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  1. About the glider: The FVA-10b "Rheinland" glider was built in 1936 as a project by students of the Aviation Technical Group at the Aachen University of Technology. Only 29 copies were built. The glider was characterized by excellent aerodynamic shapes, a large glazed cabin, a large wing extension and the use of air brakes and a takeoff and landing wheel. About the copy: After II World War one "Rheinland" glider was found in Grunow. Rebuilt in the workshop of the Gliding Institute in Biala, it was flown at Zar and performed technical flights there for testing and research. Later, it was assigned to the gliding school in Fordon near Bydgoszcz, where it was flown competitively until 1949. After deletion, it was transferred in 1949 to the warehouses of the Museum of Communication in Gądków, from where, after subsequent changes in storage, it ended up in the collection of the Museum of Aviation and Astronautics in Cracow. (compiled on the basis of material from samolotypolskie.pl) About the model: A 1/72 scale model based on injection kit from the Kovozávody Prostějov KPM 0153. From myself, I added a bit in the interior of the cabin, DFS type airbrakes, reworked the wheel (the kit has some mutant - the wheel in the folded position and the flaps are unknown for what) and.... I lengthened the wings 1mm on each side (the dimension did not hold the scale). I developed the painting and decals based on "Foreign gliders in Poland" published by Stratus. It was supposed to take a week, it took 18 days, but all in all I don't regret it - this is my 10th glider model. The collection is growing
  2. Model built on base of the injection kit from Bracia Darscy (re-box of kit from PZW from '80) with some scratch added (for details see WiP topic). Next one (9th) to collection of gliders registered in Poland
  3. I decided to try build something similiar to polish glider Bocian SZD-9 bis 1D. I will try not to write and only show progress
  4. This is my completed build number 2 in this series of 1/72 Air Cadet glider builds, the Heritage Aviation resin kit of the Grob Viking. This is actually build number 4 in my glider collection. Although being a “simple” resin build, much work was done to the cockpit area including using a small dremel to grind out the whole area to produce a more in scale look, modified cockpit seats, scratch built IP, seat cushions and belts. The supplied canopy was a challenge to achieve a conformal fit to the rest of the fuselage, so a copy was made in resin and extended slightly in length to produce a new buck, to vac form a new canopy A small hole was drilled in the extreme front of the nose for the aero tow attachment point, and a similar under fuselage hole drilled for the winch launch attachment point. Finish is overall Tamiya X-2 white, thinned with Mr levelling thinner. The Tamiya Acrylics thin superbly with the Lacquer based thinners. The orange areas were applied using MRP International Orange Lacquer paint, with the nose area up to the decal trim masked and airbrushed, along with the wing tips and tail area. The dayglow wing bands were masked out and MRP Dayglo Red applied. Undercarriage wheels were hand painted in Tamiya tyre black. All decals were from the kit, apart from the earlier mentioned nose and tail trim. Small see through inspection panels were made by very shallow drilling the appropriate holes (two in the port tail fin and two under each wing), filled with grey paint and then some humbrol clear. The WIP can be found here….......... Completed Viking build pictures.............. Close ups can be a bit cruel! The actual internals are hard to photograph through the canopy, this is what they looked like early in the build: The Viking can now join the Grob Astir, the Slingsby T21 and the Slingsby T31 And a final shot showing size comparison to a good old Spitfire! Earlier builds can be seen here..... Sedbergh T21 Slingsby T31 Grob Astir Thanks for looking. Comments, questions etc welcome! Terry
  5. The model is in 1/72 scale and based on Admiral injection kit. It's a part of my (still small) collection of gliders registered in Poland. The model started months (years really) ago had no luck. First I destroyed the canopy (here's a new vacuum-formed one), and then I found photos with the flaps extended, so.... I tried to cut them out and "somewhat" destroyed the wings. Fortunately, in the end I can show the finished model I hope you will like it.
