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Found 20 results

  1. For my next build , an Oldie, Golden Wings 1/48 McDonnell F2H Demon. As a Vac no less! Being a vac and from a company I've never built an example from before, this should be an interesting exercise. Guaranteed there will be a fair amount of scratch building, an printing and probably more than a few choice words. But no matter I've stared atthis box for many a moon and it's now time for it to see the light of day. Lets see what we gots to work with... Lots O' plastic to cut and grind down,metal bits, and decals of dubious quality and age. What not to like? But as they say.... On with the show!
  2. After much delay(and over a year on the bench) I present Titan Models 1/48 B-2 Spirit. Definitely NOT OOB. The Cockpit, Bomb bays, Ordinance, Gear Wells, Flaps, and ancillary Support Equipment are all 3d Printed. Lighting kit added for cockpit lights, landing lights, gear wells, and nav lights. Paint ran the gamut from Hardware store rattle cans to AK Interactive, Tamiya, Mig-Ammo and just about everything else in between.This build definitely stretched me far past my comfort zone with the added extras like electrics. . . Had to do one with Northrop's OTHER stealth aircraft. You can find the WIP here: Thanks for stopping by d having a looksee at this "Little" build. All comments and questions and critiques are always welcome. Here is a short homemade presentation video as well for fun hope you like.
  3. This is going to be my student build in response to Martian's Hawker Horsley Vacuform Tutorial. Thanks for looking in. Stephen
  4. For my entry I have a 1/48 Sanger Bristol Beaufort. Yes I'm foolish enough to do not only another vac but a Sanger vac to boot. Although I must say this is a whole lot better than the an Oxford I've been struggling through of late on the anything but injection GB. Decently moulded white vac plastic All kinds of neato white metal(that I won't use for the most part) I'll print out or scratch build extra parts I need. I doubt I'll do a full interior, but the cockpit and forward nose do scream out for some added extra bits. I hope I don't damage the clear plastic like I did on the Oxford. I think I'll prep new vac masters just in case. I am waiting on my decals but they will be in long before I finish this up. I'm going to do Mk1A from No.2 Torpedo Training Squadron Unit based at Castle Kennedy Scotland in late 1943. So I hope you'll follow along on my little quest. If you have and comments, suggestions, or questions, shout 'em out. Now to begin.....
  5. Hear ye, hear ye, modelers! Abandon a life of reprehensible modeling sloth! Regain your uselessly spent energy while tempering mind and body! Why build despicable kits that fit with no effort, debilitating spirit, muscles, brain and will? Why just put measly, perfectly formed parts together, with the only help of glue, avoiding the joys of a good challenge, and remaining deaf to the call of the wild modeling nature? Wake up, BM modelers, to a true modeling life! Do as @general melchett did! he eventually developed such eyelid musculature, that he was able to keep his eyes opened for minutes at the time! Imitate @Space Ranger, he once sanded a kit, and now the Space Ladies follow him everywhere! After many years of cracking their respective skulls, sink their economies, and lose a hefty percentage of their citizens -leaving orphans and widows galore as side-effect-, the WWI belligerent countries apparently came to the unexpected conclusion that perhaps using planes as passenger, mail and goods transport was somehow a better idea. Go figure! Thus, many planes were converted to civil use, with greater or lesser success, many times by the simple expedient of slapping a cabin atop the fuselage to give some protection for the no doubt very impressed, but perhaps a bit startled passengers. I have done and posted here quite a few of them, as there is no better use for a weapon than to be at the service of peace, preferably not killing anyone in the process of performing said service. For the purpose, I had acquired yet another vintage 1/72nd vacuformed kit, this time the Sierra Models Friedrichshafen F.F.49c seaplane. It's in line with standard offerings in the same media, also providing a few fairly-cast white metal parts, but no strut material, no decals and an interior that even a Spartan would call Spartan. There are, surprisingly, several options for a civil machine, and I found without much trouble many images on the Net, among them: - Tiedemann's N3 (apparently D-222 F.F.49, Jan. 1920) (I had already built another Tidemann's seaplane, a civil conversion of a Hansa W.33: - T-DABA - DLR W7 And according to the Air History registers: D-41 Friedrichshafen FF.49 DLR D-42 Friedrichshafen FF.49 D-43 Friedrichshafen FF.49 D-44 Friedrichshafen FF.49 DLR Berlin D-45 Friedrichshafen FF.49 DLR >Deutscher Aero Lloyd , Crashed D-49 Friedrichshafen FF.49 1365 Deutscher Aero Lloyd >Severa, Canc 11.33 D-71 Friedrichshafen FF.49 v1 D-85 Friedrichshafen FF.49 1368 Lloyd L.V. Sablatnig >Aero Sport Warnemunde >DVS D-86 Friedrichshafen FF.49 223 Lloyd L.V. Sablatnig >DVS, Destroyed 8.28 D-114 Friedrichshafen FF.49 Sablatnig D-115 Friedrichshafen FF.49 Sablatnig D-132 LFG V.1 'Max' Used by Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft Stralsund as air taxi Rebuilt Friedrichshafen FF 49 D-133 LFG V.2 'Moritz' Used by Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft Stralsund as air taxi Rebuilt Friedrichshafen FF 49 D-134 LFG V.4 'Witwe Bolte' Used by Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft Stralsund as air taxi Rebuilt Friedrichshafen FF 49 D-146 Friedrichshafen FF.49 DLR/Berlin >DVS, Canc 07.28 D-377 Friedrichshafen FF.49 DLR (W8) Canc 28.01.20 D-380 Friedrichshafen FF.49 DLR To Denmark 4.20 D-381 Friedrichshafen FF.49 D-381 DLR To Denmark 4.20 With so much to chose from, of course what is available as original photos should be considered as reference, not to mention the always daunting and sticky task of discerning the colors of the chosen potential subjects. Now, to the molds: Not bad, but not what one would call sharp definition: Restrained rib detail, correct scalloping: The white metal parts (half will go to the bin, as they pertain to the military version): I have to dig deeper into the references, but I think the civil version, especially the conversions by LFG (V.1 to V.4) had an enlarged vertical tail:
