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Found 133 results

  1. Contemplating the harmonious lines of a well-designed classic twin is always a pleasure, and for those privileged to have seen them in person, a sight to remember. In its attractive American Airlines livery the plane seems to invite its ten passengers to ply the skies above serene landscapes, in comfort and relaxation, including a restroom. Not for nothing this era of aviation is called "golden". This endeavor started as a comparative build -of the same airplane type- against a Rareplane vacuformed kit. The building process of both kits can be visited here: The model is based -as explained in the building article- on a revamp by Encore of the original -and frankly poor- PM kit. This new boxing included -to no exceptional advantage to me- some resin bits that were supposed to be an upgrade, and a very bad new transparency, that in my sample only deserved the trash can, with apologies to the trash can. A few of the resin parts are identical to those of the original kit, or worse, and only the cabin door, exhausts, cowls and engines are of use (if you are not too picky, especially regarding the cowls). The kit's alternate civil decals that tempted me to buy the boxing are a total fiasco, since the real scheme was applied to a highly modified plane of later date, that has very little to do with the kit, having, among other changes, squared wing tip additions, and three-blade props. So it's either kit surgery or trashing those nice -but useless- decals. Thus I went a different path, adding interior and exterior detail and commissioning a decal sheet from Arctic Decals for a plane used by American Airlines. I know that there were other Beech 18 kits issued by Hobbycraft, and having such variety of nice civil liveries, I am surprised that a better injected kit doesn't exists, or at least an upgrade set -that makes sense, that is. In any case these old platforms can be turned into fair models with some work (and research, something many manufacturers don't bother with). Many of you have one or other of these incarnations (RarePlane, Encore, PM; Hobbycraft) in the stash. I think they make for a good skill-honing project, without pretending to obtain the ultimate model. Personally, I find the venerable RarePlane vac superior to these much modern alternatives so far in the market; you may have a look here: Knowing the limitations of this kit (which are various) I may venture -some day- into another conversion, since there are things that I could do better after having dealt now with this kit. Even though it took some time and no little work, here is the result obtained with the Encore kit, with which I am fairly pleased, all things considered.
  2. The BFW M.20 (Or Messerschmitt M.20) was a passenger plane of the 30's built in several versions and used extensively by Lufthansa and subsidiaries. The version here (M.20b2) was able to carry 10 passengers in comfort, even providing a restroom with toilet and sink, necessities always appreciated on board. A monoplane of metallic construction and elegant lines, it was a truly modern plane, considering its contemporaries.
  3. A build from 4 years ago: The conversion of the veteran Heller Potez 54 into a Potez 62 airliner is not unknown to the modeling universe. It is not an easy conversion, and implies serious modifications of the fuselage and, depending on the specific machine chosen, new engines and engine nacelles and other details. The airliner will of course necessitate its new cockpit and a cabin interior, with its many seats and other details, a new set of decals will have to be produced and some extensive research would be in order if you wish to obtain a reasonably accurate reproduction. Some modelers have chosen to modify the Heller fuselage, while others took advantage of the Dujin resin conversion fuselage. This item is not easy to get, but I believe is not impossible to grab one if you persist. I passed on it for several reasons: price, material (resin) and the fact that not having the opportunity of handling one directly I could not evaluate its accuracy and level of detail. This conversion has been tempting me for a while, but my interest picked up in discovering that Argentina, the country where I was born, had two Air France machines operating under French registration on the Buenos Aires / Santiago de Chile route, one of which was later acquired by the Argentinean government and re-registered LV-SEC (F-ANQQ). F-ANQQ was a converted 62.0, therefore had no sweptback as the ulterior 62.1 series machines. At around the same time two Dewoitine 333 and two 338s were also acquired, but very unfortunately they were passed to the military and did not go into civil operation, pity, because I would have loved to build models of them too. The Potez 62 LV-SEC operated only once, in half a flight. That's correct. According to the Pavlovcic article it flew on an official mission to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with some politicians and predictable entourage, only to crash on take-off on the attempted flight back, fortunately with non-fatal injuries but leaving the machine converted in a pile of trash. A not uncommon occurrence regarding many politicians: going half the way, leaving everything trashed, and escape unscathed. The same article features a photo (apparently the only known) of LV-SEC's tail sticking out of the water, not a pretty -or memorable- sight. As I started to gather, read, and compare sources, references and photos, it became obvious, as always, that you can not really take all you read as uncontroverted truth. The Pavlovcic article, otherwise a good effort that deserves praise and has many merits, seems to contain nevertheless a few inaccuracies, the most potentially misleading stating that the engine on the French machine that will become the Argentinean machine has its engines changed from inline (Hispano Suiza 12 Xrs) to radial (Gnome Rhone 14 Kirs Mistral Major) , which I believe is not correct. It seems it is all the way around: having started as a Potez 62.0 it had the radials, but when upgraded to 62.1 received the inlines. Surprisingly enough, in the very same article there are two photos of both Air France Potez with inline engines. Furthermore, he mentions about the Argentinean machine that had a "big radiator in the lower-front part of the nacelles", an undeniable feature of the inline Hispano Suiza, and photos of the Andes crossing taken from the Potez and partially showing the engine show an Hispano Suiza inline front, so I am not sure where this confusion roots. This is important, because being an inline engine, you could use the kit's nacelles, although not without some modifications, as photos show. This mods will be dealt with later on. If you are "un hermano de la Banda Oriental" (that is Uruguayan), being your Potez CX-ADH a 62.1 (ex- F-ANQN), it should include the modification of a 2 degrees sweptback as this one was a 62.1 from factory, therefore it did have the 2 degrees sweptback of the 62.1 series machines. An article by John Stroud on Aeroplane Monthly of May 1986 in his "Wings of Peace" series states that the specific machines that operated in Argentina had five seats. This is understandable if you contemplate that they had to cross the Andes to Chile, reaching an altitude of 5.500 meters (source: article on the Potez crossing the Andes on Revue Hispano Suiza). The same source also states that the two machines had Hispano Suiza X engines, and gives the second machine as F-ANQQ, instead of QO as the Pavlovcic article. In that regard the Pavlovcic article in Lima Victor is not correct. Unfortunately for Pavlovcic (and this mean absolutely no disrespect and does not detract from the merit of the overall effort) all references state F-ANQQ, including the Dumollard book and the registers: http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/f-aaaa.pdf Those original five seats were nevertheless surely increased in number as the machine passed to Argentinean hands, as the count for the infamous flight to Brazil shows: pilot, co-pilot, mechanic, radioman, mechanic assistant (five crew members) and eight passengers (13 total). I started by making the fuselage sides. One quick look at the kit ones made me realize that I would save a lot of time if I just scratched the fuselage instead of trying to cut, splice, patch, fill, putty, sand, smooth out, etc. the kit parts. My wife suggested I could save even more time by not building the plane, but, although her logic is undeniable, I suspect a catch there (as in everything she says in that particularly sweet tone of voice) so I did not follow her advise.
