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  1. I started my first project of 2019...a scale model of the Nostromo Airlock from the 1979 movie Alien. I will be working from this Ron Cobb concept drawing and a handful of photos and frame grabs from the movie. I have recently bought a "Silhouette Portrait" cutting machine and will be using that to do most of the tricky styrene cutting. I'm starting with the outer doors, which I have cut out the various pieces which will be layered and glued together. The machine is amazing. I never could have cut those out by hand in a million years. The doors are cut from .030" styrene. the raise panel details are cut from .020". Things are starting to be glued. I've wrapped the outer edges of the doors with thin strips of styrene. These broke when I bent them and will need a bit of filler, but over all things are off to a good start. Unfortunately, I ran out of my favorite glue (Tamiya Extra Thin) which is worse than running out of beer, because the local shops sell beer. So it will be a week or more till I can do any more assembly. Thanks for looking in.
  2. Dear forum members, After my first scratchbuilt model (Turbolaser Diorama) I have decided to try it with a second one. A studio scale Snowspeeder 1:10 scale. This project has been a big challange for me as this whole modelling still feels new to me. In advance sorry for not posting the progress of my work for the past 14 month. I wasn't convinced that I could build this model and did not want to post pictures of something what ends in a chaos. The Snowspeeder is one of my favorite models from Star Wars. Another reason for building it was that I thought that I won't need to vacuum form any parts and could build all parts somehow pretty easy. At the end it wasn´t so easy, for me very complicated and much harder than the Turbolaser diorama. The main issue was that the Turbolaser gave me some freedom to build it in scale, the Snowspeeder not. If there is anything out of scale or shape you see it immediately and it doesn't look good. I have bought a Bandai Snowspeeder 1:48 and upscaled it as good as possible. I have also used all pictures which I could find online. I wanted to build a big 1:10 studio scale model, like what they have used in the film. The model is about 55 cm long, completely scratchbuild from styrene parts and building time is 6 month until now. I started it 14 month ago but meanwhile I took an 8 month break from the build as I didn‘t want to see it anymore. Many parts needed to be build twice because I made mistakes. Now as the model is very advanced I wanted to show it here in this forum first. It is still not finished, some things are still to do and it also need to be painted. This will happen during this year I hope. Please find attached some pictures of my model. Almost all parts except the fuselage are not glued yet because I want to paint the fuselage first. All other parts are fixed with tape for the pictures which looks not perfect but good enough to get an impression I think. I hope you like the pictures of my Snowspeeder. Thank you and best regards, Mark
  3. Now, I wanted to build a Maschinen Kreiger Fledermaus. But you can't get them for love nor money, and I refuse to pay silly prices anyway. https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GGRV_enGB757GB758&q=maschinen+krieger+fledermaus&tbm=isch&source=univ&safe=strict&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiWuufBqL_kAhXWilwKHfu2AQMQsAR6BAgJEAE So after a good think, it's back once more to the rapidly depleting spares boxes. (All donations gratefully received and postage etc refunded) (If I mention models used I'll add a date when they were first built, it may help. Or not) What I want is a 1/20th VTOL flier which looks like it flew out of a scrapyard. Let's see what happens then. Take a Revell 1/32nd Phantom (1977), an Italeri SR 71 Blackhawk (1970), an Airfix Heinkel He177 (1980), various other bits and pieces and a metric flowerpot full of Milliput. (Lots of pictures now follow, some of the parts used have since been replaced). 1/20th Tamiya driver figure. This will be the jockey. The fuselage as shown will change slightly as we progress. An overall view. I since cut down the wings and the winglets will change too. But it gives a general idea of what I propose. Underside view. Again, it's since changed a bit. The wheel wells were faired in with scrap plastic and Milliput added. An updated view from today. The (A-10) canopy is on an Me262 engine cowling. Cut down wing and the winglet. This will be angled down by about twenty degrees for additional lift. Here we are underneath again. From right we have He177 lower tail end, Phantom intakes and SR71 engine cowls. Something missing here I feel. How about a bit of Airfix 1/24th Typhoon (wing fairing?) to act as an intake and above it part of an Airfix Spitfire engine cowling for another intake. The original Fledermaus has a spindly fixed undercarriage. I saw one on line built with Harrier type tandem gear and will copy that, because I like it. These are Airfix C-130 wheels (I've had these since about 1968!) No hubs, what to do? Would you believe Airfix Stalin tank wheels fit perfectly? The undercarriage leg is silver plastic and is probably older than those wheels! The nose leg is 1/32nd Phantom. I'm opting for fixed landing gear. I'll need to make some outriggers later. Later today I started sticking the forward fuselage together as I'm fairly happy with the configuration now. I've also added some Milliput where required. That will need rubbing down tomorrow (if I get a chance) along with the wheel bays in the wings. As always, questions, comments etc are welcome. Thanks for looking, Pete
