Dekno 1/48 Spartan 7W Racer

KIT #: GA 480103
PRICE: $62.00
DECALS: one option
REVIEWER: John Summerford
NOTES: 3D Printed kit


Courtesy Mid America Flight Museum

The Spartan 7W Executive model is an all-metal construction with retractable landing gear and fabric covered control surfaces designed and built in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Spartans were built for comfort and performance for both personal and executive businessman. A total of 36 were built between the years of 1936 to 1940 designed by Spartan Aircraft Company and first flight accomplished on March 8, 1936. A couple variants were built for military applications with guns and bomb racks, but was a short-lived program that never gained interest. A total of 16 7W’s were drafted into service and designated as UC-71’s and were used for executive transport for military staff. After 33 years of Spartan Aircraft Company manufacturing aircraft, they sold to Spartan School of Aeronautics, now known as Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.

Arlene Davis

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Alma Arlene Davis became interested in flying when her husband bought a plane and she earned her pilot's license in 1931. She later became the first private pilot to receive an instrument rating and the first woman to earn her 4M qualification for piloting multiengine planes. By 1940, she held "more different and difficult kinds of ratings than...99 out of 100...commercial pilots".

She soon began participating in air races, winning the first race she participated in (Dayton, Illinois, 1934) as well as the 1936 Miami-Havana International Air Race. In 1938, she was the only woman to take part in the New York–Miami McFadden Race, and in 1939 she finished fifth in the Los Angeles–New York Bendix Race. (The winner, Frank Fuller, flew a P&W Twin Wasp powered Seversky versus Davis’ Wasp Junior powered Spartan.) She finished fourth in the 1946 Halle Trophy Race.

During World War II, she taught instrument flying to Army and Navy aviators at Baldwin-Wallace College. She also served as President Eisenhower's aviation chair for Ohio and was chair of the Office of Civil Defense's Operation Skywatch in the region encompassing Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

In 1959, she flew 20,000 miles across the North and South Atlantic oceans in her twin-engine Beech Travel Air, with Clay Donges as her navigator. The trip took 13 days and was the first time that a private plane had flown the North and South Atlantic in a single trip.

Flying and Popular Aviation magazine named her America's outstanding woman pilot of "big ships" in 1940. She was the first woman to receive the Veteran's Pilot Award, and the first woman to be honored with the Elder Statesman of Aviation Award.

Davis died of cancer in 1964.


Dekno has started to produce 48th scale kits by using the 3-D printing process. This kit is one of three variants of the Spartan Executive. (The other kits are of a shiny natural metal with red trim plus a petite Texaco logo on the fuselage and a military olive green over gray UC-71)

A sturdy cardboard 7 ½ inch by 4 ½ inch box holds the kit. The label on the lid has a typo, which yours truly commits frequently, omits the “o” in “Trophy” (I’d like to buy a vowel Pat….)

3-D printing has a reputation for having a rough texture and that is NOT the case here. 10 bags hold the gray parts and one bag has the clear resin parts. The panel lines are very crisp and might appear too deep for some modelers, but they should look good after painting. Test fitting reveals that some light sanding is needed on mating surfaces. The wings are printed in left and right halves and have an alignment tab to aid their joining. There are no photo-etch parts, so lap belts will need to be sourced. Total parts count is 39.

The decals are in register and appear to be opaque.

A single sheet of paper shows the assembly sequence on one side and the other side has painting and decaling information. There are no color call-outs for the interior and the red for the exterior is not referenced to any brand of paint or FS code. It appears that red called for tilts toward orange. A nice touch is a list of references that are at the bottom of the instructions, two of which are on-line.


If the typo on the lid is the biggest flaw in the kit, then it is a fine kit indeed. Already, this is a candidate for the easiest resin kit that I have built. It’s now on the top of my stash.

John Summerford

March 2022

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