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  1. Hi, I just finished my TUI Germany 737-8 Max. Was definitely one of my quickest builds ever as I think I did the whole plane within 4 weeks from start to finish. Upon holidays in beautiful Madeira where we actually took Tuifly on our way towards there I saw a TUI 737-8 Max there and realised how cool it actually looks in that livery, IMO the livery is rather underrated. So I spontaneously had the idea of building one for the time after the holidays with a Max that was previously destined to be an Icelandair in my collection. Also had the beautiful TUI 757 of Ian Woodard as an inspiration that I once saw here. The decals are from DRAW decals for the livery and they are excellent, really opaque and the carrier film basically disappears once they are dried. Windows and details are from Authentic Airliners. All blues are painted. The light blue was kind of tricky, as all light blue I could find were rather too cyan, so I ended up mixing Mr. Hobby 45 with quite some red (to make it less cyan) and also some white. For the tail colour and winglets the same mix + even more white. The dark blue is Tamiya X-3. There's acutally a decal for the dark blue part, but it would be against my personal modelling values to not paint it and I guess it would never look really good as the area is too large and complex for a decal. I imagined the painting tricky with its curves and getting both sides look the same, but with a small "trick" (that others used before) it was much easier than I thought. I took a real photo that was mroe or less exactly side on. I then resized the shot to the same size as the model on Photoshop and printed it twice (mirrored it for the other side). I cut the light blue part out on paper and put it on the plane with masking tape. I used certain reference points above or under the doors and then drew lines with a pencil on both sides upon the white plane and then its about using flexible masking tape. For the dark blue part one already has this as a reference so this isnt hard anymore. Overall I am really satisfied. The kit is excellent and easy to build. The only downpoint is that a Max has 4 distinctive features compared to a normal 737NG. The larger engines, the different winglets, the APU-section that is 787 style AND the much higher front gear. Yet the Zvezda only has the normal front gear of 737 NG, where I feel that already on the rregula -700 or -800 kit it sits a bit too low (or likely the nose door gears are just too large). Personally I felt the front didnt look like a proper Max anymore. So I used some spares that I had to make it 2mm higher. But yeah with knowing that (I wasnt aware) one can easily make it higher, in the end some polysterene would also do the trick. For the pitots on front I used some Microdisin photoetched parts. Generally these sets arent really worth buying for me as I always end up only using veeery few parts of it, but I thought it was a cool feature. The finish was done done with Tamyia X-22 and then a pass of Mr Hobby's GX-112 to protect it from UV light (although of course other than for those photos it wont see the sun) and some Tamyia polishing compound. Enough said (likely even too much ;-), here are the photos. Thanks for looking, appreciate any comments. Julien
  2. Hi everybody, just finished this Zvezda A320 neo in TAP colours. Overall a simple livery, but I personally really like it and have a special connection to Portugal where I am at least once a year and flew TAP a couple of times. It could have been my fastest build ever, as the Zvezda kit is really neat and easy to build and clearly better than the Revell, which one can make look nice as well, but it will be definitely more effort of sanding and filling, which is certainly my least favourite part. The only question I cannot answer, is why it has zero details on the outside and then antennas that come with it have an odd shape. So I built my own details for the fuselage and used some antennas from other models. So why didn’t I finish it earlier? Because of the decals. A never ending story. First I bought decals from PAS, but when I received them I immediately realized that the colours are odd, nowhere where they would need to be. I looked for alternatives and went for the Nazca ones (yeah next mistake there). They were certainly not accurate colour-wise, but looked close enough to be used, but when I applied them I found out that the titles were just too small and looked odd. Certainly the last time I bought Nazca decals, as they are just full of faults. Okay new set needed so I went for the 8adecs from Mexico (there’s also a nice 26decals set, but it is the old version without the AIR). Well the shipment made all the way from Mexico to Frankfurt Airport but got lost by German Post on the short way from the Airport to my home. Jon from 8a decs was so kind and sent me a replacement. So 4 weeks later it made it but the decal was damaged once it arrived. So I reached out to Jon, wjho really cared and sent me yet another set that arrived just 3 days a go..and finally with the 5th decal set (!!) I could finish the plane just yesterday. The 8a decals are great…and yeah with that story I will certainly order again from him. A nice guy that cares..we all know that that’s not always the case. Detail are from a Revell sheet I have as spare and the cockpit windows from Authentic Airliners, as usual. Otherwise the plane is painted with Tamiya and Mr. Hobby colours. Now enjoy the photos, I appreciate any feedback / comment. Julien