  4. I had this old Minicraft kit lying in my stash of doom, started, in fact already painted White and I was reluctant throwing it away´even after the much better Skyline kit was available. Going through my collection of decals, I found the BOA Easy Jet sheet and gave it a try. I won´t show you the gear wells, as there are none, I mentioned Minicraft, didn't I? The Right engine is tilted a Little bit, don't know why, oh yes, Minicraft... I tried to use some printed Pictures as Background, but still have Problems with reflections, but some are ok, just to create an Airport atmosphere. Easy Jet used this type until 2006, I think, now they are using Airbusses. So, enjoy the Pictures! Comments are Always welcome, I can live with critique…. cheers, Norbert
  5. The 30's. From the Golden Age of Aviation, its four engines lazily droning in the sky, comes this luxurious lumbering giant, arguably the epitome of traveling in style to mysterious and remote lands. Vast landscapes: arable land, coastlines, deserts, intricate cities of labyrinthine design, proud mountain ranges, all slowly slide by below, in changing colors and textures. By sunset the bright tints of the sky and the billowing clouds are reflected upon the surface of a sea. Passengers sedately recline on their ample seats, their legs comfortably extended, or are pensively sipping a cocktail in the plane's bar, or even enjoying a sophisticated full meal on a removable table, pampered by a staff of courteous attendants. The quality of the inlaid wood paneling, the exquisitely weaved upholstery, the tasteful curtains, the porcelain, the crystals, all glows with the aura of England at its highest. Romance, mystery, luxury, comfort, sophistication, are all just the visible flesh of a well-thought machine, that rendered an incredible number of years and miles of reliable service, with an unimpeachable safety record. The construction thread can be visited here: Not all, as we know, was rosy, since the "Empire" (and the other empires) were creating their own share of very serious issues. The pinnacle of England as a world power would be challenged, and soon, unbeknownst to most of those passengers, in a few years the country would have to face the storm that will set Europe, and the world, ablaze. Humanity has a peculiar talent for ignoring the consequences of choosing bloodshed, misery, death, hunger and suffering, over adventure, discovery, and peace. But the H.P.42 is not only a symbol of luxury, it's also a symbol of peacetime, progress, romance, and ultimately of humanity's better angels, of what we would like our world to be. My thanks again to John Eaton, who facilitated the acquisition of the kit, and to Arctic Decals for producing the set that greatly enhances the model and solved the issue of the window frames and the ruined decal sheet in the kit. Thanks also to the fellow modelers that made comments and gave "emotional support" during the long build, and last but not least to the Hidden Ones that maintain this place of encounter and sharing: BM. I hope this model operates a bit like a time machine, and takes you to an era of shimmering glamour -the Golden Age of Aviation- that has so much to offer, so much to say, so much beauty to share, so much charm to explore. Not in vain it's called "Golden".
  6. Time is 00:29 on Saturday/Sunday night/morning and five of the top seven topics in the RFI are airliners! Who'd have thought that would happen!
  7. (notice that the drawing has the American Airlines legend on the nose, which no photo I have shows for this plane. The instructions and decals have it right, though) The stocky and rather ungainly appearance of the Vultee V-1A is balanced by the impression of power and compactness it gives. Fast and rugged, with a characteristic forward-slanting windshield, its general lines having a portly look. One of the Vultees was modified as a seaplane, and sold to Russia, and I have modeled that plane using the Execuform vacuformed kit, some time ago: The Vultee lines are vaguely similar to other comparable planes of the time, like the Lockheed Orion, Clark GA-43 and Northrop Delta. Capable of carrying two crew members and eight passengers in relative comfort, it was used by airlines as well as private owners, among the latter William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon, reputedly depicted in Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane". The Special Hobby kit has been in the market for a while, laudably also in a civil guise, which is the one I purchased. The kit decal options are nice: American Airlines, Lady Peace (more like an afterthought since it's not depicted in the instructions) flown by Merrill and Richman over the Atlantic, an oil company executive transport, and one of the American Airlines machines in which Jimmy Doolittle established a record (sponsored by Shell, whose logo was added to the plane). Some of them need a different interior, a fact not contemplated by the kit makers. Lady Peace needs long-range tanks and exterior modifications (window arrangement, RDF antenna, engine, etc.), and others had an executive interior (the oil company hack). Pay attention to the exhaust plumbing which is different in some planes -most likely tied to the type of engine used) and at least one machine had different L.G. doors (Vultee NO A-181). For the adventurous modelers, other possible civil schemes are Alaska Airways, Frank Fuller's plane, one that went to México (only a couple of not very satisfying photos on the Net), United Gas System, Spirit of Pueblo, Sierra Aviation, Canadian Colonial Airways (CF-AWC) (This should be CF-AWQ, as correctly pointed out by Roger Holden below), and some others. All the kit options were considered but discarded since I decided to represent the Hearst machine, which was overall gold with stylized elements in red, plus the logos of the San Francisco and Los Angeles Examiners, owned by him. I became curious about Hearst after watching, more than once, that remarkable movie -cited above- that is Citizen Kane. A few years ago I visited Hearst Castle in the California coast, a perfect example of all the taste money can't buy, a monument to cultural pillage and appropriation rendering a remarkable kitsch result. In any case, the plane landed in Hearst's private airstrip at his property, as well as other of his planes and the planes of notable and famous guests. Do not be tricked by the Lady Peace that is in a museum, which is not the original machine but actually Hearst's. If you are representing Lady Peace, there are contemporary drawings of the different interior, and rather base your model on photos than on the reworked, repainted museum example that is, like some museums examples, an absolutely meritorious effort, but not necessarily accurate. The kit, as