  4. A bit of a change for me as this doesn't have tracks or a big stick out in front that goes BANG! I've been toying with the idea of getting one of these for some time now, so while I was at Telford this year, I decided to buy one. It's an excellent kit with some very delicate parts. Built straight from the box, it makes up into a nice little model, but I don't do OOTB, so the knives, razor saws, files and drill bits were got out. One thing that does let it down a bit are the wheels, or to be more accurate, the tyres. The tread pattern is very poor, so I have ordered a new set from Hussar. There are many detailing sets available for the Tilly, some to me, a waste of money as it's fairly easy to scratch build some of those parts. Archer decals do a set of decals for the dash board, but Tamiya already include these in the kit. So why pay twice? But one part that none of them do are the three vents on each side of the bonnet. Tamiya mould them as solid items and it looks to be difficult to hollow them out without doing some damage to the rest of the bonnet, so they may end up just being painted black. Right, so it's straight into it without the preamble of photos of sprues (basically because I forgot to take any before I started removing parts). I made a start on the chassis. The front and rear bumpers mountings are quite delicate. The engine is a little gem, needing only a few extra bits and pieces such as piping and wiring. This kit lends itself well to being built in sections. This is the cargo section. I've removed the tie down hooks from the side with a chisel blade. The part that received the largest amount of work was the tilt. First job was to cut out the forward part and clean it up. Then I added three frame hoops which I bent to shape using brass rod, making sure that they were trimmed to the correct length so that the tilt would sit correctly on top of the cargo section. I shaved off the moulded on tie downs and drilled five holes ready to add some string later on in the build. Thanks for looking. John.
  5. And welcome to another of my finished scratchbuilds. This one based on the upper half of a Star Wars Slave One. (The lower half became a Hover Tank). It seems that I only started this one last month. So for me that's pretty fast work. Wurger was applied to the Fw190, the Butcher bird. This one would be lunar based and piggyback to Earth orbit on a Sternail. There it would disable enemy craft and satellites and tow the remains back for salvage. Link to a Sternail picture. I built this one probably ten years ago. http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag398/petergsoden/Sternail05_zpse8dd4b0d.jpg?t=1406042025 There is a build thread for the Wurger here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235058298-orbital-hunter-killer/ Weapons and meteorite shields in place and ready for action. I added a small calibre solid shot gun to the nose piece. I had the idea to use a white paper background to see if that made things clearer for you. Scale is 1/32nd BTW, the pilot is ex Airfix Porsche 917. I only have a small simple camera so close up shots can be a problem. Rocket tubes from a 1/32nd MBB Bo105. Rear end steering thrusters. They probably rotate. That shield is a rubdown from an ancient Do17 kit. If you look carefully to the right you may see an Easter egg. There's a tiny Panzer in there. The missile tube mountings are mostly made up from bits of Aircraft undercarriage. The business end of the salvage crane/grabber (Think Ripley's power loader in Aliens) The brown pads are magnetic (but were F-18 brake units) The rounded bits were ancient B-17 ball turret, they now hold Zeon lander struts. I'm still not sure why but I like them there. The thruster bell was part of a ball point pen. Orbital debris can ruin your paint job, and extra shields will help to protect you. Bits of self adhesive silver tape in use here. On the P-38 nose here we have more steering thrusters. Decals are mostly Tamiya P-47. I couldn't resist using the silhouette and script. I think the word Republic fits in with Kreiger and Star Wars? The comms dish was a Slave One piece. Now (modified) it sits underneath mounted on an Airfix Bloodhound cradle. And here we are deployed. The other side of the crane. Slightly out of focus. Sorry. I bought a couple of cheap built Kibri crane model kits online and dismantled them. The other jib will be used later. I nearly forgot this bit. A radar bar? These are seen on lots of kreiger stuff. I used part of an ancient Airfix Hercules Aileron, a bit of sprue and some filler. And finally, The two models and what they came from. The Slave One kit was bought online part built so no great loss. I saved all the bits of it I didn't use, then found another part built one so I've combined what I have to make up a complete kit. To sum up, I started the tank in early May, I finished the Orbiter today, So that's four Months of fun modelling for just over twenty quid! And I still have a complete Slave One to sell. Win win I think. Next up is yet another scratchbuild, A Kreiger Fledermaus this time. If anyone has one and can send pictures/measurements etc I would be very grateful. Any questions, comments etc are very welcome. Thanks for looking, Pete
  6. Where have all the Aliens gone? Scratching my SHADO. I'm not into sci-fi models and I can't remember watching 'UFO' when it was on the telly, but I was sort of press-ganged into a groupbuild on another site and had to choose something. For various reasons, rather than the full three months, I only had six weeks to build it. I managed it in five weeks and enjoyed it enormously. It is entirely scratch-built in 1/48. This is the build log: I hope you like it. (Incidentally, aliens dress in orange and white jumpsuits apparently). Thanks for having a look.
