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Found 1 result

  1. Hello all! A really great range of aircraft to find myself amongst here - the best of luck to all of you taking part! I'm going with the <'venerable'/'well-known'/'not entirely without problems'> Dornier Do 18 from Matchbox, meaning that it will require some not insignificant work turning the 'G' variant OOB into an earlier 'D'. I'll take you through some of these issues in a moment. The Roy Huxley box-art is characteristically gorgeous and evocative: I don't intend holding things up by doing a kit review of already well-documented issues but will simply point out the things that need doing for a 'D'. The transparencies have already been thrown away on the grounds of optical thickness: I should add that the kit came without instructions or decals. The former I've sourced in digital form from Scalemates, the latter will be dealt with at the time by a combination of painting and printing my own decals. The particular aircraft I'm intent on modifying the kit to represent is M7+YK, a Dornier Do 18 D-3 from 2/Kü.Fl.Gr 506. Piloted by Lt z See Wilhelm Freiherr von Reitzenstein she was shot down by Skuas from H.M.S Ark Royal on 26th Sept. 1939, reputedly the first Luftwaffe loss of the war (though this has been questioned in some quarters). Other crew members were the observer: Leutnant zur See Ernst Korner, Radio operator: Unteroffizier Walter Heckt, and Flight Engineer: Unteroffizier Fritz Schmalfeldt. My interest in this incident was piqued by discovering a wartime HMSO volume on the Ark Royal from 1942 in a Dorset bookshop back in the summer: In it was a sequence of shots of HMS Somali rescuing the crew of M7+YK, that I hadn't seen presented together before: There was something about seeing this sequence that gave an immersion in the incident that a single image alone can't reproduce. For some reason the sunglint on water in the final image is resonant of a particular moment in time and place. History, in fact... There is little substantive material published in web or book form on the Do 18 to base a detailed build upon - let alone the 'D' variant - so I purchased a complete set of flying and maintenance manuals from Udo over at Luftfahrt-archiv-hafner. The level of detail is astonishing in them and despite the contemporary gothic font hampering my minimal language skills, provides all that is required for this project. If I punch up a composite of kit and ladenplan for a 'D': ...you can see that Matchbox did an excellent job of getting length and much of the shape right for the most part. Same for the dual-engine upper-works: Only some minor addition of shape at the rear beneath prop where it curves inwards. Aside from panel lines - both those present needing toning down and those needing scribing-in - the main things this needs to be 'D-ed' up are as follows. 1. Complete re-shaping of nose - from sharp prow-like 'G' to rounded 'D': You can see where I've sketched the difference in between the two in the image above. 2. Propellor blades and bosses. Not exactly sure how yet but these need to be reshaped and re-profiled, with the rear and front props being slightly different diameters as well (don't ask me which way round, I've got it written-down somewhere...). 3. Interior. Supplied cockpit and other interior parts need completely re-doing - I'll cram as much other detail in as seems appropriate at this scale. Supplied kit guns are risible (the cannon for the'G' turret is just a stick!) so I've a set of these on order, plus some spare mags to line the gunnery positions: That's the only sop to AM parts, everything else will be scratch built. The question of how the aircraft will be presented in the final display has required some thought. It was no real temptation to try and create a diorama of the shots taken from the Ark Royal publication as to be quite honest, I'm no great fan of building dioramas of actual events. What I want to try is something I've not seen done with this aircraft before: having a number of the access panels opened up as if it is being overhauled prior to an operation, fuel tanks being removed etc. I suspect lack of references have stopped people trying this before but with the maintenance manuals to hand, you've got to try and give your audience something different - haven't you? How far we proceed down that route depends on the deadline for the GB or course, as well as family and work commitments, but let's see how far we can push the process. Conscious of the 20% rule, I've done some preparatory work in vacforming a new canopy and starting to re-shape the nose profile, but nothing to contravene the rules. I'll post some shots of these processes up tomorrow rather than make today's starting installment too heavy. Looking forwards to this immensely and hope you are too! Tony
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