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Brad

What's the nicest Airco DH9 in 1/72?

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By nicest I mean best fitting and detailed. TIA

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The Ardpol kit is very nice, but the top wing does tend to loose dihedral fairly easily, being resin. Not much other choice really. There were mixed media conversion sets from Blue Rider and DB productions - one had a vac fuselage, the other was a fairly hefty injection moulded affair. Decals and white metal detail parts were included (the Blue Rider set had 4 or 5 separate issues with differing decals). Other parts like wings were to be snatched from the Airfix DH4, although I dare say the Pegasus kit could be adapted. I don't think anyone else did one, although I'd have expected Classic Plane to have done a vac - maybe they did........

 

If you replace the resin Ardpol struts with something more substantial, then using monofilament rigging should hold the wings steady if tensioned carefully, and hanging verything from the centre section struts, which should ideally be brass. If I ever get another that'll be the route I follow. In terms of detail it's a lovely kit, fairly accurate, and as far as I recall it all fitted well.

 

Paul.

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Classic Plane did a vac, and I think Blue Rider's conversion was originally a vac as well (Someone else did a vac as well I'm sure. it might have been Delta Bits, Glenn Ashley's old company)

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CMR did a very nice one, but it is sold out. I have attached a link to photos and description of the kit. Probably would be very expensive on the second-hand market. Maybe Airfix will do one at some point in time, but probably wouldn't sell as well as a state of the art DH-4. Not being really familiar with all of the differences between the two, would a cleverly engineered kit be able to do either variant? That's as far as my thinking takes me. (BTW- I have NO association whatsoever with CMR!)

Mike

 

http://www.cmrmodels.co.uk/cmr72-191/de-havilland-dh9a.html

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30 minutes ago, Dave Fleming said:

Classic Plane did a vac, and I think Blue Rider's conversion was originally a vac as well (Someone else did a vac as well I'm sure. it might have been Delta Bits, Glenn Ashley's old company)

 

The DB was indeed the vac, and the Blue Rider I have is injection. I just checked mine.

 

Paul.

 

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2 hours ago, Paul Thompson said:

the Blue Rider I have is injection. I just checked mine.

 

Paul.

 

 

Mine too, but I have a vague memory that it was first released as a vacform fuselage

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10 hours ago, Dave Fleming said:

 

Mine too, but I have a vague memory that it was first released as a vacform fuselage

I wonder if it was made from the same master as the Blue Rider kit then? I also wonder if I once knew the answer to that...........

 

 

Paul.

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Thanks guys. I'm kinda surprised the DH9 has been largely overlooked in 1/72.

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42 minutes ago, Brad said:

Thanks guys. I'm kinda surprised the DH9 has been largely overlooked in 1/72.

I think your suprise is shared by everyone except the major kit manufacturers. Thanks to Roden it's now well covered in 1/48th though, and by WNW in 1/32nd. A pity Roden pulled out of flying WWI stuff (thanks a bunch, Eduard) or I think they'd have done one by now in 1/72nd.

 

Paul.

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I know we are talking about kits but the DH9 is not a difficult conversion. There are two builds on ATF but unfortunately PB's atrocious behaviour has ruined the threads picture wise. The best kit to use is the Airfix DH4 which provides the wings, fuselage, tail unit, wheels, in fact the major parts. I used the Aeroclub white metal Puma and Scarff ring/Lewis set up which will be difficult to acquire nowadays but not impossible to scratch. The undercarriage has to be replaced as the kit is the original DH4 type and is too low. The original thread was on the old SMAKR site and the following is an updated  construction section. Hope it is helpful and I think I have the original build photos on the HD which I may, stress may, be able to e-mail as attachments if desired.

 

Construction

           There are two reasonably priced kits suitable for this conversion; the Airfix DH4 and the Marquette DH9A/ R1. Both require the building of a new nose with a different engine and the Marquette will need the wing span and chord reduced. The Airfix has the correct wings but with this kit the rear upper decking has to be raised. It was here that I started after joining the fuselage halves together. However,  at first glue was only applied to the section from the rear cockpit. Then the moulded gun ring was filed flat. A piece of card was cemented across the upper decking close to the rear cockpit. Ten thou card was used to create the new decking which is now steeper and tapers from zero at the rudder to about 2mm higher at the rear of the observer’s cockpit. Plastic card, 80 thou(2mm), 0.45ins long(6-7mm)  is glued over the rear cockpit and after filler is applied the new parts are filed to shape. A new hole has to be drilled to access the gunners compartment and I drilled a pilot hole and then reamed it out with a wood drill. The new cockpit is also about 0.2ins(5mm) farther back than the original.