  3. Golden Age - Percival Vega Gull and DH 60T Moth Dora Wings and A-Model 1:72 As these two come from the same era of the 1930's I thought I'd combine them into a single post. The DH 60T kit was reviewed a few years ago here but I only recently got around to building it. (And I've just noticed I still need to fit the windscreens!) The Vega Gull is the new Dora Wings kit, which I could not resist due to the outstanding box art. I chose the 1:72 version (it is also available in 1:48) because I knew it would go with the DH 60T and the Airfix Tiger Moths I have already built. They are very small models, and don't take up much space. The DH 60T in 'Aeroclub De Santos' markings from Brazil. The kit instructions show it in overall red, but I found a photo showing it with much lighter wings, presumably silver. The Vega Gull in Alex Henshaw's Markings The box art that sold the kit to me! And finally, all together, Tiger Moth, DH 60T and Vega Gull. Thanks for looking John
  4. Reserving my spot Waay back then, when I was a small alt-92 we could frequently hear the buzz of a Harvard (well, everything Texan we called a Harvard then) high up and see it writing advertisement in the sky: The plane in question was (rather - still is) an original WW2, 1942 built North American AT-6A Texan with C/N 78-6922, 41-16544. (stats: https://www.t6harvard.com/dutch-harvards/n13fy-t6-harvard-t6-texan/ ) Bought by an enterprising local business man, and registered as PH-NKD, the AT-6A was equipped with a Diesel tank in place of the rear seating from which the oil was injected into the stretched exhaust. The company, Skylight, was based at my local airfield Hilversum (EHHV) until the mid-1990s. A falling out with the Dutch CAA in 1993 resulted in the aircraft being re-registered as N13FY in the USA. What the FY stands for, I'll leave to the imagination She's still based at Hilversum airfield, albeit under different ownership. --- The kit: Monogram's classic 1979 original release. All raised detail, of course. But that's fine. Decals are totally shot - I might try and save some stencil data but not too worried.. I'm in the process of having custom decals printed for the Skylight logos and registration letters, so once they're in I'll start the build proper.
  5. I found five Frog/Novo bagged Gipsy Moth kits in a box so I decided to try an convert one into a "Metal Moth" Plastic strips was added to the fuselage and to the wing tips where I needed to move some ribs. With some filler and sanding it get a bit smoother.
  6. Hi, I've been reading here for quite some time now and looked at some fantastic builts, that really inspire me for my modelling. Let me present you my SAS A320 NEO that I finished yesterday. It is not the new Zvezda kit, as this wasn't yet released when I started the model. It's the Revell A320 neo, with wheels that I ordered via Revell's fantastic replacment part service. Decals are from LN decals and for sure one of the best I ever used. It also has few parts (cables on the wheels + antennas) from a Metallic Detail set. Windows are obviously from Authentic Airliners that are a must for me. Colours are Mr. Hobby H5 for the blue and everything else was mixed. SAS's new grey is pretty light and at first I had the bad idea of starting with Mr. Hobby H338 and trying to make it lighter...a pain. I quickly found out that starting with white and then making it darker withg the grey is the MUCH easier way. I hope you enjoy the photos and looking forward to Feedback Julien
  7. This model was completed a wee while ago using Humbrol rattle cans. It's the old Esci Eastern Airways issue that comes with a set of passenger seats. The decals were from S&M. Built pretty much out of the box nothing complicated. Finding my camera tripod gave me the excuse to dust it off and take some snaps. BKS Air transport took its name from the first letters of the Three directors, Barnaby, Kegan and Stevens. The company operated from the 1950's through to the early 1970s when its name was changed to Northeast prior to being fully absorbed into British Airways. G-AMVC was an ex RAF Dakota. Sadly she crashed on the 17Th of October 1961 with the loss of Four crew South East of Crosby on Eden (Carlisle) airfield.
