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Tim Reynaga

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  1. Thanks! I recently discovered Uschi (Rig that Thing!) and I agree, it is even better than the flat EZ Line. I'm using the latter on this project just because I only have the very fine Uschi line and this thicker EZ Line looks better (and I'm too impatient to wait for the thicker Uschi line to arrive)!
  2. With the rudder and stabilizer control lines in place, the rigging on the underside to stabilize the spindly undercarriage was next. I don’t know if the original Inpact release had better instructions, but the instructions in the Lindberg reissue I’m working with here make no reference to the rigging whatsoever. The sheet shows the airframe construction sequence all right, but the only way you would know the aircraft had rigging at all was from the box art...! Anyway, I was able to find a number of surviving photographs of the airplane online for guidance. The grainy old photos weren’t absolutely clear, but the rig seemed pretty straightforward so I took my best shot at it. I’ve used EZ Line on ship models before, but this is my first experience using it on an airplane. On ships lines are often slack, drooped by gravity or curved by wind, so EZ line is useful for some but not for all of the rigging. On airplanes, though, the lines are almost always taut, so the stretchy EZ Line works beautifully for all of them. It is flat and so does require some care to prevent unrealistic twists, but compared with the sewing thread, fishing line, and wire I’ve used to rig planes in the past, this stuff is wonderful!
  3. Time to rig! The numerous control and support cables for early aircraft were famously complex, but the Martin-Handasyde was a monoplane, so the rigging on this bird was comparatively simple. I’ll be using EZ Line, a thin rubber band-like material originally developed for model railroaders. I started with the rudder and stabilizer control lines. Installation couldn’t be simpler: attach one end, gently stretch the line over to the other end, secure it with a dab of super glue, and trim.
  4. Here’s the state of play at the moment: The fuselage is finished, and the wings, empennage, fuel cells, engine, and propeller have all been attached. The undercarriage is assembled and painted too, though the fragile wheels won’t go on until the very last. I’ve also made a start on the grass field base (right now still just a thin layer of Celluclay). Since the pilot figure isn’t really in flight gear, I decided to leave the plane in clean “before flight” condition as well. The J.A.P. engine, which was notorious for throwing oil all over the place, will be left with only a minimal amount of grime.
  5. I've painted the newly spoked wheels with Testors Stainless Steel Buffing Metalizer spray. As for the tires, we tend to think of them as black in color, but natural rubber is actually white. Early rubber tires were often left that color or tinted a medium gray to hide wear. Photos of the original Martin-Handasyde No. 3 show its tires to have been a light or medium gray, so the tires were brush painted with Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Grey acrylic.
  6. Thanks! They look so spindly - I hope they'll support the whole plane...
  7. Forming and trimming the spokes was actually pretty straightforward - although I was a little hesitant to cut the molded spokes out of the wheels. Once that was done there was no going back! Attaching the spokes to the wheels was a fussy process involving a lot of test fitting and tiny dabs of super glue, but the result is a big improvement over those sad kit parts!
  8. I started fitting the etched spokes by removing their round outer borders. Then I pressed the flat etched pieces down onto the molded plastic parts to replicate the gentle cone shape of the spokes around the wheels. After that it was simply a matter of reducing the excess lengths of the spokes. With the replacement spokes now pre-fitted to the wheels, I set them aside and cut away those awful solid molded spokes!
  9. This is generally a good model, but the weakest aspect of the kit is definitely the landing gear. Inpact did the best they could - even molding the wheels as clear parts in the initial 1966 issue - but 1/48 scale spoked wheels are really beyond what can be achieved by injection molding technology. In their later reissues of the kit Pyro and Lindberg simply molded the wheels in the same tan plastic as the rest of the kit. Fortunately, there are now etched brass upgrades which can bridge the gap! Although there isn’t anything available for this relatively obscure aircraft specifically, Tom’s Modelworks 1/48 scale Set #205 Spoke Wheels for German & French WW1 airplanes can be adapted to fit nicely. At least I think so...
  10. The assembled J.A. Prestwich 40 hp engine was painted with Testors Stainless Steel Buffing Metalizer lacquer spray and then detailed with Testors brush-applied copper enamel. This was followed with a thin wash using Windsor & Newton Burnt Umber artist’s oil. The control column was also shot with the same stainless steel color with the wheel being picked out in Model Master Military Brown. The sheet metal panel attached to the front of the wheel was a field adaptation to shield the pilot from oil spewed from that primitive engine up front.
  11. After assembling the engine, I’ve done a first mockup of the basic parts. It is starting to look like an aeroplane!
  12. Hi Bertie, Thanks! The model was built using pretty standard techniques, really. I do have a secret weapon: I use these US$1.00 readers from the Dollar Store with a second set of lenses from another pair taped over them. Pretty high-tech, huh?
  13. Unusually for aircraft of this era, the Martin-Handasyde had some prominent markings. The kit didn’t include them, but fortunately a generous fellow modeler was able to help me out with some beautiful custom printed decals. Thanks again Paul Bradley!
  14. That is the little package in the background of the photos: Formaline Charting & Graphic Art Tape - also useful for model masking!
  15. The tail and wings were equally straightforward. Following assembly of the tail and inserting the vertical kingposts into the one-piece wings, I gave the assemblies a base coat of Model Master RAF Middle Stone enamel. After taping off the internal structures under the skin, I then oversprayed the parts with a Model Master Middle Stone/Flat White mix for an off-white linen color. The results were tidy, but the contrast seemed too stark. I wanted to suggest an inner wood structure just visible through the linen skin, so I went back and misted over everything again with a still lighter “linen” mix. Better.
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