         The next task is to reposition the pilot’s station to just in front of the rear cockpit. The forward cockpit section is cut out from the fuselage using both the vertical and horizontal panel lines as guides. I used a razor saw and cut down to the horizontal line. Gently using the line as a guide run the tip of the saw along this line gradually deepening it. It doesn’t take long to break through and then enlarge the cut. Repeat so that the section drops out. While the saw is handy you might as well continue along the panel lines and remove the upper engine panels too. To prevent any movement when cutting masking tape was used in varying positions to keep everything tight.

        Returning to the cockpit section we now join the halves together and then remove 2mm from in front of the pilot’s position. This is to reduce the gap between the cockpits as the whole section is now reversed to bring the front cockpit just in front of the rear. At this stage an instrument panel was added, the insides painted and seat and pilot located. Detail to your heart’s content and then file a slight inclination into the mating edges of the cockpit section. The upper decking falls from the front cockpit to the engine and this helps to achieve the inclination without filing away all the original plastic. A gap remains between the engine bay and decking and a couple of bulkheads were made from plastic card. Using the profile and photos as guides they were filed to a half oval on top and a tight fit within the fuselage and cemented into place. The upper decking was 10 thou card which was chosen for it’s flexibility and it’s rapid adhesion to glue. Next the DH4 bulkhead was cut out and the engine, a white metal Puma from Aeroclub, was installed upon a bed of bluetak. The remaining side panels were made from sprue that was filed to shape.  The nose section requires modification and the lower part which contains cooling vents is sawn off via the panel lines. The resultant gap is filled with plastic card but first the DH9 nose has to be created. A section from a jet drop tank, nice one Carlos, and laminated card was filed to shape and a cut out made for the engine. Once glued into place the gap beneath was blanked off with card and all the gaps and joint lines were treated to filler. It was around this time that I started painting everything that would be awkward to reach when the top wing was installed. In reality that’s just about everything, something most of us discovered the hard way, just like me.

       The lower wing did not look right when placed into the slot.  Photos and the plan indicated that it should be farther back so I enlarged the slot by 0.1ins(2mm). This looked better but meant fresh holes had to be drilled to accept the pins on the cabane struts. Before the top wing the pilot’s windscreen, Aldis sight and mg were added as well as two generators, left overs from a Vimy conversion. 

       The struts were cemented to the lower wing and left to partially set. Regular checking using the top wing as a guide ensured they dried in place. At this stage I started the rigging using a method which suited the goal post like struts that are often supplied by Airfix and Revell.  I won’t go into detail here but there is a link below that covers the method which was intended to eliminate the need to drill holes in the upper wing.  In that respect it worked but it wasn’t any easier and equally as fiddily.

        Before adding the top wing a gravity tank was added to the underside centre-section. This time I remembered to drill a hole in it to make adding a fuel line later a bit easier. The wing went on quite well and was left to dry. In the meantime, the under nose radiator was constructed from plastic card. The grill was scored with a knife and thin card around the edges completed the design. Next the undercarriage. The DH9 stands taller than the Four and has longer legs. I tried to modify the kit undercarriage but it didn't look right. In the end I had to replace it with Contrail strut material.

     With the wing on and under carriage in place the stabilizers were added, the radiator installed and the water feed tank added behind the engine, the latter a bit of streamlined strut. Water pipes and fuel line completed the forward area and the observer with his Scarff ring and Lewis finished off the upper portions. All that remained were the handling loops under the wings and two 112 pounders, the standard load for the Nine.

 

Regards, Steve

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On Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 11:24 AM, Paul Thompson said:

I think your suprise is shared by everyone except the major kit manufacturers. Thanks to Roden it's now well covered in 1/48th though, and by WNW in 1/32nd. A pity Roden pulled out of flying WWI stuff (thanks a bunch, Eduard) or I think they'd have done one by now in 1/72nd.

 

Paul.

Have  i missed something here? What is the Eduard link with Roden and the thought they have given up on their lovely range of biplanes? Roden have gone quiet on biplanes lately and I miss them bringing out new ones as the subjects , quality and price are all very reasonable.

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Okay, perhaps just my paranoid take on it, and I don't expect it to be the absolute or sole truth, but there was a time that every Roden release (1/48th Fokker DVIIs in particular)  was accompanied by Eduard editorials about 'certain companies' in the WWI field who made terrible kits because they used a core set of parts to maximise possible variants, whereas Eduard would never show such contempt for their customer. They also had a habit of annoucing a kit whenever Roden expressed interest in the same subject, then never delivering , or at least not for 7 or more years (Camel, SE5a). Admittedly rubbishing the opposition, and the plastic version of vapourware are things many companies are guilty of at some time or other, but that doesn't mean they don't succeed in discouraging the opposition.  Not being privy to the sales figures, I accept that an alternative explanatiion could simply be that WWI resurgence has peaked and they couldn't sell enough to make it worthwhile, hence both countries going where the money is.