many kits, needs some details added, which will be dealt with during the construction stages. Since parts of the kit are shared with the militarized version, unfortunately you have to close with a lid a hole on the spine of the fuselage, that will keep you busy trying that the seam doesn't show on the finished model. Being a luxury model, Hearst's plane had six reclining seats (instead of eight) and a full bathroom (instead of the standard one), as well as better radio and navigation systems. The engine was more powerful too. One Vultee V-1A even participated in the 1936 Transcontinental Air Race (decals in the kit) with number "B3", obtaining a third place, whereas the first and second were obtained by women. Here is the roster, juts for the sake of detail: 1. Thaden and Noyes -Beech C-17R NR-15835 2. Laura Ingalls -Lockheed Orion NR-14222 3. William Gulick -Vultee V-1A NR-14255 The prototype X12293, of smaller airframe, is distinguishable because of its different landing gear covers, rounded rudder where it meets the fuselage tailcone, different exhausts and in most photos a three-blade prop. It went to American Airlines. Many long but fruitful hours of research led me to an article in Air Magazine #18, an old Aero Digest April 1933 article, Aviation April 1933, Popular Aviation August 1934, Air Classics, Paul Matt Scale Airplane Drawing Volume 2, pages on Flight Magazine, and other sources. I would like to commend Special Hobby/Azur/etc. on the release of refreshing civil planes. The kit moldings, though, were meant to cover a number of variants, not all civil. This, we know, helps with the manufacturer's costs and revenue, and provides modelers with more options, but at the cost of a burden put on the modeler to deal with some fixes. As mentioned above, there is an opening on the fuselage spine that doesn't apply to any of the civil versions presented in this boxing. There is a cover to deal with it, and the surrounded area has to be sanded and re-engraved to delete any traces of the paneling of the military version from it. The pesky ejector towers should be removed from wings and fuselage interior. There is some minor thin flash in many parts, mostly easily cleaned, though. As it is the rule with this type of kit there are no locating pins, and the ridges molded to indicate where parts go inside the fuselage are a bit vague. There are some butt-joints that will need securing. The fit of assemblies that come in halves (fuselage, engine cowl) is again imprecise and will need some adjusting and a little persuasion (one half is a tad smaller than the other, creating a ridge). A full interior is provided, although somewhat basic and as said above, not accurate for some of the versions. The drawings in the instructions are not bad, but they sin -yet once again as it is common with this type of kit- of imprecision. Where, exactly, goes the floor? above that faint ridge? below it? against it? and the bulkhead? On that ridge molded on the fuselage sides? behind it? before it? and the cockpit floor? and so forth for other parts. "More or less there" "Try and you will find out" "Oops, may be not there" could be the calls for the drawings. The sprues: Some details: Nice surface detail, more consistent than the general short-run kit: Bagged decals, resin bits, canopy: I was elated that for a change the resin parts did not come pre-broken. I noticed this difference between exhausts:
  8. Long ago, my older son, also a modeler (and a very good one, not that I am his father) built an Aeroposta Argentina civil passenger plane based on the Italeri kit and dedicated the build to me when he posted it on a known modeling site. Now it's time for me to build another and dedicate it to him! I have been always fascinated by the role of Aeropostale and Aeroposta in Argentinean aviation, where the names of Saint-Exupery, Guillaumet, and Mermoz , together with local heroes, stand prominently. One of the machines used by Aeroposta, most noticeably in the southern routes to and from frigid Patagonia, is the civil version of the Junkers Ju/52m (mainly "ge" machines). I always steer clear of the nauseating nazi symbols, so this is a good opportunity to redeem this machine with a much better meaning and story. Some photographic references exist covering 5 machines: Tierra del Fuego Ibaté Pampa Quichua Patagonia. I base my conversion on the Italeri civil issue of this kit. Whilst others exist (Heller, Airfix, Revell re-issue) all have their particular quirks. The Italeri civil version kit, if lacking in some areas, at least had the aft fuselage gun position deleted and the pants, plus a full civil interior. Looking at photos it's evident that the different machines listed above changed a bit during their lives, and differed among themselves in some details. I did not want to have to deal with too many changes, so I leaned towards the machines that do not need new cowls, props, or engines (some received at some point P&W or Wright engines, three-blade props, and different cowls). Other details to consider are: -number of oil cooler "tubes", grouped under each engine either in twos or threes, and some times mixed installations. -wheel pant decoration, which varied (and pants sometimes were removed). -Presence of a door on the nose, right fuselage side, immediately after the cockpit, absent in the kit. -deletion of big cargo door on the right fuselage side, present in the kit. -possible addition of two barely visible hatches after the cabin, both sides (one is marked on the kit from inside, the right hand-side one. At some point, to my immense joy, I realized something very interesting that I have never seen in any artwork, or plans: since these planes operated in bad weather and an awful number of times in snow or snowed territory, some paint schemes include a high-vis color on top of wings and stabs. I deem that color orange, as per well known practices. Only few photos show this scheme, but they do it very clearly. All planes had the rudder painted with the Argentinean flag colors, but many times the rest was left on bare metal (besides company marks and registration). Some photos show a machine with the typical "curvy and pointy" ex-Lufthansa black nose and engines. I was elated as said with that discovery, and as photographic evidence started to confirm it, I ordered as said the Italeri kit. Upon getting the kit It was immediately obvious that, if some efforts were done to produce this "civil" version, said efforts were a bit lazy, half-hearted and ill-informed. The list is long, so do your own research looking at photos (NOT only at drawings, side views and the like, many times inaccurate) and compare your kit with the desired machine, as I did. Italeri provides in the sprues two alternate parts for the cargo area, one of which would