  6. Well folks, despite my best efforts I have caved in to the Vac form and resin kit builders new group build and I will be starting the Scaleplanes RAF FE8 kit which was one of the first vacs I added to my stash. I have some after market goodies in the form of a SmallStuff Monosoupape engine and Aeroclub prop which although slightly too large is at least the correct pitch for a pusher and can be filed down, and a Miniworld Lewis gun. Wheels and national markings/serial have been sourced from the spares stash. The only issue is how I will do the number on the nacelle as I have no decals that will do the job. I'll sort that out when I come to it, and it will be less of a problem than figuring out how to do the tail framing! At least this should keep @pheonix happy! Here's what I have to be going on with: Did I mention how tiny it is? I spent this afternoon scaling up the plans from the Datafile (why are the profiles and plan view different sizes? They are not to any particular scale either!) and sourcing the bits I needed. The last act of today was to outline the parts to be removed. Oh well, here we go..... Ian
  7. Fokker F.32 The Mighty Behemoths (Image from the SDASM photostream) Once in a while, to commemorate the Sanding Festival that was celebrated at the Shaolin Modeling Temple every time someone would complete a model, I build a Vacuformed Gentle Giant. Here you may see the Zeppelin Staaken: The HP42/45: The Blackburn Kangaroo: And the Sikorsky S.43, among others: Execuform subject choices are very exciting, and the Fokker F.32 is no exception. Execuform vacufomed kits are just a starting point for a modeling project. They do not provide details in the form or resin, metal parts or decals, although earlier issues did have white metal parts. They do provide the very basic parts you will need to build a model as clean slate. You may then add surface detail and accessories as much as you please or like. For me, and for many others like me, they provide the opportunity to build a model not represented by mainstream companies, and in doing so Execuform allows you to have in your case or on your shelf a replica of an out of the ordinary plane. I do build from time to time vacuformed kits, and I truly enjoy them. They give you the opportunity to learn, improvise and generally improve your modeling skills, besides the satisfaction of a more involving participation, beyond just gluing parts together. Since when I want a model of an out-of-the-ordinary plane it is more likely that I will have to scratchbuild it, I am grateful I have vacuformed kits around that reduce the building time considerably if the subject coincides with what I am looking for. I also in the process learn a lot about the plane, its history and details, since I have to fabricate many interior parts and exterior details, which I do with satisfaction and pleasure. And even in the case when there is an injected model of the subject, I may go vac, since for me it is far more exciting. Information on the Fokker F.32 is fortunately abundant, but you have to invest the time to find it. As a starting point have a look on the AAHS Journal of Spring 2012 article, the one on the Summer 1966 issue, and the online Flight Magazine archives. But always, always, always, cross-reference: the said AAHS Summer article has a photo of the interior of "Anthony Fokker cabin Air Yacht", that is actually the interior of an HP42, a very serious research blunder. There are photos and even drawings of that specific plane, NC342N. Beware that there were, as it is usually the case, differences between the seven machines built. The first one had only two vertical tails, and the elevator was balanced, plus the wheel pants were much clunkier than on later machines of the series. Following airframes had three vertical tails and an unbalanced elevator, and as said more kindly streamlined wheel pants. Details in the engine gondolas also varied, having different exhaust arrangements and in some cases a sort of Townend ring on the front engines. Back engines also seem to show in some photos some kind of cowling, although unusual and tighter. The Beast had four Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp originally, later P&W R-1690 Hornet. The props of the four engines (two blades in front, three blades pushing in the back) rotated anticlockwise, if you were standing at the front of the respective engines, which means that standing in front of the airplane the back props will be seen rotating clockwise. The windows on top of the cabin were tinted green (according to a Flight magazine article). Wheel pants exhibit slightly different designs and surface patterns, besides the difference stated above. Interior arrangements also varied, depending upon company and service schedule (day or night, the latter offering sleeping bunks). One notorious Fokker