example of price, a Southern Pacific Mountain Type Locomotive (4-8-2) cost $150 for the ready to run model - quite a bit of change in 1937! The "O" gage track measured 1 ¼".

The 1937 rail section also offered the "OO" gage using ¾" track (cars were scaled to 4mm equals 1 foot) - the cars and locomotives came in kit form only and were made by Nason. "HO" gage (3.5 mm equals 1 foot with .65" track) parts and H. Owen car body kits were also included along with track and locomotive mechanisms and a Reading 0-4-0 Camelback Switcher as a metal kit; parts by Varney were also included in the catalog. None of these were made by Cleveland.

The following announcement appeared in the 1937 catalog rail section:

C-D's Railroad Announcement! Watch for it! It will be more or less revolutionary in the U.S. model railroad field. This announcement will appear among many other things in our 1937 catalog supplement, only 5¢. We're sure you'll like it.

The "new" Cleveland rail kits came out in 3/16" scale with a "C-D Gage" of 7/8" track; modern "S" scale is 3/16" scale with a track size of .883 in. Cleveland noted that the Gilbert Co. also manufactured 3/16" scale equipment but at that time was running on "O" track. Cleveland made three locomotive kits in what they called "representative" or "REP" type - the kits first appeared on May 25, 1937. The loco kits were made of balsawood and were not engineered for anything but display or, in Cleveland's parlance, "atmosphere." The three locos were: PRR Switcher 0-6-0 and tender, C&O Pacific 4-6-2 and tender, and the Hiawatha 4-4-2 and tender. These kits were priced at only 50 cents. The Penn. 0-6-0 Switching Locomotive kit is pictured below - it is listed in the title block and on the printwood as kit "RL-1." Note all the intricate parts that are to be fashioned from chunks of balsa; it would take a mighty good modeler to complete this kit to a high quality standard. The box car kits and other rail cars could be purchased for only 10 cents! However, Cleveland did offer a deluxe kit for freight cars which had no balsa and had metal rail trucks for use on track; the deluxe kit cost $1.25. Apparently all the rail material died out with WW2.

The Pennsylvania RR 0-6-0 Switching Locomotive Kit RL-1.

Shown below is a ten-cent kit number RT-1 of the Texaco TCX (White) 8,000 Gal Tank Car in 3/16" scale; the plan is dated 1937. The box is similar to one of the Dwarf series boxes but is shorter in length - only 9 ¼ inches. The rail kits disappeared from the Cleveland line following WW2.

A full scale plan may be viewed and printed by clicking here. Click once on the image to expand it to full size. Use the back arrow to return to this page.

Would you believe a Cleveland "Interplanetary Saucer?" If you would like to see Cleveland's 1951 saucer, click here.

Many model kit manufacturers were coming out with prefab parts in the 1950s - Monogram and their Speedee Bilts for example. Apparently Cleveland attempted to break into that prefab market with a competitive product. The advertisement below is from the July 1951 issue of Air Trails. The Boeing P-26A, SGP-60, is in 1" scale. Note that the Great Lakes Trainer, SGP-1, a U-control model, is offered for sale on this page below.

See the offering below of all the Cleveland "SF" kits from the 1955-56 catalog - unprecedented in the vintage kit field.








CLEVELAND "SF" KITS FROM THE 1955-56 CATALOG

Would you like to turn the clock back over 50 years and order Cleveland "SF" 3/4" scale kits right out of the catalog? Ok boys and girls, pick up the Cleveland catalog below and let's peruse the wonderful offerings in the Cleveland wishbook of 1955-56. Prior to this catalog, Cleveland sent out a mimeographed flyer offering some "revived" SF kits, "At Last." Check out this August 1955 flyer by clicking here. One month later, September 1955, Cleveland expanded the list of "Revived" kits with a new flyer which you can view by clicking here. This second listing in September is in line with the 1955-56 catalog which must have been issued after, or about the same time, as the September flyer.

As shown on the Kit Annex 4 page, Cleveland advertising in 1955 made note that they were again making a limited run of some of the "SF" kits, "Specially made in small lots." These kits were packaged in the cardboard "mailer" boxes and were all "dry" with no liquids. Otherwise the kits were as original with all-balsa, original plan except where later modified, and contents are complete.

Subject to prior sale, most all of the "SF" kits shown below on pages 4 through 10 of the 1955-56 catalog are now available from CollectAir. These vintage kits are complete. The mailer boxes vary in quality, some with stains and shelf aging. The plans are in generally good condition, some with acid yellowing in the areas touching the wood contents - this is pretty common for vintage kits.

