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  1. Fokker De Spin 1/32 scratch + 3D print I've decided quite a while ago to build one of the most interesting pioneer aircraft (IMHO) - the Spider. It consists of rigging, rigging and even more rigging so it sounds like fun. I've started with the "fuselage". At the beginning I had designed the 3D parts like skids and the frame but after I printed them it turned out they are just too fragile, so the brass was used instead. The radiators and the seat are 3D printed. This is what I've managed to do. The spoke wheels have been made using the 3D-printed rim and wheels with wire spokes and the hub made of brass. They look slightly crude, especially when compared to the Steven Robson's spokes which are stellar but still I'm quite happy that I've learnt something new. I've designed the Argus engine and other bits like tail fin and the petrol tank in Blender and they were printed by my mate Przemek Żurek.
  2. Ok so this is the second model in 35 odd years so be easy! The Scammell transporter was always an iconic model back in the day when the only option was the Airfix 1/72 one. I always wanted to do this justice so when I found out about this beast I couldn't resist. This is a pretty good model with some nice detail however as I've discovered with non tank military stuff your options for detail are boundless. All those break pipes, chains, leavers, cables, springs. It's a rabbit hole of detail. I did plenty of research (Google) and added / modified as I saw fit. The colour scheme is sort of early war rather than desert. The fun bit with me is the weathering and since I discovered pigments they seem to be the weapon of choice. I tried not to be too muddy but the rust bug took hold and I think it's a bit OTT but I had fun so...... I have added a few scratchbuild bits such as the greatcoat in the cab, the seat cushions, all the tarp covers, in-field additional storage racks, lots of cables and wires including break pipes and pipes and wires in the engine. I even did the windscreen wiper motors and cables which you can't see! Aftermarket wheels were used as the kit ones just don't look realistic. Also aftermarket REME resin kits were added. The kit itself is very nice despite the plethora of ejection marks! There are a few things wrong but nothing too obvious I don't think but then I'm no expert. Thanks for looking........... Cheers A
  3. Clear Prop Models is to release a new tool 1/72nd Gloster E28/39 Pioneer kit - ref. CP72001 Source: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/1176423-clearprop-cp72001-gloster-e28-39-pioneer V.P.
  4. Combat Kits has re-released an updated version of the Magna Models 1/72nd Scottish Aviation Pioneer CC.1 resin kit - ref. KCR006 Source: https://www.facebook.com/freightdogmodels/photos/a.238637406163951/2534515049909497/?type=3&theater Available here: https://www.freightdogmodels.co.uk/featured/combat-kits-1-72-scottish-aviation-pioneer-cc-1-complete-resin-model.html A friend of mine having had a look at Telford at the updated Combat Kits from the Magna Models 1/48th Blackburn Firebrand said "You don't transform a nag into a racehorse". And for the Twin Pioneer... link or link V.P.
  5. I have in my stash the Thunder Model Scammall Pioneer tractor and trailer, 1/35 scale. My current load options in my stash are: Comet cruiser tank and Firefly Ic tank. Are either of these suitable load options for the Scammall?
  6. From 5 years ago, another pioneer for the thread. The Pujol Vendome is an example of how local industries (in this case Spain’s) started to produce efficient designs, either of their own creation -as it was the case in the then leading countries- or acquiring the rights to fabricate known, proven designs, as it is with this French Vendome. Pujol, Comabella & Cia. produced in Spain during the mid 10’s a number of these machines and at the same time pioneered the local industry, provided useful know-how, and gave the opportunity to pilots and personnel to be trained and be familiarized with this then incipient mean of transportation. In the lines of the contemporary conventional arrangement, the Spanish Vendome used an 80hp Gnome rotary and -instead of ailerons- wing warp control (no, no Star Trek's stuff any means).