F.32, the one used by Tony himself, had a very luxurious, unconventional interior. Wing was plywood-covered. Front tip of fuselage, cockpit sides and roof, engine nacelles and wheel pants were aluminum-covered. Most of the fuselage and tail were fabric-covered. Doors were located on both sides of the fuselage. Landing lights also varied. One was located in the chin of the nose, and two on the wings, although in some planes they are on the leading edges and in some others they are flat under the wing and deploy before landing, as they do nowadays. Why the F. 32 didn’t quite make it? It was born during the depression, had problems with overheating rear engines –a common situation on similar tandem arrangements, like the Farman F3X Jabiru and Farman F.220/2/3- and later suffered the “no wood wings” syndrome catalyzed by the publicized crash of the F.10 where famous coach Knute Rockne and others perished. It was also reportedly a bit tail heavy. But for sure it had other remarkable qualities: the number of passengers it could carry (32) and the comfort of its installations (ventilation, a galley, supple seats, lighting, two restrooms, wardroom, luggage compartment, and more). It was no doubt a precursor, a pioneer in its own right. They served basically for four years, from 1929 to 1932 and one ended up on Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, as a gas station, but no doubt this 99’ span behemoth was a sight to behold. The F.32 was surely noisy and exposed to the whims of the weather, and yet I would travel on it any time, instead on the intolerably uncomfortable sardine cans of nowadays. In one way or another, the F.32 left its mark on aviation history, being one of the earlier giants of its time. Here are some newsreel clips that would give a good idea of the portly design: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/men-push-airplane-away-from-hangar-pan-row-of-men-news-footage/1130782236 https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/fokker-f-32-passenger-plane-is-christened-as-several-news-footage/893312492 https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675027465_men_F-32-Fokker-airplane_Men-stand_men-watch-the-plane https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675027464_men_Fokker-stands-at-airport_men-gather_plane-takes-off A PDF in Spanish http://bibliotecavirtualdefensa.es/BVMDefensa/i18n/catalogo_imagenes/grupo.cmd?path=68203 Of the seven machines built, and in order to study my potential choices for a specific scheme, I started to group references for the prototype, NC124M, and the machine furnished in luxury for Fokker, NC342N. A very interesting detail found during research is that one of the prototype's characteristics was a twin vertical tail, whilst the series machines had three. Photos of the prototype show it bare, then with a Universal Air Lines scheme, then with an earlier Western Air Express one, and as it happens, I found an image of the prototype with three vertical tails in a completely different scheme, of which unfortunately not all the lettering can be read, but it states "Inauguration of the N.Y.N.H.& H Through Havan...", "The Everglades" and some obscured additional text. The acronym seems to belong to New York & New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., perhaps one of those plane-railroad joint ventures. Link to image: https://www.ebay.com/itm/8x10-Print-Fokker-F32-Airliner-1930-Boston-Airport-2203/201080125367?hash=item2ed14f37b7:g:Ec4AAOSwtC1dt2Xy Not sure I would call the F.32 a beauty, as this publicity suggest, but I could call it "interesting": Here is what you get: I would perhaps scratch the vertical stabilizers, as it may take less time than sanding and shaping them: The plastic is thick, something you need for this specific model: Again, you only get the very basic shapes:
  8. A Golden Eagle is lost at sea Long time ago I came across photos of the Lockheed Vega "Golden Eagle" that participated in the Dole air race to Hawaii. The plane started, but never arrived, and is presumed by most as having gone down in the Pacific. The Golden Eagle was the first Vega build, bought by George Hearst, and entered in the Dole race flown by Gordon Scott (navigator) and Jack Frost (pilot). Whilst some photos show a plane with the 2788 registration and an unusual, early style of curved small windshield and open cockpit, others show a plane as it participated in the race (as also seen in the Dole race start newsreels), with a "V" shaped more common windshield (still open "roof" in the cockpit), the actual legend "Golden Eagle" on the side, NX913 registration, and that -often seen in Lockheed planes- linear "spread array" pattern on the stab. Both had the early exposed cylinders -no NACA cowl or Townend ring- the triangular vertical tail, and a rather simple, unfaired, landing gear array. As it happens, after long perusing, reading and browsing, it is clear that the two are one and the same, with the registration changed. The color of the plane is given in one source as bright yellow. The diverse characters on the plane are certainly not black, and in fact are almost the same tonal value as the airframe color, confirming the red "trim" stated by many accounts. Yet another source (an article by Serge Pozzoli) reports orange-gold and red trim, and that would be indeed my choice, as it closely honors the name of the plane. The book Lockheed Aircraft since 1913 by R. Francillon states orange and red, and again, I think that "orange" stands for a golden paint. The plane had large signs on the sides, almost invisible in all but two of the images I have, that play a bit on the logo of the San