be pertinent (the two-window one) IF the corrugations would match those of the fuselage. What a blunder, so much for a seamless transition. Now, as we all know, replicating corrugations is not easy but certainly can be done, but I don't want to spend the time, so I just ordered another kit to cut a piece of the fuselage and splice it to the first one, plus need more cannibalized surface to make the front door to the right, shamelessly absent form the kit and present in all civil versions I have photos of. Failed on homework, Italeri! But both kits were inexpensive, being old issues an second hand. There is small hatch (molded from inside in the kit) that you could cut open. In one photo that hatch can be seen removed (which I may replicate). Photos show a second hatch to the left, absent from the kit, but present in company's drawings. So, changes needed for ALL five AEROPOSTA machines: -Delete large cargo door on right fus. fixing the inaccurate corrugations on kit part. -Need to add the front fuselage door on the right side, right behind the cockpit. The passenger door is as per the kit, no problem here. Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia and Pampa had the Argentinean flag along fin and rudder Quichua and Ibaté only on the rudder And individually Tierra del Fuego: Scheme a) Engines and cowls as per kit, 3-3-3 oil coolers, plain aluminium. Scheme b) Painted on high-vis: 2-3-2 oil coolers, new PW engines and cowls, no wheel spats, new Hamilton Std. three-blade prop with spinner, Quichua: High-vis, 2-2-2, double line pants, need to change the 3 cowls to Townend rings. Patagonia: 1) cowls/props as per kit, 3-3-3, inverted light color single triangle on spats, curvy and pointy black (Lufthansa style) decoration on nose and engines, 2) No colors on fuselage, double line spat. Pampa: 1) cowls/props as per kit , 3-3-3 oil coolers, no decoration (plain aluminium). 2) high-vis decor, double line spats. Ibaté: 1) High-vis, 2-2-2 oil coolers, double-line spats, same scheme with and without engine shields. Of these the one that I may be modeling is Ibaté, which had a crippling emergency landing on very bad weather and snow. The passengers, fortunately only a bit shaken (but including women and children) had to wait four days to be rescued by a walking party, and walk many kilometers on thick snow to get horses, and then ride some more, while another plane (Quichua) dropped some supplies. The story is long and fascinating. May be I will translate it if I have the time. Do not blindly trust the side views or 3 views you may see of the planes cited above. If no doubt well-meant and the work of love of someone that cared, most contain inaccuracies. Look at photos, as much as you can find, of the machine you intend to replicate, and start to take notes. Argentina had of course other Junkers Ju-52 used by LADE (Líneas Aéreas del Estado) and for other purposes, among them cropdusting by the Ministry of Agriculture (and Silly Walks). Many other Latin American countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, etc.) had a number too. The kit's fuselage sides, with the problems explained above: Different corrugation pattern, inaccurate for these Junkers: Front door inexplicably absent from kit: This hatch may me opened: Look, mom, no gun position!: But instead a sink mark!: Caused by Italeri leaving the gun position paraphernalia inside: Parts for the seats provided: And other nice details (aft bulkhead with folded seat, a bit different on the planes listed above). I will open that door that leads...yes! to the restroom. Toilet, here we come!: Two cabin floors, in this case of course the one with the seat recesses is the one to use. Now, some civil Junkers had the seats pointing slightly inwards, so which is the case with Aeroposta? Don't miss the next episode!:
  9. I owe the pleasure of this kit to fellow modeler John Eaton, that very kindly let it go so I could have a go at this extremely exciting build. As we corresponded, John commented on what must have been to travel to exotic places on this gentle beast, in absolute luxury that only the well-heeled could afford. As many of you know, there were in fact two of these Handley Page types, the HP42 and HP45, four machines each. One covered the Eastern routes while the other covered the Western ones. They differed on the powerplants, propellers, and seat number and arrangement. Many other external details varied from plane to plane too, so as usual photo references are a must. I have wanted to build this vacuformed kit for a long time. And to think that I believed that I was handling a "big kit" and model when I built this same manufacturer's Blackburn Kangaroo, but this behemoth is far, far bigger, almost 55 ctms. in span (that is for you still leaving in the dark ages about 21 1/2 inches). This design epitomizes "The Beauty in the Beast" character that I so much love about vintage, Golden Age planes: ungainly, preposterous, but ultimately irresistibly charming. Through the years I gathered so much references on this type, that only to go trough the graphic material takes me hours (I just did it, again), not to mention the written portion of it that I leave for a rainy day (or days). The Contrail kit is not state of the art as we all know, but I believe it will provide a decent base for a good model. The kit , reputedly released in 1982 (37 years ago!!!) comes with some goodies in the form of Aeroclub's white metal engines and four-blade props, some airfoiled material, a metal rod for the landing gear, a few molded parts (wheels and such) a cut of clear (now yellowed) plastic and some extra styrene sheet. Accompanying the package are printed instructions, quite clear for what I can tell at a glance, and clearly printed reference photographs, not the fuzzy blackened photos much newer manufacturers some times provide. A big decal sheet is also provided to cater for (I think) every HP42/45. Not sure about how it survived the passage of time, we'll see. This kit also provides a full interior, cockpit and cabin. There is a particular piece of engineering in this kit, as the cabin interior is eventually wrapped within a shell, which sides have the curtains already molded in, and you have to cut off the "window" area. That sub-assembly is later enclosed by the fuselage sides. The monster kit: Some details included, among them Aeroclub white metal engines and props. Notice that the Eastern route machines had different, stacked two-blade props, easier to carry on as replacements: Contents of the box: Interior provided: The cabin "shells": A Parnall Pixie (same scale) could take off... ...and land on this plane's wing: Now, because I am building at the same time seven models (six of which are posted here as ongoing WiPs), this one may have to wait a little.