  6. Gotha Go.242B Update Sets (For ICM) 1:48 Eduard ICM have released this unusual twin-boom glider fairly recently, and you can check out our review here. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Interior (491287) This set contains a single fret of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE. The simple instrument panel is replaced by a new layered panel, new side consoles, with replacement rudder pedals, brackets and straps fitted to the kit’s cross-bar. The asymmetric front bulkhead is removed and replaced by a new PE part, joined to the new side walls by separate angle-brackets. A small vision port is added to the exterior of the nosecone, then back inside a vertical rack with triangular sections is glued to the front bulkhead framework of the passenger compartment, and at the rear there is a detail strip that is fixed across the edge of the floor if you are leaving the main door open. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48072)) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. The decal sheet includes the simple instrument panel in front of the pilot, side console, plus another dial just below the main panel. The PE includes an in-scale coaming around the panel, two sets of pre-painted seatbelts for the crew, and some levers for the side consoles, with a scrap diagram showing their correct orientation. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1287) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. This set is unusual because it includes an impressive 20 sets of seatbelts for the crew and their passengers. Masks (EX686) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, the side windows and the rear windows. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX689) Supplied on two sheets of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Here is the first of a series of builds of a number of gliders in 1/72, representing the Air Cadet organisations of the UK and other nations. I had built the Phoenix vac form kits of both a T21 and a T31 a couple of years ago and decided to expand the collection to include post war gliders used by both UK Air Cadets and some overseas users. The idea is to show the history of post war gliding starting with machines used by the Air Cadets. I currently have around 7 planned and will likely expand that number to also include powered aircraft such as the Chipmunk, Slingsby Venture and Grob Tutor, although the Tutor is proving hard to source in 1/72! The WIP for this one, and all the other builds planned (around seven so far) is here: So this is KP's rendition of the Grob Astir, with detail parts in the form of replacement wheel, wheel doors and cockpit from Brengun. I chose to model the option for the Belgian Air Cadets. The model was a fairly straightforward build. Although the mouldings were quite basic with wing and fuselage joins requiring a jig to get aligned, it is a very nice little kit. I used MRP's excellent range of paints for both priming and white top coat. With much of the white masked off, I then used Tamiya's lacquer acrylic bright red for the ailerons, wing tips, nose, elevator and rudder. Final varnish gloss coats were MRP gloss varnish. Although Brengun do provide etched brass spoilers (air brakes), I chose to model these closed. Some quick shots of the Brengun internals, which are superb resin and brass items, very difficult to see once the canopy was closed up: The canopy itself was the biggest challenge as I wanted to recreate the very smooth join which required much filling, sanding and final polishing. I am pretty pleased with the final results, so here are a few shots show the elegant lines of this aircraft: And a final shot with a couple of earlier vac form builds of a T21 and a T31: Thanks for looking Terry
  8. GAL.48 Hotspur Mk.II (211) 1:48 Planet Models by Special Hobby General Aircraft Limited were approached by the British government to create a new troop-carrying glider after the German Fallschirmjager’s successes with them in the early war. The Hotspur was the result, but it was soon realised that its 8 troop limit was insufficient for their needs going forward, and the initial Mark.I suffered from some teething troubles that were addressed by the more competent Mk.II after only 18 Mk.Is were made. Changes to the wing were made to improve flight characteristics, and the fuselage was stiffened to reduce the likelihood of it breaking up during a hard landing. Other improvements included a braking ‘chute that prevented it from careening through field and glen after its 91mph landing (a terrifying prospect if landing downhill), a better canopy for visibility, and side doors to aid fast deployment of the troops. Because of the type’s limitations however, the glider was generally used in training because of its forgiving handling characteristics that helped learner pilots, although it did have a high sink-rate that was either a boon or a curse, depending on whether anyone was shooting at you. In the run-up to D-Day, it was suggested that the gliders could be used to carry crew and equipment over to the makeshift RAF airfields in France, and Spitfire Mk.IXs were considered for the towing task. Experiments showed that it was just about practical, but the caveats were that the Spits had a habit of overheating due to the low speed, and would have been vulnerable