  7. A model from 12 years ago, for the Pioneers thread. One of my then Incipient efforts on scratchbuilding that today makes my smile because of it´s charming naivete. That two models of this plane (the other by his homonym Horatio Gruntfuttok this last Wednesday) were presented at BM really beats the odds. Well, you can see it by yourself. Reality can by stranger than imagination. The pioneering work of British Horatio Philips left many contributions to science and a great deal of machines that, after a convoluted and complex path, ended up influencing contemporary art. Among those -reputedly- flying machines, the multiplane (20-plane, to be precise) of 1904 is the subject of this modeling endeavor. Basically a simple machine to model, the multiplane doesn't require too much effort until you arrive to the "multi" part of multi-plane. I could find just one image of the plane, which differed from the plan I got, so I went along with the photo.
  8. Another oldie for the pioneer thread, made twelve years ago. Talk about "modern", in 1911!! This was to be the future, and almost nobody saw it. Aviation insisted with triplanes and biplanes for decades after. The Antoinette-Latham Monobloc of 1911 produced a very elegant, retro-futuristic shape that resembles an old refrigerator mated with an ocean liner. Essentially another canoe-shaped fuselage flying machine –well, may be not that flying- from the popular Antoinette stables. Exceptionally clean for the times but not very fortunate, the general configuration had to wait still a very long time to become what we now perceive as the standard, conventional shape for a plane. What a wasted opportunity to advance aviation by 30 years or so. I repeat: this was 1911, THREE YEARS BEFORE WWI. Compare it with the typical plane flown after it.
  9. From 5 years ago, another pioneer for the thread: Paul Castaibert was an Argentinean of French origin who also became a well recognized aviation pioneer. From 1911 to 1918 he developed a prolific line of airplanes for Argentina and Uruguay. These machines followed the design general lines of European counterparts, but adapted and refined, many times using great ingenuity to solve construction challenges and having innovative devices built into them. The model presented here is a two-place trainer variant of the Castaibert IV. The plans I found were not accurate compared with photos, so some corrections had to be made before scratchbuilding began.
  10. Another incipient attempt at scratchbuilding from 11 years ago, for the Pioneer thread. This…plane? was built in 1913 for the Great Lakes Reliability Cruise competition. During its trials, much to the dismay of its builders, pilot and bystanders, it stubbornly refused not only to get airborne, but also to taxi. The naïve advertisement that pretended to sell this invention on magazines sold it as “Faster Than Hydroplanes, Safer Than Motor Boats”, which for the second statement might be true, since it was practically stationary. Of the panoply of adventurous designs that populate the pioneer era, some are truly remarkable, almost unforgettable in their defiance to logic. And that’s precisely the reason that makes them what they are, outstanding samples of alternative thinking. Oh, poetic winds of an era of creativity, make these winged fairies fly into the vast horizons of our imagination.
  11. A model from 8 years ago of a plane that brought technical innovations and streamlining to the field: There are plenty of cases of plane designs that were way ahead of their time in one regard or another. There are very few, though, that were at the same time innovative and successful. Designed by Louis Bechereau, the French Deperdussin Monocoque (for single, whole shell) of 1912 was so advanced for its time, that one can’t but be puzzled looking a contemporary planes; or even at later designs. Not only had the trademark “monocoque” fuselage –where the skin bears part of the loads-, but was also a monoplane with a carefully cowled engine. Instead of ailerons it used wing warping for lateral control. It swept the Chicago 1912 Gordon Bennett taking first and second place (Vedrines and Prevost respectively). Then –on floats- won the Schneider Trophy and it did the same at the Reims1913 edition of the Gordon Bennett again, leaving all other competitors eating dust. The Deperdussin was also the first plane to break the 100 mph barrier. The design, as it is sometimes the case with many other wonderful things, went almost unnoticed and the unwashed aviation designer masses kept insisting on biplanes, uncowled engines and other contraptions for decades after. Go figure. Both “monocoque” construction and monoplane design are a staple of today’s aviation. I was making this model for a fellow enthusiast and soon we realized that there was some confusion in the depiction of this specific machine. It took a very hefty amount of research to get things right with this little fellow. There are so many miss-identifications of the Deperdussin machines, even in prominent sites and publications, that I was indeed surprised. Carefully going through era magazines and newspapers started to shed some light and brought up a number of details used to tell one machine from another. The model you see here is indeed a representation of the Vedrines machine. The one that took 2nd, the Prevost machine, is different in some very noticeable details, among them engine, cabane, headrest, cowling, spinner and wing platform. Both also differ from previous machines and from the ones used later in Reims. Painstaking research even brought up the fact that Vedrines used to decorate the side of his mount with an image of the Mona Lisa, which I replicated. A flag is seen on the rudder on some photos, so I made decals for that too. In those times, France was the clear leader on the aviation field. No wonder F.A.I. stands for Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.