  8. This build will represent the Etrich Taube 1913 civil machine that piloted by Alfred Friedrich performed a five-country flight that encompassed Germany, Belgium, France, Holland and England. It stemed from a visit to this Etrich Taube thread by @FPDPenguin where posting lead to retrieving and continuing with the build of my own: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235076655-etrich-taube-148-flashback/ So thanks Penguin for providing the necessary nudge! Airframe vacuum-formed kits were made by the late John Tarvin from Canada, and are what might be considered a vintage kit. The objective is to make of this vintage kit something a bit better, but within the boundaries of what can reasonably be done from such starting point. I have built and posted two Airframe models here: A Supermarine S-4: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235041072-supermarine-s-4-schneider-cup-1925/ and a Gee-Bee: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235053027-the-other-vac-gee-bee-r1-racer-airframe-172/ Many of the Airframe kits belong to a category I like to characterize as "Wishful Thinking Kits". The plastic is usually quite thin, no accessories of any type like (usable) wheels, engine, prop, struts, etc., and no decals (at least on my samples). They do have detailed plans, a somewhat simplified construction guide, and they do provide interesting subjects. Engineering-wise they have in common the use of a construction device that could be called a keel, a centerpiece that has a cutout for the cockpit (and/or cabin) and is sandwiched between the fuselage halves, thus helping with rigidity and providing a "lip" as additional gluing surface. It's not fabulously convenient, and can be a hindrance, thus it's better substituted for normal bulkheads and floor if preferred. Wheels, props, and other small details are provided as too generic shapes, completely useless, to be frank. At this point it's necessary to clarify that it may seem not very fair to evaluate a vintage kit against today's standards, but on the other hand I am building the kit today, and not 40 years ago, and so will those who have, or may acquire these kits to build them. Summarizing: not the easiest kits, and somewhat below other contemporary manufacturers of vacuformed kits. They are buildable, none the less, and as can be seen this is my third, but they are not easy, and require some skills, a bit of ingenuity, and the addition of many missing things. Just to give you an idea of the task ahead, the instructions lightly and mother-of-factly tell you to deal by yourself with the extremely complex undercarriage and wing-supporting structure using wire and stretched sprue. Now I call that optimism. But I could call it many other things. The parts separated from their molded backing sheet: Wheels, radiators and prop to go to the trash can: Very good plan (the plane I am representing diverged from this plan in a few things, there was a very visible gap between wing root and fuselage, and both spars and leading edge are seen exposed in that area in photos): Instructions: Some preliminary work on the parts: The wings are treated -as in the original- like what we would call today a Jedelsky airfoil, some other contemporary planes like the Caudron biplane used that arrangement too, with upper and lower surfaces in the first 2/3rds and one surface after. Problem is that there is no great match between the two parts: And here is why: the manufacturer used the same top part, resized, for the lower part, so when located with the furrows up if fits, bummer it has to go relief up to be effective:
  9. A Ford Trimotor that lost two engines. An Airfix 1/72 conversion. I had very fun building it and that is probably why I managed to finish it before it managed to die as many of my project do. It does look a little different to the standard Trimotor. Notes from the build here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235020768-ford-8-at/
  10. I've fancied doing something a bit different for a while now, and having found these nice kits of classic airliners for decent value I thought I'd give them a go while I wait for decals for my yellow Whirlwind. Still waiting for the postie to bring a Roden DC-7 in JAL livery too. I'll make the Comet and Vanguard oob, including decals, but the 707 I'm planning to do as Pan Am. Just not sure which one to start first. I haven't made a 1/144 airliner since my teens.