to enemy fighters whilst towing at a stately 160mph maximum. Some bright spark even thought of increasing the passenger numbers by creating a twin-fuselage “Zwilling” with a straight 12ft centre wing section between the two fuselages. That one got as far as prototyping, but it would be an easy conversion if you had two kits to hand. once hostilities ceased, the Hotspur was retired rapidly as the training need had evaporated overnight, but fortunately a few airframes found their way to museums, where they remain today. The Kit This is a new tool resin kit from Special Hobby’s resin division, Planet Models. It has had a long gestation that has been further extended by the vagaries of the pandemic, but at last it is with us. It arrives in a small white box with a large sticker on the lid to tell us what’s inside. On opening the captive lid we find several heat-sealed and channelled bags within, containing all the resin parts, using trapped air to protect the parts, and the rest of the box filled with packing peanuts to further protect the contents. The largest parts are the fuselage halves and the two wings, followed by the elevator fins, and twenty-two smaller parts in the same grey resin on twelve casting blocks. Two vacform canopies, 13 clear resin window plugs, two white metal gear legs and a decal sheet round out the package, with the instruction booklet supplied on three sheets of A4 printed on both sides, and with colour profiles on the rear pages. Resin usually comes still attached to its pour block, which is where the liquid resin is poured into the mould as well as acting as an overflow, and as bubble-catcher for more rustic manufacturers that don’t have access to pressure casting methods. The blocks will have to be removed before you can assemble or paint the parts, so there will be a little extra time needed to prepare the model for construction. With resin, you should take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding it, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Take care not to use water that is too hot, as this may cause deformation to more delicate parts, but this technique can conversely be used to fix warped parts, using cold water to “freeze” the changes in the shape. Construction begins with cleaning up the parts, such as the fuselage, which has a few areas where casting blocks have been, and clearing away any flash from the windows and join lines. After that, the cockpit is made up from a narrow floor with seats and twin control columns, the ribbed sides of the fuselages with additional bracing and equipment added, plus a twin frame that makes up the cockpit sills, to which two simple instrument panels are fitted, along with some dial decals to improve detail. The fuselage has a number of windows dotted around, and these are all clear resin parts that are inserted from inside, so they need fitting and sanding flush if necessary before you join the fuselage halves around the cockpit floor, then you add the sills in the opening and the canopy over the top of that. Many people are a bit phobic about vacform canopies, but with some blutak pushed inside it to hold it rigid and by using a sharp blade, they are relatively easy to cut out as long as you make regular light strokes. With the fuselage closed up, there is bound to be a little sanding and possibly some filling, so please remember the precautions mentioned above. The white metal landing gear has a tiny “spat” cover that plugs up the socket for the strut when it isn’t in use, but when fitted, it hangs over the front of the leg, which is outfitted with a pair of small resin wheels, with four supplied in total. The wings and elevators all fit using the traditional slot and tab method, and epoxy may be a slightly more forgiving option for these joints, as it gives you some curing time to ensure you get the correct dihedral on the main planes, and fit the elevators perpendicular to the tail fin. Once all those parts are cured and made good, you can fit the long skids into the holes under the fuselage. On my example those were a little obscured by flash and moulding debris, so if this happens to you, use the skid parts as a pattern if you’re having trouble finding some of them. That’s it! It was a simple glider, so it should be a simple kit. Nice though. Markings You get two decal options in the box, both of which are for training units. You can build one of the following from the box: BT551/L No.2 Glider Training Unit, Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire, England, 1942 BT744/B1 No.1 Service Flying Training School, RAF Netheravon, England, 1942 The decals have good sharpness, register and colour density, although the yellow around the roundels do look like they could be a little translucent. There has been a lot of speculation about the colour schemes around the web, and that includes Britmodeller, so have a look at the thread [url= https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235019681-148-general-aircraft-gal-48-hotspur-mkii-gal-48b-twin-hotspur-mki-resin-kits-by-planet-models-hotspur-mkii-released/&do=findComment&comment=4108029]here[/url] to see what people have to say on the matter. Conclusion It’s been a long time coming, so troop glider fans will be very pleased that it has finally landed, and that it’s a 1:48 Hotspur. Detail is good, the resin is well-crafted, and once clean-up is completed, it should go together much like an injection moulded kit. Take care of the seams with super glue or epoxy, and make sure you have plenty of masking tape handy if you plan to depict the yellow/black striped decal option. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Taking advantage of the "opportunity" (COVID isolation) I completed the model of the DFS Rhönbussard glider. The base was CMR resin. Attention! The set hull is too short by 4 mm. Apparently not much, but in this scale and with the size of the model it's VISIBLE. Fortunately, I was able to add the missing part This glider (reg. SP-125) was taken over and reconstucted in Poland after II World War and served 3 years. I tried to show as many moving wing elements as possible and the structure of the airfoil. I hope you will like the model And at the end current status of my collection of gliders used in Poland. Only six, but I've ideas for next 20
  10. EoN Eton TX.1/SG-38 Over Western Europe (SH72442) 1:72 Special Hobby The Schneider SG-38 was a bare-bones glider designer to be an introductory airframe in flight schools. It was designed in the late 30s, and was manufactured by a number of companies, latterly Elliotts of Newbury as the Eton TX.1. It was employed in the UK and other countries after WWII as a cheap glider to be used by aeroclubs, which were still popular after the war. It was a truly basic in design, with a fabric covered wing and empennage, using bracing wires to hold it rigid like a WWI fighter. The pilot sat at the front totally exposed to the elements with his backside only a few inches from the ground, with a skid landing system that had some element of suspension between the ground and the pilot. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original 2015 tooling, with a collection of decals from the RAF, Belgium, Sweden and France, hence the “Over Western Europe” tagline. It’s a small glider, so in 1:72 it’s wee-tiny. It arrives in a short figure-sized end-opening box, and there’s a single sprue of grey styrene and a decal sheet in the resealable bag. The instructions are portrait A5 and printed in colour, with only two pages actually devoted to the build, the rest taken up with a sprue guide and all the profiles for painting and decaling. There are a couple of spare pilot cowlings within the sprue, one of which isn’t used on this boxing, the other is suitable for two of the decal options. Construction begins with the mating of the tail and supports to the one-piece fuselage, quickly followed by the wing that is slipped over the A-frame that juts out of the top, with a fairly visible seam on the moulded-in seat that will need a swipe with a sanding stick if you aren’t sourcing a pilot figure from somewhere. The pilot controls consist of a column and a choice of two styles of rudder pedals, then follow two drawings showing the installation of the tensioning wires in red, which you will need to source yourself. The final stage is the optional cowling around the pilot that can be fitted to the first RAF and Swedish decal options A & D. That’s it! Markings There are five decal options included on the sheet, which is also pretty small, but you have plenty of colour choices to go at. From the box you can build one of the following: EoN Eton TX.1 WP270, c/n 038 Maidstone Grammar School Combined Cadet Force (Air Cadets) Sept 1951 EoN Eton TX.1 WP265, c/n 033 Air Cadets, RAF West Malling, 1950s SG-38, PL-21, Royal Belgium Air Cadets, Beauvechain, 1959 G-101 (SG-38) built in Sweden by AB Flygindustri), No.80 Sweden, 1943-53 SG-38, No.95 “Le Timide”, France 1945 Decals are printed by Special Hobby and up to their usual standards with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a cool little kit that some of our older members may in fact have flown back in the day. It has some nice raised and engraved details, particularly around the flying surfaces, and should look quite special under paint and with the guide-wires in place on a representation of a piece of field somewhere. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Next glider finished After almost two years from start (read: it's not so complicated kit; just the modeller was lazy....) I've finished model of first Polish post-war glider: "Sęp". Model shows a prototype which is easy to distinguish from serial ones - has no air brakes on top wing surfaces. The source :
  12. For this build I am doing the Jach 1/72 Baynes Bat kit. It is nice and simple, having just 12 plastic components and a little bit of photo etch. This is a 'family friendly' Blitzbuild as my partner has tolerated a lot of my plastic modelling this year which is why I started at 3pm - we had a nice walk with the puppy first. Hence this will be the most leisurely build, starting 'Boxing day' and probably finishing two days later on "Boxing day" My subject is a glider flown in 1943 to test the viability of the swept wing configuration for attachment to a tank to deliver said armour to the battlefield. This 'batty' idea was manifested in a 1/3 scale glider which had good handling characteristics but the project was cancelled before a full size wing was built. I'd also like to introduce to you 'Hammond', the rubber crocodile - already a veteran of two Blitzbuilds and many other model projects this year, who is here to see fair play.