  12. Form 12 years ago, my third attempt at scratchbuilding (about 135 scratched models by now), for the Pioneer thread. The Pensuti-Caproni was a very small triplane, an Italian winged Vespa scooter if you will, with a wingspan of a mere 4 meters (a bit more than 13 feet). The sole association with the name Caproni should give you a clue that you are about to deal with something here. There were apparently two configurations of the same plane, the first one represented here with a three cylinder "Y" Anzani engine and a revised version with a different tail and a more powerful 6 cylinder engine. Not much is around in terms of information or images, but enough to produce a fair model. I found certain discrepancies (really? can't believe it!) between plans and photos. This little piece of three-layer flying lasagna is made out of more than 70 individual pieces, if you count the lengths of stretched sprue of plastic for rigging, the count runs higher. The building process was an enjoyable one, in spite of the small size of both, the parts and my patience. Isn't it a nice tiny piece from the past? (Please, don't sneeze!) Size comparison with a much later design, a Beech Staggerwing:
  13. A model from 8 years ago for the Pioneer thread: The Burgess Cup Defender was an honorable but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to grant US representation and participation in the 1912 Gordon Bennett race, backed by the members of the Illinois Aero Club who formed an ad-hoc organization in Chicago. As one in three millions among you will surely know, the race was won by Monsieur Vedrines and its modernist Deperdussin, being second Monsieur Prevost with an almost identical machine (more on the Deperdussin on a future article). The Cup Defender was a traditional machine design-wise, with wing-warp roll control a la Wright (no ailerons for you rail-road modelers), whose goal was not innovation but reliability. It had a two-row 14 cylinder Gnome rotary, the best you could get at the time, but no pilot was found willing to fly it since at that time controls were not standardized. The research to make the model was lengthy but fruitful, and required many hours on the Net exploring arcane beginning-of-the-XX-century publications in the darkest, almost inaccessible crags of the Virtual World. Home-made decals were used to depict the plywood areas on the fuselage tail and the “Burgess” legend on the cockpit sides. Although this plane was the product of well-intended citizens, the “Cup Defender” -that never had a chance to prove its value- illustrates the contemporary more conservative thinking. As fate had it, it was the much modern and daring French Deperdussin Monocoque the one that took the trophy.
  14. A scratch model from 12 years ago, to further illustrate the ongoing Pioneer thread of postings. There were at least three different modifications of the same plane. One has a long, pointy fuselage with a narrow track landing gear; other has a very large fin and rudder, and the third is the one presented here. In any case, the Bleriot VI was a tandem wing design, where CG changes were achieved by the displacement of the pilot seat in a back and forth motion. Movable wing tips were located in the fore wing, acting as ailerons, although apparently they could operate deflecting in the same direction in unison too. Fortunately it seems that the rudder at least was conventional. Remember, it was 1907 and these guys were trying to figure things out! Did it fly? yes indeed, although not very far.