Francisco Examiner (the sponsor) but adding "Golden Eagle" split to each side of it. The tail has an early Lockheed star logo with the word Vega in it, and the lettering Lockheed bellow it. As per details: a whole new interior has to be provided (fortunately I found a diagram). The Vega 1 was conceived as a four-seater, but for the race two fuel tanks were located ahead in the cabin, leaving a crawling space on top, and a navigator station was created with instruments, seat, a space for provisions, emergency equipment, radio, etc. An earth-inductor compass was part of the equipment, its mast with spinning windmill on the fuselage spine. A hatch for a cut-out was provided for the navigator on the cabin roof and a foldable windshield ahead of it on the wing. Opposite to what will be seen on successive models, the ailerons did not have a compensating mass, thus the ailerons leading edges were a simple straight business. These early Vegas, as mentioned, had a triangular vertical tail, a door that hinged upwards, located ahead of what will be the norm in later models, and only four windows per side. As many of you know, there is a 1/72 kit by MPM readily available -which I have in the stash- but also an old and venerable vac by Gordon Stevens of RarePlane fame. I had the good fortune of corresponding with him before his passing, at a time when I was building some of his kits. We had our good chats, as he was an affable, kind and knowledgeable gentleman, and I hope he may be looking from a cloud now and smiling, since I have chosen his kit for this build. This kit is peculiar in the sense that the fuselage (and all the interior parts and engine) are vacuum-formed in a thick clear plastic, whilst flying surfaces and other small details come in the usual white styrene sheets. No decals were included in these kits, and many of the details like engine, prop, wheels, struts and other smallish parts are better substituted. Gordon included those additional parts in the clear sheet most likely to take advantage of the space, but it's not a happy solution. I have built in another life his Bell Airacuda, similarly fashioned, and that engineering solution, that may sound practical at first, ends up being not much so, for diverse reasons. As the vac kit represents a later Vega, I will have to remove the nose NACA cowling and vertical tail, and replace them with pointy nose and triangular tail: I will have also to move the cabin door one "space" ahead, delete the aft fifth windows on both sides and replace the wheel pants-cum-partial wheel for just plain whole wheels. Landing gear struts need to be fabricated, new engine provided and a different interior fashioned. And, of course, the decals. A hefty amount of time, more than many would deem reasonable, was spent researching the many details of this plane, and lately I solved the last detail mentioned, that is, the particular details of the lettering and decoration on the plane, all from few, vague, and not very yielding images, gathered one or a few at a time, after hours and hours of perusing and browsing here and there. The vintage boxing A spurious 1/48 AMT decal sheet was put inside by a previous owner: Instructions... Plastic A not very practical approach, but may have seemed "high-tech" at the time: The door and windows are there, although I will have to change some of that:
  9. Here is the Seversky AP-7 as flown to victory by Jacqueline Cochran in the 1938 Bendix air race. A RarePlane P-35 vacuformed kit of old (in fact the first, no-surface-detail issue of it) was used as a base for this model (there was a later, much more detailed release). The modifications and detailing needed were extensive, and I invite you to have a look at the development of the construction here: Decals came kindly from a set that was commissioned by Morgan Girling, of the Seattle area, my gratitude to her. The decals have some minor inaccuracies, a couple are a wee-bit off size, and the "13" on the fuselage clearly shows in photos a light color outline. The number itself may have not been black as depicted, as it doesn't seem to quite match in hue the "Sever/Sky" motif. Anyway, nitpickings. If pursuing to replicate any of the several Seversky racers and civil models, attention has to be paid to a number of details, as they clearly differed from one another regarding marks, landing gear, canopy, antennas, side fuselage hatches and fuselage windows. If any of the existing kits in the market (the already mentioned much more detailed version of the Rareplane vac kit, the MPM injected kit, etc.) is used as a base for these racing/civilian models, any military equipment has to be removed and changes made. I purchased -but discarded- as a potential base kit for these builds a resin Choroszy P-35 / S-2 (Frank Fuller #77 racer) as it had inaccuracies, molding problems, flawed and incomplete decals and detail-matching problems in the belly area. Checking your kit against photos (not just profiles of plans or drawings) of the actual plane is a must if your goal is to obtain a reasonably accurate model. Bear in mind that, as it is often the case, the same plane may change during its life regarding details and marks. Racers are especially attractive and a wonderful option for those kits languishing in the stash that can be adapted to represent them, usually with only a few changes, providing a spiffy model and an exciting story to go with it. If you go for the RarePlane vac version (still present in the second hand market after all these years), remember to look for the later, more detailed version, and not the plain one I used, as the latter will make you work quite a bit more.