  13. Finished. Finally. It should take me two or three times less time, but... The most important is that I'm quite enjoyed at the end. Enjoy watching. WiP thread is here.
  14. My new project - looking easy to build Grob Astir CS from Kovozávody Prostějov. I've chosen polish markings - SP-3703. Firstly I filled places for bottom air brakes - Grob Astir have only upper! Additionally I cut and shifted ailerons. In second step I glued fuselage halves, cut hole for wheel and add butt floor. Next I modified a seat and instrument panel shape (SP-3703 have different panel than others).
  15. DFS Olympia was a glider projected for Olympics 1940. Unfortunately due to IIWW this type was used rather for training new pilots than for sport competition. After IIWW some of gliders were abandoned by Germans on territory of Poland. 21 of them were restored and used. SP-390 was restored in Gdansk and flew in Malbork. As a basis I used an AZ model kit in 1/72 scale. I've added few parts in cockpit (invisible at the end), aerial brakes and printed own set of decals. Enjoy watching
  16. So having tested the water with a couple of RFI's here, I thought I'd take the plunge and start my first WIP. Its a Vacform 1/72 T21 by Phoenix models. Like my T31 I posted in RFI a few weeks back, this is another aircraft that I spent some happy years experiencing the joys of flight as a teenager, with 615 Gliding school at RAF Kenley. As you can see, although basic, they are probably all that could be offered for such a kit. Thanks to some very helpful information from Chris @stringbag I also have some plans from an old edition of the Aeroplane. The plans appear very accurate and are ideal for working on this model in this scale. Thanks again Chris! So a start has been made on separating (almost) all the parts from the main sheet..... The first thing I plan to tackle is the wing which I think will be the biggest challenge. As Chris pointed out and the plans confirm, there are two stages of dihedral on the undersurface, but the top surface of each wing out from the centre is perfectly flat, with just a small amount of dihedral at the centre point. I decided to use some brass strip to help form this, which enabled me to produce a plastic spar (both seen below). The brass is very rigid and was bent in a small vice at the three points along the wing. The plastic spar was then assembled against the brass with superglue joins. The next stage will be to modify the plastic spar such that the outer two sections are flat across the top, but retain the anhedral underneath. At the moment this is a trail and error idea. I may end up having to produce some internal wing ribs as there appears to be some under camber on the lower wing. I cant promise this WIP will be quick, but it might be interesting watching me grapple with this thing and my ideas! Stay tuned if you are interested! Cheers Terry
  17. Having completely gone overboard with GB fever, I thought I could put in this small kit of the General Aircraft Hotspur II Glider - no engines so must be simple! I have been extremely impressed with all the builds going on in the 'Trainers' GB currently in progress with all the yellow paintwork so I thought I might cover two GB's with one kit and build this for the Frog Squad GB as well. If I'm to make it, I can't start until 1st June and need to finish by the 9th, having started my other two kits in order first. I don't really know anything about gliders so here is a new arena in which I will need to to study up. Lovely yellow and black colour scheme on this one. I'm going to send away for that modelling knife.... Look at that fantastic yellow plastic! I must find a way of preserving some of that. The original crew appears to be missing so I have brought in a couple of trainees from a Novo Tupolev SB-2 Katyuska which I am using for spares. At least they came from a Frog mould. Must try to get those transfers out into a bit of sunlight to clear the yellowing. Only 5 Gold Tokens this time.