  10. Here I would like to show you this classic airliner before the wide bodies were available. The kit is from Nitto and has also been on the market under the Doyusha label (afaik). The kit's decals were quite ok, but I did not like the liveries (KLM and JAL). So Draw decals came to the rescue with this colourful livery. The specialists among the audience may have noticed, that Aeromexico did not use the -61, but the -63 with slightly different engines. But I hope nobody else will notice... The Cockpit glazing was not usable. So I had to use filler and had to sand it. The decals from Draw were also useful here. I hope you like this sleek airliner. Any comment is welcome. cheers, Norbert
  11. Here I present my Airbus A321. Austrian Airlines painted this Aircraft in 1996 with a lot of famous Austrians to celebrate the nation's Millennium, 1000 years Birthday. The model is OoB. I built this model a couple of years ago. At that time I didn't bother about the Winglets being too small and now I am too busy Building new models to alter the old ones. I was very proud having managed to get the very large decals aligned without accident. The Quality of the Revell decals helped a lot with that. Before one of you mentions it....I didn't know then that Authentic Airliner or Authentic decals existed….;-) The 321 requires less work than building a Revell 319 or 320 because the wing can be used as is. The other variants need some alteration on the small flaps. Mozart is on the tail. A friend of mine succeeded in finding out all the other names, too, but I can't find the note any more. So, ist your turn! I hope You like it! Cheers, Norbert PS: Any comment is appreciated, also if you native Speakers notice something with my english that sounds unusual to you. I still wanna learn. (I know…"wanna" is an Americanism…)
  12. Oh no...not another Airliner! Yes, and there is more to come. Here is a very colourful addition to my collection. In the early Noughties (2002-2006...) JAS painted there Aircraft in a very colourful manner. When I saw this kit, I just had to have it. Well, as usual, older Hasegawa decals tend to be brittle and this one was no exception. The decals reacted to softening fluid in a very unusual way. they wrinkled, but stayed that way even after drying. So I had to do some repair work with a lot of Colour mixing and painting at some Areas. It took some trials until I was satisfied with the results. I added an APU inlet just aft of the side tail, which will open when the APU is started. I got some MD-80s by Hasegawa in a similar livery and I am Looking Forward to Building them hoping for less difficulties... I like this scale especially for the big airliners. They are a lot easier to handle. cheers, Norbert
  13. This model was finished in April this year. It is the old Revell kit, which is not as detailed as the newer Zvezda kit. The main Problem is the flight deck front Shield, but by filling and sanding and using a decal it Looks ok. Vueling is a Spanish low-cost carrier and in 2012 they had flown 50 Million passengers and marked this Aircraft with a big !Gracias! on one side and on the other side with "Thanks". The Decals are made by Nazca. The Right side is done very well, but surprisingly there were a lot of mistakes on the left side. So I had to improvise at some Areas with some cutting. You will only notice it by directly comparing to original Fotos. I found an interesting Foto showing how much dirt and oil had accumulated on the Bottom and tried to Imitate that. I also painted the back half of the engines somewhat darker to Imitate the traces of the thrust reverser. The Winglets provided by Revell are too small. So i made them from Scratch using Daco`s photo etched parts as atemplate. Zvezda`s also have the correct size So, please feel free to comment on the model and also on the Things I missed or done wrong. cheers, Norbert
  14. Hi Folks, here is my next finished model, a Boeing 737-400, decorated as a flying fish, a Salmon.
  15. And when I thought I had posted most of the models I deeemed would be useful here, I realized I left this one out. So here it is, a build from 7 years ago, with its original text. What does one do when in England? yes, one buys an old Airfix kit. How old? look at the photos, 1957 vintage! a mold 62 years old to this date. Airfix -and successive re-incarnations- squeezed the twopence out of that mold! What I want to do with it? Convert it to a civil machine, of course! likely some variation of the Bristol Tourer/Coupe. History: At some point after the war it was realized that transporting people was much, much nicer than bombing then. This very painfully-obtained knowledge was not, however, kept in mind for a long time. The Bristol Tourer/Coupe was a direct derivative of the Bristol F2B. In that regard, many countries, like Japan, France and Germany were doing the same: hastily converting war leftovers for the incipient civil market, many times with the procedure of producing a “hunch” to protect the weary passengers against the elements. I may refer you to two of my models: -Hawa F.3: -Hansa Brandenburg W.29 J-BCAL: You could model a civil machine without modifying a single part of the Bristol Airfix kit, though. There were a couple of Canadian machines (G-CYBC / DP and at least one Spanish that flew the plane as it is represented in the kit (minus armament, of course). Beware, since some of the other civil versions had different engines, cowls, radiators, rudder, passengers’ compartment covers, supplementary fuel tanks on the top wing, and minor details. Look at your photos, not at drawings: photos. I did some preliminary chopping, cleaning, filing, filling and sanding as per images. All the stitching was eliminated at this point, later to be replaced by other devices. You can see in the building photos that some areas have been removed and the section corresponding to the passenger cabin altered to represent the increase in fuselage width that was incorporated in the real plane in order to accommodate the side-by-side seating arrangement. Not all Coupes/Tourers had this increase in width; again, check your photos. Some formers were cut, and the usual interior paraphernalia prepared for the cockpit and passenger cabin. Some external elements (augment rudder, different nose, hunch, top wing tanks, etc.) had to be scratched too. As you can see in the images the major work was concentrated in two areas: the passenger cabin elements and the nose. The former is a complex area that need careful observation of the photos and accurate execution. Of special note is the transition from the former back of the pilot (which has a sort or triangular shape at the top) to the first passenger cabin former, which is quadrangular with round corners at the top, and leans forward. The second area of effort as said was the nose. A wood master was prepared in order to vacuform the cowling. Engine, radiator and ancillary parts (like the oil tank) were scratched. The engine alone insumed about fifty individual parts. Again, attention needs to be paid to the sections’ transition, from firewall to radiator. At the firewall the top is rounded and the bottom straight, and that reverses at the radiator’s cross section. Home-made decals were prepared: a bundle of “stitches’ strips” and black regs on white decal paper stock. More details related to the upper wing, control surfaces, ancillary parts, etc. were made; paint ensued with a home-made custom color of all sub-assemblies. A bit of work, complicated by the difficulty in handling the model for the final steps with all those wires and external details. The woman in the photos is my friend Soenke's sekretarien. He sent her from Germany, previously shrinking her with one of his multiple evil rays. Her name is Fraulein Preiser. She is nice, but constantly complains about having to wear the same dress over and over again.