The descriptions in the catalog are accurate for the kits being offered - however, the price may be somewhat higher than listed in the catalog! Today's collector prices are given following the catalog pages.

As seen on the back cover of the 1955-56 catalog:

"Kits are complete except for cement, dopes and rubberbands. These kits are for those modelers who like to assemble 'em completely themselves and are being manufactured in VERY LIMITED quantities. Upon their sales will depend whether or not we will continue to make these or any additional "Ol' Timer" Custom kits. YOU MAY NEVER AGAIN BE ABLE TO GET THEM! Oder your favorites today while they last."

PRICE LISTING

SF-2D '29 Travel Air Mystery Ship T.T. Racer "R" 21-3/4" $175

The Travel Air Mystery Ship is one of Cleveland's first SF kits, originally coming out as SF-2C right after the Great Lakes Sport Trainer SF-1E. A catalog page for SF-2C which was included with the Cleveland 1930-31 price sheet in the Cleveland Model Engineers Notebook - Catalog, can be viewed as a PDF file by clicking here.

A photo of a beautiful Travel Air Mystery Ship built from a Cleveland kit by Marc Knoll. The model is finished in the color scheme as pictured on the Cleveland catalog page.

Cleveland Nieuport 28, Kit SF-30, also built by Marc Knoll.

SF-3 '17 DeHavilland 4 W.W. I Biplane 31-7/8" $195
SF-4 '17 Curtiss JN4-D W.W. I Biplane 32-3/8" $185
SF-7-B '30 Navy Curtiss "Helldiver" Biplane 23-7/8" $225
SF-13 (M-13) '17 S.P.A.D. XIII W.W. I Fighter 19" $SORRY SOLD
SF-17-B '31 Lowell Bayles "GeeBee" T.T. Racer 17-3/4" $SOLD
SF-18-B Howard's "Pete" No. 37 Racer 15" $175
SF-19 '31 Br. Supermarine S6-B Seaplane Racer 23-1/2" $235

Model of S6B in Smithsonian, believed to be a Cleveland.

Click the Schneider Trophy Races link below for current information.

A delightful profile of the S6B can be viewed by clicking here. This link updated May 2010.

SF-21-B Army Curtiss "Hawk" P6-E Biplane 23-5/8" $215
SF-34 '18 Fokker D8 "Flying Razor" Fighter 20-3/4" SOLD
SF-37 '33 Waco "C" Cabin Biplane 24-3/4" $195
SF-41 Navy Vought V-65 Corsair Biplane 26-7/8" $SOLD
SF-43 '31 Douglas O-38 Observation Biplane 30" $225
SF-44 Page's Navy Curtiss High-wing Racer 23-5/8" XF6C-6 $195
SF-46 '30 Laird "Solution" T.T. Racer 15-7/8" SOLD

Cleveland's SF-5, the Laird Super Solution that Jimmy Doolittle flew, was not reissued in this series as it was basically the same as kit SF-46. Kit SF-5 came out in 1934; a fine example of the Super Solution from kit SF-5 is pictured below as constructed by Cleveland fan Marc Knoll. I particularly like the fact that Marc used the Clevland supplied hub and blades for the prop. Marc remarked that "this was one tough job."

Laird Super Solution from Kit SF-5 built by Marc Knoll.

SF-47 '33 Wedell's Wedell-Wms T.T. Racer 19-1/2" #44 $SOLD

Jimmy Wedell

SF-48 '34 Turners Wedell-Wms T.T. Racer #57 $185
SF-49 '32 Curtiss F11C-2 "Goshawk" Biplane 23-5/8" $SOLD
SF-52 (M-52)'35 "Mr. Mulligan" 23-1/2" $175
SF-60 Army Boeing P26-A Low-wing Fighter 21" $SOLD
SF-63 '36 French Caudron T.T. Racer C-460 16-5/8" $SOLD

Cleveland Caudron C-460 built by Marc Knoll - 2011.

SF-71 '37 King's Folkerts "Special" T.T. Racer 12" $175
SF-72 '38 or '39 Turner's "Pesco Special" 18-3/4" $SOLD

SF-73 British Supermarine Spitfire 27-5/8" $SOLD
SF-74 German Messerschmitt ME-109 Fighter 24-1/2" $SOLD
SF-77 Curtiss P40 "Warhawk" Fighter 28-1/8" SOLD
SF-79 Navy Vought F4U "Corsair" 30-3/16" XF4U-1 SOLD

Photos are shown below of this outstanding kit.