  10. The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen Setting aside Amelia Earhart, vaguely known by the general public and easily recognizable by the aviation community, not much credit has been given to women in the field, in spite of their many contributions (and in some cases sacrifices). I have tried to pay a kind homage to a few of them in our own little way: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235045609-northrop-gamma-2g-conqueror-engine-jackie-cochrans-macrobertson-dream-machine/ https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235077669-jackie-cochran-twin-wasp-northrop-gamma-bendix-1935-modified-willimas-bros-172-kit/ https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235051160-caudron-c610-aiglon-elisabeth-lions-record-modified-sbs-caudron-aiglon/ https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235040453-lockheed-electra-10e-amelia-earhart-special-hobby-conversion-172/ The list of winged women is long: "Pancho" Barnes, Jean Batten, Bessie Coleman, Ruth Elder, Amy Johnson, Ruth Nichols, Elinor Smith, Louise Thaden, Bobbi Trout, Amalia Celia Figueredo, Adrienne Bolland, Maureen Dunlop and many more. Many years ago I built this very same kit, to the level I could do then: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235053070-seversky-p-35-converted-to-racer-vacuformed-rareplanes-172/ The opportunity to perhaps up the job a bit has presented again in the form of a very kind invitation to contribute a model for a display titled "Women in aviation", to be held in the future (hopefully, given the current situation) at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. This was the plane flown by Jacqueline Cochran to Victory at the 1938 Bendix race. The previous year she was the only women to finish the race. To render a Seversky AP-7 (the correct denomination of this specific version) I am using again a RarePlane P-35, modifying it as needed to reflect the differences. I am aware that other, more modern kits exists, but my nostalgic inclinations and the tickling of the challenge made me once again incline for an atavistic vacuum-formed kit. For the decals this time I am indebted to Morgan Girling, my appreciative thanks to her. Where all begins... The contents. This must have been one of Gordon's early releases, as the surface is bare, and you are advised to get prop, wheels and such from other kits. Gordon kits would eventually develop into little vac masterpieces:
  11. 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:
  12. A model from 9 years ago: Today I will post two more models made from vacuformed kits of a very simple nature, as the subject seems to have picked up the interest of some of you. The one below is simple but generally correct, while the other (a Fokker Universal from VLE) is a kit that leaves a bit to be desired. The Abrams Explorer was a functional and elegant plane specifically designed for photographic survey. It first flew in 1937 being its performance, engineering and configuration notable for the time. It went through o change of power plant (from Wright R-975E to Wright R-975E-3, roughly 100 more hp) that implied the subsequent addition of short struts and increased vertical surface area. Execuform presents a vacuformed 1/72 kit in the simple lines that characterize its offers. You get the main parts plus the transparencies and a plan with the type technical description. It will take a bit of work, but again, it is highly unlikely that you will get an Abrams Explorer from the mainstream manufacturers, n’est pas? This kit reminded me of early times of my life....I was flooded by memories of the Modeling Monastery, with its walls of styrene reportedly scratchbuilt by the original monks in the foggy beginnings of modeling history. In those cloisters the monks were trained in the heavenly arts of vacuforming, the hard disciplines of puttying and sanding and the mysteries of airbrushing. Its underground vaults stuffed with building materials and arcane tools, its dungeons choked-full of the sanding dust produced by generations upon generations of monks. But I digress.... For the kit you have to provide engine, wheels, prop, decals and cater for the interior bits. I decided to replace the stabilizer instead of spending time sanding it down, but it is a matter of personal choice. Once the parts are removed you are left with a backing sheet of large area, from where you can get material for your scratched parts for this and future projects. The smaller shapes are the front wheel fairing (two parts) the