  11. What a joy to see a civil Sikorsky S-51 released by LF Models! And with a Los Angeles Airways option (there are three different options in total), none the less! Los Angeles, the city that we, its dwellers, love to hate. I live now in the same county, but not fortunately anymore in that city, for which I praise and thank all the saints of all religions, those already invented and the ones to be invented yet. I rushed to buy one. And what a pleasure it was to open the box and see what looks like a nice molding, plenty of detail, a photo-etched set and decals, accompanied by nicely printed instructions. Thanks LF for releasing a very nice kit of a civil helicopter for us suffered and often dismissed civilized builders! I have built LF kits before, and this new offer is above in quality from what I had built. LF offers, separately, the option to purchase painting masks for the decoration and another set for the transparencies, which are NOT included with the kit. I immediately plunged into frantic research. To my luck, I found some pictures of the intended model, and even some movies. Here are some of the things I noticed: the green color suggested by the kit for that livery may be a little light. Color photos of the Sikorsky S-51 and other Los Angeles Airways helos show a darker hue, consistently. I even found a color photo with a sign of the company logo in a darker green. A mystifying detail: while some of these S-51 LAA helos have the exhaust to the left as shown in the kit, some have it to the right (no, the photos are not reversed, they are oriented the right way). Hum. Photos and clips suggest that at least some of the helos had the tail rotor blades painted a warning red (which looks a tad faded), not black as depicted in the kit. Some stills show a narrow red line separating the green and the white, at least in the cabin area. Pay attention to the P.E. details, as not all helos had the belly elements the same way. I have seen before Sikorsky logos where the "S" is blue, but, lacking evidence, I'll take the all-gold logo offered by LF. You get two sets of blades, earlier and later styles. Check your references! The transparencies look good. Now, I have been in love before, and at the beginning all is roses, but things change as you start to build. We'll see what's the case with this kit, but so far, I am very enthusiastic about it. Very nice choices: Things very reasonably packed, colorful and quality-printed instructions: The goods, nice!: All contents come in re-sealable bags, well done!: Fair, clean moldings with good detail: Hum, I would like to open that door...I am surprised that it isn't an option in the kit already: Nitpickings start here: Why, oh why, do so many manufacturers chose to represent in their instructions very small parts and sub-assemblies with very small drawings? Maybe blow-up drawings, representing small things with bigger drawings? so we don't have to guess what the heck is going on there and/or run for the magnifier? And would it be possible to proofread the translations into English by a professional, or even an English-speaking modeling enthusiast you may be in touch with? As you sell your products through British and American distributors, what about them having a look at the translations? Or asking an English speaker as native language to have a look at the text included in the kit, giving him/her a production sample? Many will be happy with that simple arrangement.
  12. Well, my commitment to concentrate on Civil Aviation this year (and after....) has got off to a hesitant start, as I waste my time fooling around with an old Polish bomber. It's a PZL 37B by a Polish kit maker - ZTS. My only excuse, and I really need one, is that it's a twin tailed, twin engined 1930s plane and I've been working through a bunch of Lockheed's Twins!! Anyway it's time to MOVE ON And I'm making a start on this.... This is more like it! One of the decal options is for the 1990s Lufthansa historic plane decorated as D-AQUI but that seems to throw up a few issues. Like wrong engines, as it's been fitted with Pratt & Whitney radials. Doors and windows layout on these are a bit of a minefield really, and a load of exmilitary airframes going on to civil work straight after the WW2. Straight engines or turned out, doors behind the cockpit.... It's all just as mixed up as the Lockheed Twins situation. I'm going to have a go at a 1930s plane. Back then Lufthansa named their airliners after famously heroic German pilots and aces of WW1. Boelke was one, and the example supplied on the decal sheet is Manfred himself! On D-ABIK. At the moment I'm bogged down with building several tiny seats and an interior. That's right.... I'm doing a fully appointed seating area!! Windows are quite big and I can get some of the doors open, so I hope this is not a waste of time. Like a PZL 37B by ZTS.......
  13. In a very welcome turn from its usual choices, some years ago Planet Models released a number of civil kits, of which I have built these delightful Focke Wulf A.16 and Monocoupe: I have also acquired their Lockheed Air Express, their passenger-carrying Messerschmitt M.20b-2 and their Focke Wulf F.19 "Ente" (Duck, or "canard" -French in turn for duck- as the configuration is mostly known), the type that occupies our attention today. It makes me smile that many modelers and aviation enthusiasts find the Ente and similar planes "weird", when the truth is that the canard formula was prevalent at the beginnings of aviation, and even today is used with some frequency (Rutan's designs, Saab Viggen, JAS 39 Grippen, XB70 Valkyrie, Dassault Rafale, among many others). Here is one example of a "Gee Bee" "ente": For years I have been gathering reference material on the F.W. Ente, feeling attracted to its unusual, yet elegant lines. There were two Entes, 19 and 19a. In the earlier 19 the support that holds the fore plane was slim and completely faired. In the 19a that support changed into a complex multi-member exposed cabane structure. The 19a had added downward-pointing