"Snafu Snatchers - Rescue at Sea "
By: Nader Taheri
This extreme miniature waterline diorama depicts an air-sea rescue of downed pilots by a classic PBY-5A Catalina, flying boat, in the South Pacific c.1944. This aircraft model is representational of the planes flown by the 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron know as the Snafu Snatchers. A score board of rafts painted on the port side of the hull indicates that the aircraft had rescued over fifty downed airmen.
Crew: eight, Length: 63.8’, Wing Span: 104’, Height: 20.2’, Tons: 17.7, Max. speed: 180 mph, Patrol Range: 2,500 miles, Engines: Two 14-cyl. Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92.
The model is a heavily modified synthetic ABS polymer hull and is enhanced with numerous photo-etched brass parts and custom details. The forward cockpit is fitted out, as well as the aft port & starboard blister gun mount compartment. The model is convincingly weathered, having realistic wear to the engines and wings all involving minute hand brushed paint-work. Scale work-action figures are also included showing some aircraft crew members manning a lifeline and two in the small raft. The waterline sea is hand sculpted from plasticine, and then painted with artist oils to create the plausible drama and colors of the South Pacific. It is mounted in a glazed case with wood trim matching the wooden base frame of gray coloration and includes engraved nickel-silver plaques.