air scoops on the side of the aft fuselage (two parts) a fairing on top of the aft fuselage (one part) and a part to make the carb intake (goes at the bottom of the cowling that surrounds the engine, see Execuform’s plan). If you follow the images they will give you an idea of the construction process. Wing halves and other twin parts like wheel pants and tail booms were glued at this stage; once these parts were dry and sanded, the control surfaces’ separation lines were engraved. None of the model’s flying surfaces have the ribbing that the real plane had. You may consider representing the ribbing with your method of choice, subtly on the wings and a tad more prominent on the tail surfaces. For the wing have in mind that the ribbing is seen on the aft two thirds of the chord, on the exterior panels, excluding the flaps. I decided to represent the fabric-covered parts with a different shade of paint. At this point it is of great help to start thinking about the building sequence. A decision was made to glue the booms to the wing taking care of their alignment (their bottoms don’t spoil the surface under the wing, only the top) and then later cut the portion of the wing shadowed by the fuselage. The wings will at a later stage be joined to the fuselage via a spar and the insertion of the tailplane will close the structural circuit. The mating of the transparent part of the fuselage with the opaque one also deserves some thought. The transparencies are on the thin side, which is good for clarity, and not so good for sanding and gluing. The parts will cover only the nose, so you have to cut two side windows and insert a clear strip there –see images-. Later you could glue the opaque fuselage sides –may be with an aft-closing bulkhead and some interior- then saw the nose off. Some details that are located in the nose could be added before gluing the frontal transparent parts. Those are separated vertically in the mold, which is ok since a metal strip runs there on the original plane. Decal strips would be used to depict the canopy frames. Caution here because there are some curved ones at the doors. As per photos control lead fairings and skids were added to the booms, while a “pan” was envisioned for the cockpit details later to be inserted, as said, before closing everything up with the transparent front part of the fuselage. A camera was also scratched and its port holes drilled on the fuselage bottom. The instrument panel in the original plane was small and attached to the roof. The roof of the canopy was tinted, probably in a green hue, to provide for some sun screening. Precautions are necessary to avoid a tail-sitter. I placed a bit of lead inside the wings’ leading edges. I found dealing with the provided front transparencies somewhat challenging and a tad frustrating; I “adjusted” them too much, and had to buy a replacement set from Execuform. As said, those transparencies are thin, so you don’t have much edge where to glue, and matching the halves with the thickness of stiff paper is not a pleasant task. And at the same time you have to match the cross section at the front of the sawn-off fuselage. Once the transparencies were adjusted to size I tried different glues on scrap pieces. Tenax, Model Master liquid cement and Plastruct Plastic Weld didn’t work well, so I Futurized them and glued them with cyanoacrylate. My suspicions that the frontal area of the model would consume most of the building time proved right. Retrospectively thinking, I think that to build the wing, booms and tail as a unit and then cut a niche in the fuselage to accommodate it is a better prospect. Even more retrospectively thinking I shouldn’t be building models at all. Furthermore, I shall be in an intergalactic ship in a discovery voyage through the universe, where no modeler has gone before. In any case the subassemblies (plane, front wheel housing and annular cowl) were primed and then a coat of black enamel was sprayed on in preparation for the aluminum finish. Venturi and Pitot probes were made and set aside, together with the home-made decals and navigation lights (for the later a step-by-step process is depicted in the accompanying images). I ended up adapting a stunning resin engine from Khee-Kha Art Products to be able to finish the model. There are enough images on the Net to have a very good idea of the real plane and detail it if so you wish. Just beware that the window panes are not symmetrically laid on both sides. My thanks go, once more, to (the late) Jim Schubert who provided input on the project.