vertical "fins" on the main wing. They had different propellers and engines (Siemens SH11 the 19 and SH 14 in the 19a), as well as changes in color in the metal surfaces and in the marks applied. The 19 flew in 1927, eventually killing its pilot, non other than Georg Wulf, one of the founders of the firm. The 19a flew in 1930. You may find of interest this downloadable NACA pdfs on the type: 19: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930090641.pdf 19a: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930090260.pdf And here is a link to a newsreel, courtesy of Getty Images, showing the -predictably- so called "tail first" aircraft: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/coming-or-going-kent-eng-the-vice-versa-bird-visiting-news-footage/1080308752 An excellent reference in the very interesting and well-informed German ADL site (in German, unfortunately): https://adl-luftfahrthistorik.de/dok/focke-wulf-f-19-ente-entenflugzeug.pdf This same article can be found at Jet&Prop 3/02 There is such an abundance of readily available reference material and photos on the Net that ignorance while building this kit is inexcusable. Kits in 1/72 have been previously released by Lüdemann (resin) and Airmodel (Vac+resin). I have not seen them first hand, so I can't comment on their particularities. A number of modelers feel certain reluctance to build resin kits, being that because of the general lack of locking devices, the annoying pouring blocks and casting webs many parts come with or in, the toxicity of the dust produced during sanding, the fact that there is little or no adjustment time if using CA glue, their dislike of the alternative (for certain parts): epoxy, or just because their price tends to be high due to different fabrication processes (that is more of the manual type). I have built a large number of them, as well as vacs, so to me they are, in a way, the same. As there are differences between injected plastic kits, there are also differences between resin kits. Some are despicable blobs full of blemishes and air bubbles, bent parts and dubious shapes, and some are exquisitely mastered and cast. Personally, I find Planet Models kits somewhere in the middle-upper range. They are not subtle or have delicate detail, they feel -and are- chunky and heavy, but they can render a nice replica with a bit of care. Planet Models' Ente is not a new kit, I believe it was released about 2005, so it has certain things that will need correction, if you are the type that takes pleasure in provide some fair degree of accuracy to your models. The kit has been reviewed in the Flugzeuge-Modell Journal (3/2007) where the reviewer points out to a few areas that need care, and builds a magnificent model, but, as usual, read everything, but trust only photos of the original. Contents. I got a brochure from CMK, product no doubt of the convoluted relationships between companies in Eastern Europe. I have some times bought a kit that in the box showed one brand, had in the sprues stamped a different one, and yet had another logo on the instructions.
  14. The civil derivatives of the Bristol M.1 monoplane are attractive little planes, perhaps not as well known as they deserve or as much as their military counterpart. Avis is doing a wonderful deed releasing a series of civil machines that are elegant, fairly priced, well detailed and produced to a nice standard. I have recently built and present here the Bristol Racer, the Short Cockle, and the Short Satellite. All very pleasant to build kits that produced satisfying renditions. This is the last of the series -that I am aware of- for now, and since I saw the beautiful model posted by @Unkempt I decided to post a WiP, for those of you who have the kit or are thinking of acquiring it. Avis released many variants of the M.1, but I was drawn to the civil "D" racer kit. The parts have some flash that requires some careful clean-up (the previously-mentioned kits had very clean molds), and be sure you check the fit, since this particular kit, unlike all the others, may need some extra attention. After the sprues were washed with mild detergent on lukewarm water and dried, most parts were released and, as said above, carefully cleaned up. The plastic seemed to me a bit harder than all their other kits, more in line with their former releases (Crusader AG-4, Mig Utka, that I also built and posted here and were just a teeny tiny coarse). A very complete interior -for the scale- is provided, as well as the Lucifer engine. There was a very beautiful inline engine version that perhaps may tempt Avis for a follow-up kit (VH-UQI) and other civil registrations that differ a bit on details (G-EAVO, G-EASR, M-AFAA). May be the aftermarket industry will come up with some nice decals. For a change, there is plenty on the Net to see and learn from, especially photos. I recommend you do it, especially to fix a couple minor things on the interior. Oh, my!! An evil kit? (curiosly, Luficer is literally "light-bringing"): Some plastic gasping seems to indicate so!:
  15. Another commission for the same client who recently had me build them an A380 in Emirates colours. This is the Zvezda 777-300ER dressed up in the 26Decals Emirates 777-31H livery. My client has just flown out of Stanstead on one of these bound for Dubai and wanted another reminder of her journey in 1/144 scale as a ceiling hanging display. The Kit: WOW - this is an amazing kit and certainly far better than the Minicraft 777 which I have previously built and had to alter with numerous Braz resin front-end and engine corrective parts. Zvezda have put some incredible engineering into their moulding detail and the central one piece wing join is a great way to hold the correct profile (their 747-8 and 787-8 kist both use the same attachment method) While 26 decals have never disappointed me, either Zveda or 26 have the window spacing wrong. I've had to attach the window decals in groups of 3 to avoid spacing problems. I should have this completed within the next few days or so.