  15. A model from 11 years ago, adding to the Bleriot designs posted today to complement the Pioneers thread. Monsieur Louis Bleriot experimented a lot with the “canard” formula, so much so that in his 25th plane he made one of his periodical returns to that configuration. We can’t blame him, since the appeal of the design is irresistible. Isn’t it? Bleriot built a plethora of planes, but they were just a mere excuse for him to wear those magnificent mustaches and the ubiquitous beret, not to mention to puzzle crowds in regard of what direction would his planes take-off –or land! From a past when creating and experimenting was part of the daily challenge, climbing majestically over the horizon, comes a gleaming, glamorous Beauty.
  16. Another Bleriot design to add to the Pioneer thread, a model made 11 years ago. I can almost hear the sighs of relief...a "conventional" plane! After a series of planes which explored unconventional design ideas (Bleriot III "continuous" wings, Bleriot V Canard, Bleriot VI tandem, etc) Louis Bleriot selected an arrangement that will set the rule for times to come. The Bleriot VII (1907) was simple plane which, as the other models, suffered several transformations that increased the experience and capabilities of its manufacturer/pilot. The basically similar Bleriot XI will accomplish very soon the famous Channel crossing.
  17. From 11 years ago, another scratchbuilt model associated with the series of early pioneers, this time part of a series of Bleriot designs (previous to the flight across the Channel) Here is today the Bleriot V "canard". Actually, it seems to be that this was the first airplane nicknamed after the not-so-elegant quacking relative, later to become a generic for the stabilizer-first airplane configuration. This one wasn't really very successful, achieving just a few promising long hops and several failures of the landing gear in the process. Rebuilt, as usual, a few times with modifications, this model represents one of them. Hidden in the back is a very simple replica of the Antoinette 24 cv that supposedly propelled the plane. The off-center position of the prop blades axis is correct, and was used in other Bleriot planes. Control was executed by twisting the wings, moving the stab, shouting loudly, kicking the cockpit floor and generally spanking the fuselage to encourage it to leave the ground.
  18. A model built eleven years ago, makes me smile now. Another pioneer design for those who seem to be enjoying the latest string of posts. I only hope that our gracious hosts won't be getting tired of these. Here we go again: The Paulhan-Tatin aero-torpille (aerial torpedo) of 1911 is the perfect example to illustrate the word “fuselage”, a French-coined term meaning spindle-shaped, originated from the Latin “fusus”, spindle. This is one of the many aviation-related terms being established at the time to name the parts of the flying wonders in the Dawn of Airplane Era. If you look around among the planes of that time, you will see that what we now give for granted regarding shapes and aerodynamics wasn’t a common sight then, a period of flying forests of struts, wires and exposed structures, hence the importance of the “aero-torpille”. The pusher configuration was elected in order to further increase the cleanness of the design, aimed to offer the less possible resistance to the air. The engine, a Gnome of 50 hp, was enclosed in the middle of the fuselage and a transmission going all the way down moved the pusher propeller. The whole machine was canvas-covered save the section where the engine was, which had louvered metal plates all around. From period photos you can tell that the machine was slightly modified along its life: wheels being canvas-covered or not, tail skid reinforcements had variations, a minor alteration of the tail shape, the presence or not of a mast at the very front tip of the fuselage, etc. At 9.00 meters of span, in 1/72 it is a small model. The machine looks very modern, especially when compared to planes of the same era: streamlined, monoplane, fully enclosed engine…and it flew! reputedly to a speed around 150 kph –about ninety-something miles per hour. Monsieur Paulhan and Monsieur Tatin knew what they were doing!
