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  1. 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:
  2. I'm not sure if this can fall under the category of scale modelling in the forum since technically this wasn't built from a kit, but I figure it uses the same subset of skills to do. The Airbus A330-300 is a twin-aisle airliner designed and built by Airbus. Having first flown in 1992 and developed in parallel with the longer-range Airbus A340, the A330 is a prominent aircraft model in the widebody short-to-long-haul market, and has recently been updated with a successor model, the A330neo. This model depicts an A330-300 of Cathay Pacific Airways, registration B-HLV, in the older Brushwing livery. It's a snap-fit model by Hogan Wings in 1/200 that used to be in the livery of Saudi Arabian Airlines. Here are the photos: For comparison, here's a Before/After: I detailed some of the processes in making it in the thread here, although I wasn't really able to update it all the way through: This was painted with mostly Tamiya acrylics and MRP lacquers, with Alclad Aqua gloss being the final clearcoat. I designed the decals myself although some of them came from images of decals available online. Various modifications were made like the corrected tail fairing and added antennas and domes. I decided to keep the weathering very light this time around because in my experience it's very easy to overdo it in 1/200 scale. In terms of this kind of restripping work the model itself made the work very straightforward and easy. The breakdown of parts meant that I could easily paint components separately and leave fragile parts off until the end of the build, much like with actual model kits. And because the model is for the most part pre-built and designed to have a snug fit rather than needing glue, there was little to no body work or sanding and filling involved. The most difficult part of the project was mostly the painstaking work involved with sizing and optimizing the decals over and over again to make sure it fit on this specific model, and so I would definitely recommend this kind of work as an in-between in scale model kit assembly and buying a pre-made kit model, and the possibilities are many with the large quantity of available snap-fit models in 1/200 scale. Although not as finely detailed as injection-molded scale model kits, the detail is sufficient in my opinion to fit in a collection of Hasegawa kits, for example. And with the relative rarity of cheap A330 kits available, Hogan Wings' plastic snap-fits are a very reasonable compromise. And another interesting detail to note with Hogan Wings models in particular is that parts are included to display the model with the wheels up or with landing gear. This means that they can be left off from the model until the end of the build or entirely and it makes painting a lot easier. Thanks for reading!
  3. I feel like this skirts the definition of scale modelling that this forum pertains to, but I suppose this project uses many of the same skills involved. Please delete or move if this doesn't belong here. I've had an itch to build a 1/144 A330 for a while, but given the high price and shipping of the Authentic Airliners A330, and the rarity of the Revell kit, I decided to just repaint one into the colors I wanted. This is the Hogan 1/200 Saudia A330-300 that I'll be repainting into the old Cathay Pacific colors with registration B-HLV. Hogan provides a relatively detailed model to start with, and the snap-fit nature of it means that it's easy to work on different components separately. This is what the model looked like before stripping: In the time before the physical work of stripping and repainting started, I went to work on the decals for the model, all of which will be printed at home. After sizing and resizing over and over to fit the model, the decals were all finished recently, probably the most difficult aspect of the entire job: (It's low-res because this was just a screenshot off of Photoshop) And the fuselage and tail were recently stripped completely of paint after a decal test that ensured all of them lined up: I think the rest of this half-build will blow by fast. I've been thinking of adding the antennas and other detail along the top of the fuselage, but the issue would be where to get the measurements for those. I'm not sure if those modifications are worth making in 1/200, to be honest.
  4. Hello all, Just finished this latest build. the Minicraft MD-80 kit with Swiftair Real Madrid EC-JQV decals by TwoSix. EC-JQV was painted up in the Real Madrid livery in 2007 to carry the football team and VIP's around until 2009 when they stopped using the plane for political reasons. EC-JQV was scrapped in 2012 but it lives on in 1/144 scale! For a Minicraft build this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, certainly better than the 737-400 kit, but that's not to say it's a doddle, still needed a fair bit of filler for the fuselage join, but the wings weren't actually too bad considering it's the fiddly interlocking system. I did a few 'dry' fits to find the 'spot' where it would lock in before putting glue on. The last few dry fits worked perfect so having nailed that, I put the glue on and then it didn't lock in as it just did the past few attempts but I got it in soon after. The stabilzers and engines went on very well, the wheel doors were the most fiddly things of all! Instructions could have been a little bit clearer but wasn't that bad. The decals are excellent and well recommended, they are designed for the Minicraft kit, the blue around the nose was a tad fiddly and required a little bit of blue paint to fill in a gap around the cockpit window as it doesn't quite fit, but that was no problem. I hope you like it and thanks for looking! James.
