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In 1924, amidst the growing fever of records that were supposed to bring individual and national prestige, Pedro Leandro Zanni, an Argentinean aviator of certain experience and mounting renown, embarked in an around-the-world flight. The endeavor, extremely daunting at the day, required needless to say serious logistic and financial support. Zanni got some official help and popular collects were organized, in order to buy two Fokker C.IV machines: a land pane christened Ciudad de Buenos Aires, and a seaplane named Provincia de Buenos Aires. Fokker's name and the fame of his company and planes grew significantly during and after WWI, so his aircraft were almost synonym of quality and reliability. Other Fokker C.IVs were used for reconnaissance duty, as mail planes and even for other (also failed) record attempt, like the famous Tacoma-Tokyo flight by Wark and Brown, in their beautiful red converted passenger machine. The tale is very long, but finally Zanni, accompanied by mechanic Felipe Beltrame, started from Amsterdam (Fokker's then base) the planned flight. Under difficult conditions and with more gills than support, Zanni covered a big part of the planned route, but suffered several mishaps and accidents, some due to external conditions and perhaps some due to his eagerness to make the whole thing work, taking some risks that didn't pay off. The machines ended up incapacitated beyond repair, and since funds and support were limited, the around the world flight was cut short in Japan, where the seaplane capsized as contemporary photos show. Nevertheless Zanni was hailed as a hero, and to some extent the world press echoed his valiant efforts. My older son and I talked about these planes as a modeling project for years, and I finally acquired two Omega Models 1/72 resin kits of the Fokker C.IV, with the idea of this joint-venture where he will model the wheel version and I the float version. Now, Zanni's Fokkers were modified machines with somewhat extended span, a third seat behind the normal two, some changes on the nose, additional windows and other minor mods, all of which need to be translated into the models. When I got the Omega Models resin kit I found it to be quite simple, even a bit Spartan perhaps. It is a correct kit but disappointingly plain (especially considering its price), for example the wings lacked any detail, no ribbing effect and not the faintest trace of scalloping on the trailing edge. Not even the prominent wing tanks engraved outlines. The fuselage sides were equally bland. The shapes seem correct and the cast is in general clean, with just a couple bubbles. The landing gear looks fragile and I think it is better replaced by metal. The same may apply for the struts. All flying surfaces are attached to their casting blocks by the trailing edge, opposite to what is customary in resin castings, since it is easier to true a leading ledge than a fragile trailing edge. Why Omega Models chose to do that, I don't know, perhaps there is a good reason (to avoid bubbles? to avoid short poors?) The feel of the kit in general is akin to a Planet Models kit, if even a bit simpler. For the price I paid for these two kits, I would say, given the cost, that they lack finesse and detail. The same money will buy a refined kit from other manufacturers, alas yet again, this is the only Fokker C.IV in town In order to convert this kit to Zanni's machines, many things need to be taken care of: -engine was different, so the nose has to be reworked and engine detail added -radiators were different -wingspan needs to be extended, most likely by means of inserting a section. -small windows need to be added on both sides of the fuselage -a third crew position needs to be drilled on the turtledeck -different marks need to be created -floats need to be provided and properly rigged for the seaplane version -a number of other small details typical of the Argentinean machines. Some changes can also be seen during the short lives of the two Argentinean Fokkers, in the markings, engine piping, tankage and other details. The parts are low in count and very basic, with none or minimal surface details: Why "glue together" these these three parts, hindering separation? As I was saying...an axle broke. In any case needed to be replaced by a metal pin: It seems the master broke and was hastily re-glued: A couple bubbles, present in most resin kits (but no all): Parts attached to the pouring block by the trailing edge? Zero ribbing or scalloping detail: No stringers for the aft fuselage nor panel lines for the front. Plain as plain: I got these floats from Khe-Kha Art Products, an excellent cast with good detail that is almost perfect for the seaplane version of Zanni's land Fokker C.IV
This rather involving modification of the somewhat dated Special Hobby kit came finally to fruition. In spite of a few shortcomings, it is a good thing that Special Hobby released long ago this kit and included Amelia's version, if inaccurately depicted, which can anyway be corrected. I took advantage of the Arctic Decals set, which corrects inaccuracies on the original decal sheet an provides a few more details. Many hours were dedicated to research and the making of details for the model. Here is the Lockheed Electra 10E as flown by Amelia beyond the point of no return, literally. Those interested may visit the step-by-step building article here: In this particular layer of the modeling multiverse, Amelia has safely arrived to fame and glory. After this, and realizing that she had tempted luck long enough and it was time for a quieter life, she dedicated her time to further propel women's education and rights, as she has been doing before. The long-traveled Electra (a star in the Pleiades, "amber" in Greek and Agamemnon's daughter in mythology) went to a museum, despite the wishes of Putnam who wanted yet more money and promotion. As she matured, Amelia eventually distanced herself from Putnam, and retired to the countryside, to an estate with a small airstrip, where she kept flying until advanced age, receiving the visits of her many friends. She passed away in peace, as if flying beyond.