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1/48 Gates Learjet 23

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  • Member since
    December 2014
1/48 Gates Learjet 23
Posted by SteveFL on Monday, April 30, 2018 2:40 PM


Long before Hasegawa created their 3 part Business Jet series, ICM first introduced a kit for the very first Gates Learjet, Model 23.  Looking at the box, the model appears to be a hallmark in their model lineup with actual vinyl tires, posable flight surfaces, removable engine cover, removable avionics access panel, and a fully detailed interior along with 2 pilot figures.  What a huge disappointment this kit was.  I nearly threw it away a few times.  Nothing fits well and the supposed details are just plain crumby.  None of the alignment pins worked properly.  The tooling and molds were likely fabricated by hand.  I struggled but stayed the course as I really wanted to see what this finished model would look like.  I’m satisfied, not thrilled, with the results.  Some of my scratch-building helped out in certain areas like the avionics bay and the turbojet engine that just needed it.  Curiously, Testors eventually bought the tooling from ICM and tried to update it from a Model 23 to a 24 by simply eliminating the 2 large round windows and replacing them with 3 smaller rectangle windows.  Other than a new simple decal sheet, these 2 kits are identical in every way.  Nevertheless, I don’t recommend this kit whatsoever unless you must have a Model 23 in your collection.  I will never build another one.  However, please enjoy the pictures.  All replies are greatly appreciated.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, April 30, 2018 2:51 PM

Too bad is a turd, I'd like to do a few business planes but I really don't have the patience for poorly engineered/manufactured kits anymore.  You did a really nice job!  Looks great - and the avionics bay is exceptional.



  • Member since
    April 2018
Posted by Hotelgulf718 on Sunday, September 1, 2019 8:57 PM


You’ve dons a great service to this very vintage kit. Yes, it’s crude by today’s standards, but will always have a sweet spot for it. The first and second release box art illustrations, alone, is worth getting one. A bit of a pain with the terrible fit of parts, detail, etc., but it takes me back in a heartbeat to my childhood. Glad you took the challenge. 


  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: western North Carolina
Posted by kensar on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:11 AM

broke out the ol' can, did ya?


I have the Testors version to do someday.



  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:39 AM

Sterling job on yours, but I agree with your assessment of the kit.

First built it in the original ICM boxing around 1970. I picked another one up as a 'nostalgia' build a few years ago...fully expecting the worst. I had no problem with wrestling with all the cruddy features...until it came to the cockpit glass, which totally defeated me. A real shame..

But I've got the Hasegawa one waiting in the pile. Big Smile


George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 4:07 PM

That sure is an eye-catching model of a classic airframe. Yes

Sorry it was a pain. I think your perserverance paid off though.

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:17 AM

Ya Know;

     I don't want to rub it in, But,I never had any problems with that kit. It's what I expected it to be. Sooo,I built it like a Vac-u-Form kit!I removed All the locator pins and created my own locator flags. Now the Pilots came from another model. I forget which .

     I was very careful about what products I bought that had the I.C.M. label on them. Now,You have gone and proven again that a modeler who's up to snuff can make a Silk Purse out of a Sows ear !

    I like what you've done and the build is clean. So Well Done !   T.B.

Tags: PrettyBird

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