  7. A model from 5 years ago, with the original text: To boldly avion where somebody has gone before: Flying wings are a particularly attractive subject among modelers of a certain breed. There were also test beds and midway concepts, like the Junkers G-38 and the Northrop first "flying wing", that were not pure flying wings (had tailbooms and tail surfaces) but a cautious approach to the concept. Although Jack Northrop is erroneously credited by some for having either invented or developed the concept (he did neither), the history of the flying wing stretches far beyond. Interestingly enough, the particular stressed-skin, all-metal flying wing depicted here (the "Northrop" Avion 1) started as a concept pioneered by one of Northrop's associates and later employee, Tony Stadlman. It was him that started Northrop on the thread, although Jack later appropriated his work and even had the face to get mad at Stadlman. Northrop was a great contributor to aviation development on his own right, but the flying wing was not his idea, not even "his" flying wing was his idea. Stadlman was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia that also contributed to the engineering and construction (he was a co-filer of the patent) of Lockheed's monocoque structures. Be this then an homage not to Northrop (by the way, once more, it is not "Northrup" as erroneously and extensively written in many places), but to Stadlman, the original thinker behind this particular concept. On the Net you may find photos of him holding a model of his flying wing, if you see a remarkable similarity between his and Jack's flying wing, it is NOT a coincidence. The Avion went, as many prototypes do, through a number of modifications. The horizontal stabilizer is seen in a few images with a portion outside the vertical stabilizer, more according to patent drawings, but was later trimmed back. Extra portions of surface were added to the vertical stabilizers and ailerons, and also to the stab leading edge, which is seen passing beyond the fins' leading edges; the engine was installed as a pusher (prop behind) and a tractor (prop in front), the taildragger tricycle landing gear started as a retractable unit but very soon adopted the simplicity of a fixed one, and therefore the landing gear legs and struts were changed. The Avion could fly two, but the right position was faired over. Photos show also the minor changes introduced to accommodate the aft or front prop. A windshield can be seen too in some images. Bear all this in mind if you decide to build one, and use photos as references. As it is almost always the case with these oddballs no plans whatsoever or not good ones at any rate could be found, so I modified a plan from the Net using photos and the given measures. The construction techniques are more or less the same ones generally used on the models I posted, although the unusual shape called for a slightly different approach engineering-wise this time. The Avion is a relatively small model in 1/72nd scale. Home-made decals were produced (this time around fortunately only simple registrations) and Aeroclub after-market wheels and prop used. Strange shape, perky stance, shinny surface, historical significance, all make for a nice model if you have the will to go a bit further into the magic lands of scratchbuilding. See you there.