From 1943 calalog No. 40, long before the 1955 reissue.


SF-81 P47 "Thunderbolt" Fighter 30-3/4" SOLD
SF-85 P38 Twin-Engine Lockheed "Lightning" 38-3/4" SOLD
SF-86 Jap Mitsubishi "Zero" Fighter 29-3/4" $195

From wartime ad in "Air Trails" magazine.

SF-88 (M-88) Republic "Seabee" Amphibion 28" 1948 SOLD
SF-90 (M-90) Lockheed Jet F-80 "Shooting Star" 29-1/4" $195
SF-95 Lockheed "Hudson" Light Bomber 49-3/8" SOLD
SF-97 Navy Grumman F6F "Hellcat" Fighter 31-3/4" $195
SF-100 Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" Bomber 72" SOLD
SF-105 Br. Twin-Engine Westland "Whirlwind" 33-3/4" $310
SF-108 (M-108) Beechcraft "Bonanza" 25-1/4" $185
SF-115 Douglas A-20 "Havoc" 46" $SOLD
SF-125 N.A. B-25 "Mitchell" Twin-Engine Bomber 55" SOLD
SF-135 Martin B26 "Marauder" Bomber 48-3/4" SOLD
SF-145 Br. D.H. Twin-Engine "Mosquito" Bomber 40-3/4" $SORRY SOLD
SF-155 Nor. P61 "Black Widow" Night Fighter 49-1/2" SORRY SOLD
SF-165 Douglas DC-3 or C-47 Transport 70-3/4" $600

All of the above kits are listed in the 1955-56 catalog. The additional kits listed below were not in production at that time .

SF-9 '17 Br. Fighter SE-5 20" $175
SF-14 Fokker Triplane 18" $175
SF-29 F4B3 22" $SOLD

Cleveland M-88 Republic Seabee ad from March 1947 MAN. Kit listed above (sold).

The photo above shows the Cleveland Curtiss R3C-1 Racer as constructed by Cleveland enthusiast and master builder, Marc Knoll. This plan is CD150 which was never kitted. Many later CD plans were drawn by volunteers such as the prolific Bob Thompson who probably drew this plan. The plan was illustrated by the artist, J. Kenneth Sniffen who provided many illustrations for Cleveland in the post 1967 era. The R3C-1 illustrations shown are taken from a copystand photo made by Ken. Ken Sniffen died in 2004 and a discussion of his endeavors can be read, starting on page 249, of the superb book, Aviation's Great Recruiter.




CLEVELAND GREAT LAKES TRAINER KIT SGP-1 FROM THE 1955-56 CATALOG

A prefabricated (to some extent) stunt-sport kit in 1" scale for U-control. This is a rather rare kit which you can own for $215.00. The catalog entry shown below is from the Cleveland 1955-56 catalog. The kit was introduced in 1951, probably with the red box mentioned below.

This SGP-1 kit also was issued in a solid red, lid-type box with the label printed in two-color and with minor changes in text. It is not known whether the red box preceeded or followed the "mailer box," but it is more attractive with "shelf appeal" for the hobby shop market. The label on this red box differs from the mailer box label in that the company name is printed as Cleveland Model Products instead of Cleveland Model & Supply - perhaps no significance in that Cleveland Model & Supply was a "Division" of Cleveland Model Products. The kit contents and plan are the same. This kit is also available for Sorry Sold.

The paragraph below is from the July 1951 issue of Air Trails.




CLEVELAND 76" LUSCOMBE SEDAN FROM THE 1955-56 CATALOG

The giant Luscombe Sedan in 2" scale came out in 1949. It was one of the featured kits on the back page of the Cleveland 1949 catalog, "Cleveland Models for '49" as shown below.

Note that the 1949 version was initially advertised as kit number GP-106, priced at $7.50. The 76" wingspan Luscombe Sedan was also featured in the 1955-56 Cleveland catalog, but was listed as kit number GP112, priced at $9.95. The 1955-56 catalog listing is shown below. The Sedan kit is being offered for sale here for $395.00 - note that it is actually the 1949 kit GP-112 with a price of $7.50 printed on the box label. The kit plan is dated 1949 and marked as GP-112 and the printwood is also marked GP-112. Perhaps the GP-106 number was for early advertising only. The kit is in excellent condition and is complete. As far as I know, there is no difference between the two kits with the exception of the number.




From "Up Currents," 1947.






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