  18. A build from 2008, 11 years ago: I bet you never heard of this one. 1919…a seaplane-glider...now, that’s a concept. Whatever the logics behind it, the result was as cute as cumbersome. A not well known Fokker apparatus that was also tried on wheels, apparently didn’t produce any remarkable results to assure a place in posterity…other than this one. Towed by a motor boat with and without a pilot, the flight performance was strangely about the same. It was reported that among fish and cattle some stress cases were developed but fortunately without major consequences. Same goes for the pilot. It is a small model in 1/72, with simple lines that render design and construction easy enough to be dealt with over a weekend.
  19. After almost a year, I can now finally present the completed Phoenix models vac form of the T21 Sedbergh glider. Those of you that followed the WIP will know that this model took an immense amount of effort, with much of the fuselage being rebuilt in my quest for accuracy. I am particularly grateful to @stringbag for much very useful reference material and advice at the start of the build, a big thank you Chris! Also thanks to all those of you who followed the WIP with much encouragement. It was originally completed for Telford last year, but post that show I decided to re-do the cockpit windshields, and also replace the main wing struts with more accurate and stronger representations. At first my intention was to build an aircraft dated around the late 60's early 70's, in silver doped linen and dayglo, similar to the T31 I completed last year. In the end I decided to do a slightly later era white and red scheme. I used a mixture of Xtracrylics and Tamiya paints. Decals are Modeldecal for the roundels and home made for the rest. The original WIP can be found here: And finally some shots with her slightly older stablemate: Thanks for looking. Terry
  20. A build from 10 years ago: What about another beautiful sailplane? First flight,1934!! Victor Nikolaevich Belyayev was part of a group of visionary designers that created innovative, ahead of their time planes. The BP-2, or TsAGI-2 was a high-efficiency, 20 meter span sailplane that used a variation of the “Babochka” –butterfly- wing. It was practically a flying wing, with “positive arrow”. As usual, not much exists around regarding this beautiful design, but I got enough from the Net to build the model. This plane seems to have been flown with and without a horizontal stabilizer mounted on top of the two fins. Some changes in the painting can be also detected. A year later another variant was created, the BP-3 or TsAGI-3, a two-place machine with changes mainly in the area of the “tail” and with the “centroplan” with a remarkable dihedral. Savvy modelers would have already noticed the resemblance with another plane from the same designer, the DB-LK twin-fuselage project of the WW-2 period. This is a relatively simple project, but you have to pay attention and aim for a sound engineering. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy scratching these designs. It takes me no more time than a normal kit (after a little practice, of course) and my potential subject horizon widens immensely. You can see the parts breakdown in the accompanying images. The “centroplan” actuated as the main “anchor” part to which all other sub-assemblies were attached. The pod, as said before, was provided with an interior and a minuscule vodka flask for the comfort of the Russian pilot in case cold weather has to be faced. Gliders/sailplanes are a growing segment of the modeling subject spectrum, which is a welcome alternative to what you usually see -again- in at the shelves in hobby stores and contests. This one in particular offers a daring design, a strong appeal and a relatively easy engineering. I am sure you can find many more.
