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Lindberg 1/48 Vega 5-C 'Winnie Mae' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Lindberg
Subject Lockheed Vega 5-C 'Winnie Mae' Scale 1/48
Kit Number 0533 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


Wiley Post was an interesting icon in aviation history. He lost his eye while working in an oil field in the 1920s and bought his first aircraft with the legal settlement. He became friends with humorist Will Rogers when the fellow Oklahoman needed a ride to a rodeo.

He soon became the personal pilot of a wealthy Oklahoma oilman, F.C. Hall, who owned a TravelAir. Hall bought a Lockheed Vega for Wiley Post's personal use, naming he aircraft 'Winnie Mae' for his daughter. When financial times got tough during the Depression, Hall sold the Vega back to Lockheed.

In 1930, Hall once again bought a Lockheed Vega, this time a model 5-C, and again named the aircraft for his daughter Winnie Mae. Wiley Post is best known for his feats in this aircraft. Together with pilot Harold Gatty, they circled the globe (northern latitudes) in eight days in June 1931. Post repeated the flight solo a year later trimming a day off the time in the process.

Wiley Post invented the pressure suit that enabled him to fly Winnie Mae into the stratosphere. Tragically, Post and humorist Will Rogers were lost August 15, 1935 after a crash in Point Barrow, Alaska.

Here is some history of its own right. Lindberg developed the molds for the Lockheed Vega 5-C MANY years ago and despite its age, it is one of Lindberg's nicest kits!

Molded in primarily in white styrene, the kit consists of 44 parts. That number also includes a greenhouse windscreen, side cabin windows, and a display stand, all in clear styrene.

The detail in the cockpit is minimal and non-existent in the main cabin which is typical of many kits produced today.

What is impressive about this kit is the details on the outside. This kit features separately molded (and movable) ailerons, elevators, and rudder. The engine is reasonably detailed on its own and is inserted into the front of the assembled fuselages and closed in by the front of the cowl ring.

The landing gear is also nicely done and the wheels can be left movable inside the wheel pants or fixed and weighted as you choose.

As was typical of kits in this era, a simple pilot figure is included to occupy the cockpit and cover up the lack of interior detail.

A clear display stand is also provided to depict the aircraft in flight.

The decals have clearly seen some time pass, but you can see that they provided the nearly complete colors and markings of Wiley Post's Lockheed Vega 5-C.

Whether you build this kit straight from the box or use the simplicity of this kit as a canvas to render your own super-detailed art of this Vega, this is only one of two Vegas produced in styrene in 1/48 scale (the other being the old ESCI offering). While the kit is old enough to be deep into the collector's market, this kit can still be found reasonably priced, and perhaps we'll see a re-issue one of these days.