  16. A completed commission build for an Emirates passenger who travelled down to Cape Town from Dubai last year on one of the Airlines A380-800's and wanted to remember the experience in 1/144 scale. Not competition standards by far but sufficiently Airbussy to have satisfied the client. Kit cockpit piece omitted and replaced with 26 Decals set in conjunction with the detail set supplied with the A380 House Colours decal sheet. The fishing line suspension lines are quite fine and don't really show up here but this has been built as a ceiling hanging display. Mr Hobby Acrylics used throughout and glossed with Humbrol water based Clear.
  17. Well, work on the second Anson started, and this time the goal is to reproduce a machine used by the London School of Flying, G-AMDA. The previous experience with the recently posted Anson should be of help, and an opportunity to improve a thing or two that I missed on that one. G-AMDA also flew in other guises (Derby Aviation), equally attractive, but the elegant two-tone blue scheme of this one definitely appealed to me. This airframe needs a few things modified: new clear nose, cowls, landing gear, the addition of a football antenna loop fairing, and other minor details. An old release: With documentation! I acquired a set of Eduard masks and a Flightpath photoetched set. You can see that I have made already the new cowls and gotten new engines:
  18. Here I would like to show you this classic airliner before the wide bodies were available. The kit is from Nitto and has also been on the market under the Doyusha label (afaik). The kit's decals were quite ok, but I did not like the liveries (KLM and JAL). So Draw decals came to the rescue with this colourful livery. The specialists among the audience may have noticed, that Aeromexico did not use the -61, but the -63 with slightly different engines. But I hope nobody else will notice... The Cockpit glazing was not usable. So I had to use filler and had to sand it. The decals from Draw were also useful here. I hope you like this sleek airliner. Any comment is welcome. cheers, Norbert
  19. I like this old kit. I'll try to explain why. The "Nippon" (Japan) was one in a series of conversions for civil use stemming from the Mitsubishi G3M line. Several planes, not always identical, were converted or modified for a number of civil duties: passenger and cargo flying and "good will", record, or propaganda flights. The details are complex and extensive, so we'll untangle them later on. Here is a list, taken from the Golden Years registers, of all the Mitsubishi transports I could find there: J-BAAS Mitsubishi L3Y1 Asahi Shimbun J-BACI Mitsubishi G3M2 Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and Tokyo Nichinichi 00.08.39 J-BADY Mitsubishi L3Y2 J-BEOA Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Soyokaze' J-BEOC Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Yamato' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BEOD Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.10.39 (Conversion of 96/G3M1) J-BEOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Tatsukaze' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BEOF Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.04.40 (Conversion of 96/G3M1) J-BEOG Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Matukaze' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BFOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Amatsukaze' 00.03.40 J-BFOF Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.03.40 Forcelanded in sea and sunk off Haneda J-BJOD Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Isokaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Hamakaze' 00.11.40 J-BJOF Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Okikaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOG Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Namikaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOH Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Hokaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOI Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Yakaze' 00.02.41 (DNKKK: Dai Nippon Kōkū Kabushiki Kaisha, Imperial Japanese Airways 大日本航空株式会社) J-BACI, one of the two subjects that can be modeled with this kit, made an around-the-world flight, http://airhistory-nippon.la.coocan.jp/nipponflight.html visiting many countries and attracting a great deal of attention (no doubt the goal of such endeavor). Among those countries was Argentina, with the plane landing in Buenos Aires. Many of the flights performed by the civil variants of the plane where as said in the category of "good will" flights. However, considering the events immediately after (like Pearl Harbor), one perhaps should be a tad skeptical assessing the real nature of them. Regarding the different registrations/machines, it's not just a matter of slapping them on, since there were many differences among machines, some quite evident. As always, base your model and detail on photographic evidence, and pay little heed to captions and written descriptions, many times inaccurate. For the moment, and regarding the kit, it must be said that this tool -with modifications and additions- was released a large number of times covering a variety of subject through many years. This last incarnation in civil guise by Arii, is still, in spite of of its vintage, a nice package at a very convenient price. So what do we get? We get a bag where everything but the instructions is packed: transparencies, decals, sprues. Not the best packaging, as we know. But there is a piece of rigid cardboard to support the load. The transparencies contain many parts not to be used, as they belong to the bang-boing-paf versions, for which I care much less than little. The decals cover two civil versions, J-BACI and J-BEOC. The