  21. A build from 11 years ago: Yet another glider! At about 5.5 meters span the Louis Clement triplane seems like something you can take on your carry-on bag to the nearest airstrip. It was first presented at the Paris Aero Salon in 1919 with an Anzani engine behind the pilot on top of the aft fuselage, transmitting power through an extension shaft to the propeller on the normal front position. One could say it was the ultra-light of the time. It reappeared in the Salon in 1921 without the engine. The Clement triplane was made of a rather complex tubular metal construction it was also braced outside with a number of wires that would make the delights of the 1/72 model builder. As you can see on the model, a tricycle landing gear was provided, with a nose wheel recessed in the front and the other two being located on the wingtips of the lower wing; an unusual arrangement for the time, no doubt. The pilot, its only occupant, had the plane built around him, the only way he could get in. Anyway, by 1922, with the engine removed, the plane was presented at the Combegrasse gliding competition where, according to press reports, managed quite well considering its cumbersome design and aerodynamics, but ended up having a too close and sudden encounter with the ground. I saw a youtube clip where you can see this thing actually flying, but unfortunately I lost the link to it. As you can assume, in 1/72 it is indeed tiny and somehow vaguely resembles the Fokker DR1, save that is far less famous and it is not red, for which it is unlikely to be kitted in the next 300 years. Nevertheless, even small as it is, it consumed a certain amount of parts, time and patience. For the ones with shelf space issues, some leftovers in the styrene bin and perhaps a certain sense of humor.
  22. A model from 11 years ago: Let's try with another glider: French extravagance and flair is not just limited to fashion, as this Alérion Peyret of 1922 demonstrates. Of tandem-wing configuration and with a fuselage in need of a corset, it nevertheless won the soaring competition –at the hands of Maneyrol- at Itford, England, in 1922 setting an endurance record of 3 hours 22 minutes. Some time later Maneyrol pushed the record beyond the 8 hours mark with the same plane. The model: At 6.6 meters of span it is small in 1/72 scale. Images will walk you through the building process. An interior, as succinct as conjectural, was provided. Wheels from Aeroclub, struts were from Contrail and Strutz!, but you have to eat Liverwurst as you use the latter, which guaranties success.
  23. A build from 10 years ago: Why not an unusual glider to break the routine? At the beginning of the 20’s German students grouped in associations to promote gliding. One of those was located in the Berlin area and gave birth to a number of designs, the fist of which is presented here. It is not clear if this tail-less design had such economy of materials because of the tough after-war times or perhaps due to the influence of the Etrich zanonia-type gliders. In any case the attractive lines of “Charlotte” were enough for me to have a go at her. I was introduced to this remarkable lady by fellow modeler and friend Sönke Schulz. The number of gliders in my collections tends to increase noticeably, perhaps –besides their undeniable aesthetic qualities- due the fact that they do not have engines, propellers, wheels... or tails as in this case. But do not fool yourself; this one is made of more than fifty parts. Fellow modeler and friend Jim Schubert from Puget Sound told me that indeed the Akaflieg B1 was designed after the experience of WWI, when pilots had their enemies attacking almost invariably positioned at their tails. The absence of such tails, says Jimmy, would have deterred enemies from attacking. Hum. Being this a small article I will compensate by passing on some modeling wisdom in the form of 12 ½ suggestions: 1) Forget about what you painfully learned with your previous models. There is always room for invention –and oblivion. 2) Collect a reasonable number of references. Don’t even look at them until you are finished. 3) If you want to try something risky, and you got that very complex and time-consuming model almost ready, now it’s the time. 4) Write-down a suitable sequence for painting and gluing parts that will alleviate your burden during building and save you time. Leave it underneath some reference books and forget about it (see 2) 5) Very sparingly glue the interior parts. Knock the model against a hard surface when close to completion. You will get a very pleasant, maraca-like rattling effect. 6) Set-apart the more delicate parts in a separate container. Go and do something. Anything will do. Come back and sit on top of them. That’ll teach’em. 7) For painting your painstaking, beloved masterpiece, choose a windy, dusty day. Do it out there, on the balcony or out the garage. Ah, fresh air. You may feel as if you were Lawrence of Arabia making models in the wild dunes. And you will probably obtain alike results. 