  8. And here we go again. Some of you may have seen my last scratchbuild, a Hover tank from the Airfix Star Wars Slave 1 kit. I just used the lower hull for the tank. So what of the rest of it? I'm going to use it on this thread to build an orbital hunter/killer ship which would damage and salvage enemy spacecraft. I'm fairly well hooked into building Maschinen kreiger stuff so this will be another one from that universe, albeit not an 'official' craft. (Unless of course, Kow Yokoyama San happens by, and gives it his blessing). Here are the main parts taped together to give you a feel of the thing. In the foreground is a pencil sharpener. You'll find out why later. Oh look, a box of bits. Some of which may or may not be used here. Ah, proper Slave 1 kit bits to fill the 'wheel arches' (well, what else would you call them? I've cut down the lower sections. They'll be trimmed to fit better later. ) And, a pencil sharpener in bits, along with an engine cowling from (I think) an old Matchbox kit? So, glue the cowling to the 'wheel arch' filler after fitting the (ex Wessex) nut & bolt plus washer and spacer. Now we have a swiveling thruster pod. Told you! The rocket nozzle is what you get when your Biro runs out and you save the shiny bit on the end. Good aren't they? (cheap too, no one else saves them) The thrusters remind me of bits on Russian helicopters, notably Kamovs). It's the ribbing you know. Time for cockpit checks. I took the Slave 1 cockpit, slotted in an old 1/32nd Revell bf109 cockpit, added an Airfix Porsche 917 driver (built about 45+ years ago) and a load of greeblies for you to try to identify. Though even I don't know where some of them came from! Here's the cockpit slotted into place (it really isn't an impressive fit) to show what's going on. I also push fitted a thruster together to show how that bit works. I painted/repainted the cockpit as required and gave the pilot a lick of IJN grey with added green tape belts. And finally this afternoon I started to block in the underside with plastic card. I'm out all day tomorrow (Airshow at North Coates) and working on Monday (Hinckley area). But then I'm off for the rest of the week, so hopefully I may get more done then. Thanks, as always, for looking and bearing with me while I try to work out where the build is going. Usually it's controlled by whatever flits through my head at the time and what I can find in the spares boxes. Comments and gifts of curry* are gratefully accepted. Cheers, Pete *(Though I just had a very nice chicken one along with a bottle of Wold Top Scarborough Fair. Yum).
  9. A build from 10 years ago: For earlier airplane designers to think that the shape of their machines should resemble that of a bird seemed natural, in the true sense of the word. Among many others following this trend you may visualize the Etrich Taube. It is a known fact that some of these pioneers even glued feathers to their structures to confer to them flying abilities. Mr. Gnosspelius, following the bird-like path, created a remarkable plane that was able to perform efficiently with the only help of the 16 hp provided by a twin-cylinder Blackburne Tomtit. Although the Gnosspelius name may conjure images of an alchemist from the Middle Ages, the fact is that he was a civil engineer that collaborated in a number of Short Bros. projects. The Gull was a sound design that falls in the category of what we would call today a motorglider. The engine was semi-enclosed on the wing and transferred power via chains to two shafts with pusher propellers, a bit like the Wright’s Flyer. Given the date, we may consider the Gull a “modern” design, with features like a monocoque fuselage, control wires and torque rods running inside the structure, and a very interesting feature regarding the airfoil: it had a “step” about the CG area on top of the wing -supposedly proven in the wind tunnel- that acted more or less as a turbulator, attaching the boundary layer to the airfoil. Two machines were built, one registered as G-EBGN and other that remained unregistered. In some images they can be seen with the #2 and #19 “contest” numbers respectively. The front tip of the fuselage, or “beak” was an aluminum cone. The second machine (#19) had a slightly larger fin that met the rudder at the apex. The very small wheels of the original where soon changed for slightly bigger ones to improve ground clearance and increase alpha on take off, but the track remained narrow. Since there is no color description, color is speculative. The second machine -depicted here- seems to have a white rudder with black numbers and a color that is uniform through the whole plane (whatever it is on a wood surface or a fabric-covered one), hence the assumption that it was indeed painted. While in some photos that color appears light, in some others is darker, perhaps as a result of a change of film type (Panchro or Ortho). The colors that vary in that way are most noticeably light blue and yellow; therefore I picked light blue as the likely one to have been applied to the second machine, since a few machines of the time were that color, and seems more consistent with the “gull” theme. The bird-like shape of the Gosspelius makes for a more normal appearance than my usual oddballs; that should give you readers a –perhaps welcome- break from the bizarre scarecrows that normally populate my posts.
  10. We're doing a Market garden 75th group build and after long deliberation I've decided to do a Horsa. I toyed with doing one on my new scale of 1/48, but it's a big beast compared to my usual fare so 1/144 trims it down to a manageable size for building it and for available shelf space. So off we go. first order of business (after acquiring reasonable plan) is to make some fuselage and wing blanks for molding. Laminated paper for the form and basswood for the main infill, it carves really well and I want a good finish on the mold, also as the plane ism't huge it won't make too big a dent on my stock of wood.