parts are modified to cover this civil versions, but still some things will need to be added. The surface is interesting, consisting -again, old mold- of myriads of engraved rivets and panel lines. Of course a bit exaggerated. Nothing that an invigorating exercising sanding session -or many- won't take care of. A blast from the past: the place for the hinomarus is also engraved on the wings -now that is vintage for you-. The interior detail I strongly suspect belongs more to the other versions than to the civil ones . No cabin detail whatsoever, but some cockpit detail. The landing gear legs can rotate upwards!! -this always reminds me of the 60's and the Beatles:-) The rest has a rational break-down and again interesting surfaces and detail, we will see this as we advance on the build. I think this old kit in its new guise can be turned into a decent model -and you can see many good ones on the Net, some exceptionally built. Let's see what we got: Out of the cellophane bag: The transparencies are not bad at all: Although the surface is slightly pebbled and looks faintly milky. Future bath in its future, no doubt: The hinomaru placement mark (I know...), the hail dimples or golf ball rivets, but quite restrained panel lines. My idea is to sand the surfaces quite a bit to reduce those golf ball dimples to their minimum expressions, and refresh the panel lines if needed: A view of the second sprue: The engines are molded integrally with the cowl. If not awfully wrong or offending, I nevertheless just ordered after-market ones and will remove them, which also facilitates painting -however, the cowl was black on the original plane, so you may get away painting everything black and picking the engine up with a dry-brush of silver-: The main sprue. The Japanese figures look a bit circumspect or pensive: Some of the parts, a bit of flash, some ejector pin marks, the usual: Instrument panel, not bad if you want just a quick build: The props, not really accurate but passable, again, if you just want a quick build:
  20. I love the strange but somehow harmonious lines of the Lysander, always did and always will. But I do not build military planes anymore. Imagine my joy when I read, in a very old Fana magazine, that one was acquired to fly, under British registration, for Monaco Airways! A frantic search and extensive consultation did not render any results, whatsoever. Years passed, nothing else came up. Days ago I saw that a new kit may be in the works according to BM's rumormonger. So finally, since I only have four models in their final and most delicate stages, I decided to bring Lizzie to life, and bought the Pavla kit. And I asked for the help of my French fellow modelers and friends.
  21. Well, another wonderful little kit by Avis of an appealing subject rendered in great detail, with sound engineering and molding, which makes for a pleasurable build in all departments. The step-by-step build is here: Even as a short-run kit, these last civil releases by Avis have raised that bar in that category high up. As you can see, I built three of their recent kits in a row, something I seldom do, but I was enchanted by the subjects and the quality-price ratio. The care on the details, the good instructions, clear and at a readable size, the good decal sheet, the printed clear parts, the accessories included, what a delight! There is a minor issue with the decal placement under the wing, please refer to the WiP for correction. As I said elsewhere: It warms the cockles of my heart!
  22. Another attractive civil release by Avis, again combining nice detail, good engineering, affordable price and appealing subject in short-run form. The box has alternate parts and even offers the perks of beaching wheels, a fuselage resting scaffold and a bench, all with multiple parts. How's that for a little kit? The Short Brothers S.1 Cockle (first named Stellite) was a one-off endeavor commissioned privately. First flying in 1924 it shows another effort by Short to master the intricacies of metal airplane building (seen also in the S.4 Satellite), having an aluminium hull and frame. The very small twin engine arrangement reminded of a scratch I did time ago, the Gnosspelius Gull, and what do you know, Mr. Gnosspelius was indeed attached to this project as I found out doing some research for this build. The prototype had some difficulty trying to separate itself from the water, and being marginally powered -to put it mildly- it was no surprise, but finally achieved flight by making some changes to the airframe. The original tail was later replaced by a larger and differently shaped one, and it ended up being used for some trials and experiments (The kit has both tails for you to chose from). Instructions tell you to paint the hull bottom and wing floats black, which is not unusual, but at least one clear photo shows the plane with no color whatsoever on those areas, having the hue of the rest of the plane, aluminium. A very unreliable small card drawing with the wrong registration found on the net shows those areas on red. The choice is yours. With all the recent Avis releases I am (flying) in heaven. It is not often that I get on a roll regarding manufacturers products, but after completing the Satellite, working now on the final stages of the Bristol Racer, and getting this one, I just had to start it. It calls you. Again, even as a short run offering effort is made to keep things clean, sprue gates small, and detail satisfying: Two horizontal and two vertical tails are offered: The detail is convincing: Even the minuscule Blackburne Tomtit engines are rather convincing for this scale: Decals for the two versions and the usual Avis film windshields: I will go back to the Bristol Racer for a little while, but I'll be back, as it was once famously said.