8 ) Do start a model and once you are half-way, meticulously store the thing in the darkest crag of your closet/cabinet. Come back to it by the time you have forgotten all the insights you had regarding construction and ways to correct/improve it. 9) Scratch-build that nightmare that you always wanted, and carefully finish it by the time a kit is finally mass produced and on the shelves for a ridiculously low price 10) Need the right tool but is out of reach? Nah, use the other one that’s just on the table. It won’t work the same, or probably won’t work at all, but in the process you will manage to ruin the part. That will give you the chance to get more practice time doing it all over again or even learn how to scratch-build it!. A similar procedure could be used for materials and almost all modeling supplies. 11) Get carried away and glue all the pointy/fragile bits before you are completely finished, let’s say before painting or decaling. Then look at the model in a state of dismay until the next season (see 8). 12) Run out of the paint you were using in the middle of the job? May be you can use that suspicious other one at the bottom of your drawer; then you will achieve two things: the colors will never match and the coat underneath will crackle/blister/melt and/or otherwise produce remarkable –although not necessarily desired- special effects. 13) back to 1)
  24. To contribute with more gliders, a build from 2 years ago. Szybowiec Bydgoszczanka.... Not an easy name for me to pronounce, but otherwise a beautiful machine. The first word means "glider", and the second -I surmise- means "from the city of Bydgosz" or "Bydgoszoan", if I am wrong please let me know. I have built a number of Polish planes, remarkable how that little country can produce such an amazing number of significant planes (Note: as I repost this I currently have a WIP of the RWD-5). Photos show a version with landing skids (not snow skis) and another with wheels. Images also show a few changes in the rudder position and minor details, so study your photos before committing. I made the wheels but as exchangeable items, gluing the skids on sleeves and barely fixing them with white glue. Searches rendered a very nice plan, courtesy of some Polish modelers to whom I am grateful, at least one model I don't have to make the building plans for! I saw on the Net a 1/48th scale version and a 1/72nd scale version (the latter in paper), and also a radio-controlled model. With all the info gathered I started to think about the engineering of the model and opted for a pre-formed aluminum boom and modified airfoiled brass "Strutz" (courtesy as we know of Andrew from the Foglands). Several other elements were done in various metals; a Fotocut chair was prepared, and the flying surfaces were constructed the usual way. Other necessary parts were scratched from styrene. If it's true that this model does not have an engine/prop to worry about, it does have lots and lots of rigging and a very complex exposed fuselage structure. Rigging, as we know, is a word whose mere mention will give even the most experienced builders a case of the jitters. The model will need a few decals, which I commissioned as usual from Mika at Arctic Decals.
  25. A model from about a year ago, to add some variety to the pool. SZD-9 Bocian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SZD-9_Bocian Among the oldies but goldies kits there is this Polish glider, OOP now of course that nevertheless is frankly quite good. The kit had many incarnations, and it is relatively easy to find. I comissioned a set from Arctic Decals to complete the model, having found a more appealing scheme than the kit offered online. This Polish kit of very good molding depicts the 1D variant, SP-1862, so if you want other liveries just be sure you get the variant right, since many were created with changes in the airframe, some subtle, some very evident. The surfaces, where applicable, are highly polished (well, this is a Polish kit after all) or show a fabric effect. The meaning of the text on the box and in the instructions remains hidden to me, but there are clear enough schematics to guide you. Decals seem fine, instructions are simple and in a size that doesn't require a microscope to interpret them, the transparency is quite ok and even a display base is included. All in a plastic sleeve and in a sturdy, Russian era, two-component cardboard box, than more than anything else, elicits sympathy for the Polish people, who with scarce resources, hardly any capital, and a small market, managed to create a very good kit that some contemporary (circa 1980) US mainstream kits (backed by capital, resources and a huge market) would have liked to have. I am not really that much into gliders (I have scratchbuilt three so far, IIRC) but I loved building this one, simple and good and appealing and well engineered. I made a vac canopy and added a few details. The commissioned decal set is seen here:
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