 

Personally, I loved Eduard when they were the only game in town, but preferred Toko and then Roden because their approach to wing surfaces suits my own biased perception of what fabric covered wings look like, and also prefer their subject choices., so have drifted much more to them. The (IMHO correct) notion that their multi part nature can make assembly harder than other wise doesn't personally bother me because I find that there's always a trick that makes them work out just as well as Eduard where their ranges overlap, and for the price I don't mind the extra work because I enjoy the process as much as finishing a model. Sadly, the result is that I no longer buy either because Roden have moved out of my interest area, and of late Eduard haven't produced anything recently that takes my fancy because I'm old and cantankerous, and already have enough SE5as  and SSWs  to last this lifetime.

 

Paul.

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There was an Alan W Hall conversion of the Airfix DH.4 to a DH.9 in the Airfix magazine about 45 years ago. Balsa with dope & talcum powder sealer for the fuselage with a Puma from sprue & card. The NZPAF, predecessor to the RNZAF, operated a several, gifts from the UK after WW1, as well as a couple of DH.4s I've a Pegasus DH.4 to use as is with an Airfix one to convert to a 9 one day. Still, if anyone was to come out with a version of each, as Stevhed said above, a common sprue of wings, u/c & tail feathers with an optional sprue of fuselage, prop & maybe resin engine for the 9 would not be hard to do & I would be up for one of each at least. He says hopefully. :)

Steve.

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9 hours ago, Paul Thompson said:

Okay, perhaps just my paranoid take on it, and I don't expect it to be the absolute or sole truth, but there was a time that every Roden release (1/48th Fokker DVIIs in particular)  was accompanied by Eduard editorials about 'certain companies' in the WWI field who made terrible kits because they used a core set of parts to maximise possible variants, whereas Eduard would never show such contempt for their customer. They also had a habit of annoucing a kit whenever Roden expressed interest in the same subject, then never delivering , or at least not for 7 or more years (Camel, SE5a). Admittedly rubbishing the opposition, and the plastic version of vapourware are things many companies are guilty of at some time or other, but that doesn't mean they don't succeed in discouraging the opposition.  Not being privy to the sales figures, I accept that an alternative explanatiion could simply be that WWI resurgence has peaked and they couldn't sell enough to make it worthwhile, hence both countries going where the money is.

 

Personally, I loved Eduard when they were the only game in town, but preferred Toko and then Roden because their approach to wing surfaces suits my own biased perception of what fabric covered wings look like, and also prefer their subject choices., so have drifted much more to them. The (IMHO correct) notion that their multi part nature can make assembly harder than other wise doesn't personally bother me because I find that there's always a trick that makes them work out just as well as Eduard where their ranges overlap, and for the price I don't mind the extra work because I enjoy the process as much as finishing a model. Sadly, the result is that I no longer buy either because Roden have moved out of my interest area, and of late Eduard haven't produced anything recently that takes my fancy because I'm old and cantankerous, and already have enough SE5as  and SSWs  to last this lifetime.

 

Paul.

 

I suspect it's more likely that Roden simply realised that modellers much prefer Starlifters, C-118s and classic airliners, rather than VERY small, delicate and difficult to build WWI aircraft in 1/72! Also let's put it another way; if you've built a Roden 1/72 Felixstowe flying boat or a Staaken are you really likely to go out and buy another any time soon? Superb kits, but the complexity of the Felixstowe nearly finished me off- I can't face building another for at least a decade!

 

And I've just counted- there are 48 WWI aircraft kits in Roden's catalogue! Surely that'll keep most modellers going for a while...

 

Anyway, I'm off topic- sorry.

 

Will

 

 

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But perhaps with Rodent it's the biter, bit.

 

They were the proverbial pain. When we announced in the magazines that we would be doing 4 types of BE.2/12 in 1/48 which were then being moulded.  Rodent announced the the same four kits.(coincidence?) most of which took years to to finally appear. The very same thing had happened previously with our Brisfit and unfortunately it also coincided with Blue Max. Again when we publicly mentioned the DH.4 to DH.9a range of which my son (before he went to NZ) had done the basic pattern blanks and sub master shells which are still in a drawer near where I sit. Rodent announced the same aircraft and again some took years (and I mean years) to appear on the shelves. Did they ever do the 9a? (My son's been in New Zealand for 14 years).

 

So I have no sympathy, WW.1 prior to WNW's was a specialist area  where a small short run company could do quite well but a mainstream company might not be anywhere near as profitable. Some might say "that's business" but we could hardly be rivals. Had they not made their premature announcements we would have had a few years sales and when they finally appeared they as a mainstream company would have sold perfectly well all over again to a wider market. But perhaps they didn't, hence the cut off... and now WNW's have done it in spades to them. That's business for you.

 

John

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