  5. This build started as a "rescue" kit that came to me partially built, as explained in the step-by-step posting: It is a companion of the recently-completed Lan Chile Junkers: My thanks once more to friend, fellow modeler and Ornithopters' member Sönke for kindly donating the rescue kit. My gratitude also to those who helped providing useful information during the build, especially Günther Ott of ADL in Germany. Any inaccuracies in the model are entirely my fault. Last but no least thanks to Mika Jernfors of Arctic Decals, who warned me about the stagger of the seat rows and windows on the original plane, and made a wonderful decal set for it. At the beginning I planned to use it to try some tricks to be applied to a new model (finished as a LAN Chile airliner), but I grew fond of it in spite of the challenges it presented. To start with, Italeri made very little effort to adapt the military boxing into the civil one, leaving many grey areas and some serious mistakes to be fixed by the modeler. I ended up correcting some of the inaccuracies of this old kit and providing some additional interior, and commissioning a decal set for it to be finished as VH-UYA, a machine that saw some limited service in Australia. The most blatant mistake of the kit is that in the original plane the two sets of windows were staggered, the right side being ahead of the left, a fact ignored by Italeri that takes a lot of time and some skill to correct. I drew immense pleasure from the conversion of a machine of sinister origins and use, into an airliner that is not wearing despicable symbols, but instead had a good use, at least for a time, transporting civilians and being useful for peace, not war. VH-UYA presented some color challenges, as it the case when assumptions have to be made based on available black & white photos and/or vague, or generic descriptions. The color choices, which involved some degree of speculation, were adopted after much consultation and study. Unfortunately, for several reasons, it did not have a long career in Australia. Many sources repeatedly state engine issues for all Jumo 205-equipped planes. This diesel engine apparently gave more than one headache to its pilots, mechanics and users. There is some anecdotal information on the Net about this plane, so if you feel curious, do a search for the type and registration, instead of me parroting here what is already out there. This old kit as said is not very accurate and it is devoid of cabin detail, having also raised panel lines, but the fit is quite good, and the engineering uncomplicated, which is appreciated. As many other old vintage kits, it can be converted into a fair representation of the original with some love and time. I would say that skill required for this conversion is within the reach of committed modelers that had already ventured into some kit-improving and detailing. Provided you invest some research and effort, you can obtain a large number of civil airliners from this kit. As stated in the building article, Kora Models has some sets that cover a few of the possible choices (not sure how accurate they are), but combining different releases of the Italeri kit (radial, inline, short tailcone, long tailcone), and doing or commissioning your own decals, you are also set for a nice ride if you are so inclined.
  6. Here is at last finally completed the model of the Chilean airliner that journeyed the long distances of its South American adoptive country. And a long building journey this was too, given the fact that the Italeri kit is just a hasty and half-way effort to provide the features of the real civil version. All the mishaps and necessary corrections/additions can be visited in the step-by-step building article: The companion Airlines of Australia plane is here: A full interior was provided, and the original short tail had to be modified into a long tailcone. The box art of this kit will completely mislead you into believing that you are acquiring a long tailcone version. Bummer. The most blatant mistake of this old kit is that the two sets of windows were staggered in the original plane, a fact ignored by Italeri that takes a lot of time and some skill to correct. Other many modifications were needed, and of course the addition of the aftermarket Kora set that provides resin radial engines and nacelles plus the decals for this version. On that, I can comment that the fit of the Kora nacelles is not, let's say, comfortable, and if you don't need the decal sheet it provides or the other bits, you are better off buying the radial engines and long tail version offered in one of Italeri's releases (4260). If I had noticed that before, I would have done exactly that. On a secondary note on the decals, the ones provided for the prop blades seem inaccurate, since all photos of the radial versions show invariably a Junkers triangular logo on those blades. Photos show at least two different liveries, the one provided by Kora and another that has a more stylized lettering for "Línea Aérea Nacional" above the windows, instead of on the aft fuselage. Other features can be glimpsed in photos: a LAN big lettering under the right wing, and at least in one machine an anti-glare panel on the nose. I drew immense pleasure from the conversion of a machine of sinister origins and use, into an airliner that happily is not wearing despicable symbols, but instead had a good use transporting civilians and goods, and being useful for peace, not war. LAN (Línea Aérea Nacional) had four of these Junkers, starting flying them in 1937-8 (depending on the source), they were capable of carrying 10 passengers in relative comfort with the necessary sturdiness for the rough conditions that many times the airline industry of the time had to operate in. This old kit as said is not very accurate and it is devoid of cabin detail, having also raised panel lines, but the fit is quite good, and the engineering uncomplicated, which is appreciated. As many other old vintage kits, it can be converted into a fair representation of the original withy some love and time. I would say that the skill required for this conversion is within the reach of committed modelers that had already ventured into some kit-improving and detailing. Provided you invest some time and effort, you can obtain a large number of civil airliners from this kit. As stated in the building article, Kora Models has some sets that cover a few of the choices (not sure how accurate they are, mine had some glitches), but combining different issues of the Italeri kit (radial, inline, short tailcone, long tailcone) and doing your decals you are also set for a nice ride. Since there is so little material about this Chilean machines (I have all what is to be found online, by the way), I am eager to know if fellow aviation enthusiast from Chile could come forth with more photos. For what I can tell, no registrations or logos were painted on the upper surfaces of the wings,. and only one photo hints at "LAN" painted underneath the right wing.
