Giant Stunning Stearman

Sep 24, 2013 19 Comments by


Pedro Sanchez is a master scale modeler and a member of the Georgia Model Aviators in Ballground. He has many large scale models in his hanger and prides himself with absolute detail on his models.  His latest, as seen here, is a Balsa USA Stearman. Pedro is relentless when it comes to detail and realism.  He spends hours looking at pictures and full size airplanes so he can impart that detail on his model.  Along with this he has developed the skills to make things not usually seen on models that are on a full size airplane.  Some of the details are very difficult to replicate, especially with the materials available.  Pedro is quick to point this out when showing off his models.  A couple of the most difficult things to do on the Stearman, according to Pedro, were modifying the ailerons and mounting the engine behind the firewall.  The ailerons, as shown on the plans, were not scale and had to be reconfigured.  Even the hinging had to be redesigned to accommodate this change.  To maintain the scale look the engine had to be mounted behind the firewall, bringing the cylinder heads closer to it.  This presented all kinds of problems with the exhaust collector ring and engine mounting.







The 30% Balsa USA Stearman is a very large biplane with a top wing spanning 116 inches.  The flying weight, depending on how you build it, is from 40 -50 lbs.  Pedro’s came out at 55 pounds ready to fly. His Stearman is covered with Stitts cloth and painted with automotive paint and features rib stitching along with many other scale detail and features. The unusual scale paint and trim was taken from a Stearman based in the UK. The kit is a real box of sticks, like most Balsa USA kits, and is quite expensive.  Pedro spent 3 months building the Stearman, usually nights and weekends, and when he had extra time. — TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JERRY SMITH

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19 Responses to “Giant Stunning Stearman”

  1. Terry B says:

    AMAzing! Great job and so much detail it is hard to tell it is not the full size plane.. thanks for sharing!

  2. Julian Begg (@JulianBarysha) says:

    Labor of love, without any doubt. Well done :-)

  3. Mike Schaefer says:

    This is a scale modeler of the highest caliber. Sure wish I had his skills!!

  4. Dick Gibson says:

    A true work of art!

  5. Richard Geertson says:

    STUNNING!!! Difficult to tell it from the full scale! All this in 3 months??! WOW!

  6. Scott Davis AKA airplane nut says:

    Great work on all areas. But you may want to review the stitching around the cockpit combing. This task of replicating the full size is vary easy. I too have a Balsa USA stearman with a 250cc radial. Ijust purchased one more for my son to fly. Keep your eyes on Warbirds Over the Rockies 2014.
    Your lugage compartment is done vary well. BIGGER IS BETTER!!

  7. Bob S. says:

    What talent! And only 3 months to build!!

  8. thor2freyalenn Taylor says:

    Just stunningly awesome!

  9. Douglas Dixon says:

    WOW! Three months? I tip my hat to you sir. That aircraft is a work of ART!!! Incredible.

  10. Garry says:

    Absolutely beautiful. He has amazing talent.

  11. Nestor M. Souza filho says:

    Voce é um vardadeiro artesão. Eu como proficional dentista é que sei como trabalhar com detalhes, fico mto feliz de ver uma obra de arte como esta.Parabens pelo exelente trabalho.

  12. harry granata says:

    i wish it was for sale mint great job

  13. Jim London says:

    This exact kit is on my lists of builds and seeing this version of the Stearman is superb in detail. I am wondering if the changes made to the ailerons and engine mount changes are available for all to see here at a later date. I have traveled the NW this summer seeking out the PT-17s still airworthy and would love to see how the changes were done.

  14. Al Parry says:

    GREAT JOB! What a nice detailed model! I would also be interested in seeing details of the modifications done to the kit, as I have plans to build one, and I am always interested in scale details.

  15. Paul says:

    That has got to be one of the top ten models I have ever seen!!!
    Great job Pedro.

  16. Gys says:

    Can Pedro make a video and post it here. Would love to see this beautiful bird fly.
    Stunning stunning stunning. Brilliant craftmanship.

  17. Douglas Alves da Silva says:

    Douglas Alves – Brazil
    Great work on all areas.
    Apreciei grandemente seu trabalho. Parabéns!

  18. Sugeng Saleh says:

    It’s a manifestation of hard work, patience and love for biplanes. Congratulations to the builder.
    I would like also to possess a Giant Stearman, Historical birds with which some Indonesian pilots earned their wings at that time.

  19. Silver Surfer says:

    Nice article on quite a well built model. Definitely master builder quality! Thanks.

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