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Found 4 results

  1. 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.
  2. These are all old builds, and in retrospect should have been posted at the beginning of these series. They often represent the first, hesitant steps on scratchbuilding. Here is another from 2007, 12 years ago (original text as posted then): The 1917 Bruyere C-1 is one of those French planes that you can’t resist. Not for its fighting qualities, precisely, but for its futuristic lines and configuration. The fuselage was covered in metal and the optimistically denominated “flying surfaces” were traditional canvas-covered structures. The engine was located aft of the pilot and via a shaft moved a pusher propeller. A truly modern front wheel three-point landing gear was installed and the canopy could have well been in one of the Burt Rutan designs. The position of the engine dictated that a series of holes were made on the fuselage for ventilation which, added to the front lower windows, made for a mid-way model construction name change. Instead of “Bruyere”, I realized that “Gruyere” would be more appropriate. As a futuristic sculpture or even as a highly polished, over-sized espresso machine the Gruyere would probably have been more fortunate than as a plane, since it crashed as soon as it left the safe protection of the earth and gave itself to the merciless laws of physics. When art and aviation merge, the results can’t be wrong, can they?
  3. A build from 5 years ago: If Mig is a recognizable name in the aviation world, this particular plane, the Utka (duck in Russian) may be not so. Designed along the lines of the canard (again, duck, this time in French) lines of so-(wrongly)-called tail-first, it joins the multiple planes built by a number of manufacturers using that formula. I was surprised of finding this plane as a kit, and I am happy Avis, the manufacturer that released it, decided to present this attractive and unusual civil aviation design. Congratulation Avis on releasing an appealing and unusual civil subject. At approximately the same time, a resin kit appeared in the market. This other resin kit by Jet & Prop seems to be nice and very refined, but, alas, as usual, with a much bigger tag price. This resin kit presents a different solution for the transparent parts, presenting the whole area as a clear part, a much better approach than the one taken by this injected kit by Avis, which only has individual panes that are rather thick and not absolutely clear. The Avis kit though has some degree of detail overall, however it gives a general impression of heaviness (short run technology). The surface detail is fair, and it has interior details too, if again not particularly refined. No decals are provided, nor photoetched parts or masks. You are on your own to create painting masks for the design, which has a certain degree of complexity. Some flash and mold lines are present on the parts and all require cleanup. The engine/prop pack is designed to allow the prop to freely rotate. The price of this kit is very convenient, and you get a nice replica of an unusual plane, so for me it seems not a bad deal overall. The kit represents one of the many iterations this design went through, so study your photos and references. It is likely that this one may have a propensity towards tail-sitting, so it would be wise to load some weight inside the nose, just in case. My thanks to Mr. Christos Psarras of Parabailarlabamba, and Deimos and Phobos, his dogs, for facilitating the acquisition of this lil' kit. If a little laborious and requiring some patience and skill, it is a fair price to pay for an unusual design: If the mythical Tour D'Argent restaurant in Paris produces arguably the best pressed duck, the duck that Avis pressed in its molding machines is not so great. There a few things that need correction, and some could benefit from improvement, but even if you build it OOB it would be an acceptable model (provided that you bend the wing down to achieve the necessary anhedral). This is a smallish but appealing subject provided by this triple-identity manufacturer, which has a stamped manufacturer seal on one side of the sprue tree that reads "AMODEL", and "MASTER 44" on the other, whereas "AVIS" is nowhere to be seen in the sprues, but is featured on the box. Mysteries of the Eastern European kit industry. The parts are a tad chunky, there are no perks (no masks, no decals, no P.E. parts, etc.) and you will need to exercise those modeling skills, given the short-run nature of this release. And you will have to sweat on your own to mask the model in order to achieve its painting scheme. Summarizing: a nice subject, of a welcome civil nature, a not so great molding and engineering with the limitations of short-run technology, and some amount of work for the modeler due to the lack of masks or even patterns to make the masks for the complex decoration. No decals either, even if the prop needs some. You get interior details and to some extent exterior details, reasonable, but not among the finest. As said above, there is a resin kit of this same plane issued by Jet & Prop that looks far better, but it is (alas!) far more expensive too. And you have to deal with resin, which not all of us love. Do not forget to put some weight inside the model's nose, there is tail-sitting potential here. This one will make you huff and puff and bit, but unless you have the bucks for the other -resin- kit around, there is not much choice if you want your duck.
  4. Model built 5 years ago. The Gee Bee Ascender. Less traditional spellings of the last word of its name have been frequently quoted. Not the chubby racer that the household name Gee Bee would normally evoke, but an experimental plane of canard (duck, in French) configuration (stab first), reputedly built from some Aeronca parts, and propelled by an Aeronca engine of mere 26 hp, according to Aerofiles. In case you are interested, Bill Hannan dedicated an article in one of the issues of his publication Hannan’s Runway. It was translated and reprinted in Le Fanatique de l' Aviation, No 161. And yes, you skeptics, it flew, and well. There is a Youtube clip here: The model was scratchbuilt using the common techniques. As you can see, the engine and prop are tiny. Small wood blocks were carved to get the contours on a couple of places on the fuselage. A door was opened and an interior was created.
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