  7. Built 4 years ago. The WIP is here: Here is the completed Potez 62.1 in Argentinean livery, with full interior (unfortunately, if you need to go the restroom, you will need to click on the building article link, though). A very long-haul project. Again my thanks to Sönke Schulz (the original Heller kit's donor!), Alain Bourret, Christos Psarras, Matias Hagen, Martin Blanco from Uruguay*, Armando Gil, the Pavlovcic article in LV magazine -that although not totally accurate helped spur my interest-, and the others that helped me with this project. *Amigos de Uruguay, ¿para cuándo un CX-ADH? The step-by-step building article is here: Just to be clear regarding this conversion: 1) You can not use the Heller's kit fuselage unless you completely modify it and make it wider. Better make a new one. 2) You can not use the kit's engine gondolas and props without modifications, not a single one Potez 62.1 had those seen in the kit. 3) Get good references, the Dumollard book to start with. 4) Be prepared to do some serious work. 5) Whenever possible, do not only look at drawings, but also at photos of the machine you wish to replicate. They tend to differ...quite a bit. 6) Cross-check your references, as you may see in the building article some can be misleading. 7) The lighter color of the airliners is NOT white, neither pure aluminum, but a grayish version of it. Many photos show how dark and somewhat dull this tome could be under certain light conditions, and on the other hand under different lighting it could look white. Especially useful is the photo published in the Pavlovcic article mentioned in the building posting, where the white of the Argentinean flag on the rudder clearly contrasts with the fuselage upper color. It is truly a touch of irony that LV-"SEC" (dry in French) ended up soaked as shown on that photo sticking ignominiously its tail out of the water in Brazil. Or may be the plane just wanted to have a splash in the waves of Rio. In order to achieve a good result it is indispensable that during the construction of this model you listen to György Ligeti -or at the very least Eric Satie- and read "Monty Python's Big Red Book".
  8. Hi everyone, I decided to stop lurking and become more participative with my very first WIP build... It was started 5 years ago but work, time and space didnt allow me to continue. Now with more time and proper space I decided to give it a try. The base model is the Thai Revell 330-300 which was cut to measure in order to convert it to a 330-200 The tail was also modified for the new rudder and actuator. The nose remains the same with minor reshaping as ordering the Braz replacement would take ages to arrive. The aircraft will be displayed in the landing configuration, Flaps, Slats, Spoilers deployed as well as Thrust Reversers. I am trying to add as much detail as my workmanship and available materials permit. Any suggestions and Critiques are MOST WELCOMED Cristian ENGINES Reversers cut Reversers grill scratch made Extensions of the turbine cowling were scratched for better detail from behind and also for support of the reverser grills The grills with the support and some basic reverser flaps where scribed on the back This is the finished semi engine. I am planning on gluing everything like this and then join both halves MAIN AND NOSE LANDING GEAR Main gear with some minor detailing Major Hydraulic lines were added , some retraction brace springs and the covers for the gear bolts and brake fan exhaust to be added at the end after painting Nose Gear wit minor improvements. Some lines and some extra components. The springs are oversized. Taxi lights to be painted and properly fitted at the end as well as turn off lights added at the end VERTICAL STABILIZER and ACTUATOR FAIRING Tail modification and rescribing. There are 2 methods around the internet, but this was the easiest if you are willing to re scribe everything after. Major panels rescribed The new big fairings for the rudder actuator. Some people use miliput or epoxy putty but I was more comfortable with a mix of plastic and miliput APU, APU INTAKE and EXHAUST Some panel lines as guides ALWAYS check your decals first.... I spend a good amount of times researching photos and factory drawings and after I finished all the scribing I found out that the decals for the APU doors and intake are provided.... Apu Intake The tail of most Airliners are the only heavy riveted areas that would still be highlighted so I tried to show it. The riveting was a Rosie the riveter 0.65, wish I had at least 0.55 to make it more realistic. The APU exhaust was completely scratch as the one in the model is not very accurate. Tubing added for the interior. The navigation light will be added at the end. NOSE GEAR DOOR I added some thin black styrene to fill the gap. The revell instructions request to finish the nose gear with all items in the first steps of the build, due to its fragility I added some support and the gear will be added at the end after painting. Also more weight has to be added to compensate for the shortened fuselage. WINGS All flight control surfaces cut from each semi wing half. On the left wing I glued both halves and then proceeded to cut the surfaces but I found it a lot easier to do each half before gluing, which I did on the right wing Thinning of the trailing edges for what comes next Since all the surfaces are going to be deployed, all the area under the spoilers will be visible...so I had to fill it up somehow. I glued support beams to the upper half and all the hydraulic lines, flap lines, seals will be on the