  13. A model from 9 years ago: The second vac for today, this time a rather unrefined kit by VLE. I checked right now and the kit seems to be listed, but not available, by Aviation Megastore, that is using photos of my model and my build to portray the kit, without permission or even a mere credit. Great business practices, I see. The Fokker Universal has highly significant historical value, was produced in large numbers in many variants, can be seen in skis, floats and wheels, and had such diverse and attractive liveries from many countries, that I honestly do not understand why it hasn't been kitted to a higher level yet more recently. We finally got a rather clunky Fokker F.VII from Valom (I posted one here), but no Universal or Super Universal. Me, I would love to see kitted a four-engined Fokker F.32: From the San Diego Air and Space Museum Flickr photostream: From Wikipedia: But again I digress. The Fokker Universal, the subject of this article, was the first American Fokker, designed by Robert Noorduyn and produced in New Jersey by the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation. Although it kept a number of Fokker design trade marks, it also incorporated some local know-how. Starting on 1926 more than forty were built, and a number of them went to Canada. Wheels, floats and skis were all comfortable shoes for the Universal. So here it is the Universal kit in 1/72, thanks to VLE Models, a rather simple an unsophisticated kit, but providing some extra bits. As you can tell by the images, there is a low count of vac parts and a number of details provided either as metal, resin or extruded styrene (struts) plus decals for several versions. The decals are of just passable quality and heck, there are a lot, but I went for my home-made brew. For the reasonably experienced modeler there are a lot of other versions livery-wise out there too, if you can print you own decals. Once the parts were extracted from the sheets and sanded down, minor adjustments were made to help their fit. The wing construction is similar to that of the VLE’s T-2, in having a wraparound leading edge that fits to a lip provided by the upper and lower wing parts. That lip or step has in this case to be reduced to the minimum expression in order to allow the LE to fit properly. Some panel lines were a bit undefined and had to be re-scribed. A certain amount of filler was also applied to deal with a few gaps. For most of the sanding I used wet sanding with wet-or-dry sand paper attached to flat surfaces (small and big). With the kit you get, besides the above-mentioned multi-decal options, floats, skis and wheels to dress your Universal in the appropriate attire. The cockpit area is also covered by the extra parts plus a bulkhead that closes the cabin area. You will have to provide a cabin interior according to the version you are building. A clear plastic strip is provided for the windows. It is covered, both sides, by a protective film. This is a simpler and smaller build than the same brand T-2, and things proceeded smoothly on. In the intermezzos I read out loud poems by Mark Strand, which, as it is universally known, always helps to tame the model parts and provide for a better fit. Next the interior was added with some structure that is visible from outside and that, in the case of the windows, will later support the transparencies. The fus halves were glued, and wing and stab added, then the metal part that accounts for the main frame of the landing gear, which, by the way, helps a lot with all those struts. Once dried, the joins and little faults were remedied with Milliput and putty. Metal control horns were added where necessary and little holes made for the minor parts and future rigging. Brass “Strutz” tailskid was added. The usual filling/priming/sanding cycle went on couple of times, and then the wing was painted to replicate the wood finish, using a combination of acrylics, oils and clear coats. A few photoecthed parts were added here and there. For the fuselage alu dope finish Humbrol 56 was used. The home-made decals were applied and then the rigging (kinda complex in this one, as the control cables are exposed). Struts were added and with engine, minor details and windshield it was done. Bear in kind that many machines exhibit minor differences in their strut arrangement, not only because of the skis or floats, but also among wheel-equipped machines. Variations can be noticed in rudder profile, cockpit area and the immediate wing surface directly after the cockpit. Exhausts have many alternate arrangements. The plane represented by the model is one of the two Colonial Air Transport Universals that were allocated to CAM-1, under contract with the U.S. Post Office. The strange registrations are due a short-lived system that was used at the time. The window on the door was covered. I opted to make my wing in wood finish, as many other Fokker were like that.
  14. As most will know Airfix are up to their stash spoiling ways again and are releasing a completely over detailed 1/48 Blenheim 1, at no point did they ask me if that was acceptable, if they had I would have told them straight 'no thank you, I have a perfectly good Contrail one'. So as a snub to Airfix I'm going to indulge in some proper modelling by building it regardless; it will be detailed but not over detailed with never to be seen again , I know it's there interiors and to make it different it will be the prototype Blenheim 1 K7033 in natural metal finish, a silver shiny Blenheim like this.... Typical Contrail vacform sheets, but I have a Classic Airframes interior resin set, plus replacement wheels and a paintmask- see, I'm not as stupid as I look. a few reference works to assist. Like all vac builds nothing will happen for a while why I hack and sand the bits into shape.