  11. So i have finally bit the bullet, as a prelude to Telford this year where the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 is being celebrated. I have noted a distinct lack of WW1 submarines, yet the Royal Navy was very active during this conflict fielding many classes of submarines. Having read "The story of our submarines" on kindle, a collection of stories from WW1, a model of the C class seemed very apt. These older boats were tethered to armed trawlers awaiting German u-boats to surface and attack them, which when they did, they slipped their tether and attacked the u-boat, much to the Germans surprise. The most famous being HMS C3, which was packed full of explosives for her last mission to destroy a viaduct connecting the mole to the shore during the Zeebrugge Raid on 23 April 1918. Her commander, Richard Douglas Sandford, received the Victoria Cross for the successful action. So heres the start a set of blown up plans to 1/144 scale, ive acquired a circle cutter for building frames around a central acrylic rod. This is not going to be a quick build as a lot of the details i have to gleen from photos in my possession. The numbers indicate were i intend to put frames for the build to suit the submarines profile. The end result will be 303mm (12" approx) long. All the best Chris
  12. Work in progress on this unusual 1960's New Zealand topdresser - the PL.11 Bennett Airtruck (this one technically the Waitomo Airtruck ZK-CKE). Scratchbuild. 1:48. Cowl, windscreen and tail just tacked on for the photo. Designer was Luigi Pellarini who also penned the PL.11 Transavia Airtruk
  13. After building several 1/48 jets, many RAF, I really fancied adding a different jet to the range. After thinking about it for a bit I settled on an HS-125 Dominie. Trouble is no one does a 1/48 Dominie kit. There are a few desk models about but not a lot more. So I should have given up there really. Then I got a 1/72 plan and copied it up in size, and put it away for a year or so. Then dug it out again & worked out the central fuselage would be about the size of a plastic waste pipe. and I started wondering what it would look like. So what size would it be built up? Some cardboard and some messing about came up with this: Then started on the back end in plasticard. I am planning to put circular formers in and overlay strips of plasticard. Then build it up with some P38 car filler to try to make the shape So one quarter of a back bit started. No idea if this will really work or if I have the skills to do it. All advice and tips gratefully received as I clearly don't know what I am doing or am taking on! Oh, and if you know a Dominie well, please look away now. I don't wish to cause offence.
  14. Hello All, I have been permitted to bring my long-running scratch-build of the Fairey Long Range Monoplane across from the WIP section, here. I have reached the point where I almost have a set of basic parts. This has been a long time in the making - I first acquired a pile of reference material in 1997 for a flying version (didn't happen), and I've been working/stalling on this project for over two years. Hopefully being part of a GB will keep my posterior in gear so I can finish it! The Fairey Long Range Monoplane was built to capture the world distance record, powered by a single Napier Lion engine. Two were built - the first one crashed in an attempt, but the second one succeeded, setting a record of 5,309mi/8,544km from Cranwell, UK to Walvis Bay, South Africa in February 1933. The UK for two months held all three of the speed (Supermarine S6B), distance (Fairey) and altitude (Vickers Vespa) records. So it's got to here: I built the wing and tail surfaces out of balsa - the wing is OK as far as it goes, but needs cutting up to free the control sections and detailing to add the fabric wing effect. The tail fin and rudder need separating and fabric effects, and the tailplanes need to be started again because they should be about three times thicker than the ones I have made! The latest fuselage is made from a plastic card profile with card formers, filled in with scrap balsa and Milliput. The Milliput has been sanded away until you can just see the edges of the formers. This is my third attempt: The first two fuselages ended up being too small, so I have used one of them for experiments on simulating fabric covering, using fishing line and filler. Although I had some success with that I think scored plastic card (as seen in the picture) will be neater and easier. I'm back at home next week so I hope to be back at the bench then! Thanks for looking, Adrian