lower half for ease of painting. Wish I had the knowledge and materials to do photoetching... this could have been a lot easier than working with plastic. Basic spoilers. The actuator attachment is very complicated for the scale so I came up with a basic one. New wing navigation lights The wing root area has to be cut for the flaps to fit. FUSELAGE The seams were filled with a mix of CA glue and Rust pigment for easier visualization. Black pigments were used to find out which panel lines needed re scribing Panel liner from Tamiya was a great help to help position the nose and center fuselage, pigments would do the work as well Round styrene tubing helps with the positioning as it easily rotates until finding the perfect fit. And the fuselage is all glued. Center part was left open for easier access for reinforcing the joints with a mix of CA Glue and Polymers powder. HOPE YOU ENJOYED SO FAR
  9. 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".
  10. Hello all, Been some time since my last 727 model, but having passed my coach driving test I've been rather busy! But having been recently furloughed I've had some time to finish my Zvezda 737-800 I started some time ago, complete with 26 Decals Caribbean Airlines decals for 9Y-TAB. One of my favourite builds, and my first Zvezda build though a bit more fiddly than I thought, some over engineered bit's (the TINY bit needed to go on the wingtip for example could have been part of the mould, I ended up loosing that part so had to use a plasticard replacement) For the flying option I went for to use the stand, putting the main wheels in the body wasn't easy, nor was putting the front doors for the front wheel easy either, and the idea of having just two very tiny holes to hold the horizontal stabilizers isn't great, especially when a decal goes over it as well, so having to be careful with glue with not much of a fitting. So a fiddly kit but really does pay off in the end, happy with this and looking forward to my Minicraft build next, thanks for looking! James.
  11. (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:
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. After much research, head-scratching, scratch-building, and a lot of exercise looking for missed small parts on the carpet and diverse places in the general vicinity of the building board, the model is completed. The model portrays the plane as it was while located in the USA in 1923 at Curtiss Field, being displayed and flown for the general public, during events and demonstrations. The plane was originally exported to create an airline, but the USA school of doing business/trade (for those unfamiliar: "we will push our stuff into your market and will not be very happy to allow your products to compete with ours in our own market") prevented that, and the plane was confiscated, the project torpedoed, and much later the plane was released to Curtiss, where it became little more than a curious prop. Changes are noticeable during this plane's life, in its marks, details and color. You may find photos of it (earlier in its life) as G-5414 with radio masts on nose an tail (reputedly one of the first planes to carry a Marconi radio), and as -an also early- G-EAAF with different placement and size for the regs and some color changes on the extended cabin and nose area. I had to commission a special set from Arctic Decals, which turned as usual wonderful. This is a conversion of an O/400 into a O/700, for both, the original plane, and the model, which started as a rather not very enticing, outdated, Airfix effort of many decades ago, and nothing like the fine products Airfix cranks out nowadays. The represented plane itself as said was a converted O/400 that was upgraded to a O/700 standard. For those -understandably- remiss to read the very long building post, this conversion implies having to delete all military-related detail, produce a full-length passenger cabin interior with bathroom included, all the windows and door, noticeably extended engine gondolas, a new fuselage front and nose, and several minor adjustments and changes. You have, needles to say, to commit to extensive research and a long build. I can state, very frankly, that this was a much more protracted and complicated voyage that I ever thought, and my dreams of doing at least one more in civil guise are absolutely dismissed. At least until a better kit appears, something I am not inclined to believe in the least that will ever happen. The WiP is where many details and clarifications con be found, so perhaps will be a good read if you have an interest in using the old and very dated Airfix kit for a civil conversion (of which there were very many, some that need just little changes on the kit, by the way): There were also minimally modified machines that were used for civil transport during the armistice, another bunch for the European routes, and even some that were sold to India and China. So you are not condemned anymore to build a "bloody paralyzer", and instead can explore the glamorous dawn of civil passenger transport and airliner industry.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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!:
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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…)
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. Hi Folks, here is my next finished model, a Boeing 737-400, decorated as a flying fish, a Salmon.
  25. 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.
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