  19. Another pioneer that I scratchbuilt some time ago, for the collection or aeronautic relics and your (hopefully) pleasure: The dream of getting into the blue yonder wasn't born in a specific place. Almost every man through history longed for wings. By the end of the XIX century, Alexander Mozhaisky, a Russian national, built and tested a steam powered monoplane that basically had the right stuff. It is arguable that he achieved a great degree of success, although the machine made a promising hop. Bureaucracy, lack of support, lack of funds, his own death, the usual things, prevented what could have had the chance to really make history, a fate many other pioneers would share. I will humbly dispute the numbers almost universally given for the size of this plane, which, if made with the given span and length, would be almost ridiculous. Fortunately, and after a certain time spent researching, an unexpected text (The Naval Institute Guide to the Soviet Navy by Norman Polmar) provided with the much more credible span of 12.2 meters. Why the other sources state, for example, that the main propeller was 28.7' (almost 9 meters) the span 74' (more than 22 meters) and so forth, seems to escape common sense; perhaps the common mistake of confusing metric and imperial? some other contemporary Russian measure system? Time will tell. Or Won't. What can I say, give me a glass of vodka and a balalaika (or better an Xacto)
  20. Continuing with the trend of posting models of pioneer aircraft, this was one of my first scratchs, of twelve years ago, The French Antoinette, designed by Leon Levavasseur, was one of the planes intending to cross the channel at the same time that Louis Bleriot was. If you look carefully at the shape of the fuselage you will notice that it resembles a boat or canoe, which speaks volumes about the confidence that pilot and designer had on the plane and its capacity to stay aloft and away from the waves. Nevertheless the Antoinette ended up being a very popular design of the incipient aviation era. The design had many variations in its life and apparently, according to photos of the time, you had to wear mustaches in order to fly it, most probably for aerodynamic reasons.
  21. From nine years ago, another pioneer machine. I saw a sketch of the the Flick-Reining Apteroid (apteron means literally no-wing in the language of Pericles) in a yellowed-paged book titled “Airplanes of the World”, by Dawydoff and Rolfe. Years went by until a post on the Aerodrome forum shed more light on the matter. Not that a 3 view appeared, mind you, but just a blurry photograph and patent papers, for which nevertheless I am immensely grateful. Using those abundant references I concocted a 3 view and finally decided to build the model. Now, it may be “Apteroid” –wingless- by name, but believe me, that didn’t sound right when I had to make the varied flying surfaces, which were double-surfaced as per patent description. Of course this model involved some speculation, but that’s the only way to deal with these very arcane machines that surely deserve a place in history (and the shelf).
  22. Frenchman Clement Ader, aviation pioneer, built in the late 1800s a series of steam-powered "avions" with a unique "bat-plane" flavor to them. Reputedly the first one, the "Eole", barely lifted and flew erratically for a little while. The Avion III -represented by this "dR design" kit- is a further development that again, reputedly, took off -tethered- from a circular track but crash-landed. These "flights", although neither spectacular nor really effectively controlled -more like hops-, precede nevertheless the Wright Bros. historic flight by many years. I built this model some time ago, but I though of posting it as it is related and appeared in conversation the comments of the Cayley's Glider I posted yesterday. The DR kit from Brazil is a meritorious effort and deserves praise and support, but the kit leaves quite a bit to be desired, especially regarding its resin components, which are frankly lacking in many aspects. This is no beginner kit and requires experience and skill to be built, but it can be built.
  23. I built this model some time ago, but the subject popped in conversation as the result of the posting yesterday of the scratchbuilt model of the Cayley Flying Carriage Yet another multimedia kit from DR Design of Brazil, like the Clement Ader Avion III I just posted, with its pros and cons. Caveat Emptor. I decent model can be made of it with patience and persistence.
  24. And the last pioneer machine for today, yet another Lilienthal design, a biplane. Also made long ago, but in the same vein. The comments are the same as the ones made in today's related pioneer posts. A tricky multimedia kit, but nice to have a kit of these more arcane designs.
  25. Yet another pioneer machine, one of the many Otto Lilienthal's designs, a kit I made some time ago and also related to the post of the scratchbuilt Cayley's Flying Carriage. The DR Design kit from Brazil presents its challenges, and requires patience and skill, but can be turned into a decent model:
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