  16. Here is the ongoing project, a Williams Bros. in National Parks Airways livery. The well-known, old, venerable kit is the base for some upgrades, further detailing the interior adding the nose hatch and mail compartment, opening the hatch for the aft cargo compartment, creating the much needed restroom for the relief of those poor 1/72 passengers -with toilet and paper roll, made of actual paper-, adding the luggage nets and so on. The kit is actually, for its age, quite workable, with refinements missing many times from much modern kits.
  17. Here is the model completed in its National Parks Airways livery, not at all a casual choice. National Parks are not real estate for sale. The model was modified as you can see in the building post here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235026972-modified-boeing-247-williams-bros-172nd/& by the addition of a restroom, cargo area and door, more bulkheads, nose cargo area and hatch, pilots hatch, some cabin detail, and other details, plus of course commissioning a special set of marks from Arctic Decals. I am really fond of the 30´s appearance that the forward-raked windshield provides, so I went for that variant. Many hours were spent searching the Net, reading references, sorting out details and looking at photographs. Modelers should be a bit more skeptic and proactive if they want a more accurate model. The venerable Williams Bros issue is still a workable platform -if of course showing its age-, and again I thank good friend, fellow modeler and ebil genius Sönke Schulz from Volkania* for gifting the kit. *His address: Ze Lair Volcanic Region German Transsylvania Since Sönke gifted the kit, he insisted in having an official "model completed" ceremony with the attendance of the Volkania Sturm und Drang band:
  18. This build is so old that I actually don't recall when I assembled this kit. Re-photographing and re-posting now for the sake of nostalgia. The text is from the time when I posted it somewhere, but that post is not dated. Another spawn from the Dungeons of Matchbox, with the usual colorful Ectoplastic treatment. After opening the box I realized I have seen a decal review of a civilian version, and following a fast search I order the set from Whiskey Jack Decals. I will elaborate on this matter later*. So there I was, battling valiantly again against the multi-colored Ectoplastic, but always with a smile on my face. This Stranraer model is really beautiful -the 30's definitely have some special charm- and builds easily. The only parts of the kit that made me frown were the struts. The central ones are way too long, and some of the exterior ones are too short. I found them difficult to position and the whole process of attaching the upper wing found me making good use of words that will make a seasoned rap singer turn pale. Rigging info is not provided, but there is a fair amount of images on the Internet, which helped me with it and some other details. Since I didn't have the lemon yellow suggested by Whiskey Jack Decals available, I used Utrecht artist acrylic, which of course unfortunately is meant not to flow, and diluted it with Model Master acrylic thinner. Several coats were laid down to build up a solid color that matched to my satisfaction the yellow on the fuselage side decals. The conversion to the civilian version, a Canadian machine of Queen Charlotte Airlines Ltd., requires some changes: the gun positions have of course to be deleted and blanked off and there are also changes in the engine/propeller area and other minor details. I have a single word for the after market decals: excellent. You have to be aware, though, that they have a continuous carrier, so you will have to carefully cut all the subjects and trim them. The decals must be handled carefully, and before cutting them a clear coat is suggested (I used Future, three coats, airbrushed). I tried them with and without decal setting agents, and I think you are safer without them, but you have to be patient. The colors are good as is the definition, but I encountered minor misalignments in the fuselage side decals (if you make on part of the image align with certain surface features, other parts are not aligned and vice versa, but I repeat: minor issues. The decals conformed well to all the surfaces and even endured some repositioning with remarkable stoicism. Another old Matchbox kit that provides a satisfying build, provided you are not obsessive-compulsive. *These decals -as far as I know- have been discontinued for ages now. (Note: there was a dolly, now missing, that supported the aft fuselage of this kit)
  19. This small early French airliner is now completed, it was among the firsts to provide restroom facilities for its passengers. It serviced a line that went from France to North Africa stopping on the way in Spain. It shows that undeniable charm of these pioneers, a bit ungainly but well-proportioned, that make them so attractive. Typical of many designs of the time, the cockpit (and pilot) are located in the aft fuselage exposed to the elements, while passengers traveled in relative comfort in an enclosed and fairly well-appointed cabin. It provided service for a time, but did not reach the popularity or production of other later Latécoère designs that will make themselves and their pilots famous, most notably in South America. Nevertheless, and considering that this was 1921, it its no doubt among the harbingers of the typical small airliner designs that would follow. The WiP can be visited here:
  20. The Latécoère L.A.T.8 or LATE 8 was a medium size early attempt for a passenger/postal carrier to ply some of the short routes with less demand. A sort of small airliner. In many ways, it resembles the later and much more successful Breguet 14T "cabine", used more or less in the same way. The Late 8 could carry five passengers with the luxury of a restroom -equipped with toilet, and so was proudly announced in contemporary ads. The pilot, like in many other designs of the time, sat quite back in an exposed cockpit on the fuselage, to the right of the spine, and had to access his position from the exterior. There is not much in terms or reference material, but it's clear the plane first had a pointy vertical tail with the legend "LAT8", and then a more rounded one. The exhaust went through three changes, as well as some other external details. Photos also show it with and without the F-ESDF registration. When those were applied, they went on the vertical tail and under the lower wing only. Decals as usual are form Arctic Decals.