  23. The chubby silhouette of the Bristol Racer at first sight doesn't look like a wonderful choice for a streamlined speed machine. Nevertheless it was thought that by encapsulating the whole engine some gain was to be had. Surface area vastly increased, though, and produced an aerodynamic shadow that spoiled the efficiency of wings and tail. In any case, that strange choice has given us one of the most distinct shapes of early aviation, besides being irresistibly cute, and having you wanting to pinch its cheek. So much in love I was with this thing that I ventured years ago to build a not particularly good vacuformed kit of it, posted here at BM. Some years later I even got a special set made by Arctic Decals to go with the kit (that provided no decals whatsoever, and had many other shortcomings. But hey, it was, after all a Bristol Racer, and who would kit it anyway? Well, Avis just did!!! But first, here is the old beast made with the vac kit After the nice experience with Avis' Short Satellite, I just had to retrieve the box from the vault and start it. One of these has already been built and posted here at BM by @Unkempt, who did a wonderful job. So, let's see where this goes. The box, known already by many here: Contents: Detail: The biggest parts are removed and cleaned up a bit: Some parts will need your attention. I had to remove material from the inner rim on the part on the right, to let the relief on the part of the left get inside. Also the locating key has to be sanded a bit to allow the parts to be joined: A small issue on this kit is the position of the fore legs of the L.G. I joined the parts just with a blob of Plasticine from behind to show what's going on here. As you can see there is no recess for the fore legs, as it should be, because it intersects the ventilation canals. What is wrong here is hard to tell: are those canals too long or too aft? is the LG position -or other parts- out of wack?: As you can see the master maker started to carve the recess for the legs, but encountered the issue and did not proceed further: But, if you align (fill) the two lower canals to match the external ones, you may create just enough room for the recess to be carved and so comfortably accommodate the LG legs:
  24. Congratulations to Avis for their recent releases of charming civil planes, a welcome and refreshing change from what is usually seen in the hobby scene. The model took less than a week to be built, working a bit every day. For details please refer to the building post: This is a very nice little kit that will only require a few details to be added to shine. The Short Satellite was one of the many efforts by aviation companies to obtain a reliable, affordable, safe, reasonably performing light plane for the civil market, being aimed to individuals or Aero Clubs. The graceful, well-though lines look modern compared to contemporaries, and so does its "metal can" fuselage construction, whilst the rest was the usual wood and fabric.
  25. I am elated by the release by Avis of a plethora of charming and good-looking civil planes in 1/72, a welcome break from the usual gloom and doom, with less common and sometimes colorful types, and all this at affordable prices with a reasonable level of detail. I am acquiring their releases to support their choices, eager as I am for not really common civil kits, having been many times forced to resort to conversions of existing kits, or scratch-building, to satisfy my preferences for graceful, well-meant, significant and why not many times cute and adorable little flying things. All the late Avis releases are short run, meaning that you have to put a little of yourself there, you know, that thing, modeling. The Short Satellite belongs to the Light Plane category, the same league for which I scratched the De Havilland D.H.53, Gnosspelious Gull and the Parnall Pixie posted here some time ago: A good reference for these types is The Lympne Trials, by Ord-Hume. I have had a file on Satellite for many years. In comparing the kit to my files I found it to be quite spot on, even having in the sprues the two engines (Cherub and Scorpion) that the plane had (The plane attended the Lympne light plane competition in 1924 and 1925 with a Cherub, and the 1926 one with a Scorpion). The kit provides a closing part for the aft cockpit for the version with the registration (as depicted in box art), but it also flew with that registration with the aft post uncovered. Parts are provided of course for both positions. There is a very small omission on the decal sheet: the scheme with the number 8 should have also two number 8 under each wing, with a white outline: http://www.shu-aero.com/AeroPhotos_Shu_Aero/Aircraft_N/Short/Short_Satelite_S_4_G_EBJU_01_large.jpg Besides what it is provided in the decal sheet, the plane sported an additional scheme with the number 15 -and still with the registrations-, plus the logo of the 7 feathers Aero Club on the nose. The fuselage of the Satellite was made entirely of metal, hence its aspect of cobbled-together tin cans. Contents, including a printed film for the small windshields: Nice instructions you don't have to look at with a microscope: The expected level of detail for this kind of kit:
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