  15. A build from 2017: The De Havilland D.H.53 Humming-bird represents the concept of light plane. It was contemporary to the Parnall Pixie and a small number of them were sold to particulars and the RAF. Power plants varied, and the first model had a Douglas of 750cc. According to information found on the Net, one plane ended up in Chile, two in Australia and one in Canada. The plane had a span of 30"1' (9.17 meters) with almost constant chord, but differential airfoil, which varied in thickness along the span. The usual scratchbuilding techniques you may have seen in my posts were employed, to ensure a satisfying measure of accuracy and a bonafide reproduction. A resin prop cast by Matías Hagen (thanks Matías!) from Argentina was used, with resin wheels from the spares bin and adapted resin cylinders again from Matías. Care must be exercised in replicating the particular change in airfoil section, thin at the root and wingtip and thick in the middle, a detail often obviated by modelers. A model of the Parnall Pixie, a plane -as said above- designed under the same concept and flown contemporarily to the D.H.53, is being built in parallel. Originally it even had the same Douglas 750cc engine. A number of different decorations can be seen in photos, many of them most likely in aluminium dope, sometimes with the fuselage in a darker color, and in some photos it's shown with what seems wings of clear doped linen, with certain translucency. I selected a subject (G-EBHZ) based on a very good photo I found on the Net, that had the same scheme as the restored machine that used to fly in England (G-EBHX), until unfortunately had a fatal crash in 2012. The machine chosen, G-EBHZ, changed schemes, and I was fortunate enough to find on the Net photos of them. One is an all-aluminium scheme with the logo of the Seven Aeroplane Club, an AC with seven feathers (thanks, Sönke). Another is blue and silver, like as said the machine restored. Be sure that you get the position of the inverted wing struts and the ailerons right. The ailerons started inside of where the struts attach (i.e. closer to the wing root). Also pay attention to the wing struts, configured as a V, and wrongly depicted in some plans as the aft member being parallel to the TE, when in reality both struts converge at an angle (look at photos on the Net, easily found). I commissioned the decals from Arctic Decals (thanks, Mika!) Bibliography: DeHavilland Aircraft since 1909 (A.J. Jackson) N.A.C.A. Technical Memorandum No. 261 The Light Plane since 1909 - J. Underwood The Light Plane Meeting at Lympne, Flight Magazine, Oct 18th 1923
  16. A build from 10 years ago: (May be of interest to Aussie members and those inclined to a country life, that is bon sauvages) Agricultural planes constitute a special chapter of civil aviation that is in general not well explored in modeling, in spite the appeal and usefulness of the many subjects that were created for that purpose. These beaten-up work horses are exposed to stressful tasks and hostile environments with the only purpose of helping us. The Bauhaus school of design popularized in the 20’s the “form follows function” motto, and this is especially applicable in the case of the Ag plane. Surely with a taste for the unorthodox, Mr. Luigi Pellarini designed the PL-7 cropduster around the product tank located in the center of the fuselage. To this element the engine support members were bolted as well as the remaining after part of the fuselage. An array of struts transmitted the loads from the diverse parts of the airplane to the same central element, the tank. The lower wing had straight leading edges while the upper wing leading edges were a bit angled back. The result of such elaborate load distribution was a very attractive machine that was ready to fly in 1955, a bit out of my usual subjects’ time envelope but nevertheless strange enough to merit some extension of boundaries. Mr. Pellarini continued to surprise and amuse the aeronautic world with other creations, like the Waitomo / Bennett PL-11 and the Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, which no doubt I want to model too. I had the PL-7 project in the back burner for a time; nevertheless its appearance had me looking at the references I could gather mainly on the Net and some material sent by the late Jon Noble. His help was instrumental in materializing many projects. Wherever you are now Jon, thanks. The model started as a plug that was used to vacuform the fuselage sides and the canopy transparency. Some internal structure and details were fabricated before closing the pod. A cowl was made to lodge the Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah aftermarket resin engine while wheels were from Aeroclub. A styrene lamination was made to replicate the Fairey-Reed propeller, which has a particular twist to it (pun intended) being almost a warped chunk of flat metal. As the parts were being produced a put-together strategy had to be devised, a must when the dreaded strut forest is present as in this case, and even more so given the pod-and-booms configuration. So once the flying surfaces were made some sub-assemblies were created as per photos to make the final put-together more manageable. As with almost all front tricycle landing gear arrangements there is a potential for tail-sitting, so a disk of metal was added to the firewall just in case. Isn’t it an interesting twist of faith that a machine conceived to fight bugs ends up resembling a bug itself? Mr. Pellarini, what a beautiful and strange thing you created.