  21. We have here a situation that often repeats in this hobby: a superbly attractive plane that hardly any mainstream manufacturer would touch, produced by a smaller outfit with less resources and the unavoidable higher price tag that always accompanies the need to spread higher costs on a smaller number of produced items. For us modelers that translates into the above-mentioned higher tag price, with a technology that no matter how much love, time and energy invested, may fall sometimes a tad short of modeling comfort. I have to credit to this manufacturer first and foremost the will and valor to produce a wonderful civil type that is not universally known, and the inclusion of items such as highly detailed decals, photo-etched parts, white metal parts, documentation, detailed plans, and such. The bulk of the kit is constituted by resin parts, the casting is fair enough, and better than other offers like the old Dujin issues, but not on par with more refined kits in the market of equal price. The engineering is a bit unusual, but this plane is not easy to translate in kit form, so I guess they shall be given a pass on that. But the aggregate of several resin and white metal parts that makes for the outrigger engines, associated struts and landing gear does not fit exactly well and produced many a headache. This is far from being an easy kit to build, as you can see in the work-in-progress post: The decision lies on the modeler: spend the higher sum and have a laborious build to enjoy the rewards of a lesser known type of great appeal...or not. I guess that as usual it boils down to how much you want a Westland Wessex, and how a reasonably experienced modeler you are. A great deal of thought and resources has been poured into this kit, still you need to work with skill, patience and care (and no little love), sometimes solving manufacturing issues, to get a nice replica. But then you will have your beautiful Wessex.
  22. The Westland Wessex trimotor passenger carrier of 1930 is such an attractive machine that caught my attention very early on my modeling endeavors. I started to gather material to do the usual scratchbuild and had managed to fill a pretty portly folder, when I saw that Rugrats released it as a resin kit with accessories. I understand that Rugrats released several batches, and this to me seems to be an early one, since the decal sheet carrier had aged possibly beyond redemption, as you can see in the accompanying images (no, I don't like to put the decal sheet against the window to fix it, it doesn't, really and after you apply it eventually yellows again). The kit portrays one of the variants the Wessex transport spawned, so bear that in mind when you look at your references. It is a great joy that a manufacturer will release these wonderful jewels of the Golden Age, and the effort should be saluted and applauded. They also offer a DH 66 Hercules, a DH 83 Fox Moth, a DH 84 Dragon, DH 90 Dragonfly, DH 86 Express and a DH 91 Albatross. I am familiar with all these planes, but with none of these kits, nevertheless I am happy that someone will make them available to us. Congratulations on that. The contents of the box, with reference material: Many parts are provided, but among the most practical for me: the spare for the transparencies and the inclusion of the resin master to vac more if anything bad happens: White metal parts, decent, but of slightly less quality than Aeroclub items: More white metal parts, some of them with a not so smooth surface: The engine pods and wheels, subtle wing detail: The ill decals. Wonder if the manufacturer may provide good ones: Of great printing quality, though, but as an all-encompassing carrier you have to individually trim. This may not be ideal for the window frames, for example: The fuselage is free of those silly resin bricks that some manufacturers attach to them, necessitating a jackhammer to separate the part from them: The seemingly unavoidable pinholes (very little of them, fortunately) -some of these are not pinholes, but the strut locations: One exhaust survived the de-molding, the other did not: More pinholes:
  23. Some times the modeling stars align and you get a very nice kit that you can convert into one of your dream projects without struggling, and, furthermore, completely enjoying the build. I added as you know a Matías Hagen resin engine and commissioned decals, masks and "metal" window frames from Arctic Decals. The WiP is here: The output of attractive, significant, colorful and uplifting civil kits from many manufacturers has fortunately increased lately, however I am always searching for potential conversions of military kits into much more civilized, smart and appealing civil counterparts. That's how I discovered the KP LVG C.VI kit, acquired for a very reasonable price (two more since then, by the way, I liked it so much). The quality of this little kit is superb in any regard and again, how pleasurable to build, a welcome change of scenery from my usual Frankenkit endeavors. Still, there is the matter of the kit's Achilles' heel: the cabanne struts have no locating devices or marks where they meet the fuselage, making gluing and aligning (in the 3 axis) at the same time the upper wing an event to remember, and you will, believe me. You can easily convert one of these kits to a civil post-war variant without even the need of adding a canopy or modifying the rudder as I did, by only removing the armament, filling the machine gun depression (pun intended) on the fuselage right side with Milliput or similar, and getting new decals. Many C.VIs flew carrying mail and/or passenger in the aft position with only the addition of a proper seat: "Express II", "Meteor I" (D-181), D-473 (for Baumer Aero), the ones that flew for DLR, (D-70, D-76), etc., are just some examples of C.VI in civilized use. But if you like "limousine" canopies, as I do, you have at least three more planes that had them, all with different canopies and finishes (one was D-1216, the drawing at the beginning of the construction post). The machine presented here had at some point the outline edges of the wings painted, as well as "L.V.G." under each lower wing, a scheme I may build in the future since I now have the decals too, plus the master to mold the canopy, problem is: (And I will repost here what I post on the WIP): I RUN OUT OF CLEAR MATERIAL TO VACFORM CANOPIES!! I have plenty of colored sheets for the Mattel vacuform machine, but no clear plastic sheets. I already tried those two or three types offered on the Net, with unpleasant results, and nothing compares to the original ones that came long ago with the Mattel machine, and I just run out of my supply from Mike Damen, who used to produce good substitutes (he does not fabricate them anymore). Sigh...
