Cruver DC-7

Models contracted and paid by the airlines to be put on display in travel agencies.

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Cruver DC-7

Postby MichaelB » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:13 am

I got an inquiry from a friend about a 1/48 scale DC-7 from Cruver. Is anyone familiar with such a thing? He's actually looking for the mold for same! Here's his statement:

Yah, this wasn't meant as an ID model, I am not really sure what it was intended for. The two molds (if I can remember correctly, it has been 15 years or so) were
#1 Top half and Bottom half of Fuselage plus wings - just two pieces
#2 Stand, Propellers, and tail pieces. I don't think there was any landing gear which led me to think that it was intended as a desk model. Comparing it with drawings, it was surprisingly close which I suppose is no surprise as it was made during the DC-7s flight.
I would appreciate asking the "ID" collectors. There was one fellow in Chicago who had several but he has either moved or died because his numbers are no longer good but his name was a simple name when Googled, comes with a gazillion of them.
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby grwebster » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:52 am

MB, try these links
its a DC-6B but it must be the same one he is talking about
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=421
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=124&p=271#p271
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby BWBrown » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:33 pm

I have seen three of these in American Airlines livery, too. They are 4-piece models, not counting the landing gear: wing, horizontal stabilizer, and 2-piece hollow fuselage. There is a 2-inch lead plug in the nose to keep that long tail off the ground. I took one of them apart to see why it was so heavy and to find out what was rattling around inside it. I have also seen 2 of them in solid black, without gear, and these may have been used for identification training. Whatever the color or markings, they seem to be rare birds!

-- Bryan
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby MichaelB » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:09 am

Just confirming that these are 1/72 scale? I had a fellow looking for the molds (he actually saw them!) and states that they were in 1/48. I'm beginning to believe that was a faulty memory - clouded by years...
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby BWBrown » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:43 am

Yes, they are 1/72 scale. -- Bryan
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby MichaelB » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:39 pm

In more conversations he says he has seen these 1/72 pieces, but is looking out for what he is certain was a 1/48 DC-7 from Cruver. Anyone heard of such a beast?
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby TWA_202a » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:43 pm

I am familiar with the Cruver United Airlines 1/48 scale DC-7 and also their 1/72 DC-6 as I have both models. I purchased them (actually two DC-7's, one which I later sold to a UAL pilot) from a retired Cruver employee, Angelo, here in the Chicago area. Cruver Thermoplastics (formerly located at 2460 Jackson Blvd., in Chicago) made the finished DC-7 model for United in around the mid 1950's. Angelo also gave me a Cruver brochure that gives a general idea on the various plastic items molded by Cruver (everything from radio dials to washing machine emblems to auto horn buttons). In this brochure is one black and white photo showing a group of women finishing the DC-7's for United. The caption under the photo reads, "Complete assembly facitlites. In this assembly 15 separate pieces are joined, sprayed and decals added to produce an exact scale model of United's new DC-7...designed and built by Cruver."

Angelo told me that after Cruver completed making the DC-7 models for United, they offered the mold for sale to Monogram Models (also here in the Chicago area). Apparently, Monogram wasn't interested and the mold sat unused from then on. This got me thinking as to whether or not the mold for the DC-7 model still exists. Consequently, about eight years ago I sent an e-mail to Nick Argento of Glencoe Models about the possible existence of the Cruver DC-7 mold and that he may want to consider it for making the model once again. I never received a reply from Nick or Glencoe. Finally about a year later, I phoned Glencoe models and then spoke with a very enthusiastic Nick Argento when I mentioned the Cruver DC-7 to him. To make a long story short, Cruver was in the process of going out of business when Mr. Argento contacted them. Apparently they made a search of the factory premises at Cruver and no mold was ever located for the DC-7 (nor the DC-6). It seems the mold had been scraped by Cruver at some time over the past 55 years.

This is too bad as the DC-7 was really a very well made styrene plastic model despite the simple assembly of two fuselage halves, wing halves and engine nacelles with props. It stood on a plastic domed stand with ball top pylon that attached to underside of the model. It was like the old Revell DC-7 only much larger. The model has on its nose, "DC-7 Mainliner City of Salt Lake City", although the registration number on the wings was for the United DC-7, Mainliner San Francisco, in real life.

The 1/72 scale DC-6 seems to have had an earlier life as you can see a photo of it in the book, "High Hornizons" (a 1950's history of UAL that was updated into the Jet Age). My DC-6, "Mainliner City of Chicago", has somewhat oversized landing gear on it and it's weighted in the nose so it stands upright on its gear.

One last thing, I just picked up a Cruver UAL DC-3 at a resale shop here in the Chicago area (Aug., 2013). It's in pretty decent shape painted silver (over black plastic) and decaled in United's early 1940's markings (red lightning stripe on the fuselage side), but no stand. It has an apparent date embossed on the underside, 3-43, along with the Cruver C inside circle logo. The model is not one of Cruver's I.D. models as it's made up of seperate pieces. The model seems to be unique to United as that airline ordered its DC-3's with the main entry door on the right side whereas most other airlines ordered their DC-3's with the entry way on the left side. This Cruver DC-3 does indeed have the engraved door on the right side. Could this model be an indication of Cruver having an earlier model relationship with United? My guess is, yes.
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby grwebster » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:01 am

Dan, many thanks for sharing these details
There are some of us here that have often wondered if the 1/48 DC-7 ever existed, and now we know.
I have never even heard rumors of a DC-3, though.

could you take some photos and post them the DC7s in 1/48 next to the 1/72 and also the DC-3
posting them first on photobucket.com after setting up a free account then coping the code in brackets [ ]. just paste them in a post here.
if that is too much send them to me or brian or michael and we'll do it for you.
thanks again for setting the story straight.
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby MichaelB » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:40 pm

Awesome follow up - three years later! Yes, it was Nick that I had spoken with as well about those molds. Sorry they are lost!
Thanks for your informative post!
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Re: Cruver DC-7

Postby grwebster » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:54 am

TWA_202a, sent me these photos and asked that I post them for him, Many thanks, TWA_202a! Very interesting stuff.

"Enclosed with this e-mail message are photos I took of my Cruver United Airlines Models (DC-7, DC-6 and DC-3). Sorry it took so long to send these to you, but the video card in my computer had to be replaced. I see the website doesn't take jpeg photos, so I'm submitting them to you and you can add them to the MAC Forum where you see fit. Thanks for your interest!
Sincerely, Dan.
PS: I spoke with Angelo recently who is the former Cruver employee who I purchased the DC-7 and 6 from. He told me he doesn't recall Cruver making the UAL DC-3. He began work at Cruver in 1941. It may be possible the model was made by Cruver before Angelo's employment."
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