  17. A build from 10 years ago, and please blame "Head in the clouds" and "Pete in Lincs", who made me do it: Somebody made a flying egg-beater? Not at all. Since the beginnings of the rotary wing design, inventors realized that a twin rotor solved torque and stability problems. Well, some of them anyway. Mr. Landgraf, from Los Angeles perpetrated this beauty. The Landgraf H-2 rotors were overlapped and for that reason by force synchronized. The blades were not hinged but could vary pitch, while little “ailerons” provided cyclic control. The rudder was fixed, so for yaw it was stated that differential torque was supplied to the individual rotors –how was this done is for me a mystery, since they were coupled. The one-person machine was aimed to be easy to fly, which apparently accomplished. The “wings” were only streamlined pods, since they reputedly did not contribute to lift, being the CG far ahead them –for which they would have created a negative pitch force in case they did generate any lift in forward motion. The model: Two (upper and lower) halves were Mattel-formed on a previously Sculpey-made plug; the upper one in clear styrene. The 85 hp Pobjoy engine and front wheel are Aeroclub items, the other two wheels were scratched, since I couldn’t find ones of a suitable size. Interior structure and diverse elements were created, and for the rotor blades Contrail styrene “struts” were used -but the process of converting the raw airfoiled strip to a blade took some patience. Each blade has a tiny “aileron” that was engraved. Since the original aircraft had retractable landing gear, recesses can be seen on the fuselage photos through which you can have a glimpse of the innards, thence the decision of putting the engine, some structure and the fuel tank in the model. The white metal engine also helped to balance the model avoiding any shameful tail-sitting. The stubby “no-wings” were made of airfoiled styrene sheet as well as the rudder. All in all about 80 parts were fabricated, perhaps a bit on the high side considering the minute dimensions of this windmilled tadpole. Colors were applied as per a Mechanix Illustrated magazine color photo. In one photo on the Flight archives a beautiful female model appears posing aside the aircraft, but my intents to get a model to pose with the model were in vain. Doesn’t somehow remind you of the Jetsons?
  18. A build from 6 years ago: Every country and every time has its pioneers, many times unrecognized for one reason or another. Argentina is not exception and the work of Mr. Virgilio Carlos Mira did not get perhaps all the support it deserved. Mira developed its own designs from the remains of an early Bleriot monoplane. These designs evolved into a series of successful machines of which we present here the third iteration, the Mira 3 “Golondrina” (swallow). This plane flew through the 20’s and incorporated some devices that were practical, affordable, functional and clever. Some information can be found mainly in “Historia de la Industria Aeronautica Argentina”, by Francisco Halbritter, also in “Los Registros R 1928-38” by Gabriel Pavlovcic and the A.A.H.S. Journal of summer 1968. It should be noted, though, that as it is common with obscure types, some data found in these sources is not totally correct, and that there is some mislabeling regarding the five or so versions that were built. The first reference contains a plan that is absolutely off the mark for the stated version, the third. When compared with actual photos of the Mira III the plan is almost useless. The deviations are so many that it would be impractical to detail them all here. I started after gathering references by correcting the plan to provide for a better base for scratchbuilding. A few items as you can see in the photos are from my ever-dwindling stash of Aeroclub white metal aftermarket details. The rest of the model follows more or less scratch techniques that I have presented already many times, the images anyway tell the story. The rigging is relatively simple and the colors are based on a model that used to be at Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of which fellow modeler Armando Gil took a photo.
  19. A build from 7 years ago: A deceiving itsy-bitsy teeny weenie: A surprisingly lively little thing this Monocoupe; the beast in the beauty you may say. With a long lifespan and a design that evolved into many, equally-successful sub-types, the Monocoupe became one of the many iconic shapes of the Golden Age of aviation. Many a machine of this type won or placed high in a remarkable number of races and was used by big names of aeronautics as well as by the general public. There is plenty of material out there for you to satiate your appetite for knowledge, but I’ll recommend Skyways magazine of April 2012, that features a great article and...this very model. The photos pretty much describe the building process, which consists of training a labor force composed of all those discarded 1/72 figures in the spares’ bin. Once they learn, they are good, don’t require food and their only request is to read poetry once in a while. I’d like to thank Lars Opland, Tom Polapink and Matias Hagen for their help with this project.
  20. A model from 12 years ago: Specially conceived to fly to the Boulangerie, get the highest possible number of baguettes and croissants and get back on time for breakfast with minimum fuss. A collaborative venture between Nicolas Roland Payen and Aubrun originated this cute little French plane that was propelled by a 25 hp AVA engine. It flew in 1935 and 1936 receiving later a 40 hp engine which modified a tad the nose profile. At 4.95 meters of wingspan this tiny plane was a consistent flyer of which a derivative, two-place version was conceived but ultimately not produced. Quite a sight it must have been with those curvaceous, moth-like elegant lines and the purr of the small power plant. At a little bit less than 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) span, it's tiny.