  24. A build from 5 years ago: The KHAI-1 was the first Russian passenger plane to operate with a retractable landing gear. It was fast for the time and had some degree of comfort, including a restroom. Its design premises were advanced, although did not include extensive metal construction for the airframe. They aimed to streamlining and to an easy and affordable construction, a must at that time for Russian aeronautic endeavors. The plane was mostly made of wood and covered in plywood and received treated fabric on top of the wood skin, creating a smooth surface. The KHAI-1 was designed as a supervised student project at the Kharkov Aviation Institute. After approval one prototype was built and was found to meet and exceed expectations. 43 of these 6-seat wooden wonders were built in total with some modifications and used in regular passenger services. Later modifications of the type included –among others- a change in engine (M-22 for the production versions), repositioning of the access door, different location and number of windows, revision of the rudder/fin shape, addition of one more piece to the wheel covers in order to completely hide the gear in the retracted position, moving forward the tail skid, extension of the cockpit turtledeck and the deletion of one seat to make up for the increase in weight due to structure strengthening. I am pretty sure these other versions could be done with some mods. The first two configurations of the plane are what can be built with the kit. The initial one had no Townend ring and a wood prop; the second is depicted on the box with Townend ring and variable-pitch prop TEMA’s 1/72 rendition of the Neman KHAI-1 contributed to reveal to the modeling world the beauty of a Russian plane which not many modelers were aware of. If you never heard before of TEMA, do not panic. Now we have also in the market AModel’s release (marketed as HAI-1, not quite the Russian pronunciation), which seems to have used basically the same mold and add an extra, much more complete sprue for the engine. The parts look cleaner in this Amodel release too. Construction started by cleaning up some rough spots and flash present in some of the parts, as per photos, but that was accomplished without trouble. Otherwise the molds have a reasonable quality and even some subtle details on the parts, like the ribbing on the control surfaces. Unlike other short-run kits, most of parts are keyed and not just butt-joined. The fit wasn’t perfect, and needed some work. Areas to be careful (meaning you will have to sand and check for the fit a few times) are the cabin floor (as it is, it doesn’t fit inside the fuselage comfortably –surprise!) and the dreaded wing to fuselage joint. The latter being the worst on my kit. I found some references on the Net, among them a detailed plan, but photos were not of a good quality in general. Nevertheless enough was gathered to proceed. Part #16 on the sprues –the instrument panel- is not present in the building sequence instructions. The kit could be assembled “as is” after some minor refinement but also more could be done if so you wish. An aft bulkhead could be added, perhaps a few details in the cockpit like rudder pedals, may be the landing gear doors could be refined a tad. Perhaps the decals’ carrier could be trimmed closer to the images. The real plane had a simple toilet located opposite the access door, on the right hand side of the fuselage. Transparencies are good enough and have a reasonable fit. Beware that the fuselage door is included in the transparencies’ sprue, so you have to mask the door window and paint the part with the rest of the fuselage. White styrene sometimes fools you because it makes it difficult to catch mistakes and gaps. So, in spite of the above-mentioned reasonable fit of the transparencies, I managed to glue them too far “inland”, and not flush with the fuselage exterior. By the time I realized it, they were fantastically glued. That no doubt should be attributed to the fact that they were in the wrong position. Then I put too much Future in a hopeless intent to gain some thickness but instead I achieved a sticky cake of dubious transparency. That, also, should be attributed to the fact that I spent a lot of time detailing the interior, now barely visible. Some small additions were made on the engine area to make it a bit more detailed, like pushrods, modification of the front “shield” and exhaust pipes (18!) that had very personal ideas regarding which way they should go. Cockpit and cabin received uplifting home-made addenda –toilet included- as per images in this article. A toilet paper roll –made of real tissue paper- was also added. A detail I am always particularly fond of including, especially for long flights. I like my models clean. The vertical stabilizer is molded complete on one fuselage side, not exactly in the middle -which is correct- as the real plane had it so to compensate for engine torque. What is not correct is the building sequence diagram (by the way, not the most brilliant I have seen) which shows the fork of the landing gear going along the short leg of the cover. It goes along the long leg of the cover. If this is true for the real plane too, I can’t tell from the photos I have, but if assembled as per instructions, you will be in trouble. Parts that were metal in the original were given a gloss black base and painted with Alclad II. The rest was model railroad acrylic alu paint over a white primer. Color trim was also acrylic. The kit box shows the painting scheme on the back.. The decals’ carrier was trimmed a bit closer to the images, but in applying them (fortunately under the wing) I discovered that the carrier was way too much evident. The usual tricks didn’t render an acceptable result, so I scanned the decal sheet and printed it on a laser printer on a decent decal paper. I have no idea how good the decals are on the Amodel release, but I hope they are better. Now, we have here a situation that is common in the hobby: I very nice subject that the mainstream manufacturers are very unlikely to touch and the limitations of a given media (whatever that happen to be, short run, vac, etc). So yes, you have to exercise those modeling skills and learn new ones. Hey, isn’t that remarkable similar to life itself?
  25. A build from 5 years ago: This is the 3rd conversion posted of the S.79 (and the three postings today are entirely Martian Hale's fault!), and actually this is the first one that I did, before doing the other two racers already posted today. It has some issues, but I like it anyway, in spite that surely I would do a couple things differently today. Civilian aircraft are not particularly well catered for by mainstream manufacturers. Once in a while we see some refried beans that have re-incarnated several times and that used to be mostly it, but lately a few companies are stepping in and offering an alternative for modelers looking for a fresh approach to the world of aviation. Although conversions are sometimes available and cottage industry does produce some nice examples on the field, there are times when you have to fabricate your own bits. And that’s not that difficult after all. Here the 1/72 Italeri S.M. 79 Sparviero minus some bits plus some other bits. Retrospectively, the method I used to produce the canopy –a vacuformed “roof” and front flat panels- is something that could be better done as one whole vacuformed piece in order to facilitate matters. As references were being consulted (thanks Fabrizio D’Isanto and Fabio Beato) it was evident that a number of details had to be erased from the original kit, most noticeably the “hunch”, the lower fuselage gondola and some of the windows. Props had to be re-worked, a suitable interior scratch-built, and a few details added. The main concern were actually the decals, but, after an attempt on my part that rendered so-so results, fellow modeler Mika Jernfors came to the rescue with superb graphics. By that time I had already placed some of the so-so decals that refused to be removed, so I could use only partially his excellent images, so any less than nice things are my fault entirely. If you feel curious about the history of this S.M.79 version and the airline that operated it, you could Google their names and surely something will come up. For the base color I used Humbrol 41 Ivory, which seems a good match for the color used originally. The blue is a custom mix. It is so secret that I hid the recipe even from myself and now and can’t remember the ingredients, but it involved mixing potions under the full moon and being helped by Smurfs. Hey, why not drop for a while the camouflaged jacket and wear a nice, cool, smart suit? This plane realized transatlantic flights to Brazil, and had fuel tanks between the cockpit and the four-seat cabin. See you on the sky.
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