  15. I thought I might start this build, Airways VC10 vacform, I was considering doing the military version, but keeping things Brooklands orientated I shall make this particular VC10 in BUA colours registration number G-ASIX, I might open one of the passenger doors and add some detail, I also have the Anigrand kit but will just take the wheels and make some resin copies, anyway it will not be a quick build but hopefully not as long as the Vanguard took me, I did visit Brooklands last month but could not get any photos of her as they were doing some major work on the wings and most of her was fenced off, but there is plenty to get me started, in the mean time if any one has photos that they have of G-ASIX in BUA colours or Caledonian would be much appreciated, http://www.airliners.net/photo/British-United-Airways/Vickers-VC10-Srs1103/0726123/L/&sid=d0da64434e0ee3037e3eb68c0ebb3f72
  16. Yesterday I was possessed from the insane idea to explore the vacum formed stash and I found an old 1/72 scale Contrail Supermarine Scapa. Many years have passed since I assembled my last one but this kind of kit remain still my first love. I cannot face the resin kit without inconvenience while the vacs still give me strong emotions. Unfortunately the vacs companies on the market are now very few, But coming back to the kit I made the first little boring step, preparing the pieces. Now I have to plan the "interior design" and this is the real endeavour because What I was able to fid in the web are these little images. If someone could help me with some details it would be very appreciated. Anyway It's not really a problem because the crew emplacements are not really visible so the main target is to assemble a credible cockpit Happy modelling to you Ezio and now the little I found on the interior
  17. Hello all For this group build I will be building three Lagg 3's. All will be in 1/72 but the kits are very different. One each of the Roden kit, the Emhar/Frog/RedStar and the Eastern Express kit. I will also be using Kuivalainen photo etch sets, Kora wheels and Steelwork undercarriage doors as a minimum of after market to start with. I may use at least one after market seat, also a Falcon canopy and perhaps two Rob Taurus canopies. All three aircraft can be seen here, they are 'White 68', 'Red 59' and 'Red 52' of 3rd Gv. IAP Baltic Fleet east of Lage Ladoga in winter 1942. All will have varying degrees of white distemper temporary winter camouflage applied: http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/lagg3/3gviap/3gviap.html I have the Roden kit, freshly purchased from BNA model world. This kit is a little notorious for the fact that in reality, although it looks nice on the sprues, nothing really fits together well: Some say with perseverance it is the best Lagg 3 in 1/72. Others say the Dakoplast/Eastern Express is the best. We will see, I am still waiting for that one to arrive. The third is the very old Red Star/Emhar kit. I only have a bagged version with the parts off the sprues and decals. It came with an instruction sheet for a KPM vac form. Although the instruction sheet may seem useless, it actually has some good plans and reference material in it. This kit is extremely lacking in detail and I hope to steal bits from the Roden and use the other two kits and all resources to make this kit the best it can be. I have made one before and it can be thrown together in a couple of hours, but rather more time and care will be taken on it this time. The KPM sheet: I hope to incorporate these three aircraft into a simple, snowy diorama. If anyone can recommend suitable pilot figures please let me know, as this time I'm going to try to include them and have some open canopies This should keep me busy for a while! Thanks for looking Best regards Tony Edited for spelling
  18. Hi, and happy new year 2014 to all Britmodellers. I've decided to bin everything I previously did on my Sanger Shackleton and start again more seriously (and I hope more successfully). I chose the same path as Tom did on his superb build, and started with the engine nacelles, with quite an ambition: I intend to make a master and cast four "power eggs" in resin. I can't back out, as I already spoke of that point to two gentlemen who told me they were interested in two sets each. Well, now I have to deliver. So here's what I've done so far. John Aero told me the front end of the engine nacelle basically was a Spitfire Griffon nose with an annular radiator (I oversimplify, but that's the idea), so I took a Daco Spitfire XIV nose, removed the rocker covers and glued it to the front part Sanger provides: Then I figured the radiator usind .01 solder wire: The center grid is done using fine mesh a French friend provided (he's interested in a set too, so...), The walls of the nacelle were thickened at the opening using bits of plastic cards glued then puttied. The front part is almost done. The picture is merciless: looking at it, I saw the problem with the two "wings" on each side of the resin part. I'll correct it this evening. Now with the nacelle parts: Have you seen errors I overlooked? Please tell me, I want to correct any mistake I've made before closing the nacelle. TIA, Sebastien
  19. What girl doesn't like Cosmo? No not that kind; get your minds out of the gutter and put the magazine back on the rack. This kind: This is the 1/72 Welsh/Proteus Canadair Cosmopolitan, with two different RCAF schemes. Inside the box you find a bag of resin, some white metal detail parts and a vac fuselage. Decals And typically basic Welsh style instruction sheets The vac parts and the resin parts
  20. Does anyone have a wrecked 1/72 Britannia? One of the halves of an outboard engine nacelle mysteriously evaporated out of mine, and since I really don't have any interest in doing a twin-engine Britannia, I need to replace it. Alternatively, does anyone have any ideas on how to build a nacelle?
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