  21. A build from 7 years ago: It's a fly!...no, it's a louse!...no, it's the education budget!..no, it's the Mix Hummer of 1924! A 24 hours-long project. Teeny Tiny, tinnier than my previously made Caproni-Pensutti, or my Gurney Grice Mosquito, or my Pou-du-Ciel. The build was enticed by Tom Polapink of Skyways, who sent a link to the Aerofiles file on this one. Here a link to the built version (there were at least two): http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Shumaker/7132.htm I gifted the model to my older son -also a modeler himself- and he entered in a contest by proxy, where it won 1st. It probably is the smallest 1st ever. "Dear..I shrunk the modeling budget"
  22. A build from 9 years ago Racers are usually thought to be sleek and slim. But that’s not always the case. Suffice to remember the Bristol Type 72 Bullet, the Arnoux “flying wing” racer, both posted here, and the subject of this article, the portly Nieuport-Delage 37. They are all examples of what a fast-food diet can do to you. Conceived to race on the Coupe Deutsch, a technical problem (overheating of course, the thing was huffing and puffing) prevented its participation and the machine was put on a strict diet. No more Croque-Monsieur and French toast for you, mon ami. Nevertheless, the NiD 37 exhibited interesting technical features: a cantilever wing of advanced airfoil with no struts or wires, a completely enclosed engine, a clear vision field for the pilot atop the fuselage, hidden surface control mechanisms, carefully-studied contours and streamlining of the landing gear. A “lobster pot” Lamblin radiator was installed to avoid cumbersome, large frontal area ones. Not much, as sometimes happens, is around regarding this remarkable racer; a few photos on the Net, a side view in the Speed Seekers, and a couple mentions on a Flight Magazine of the time. Based on that material a 3view was devised and a wood master was created to vac the parts, which barely fitted into the Mattel plate, producing two very thin (the Mattel can’t handle heavy-gauge plastic) fuselage sides. The rest was also scratchbuilt with the usual techniques you are familiar with: the ever-trusty alchemy set. A couple of Lamblin radiators were created and the better one was used. Exhaust stubs were made stretching a styrene tube, painting it and then cutting the necessary sections. A wood prop was carved and a tail skid was made of tiny laminated aluminum soda can strips to replicate the “springs” on the original. Decals were home made. Racers have an enormous appeal. Their lines, their stance, are always evocative and inspiring. A very small model in 1/72, but with a lot of pizazz.
  23. Hi folks, This is my mad "what shall I build for next year's anniversary of the first moon landing" project. The (stupid idea at my age) plan will be to construct a launch tower (LUT) and platform (MLP) for an Airfix 1:144 scale Saturn V kit. This is just a placeholder at the moment, as there will be weeks of research, scaling diagrams and making drawings before I reach the stage of cutting any plastic. Caveat: I don't expect this build to be anywhere near the standards of Manfred's Shuttle or RichO's Crawler, but I do intend to have fun attempting something. Mike
  24. So here it is completed. For the WiP please tap here: A siesta due to too much Pernod:
  25. A build from 12 years ago: In 1993 a very strange –or familiar, if you think about it- sight in the sky puzzled more than one casual cloud-gazer. The FMX-4 Facetmobile is a homebuilt aircraft created by Barnaby Wainfan with the lifting body concept approach, and its looks, as hinted before, resemble…a flying crushed cardboard box?...a miss-assembled tent, blown by the wind?...or…yes, you got it, a very famous "secret" (no more, actually) plane that uses stealth technology, the same technology used by the crooks that steal from people making millions and get rewarded by their corporate headquarters for it . But I digress. This one reputedly flew before the other one was unveiled to the public. A difficult shape to forget, the Facetmobile was a temptation that posed as an innocent would-be model. Little I knew. The images will tell you how I made it. Suffice to say that I had more than one accident with the superglue, because given the fact that the body was build with two shells of clear plastic, the use of normal styrene glue didn’t cause the desired effects. After –seemingly- months of merciless bouts, the model emerged; not perfect, but perhaps good enough to bring a smile. The original flew, and very well!
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