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Found 76 results

  1. This build will represent the Etrich Taube 1913 civil machine that piloted by Alfred Friedrich performed a five-country flight that encompassed Germany, Belgium, France, Holland and England. It stemed from a visit to this Etrich Taube thread by @FPDPenguin where posting lead to retrieving and continuing with the build of my own: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235076655-etrich-taube-148-flashback/ So thanks Penguin for providing the necessary nudge! Airframe vacuum-formed kits were made by the late John Tarvin from Canada, and are what might be considered a vintage kit. The objective is to make of this vintage kit something a bit better, but within the boundaries of what can reasonably be done from such starting point. I have built and posted two Airframe models here: A Supermarine S-4: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235041072-supermarine-s-4-schneider-cup-1925/ and a Gee-Bee: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235053027-the-other-vac-gee-bee-r1-racer-airframe-172/ Many of the Airframe kits belong to a category I like to characterize as "Wishful Thinking Kits". The plastic is usually quite thin, no accessories of any type like (usable) wheels, engine, prop, struts, etc., and no decals (at least on my samples). They do have detailed plans, a somewhat simplified construction guide, and they do provide interesting subjects. Engineering-wise they have in common the use of a construction device that could be called a keel, a centerpiece that has a cutout for the cockpit (and/or cabin) and is sandwiched between the fuselage halves, thus helping with rigidity and providing a "lip" as additional gluing surface. It's not fabulously convenient, and can be a hindrance, thus it's better substituted for normal bulkheads and floor if preferred. Wheels, props, and other small details are provided as too generic shapes, completely useless, to be frank. At this point it's necessary to clarify that it may seem not very fair to evaluate a vintage kit against today's standards, but on the other hand I am building the kit today, and not 40 years ago, and so will those who have, or may acquire these kits to build them. Summarizing: not the easiest kits, and somewhat below other contemporary manufacturers of vacuformed kits. They are buildable, none the less, and as can be seen this is my third, but they are not easy, and require some skills, a bit of ingenuity, and the addition of many missing things. Just to give you an idea of the task ahead, the instructions lightly and mother-of-factly tell you to deal by yourself with the extremely complex undercarriage and wing-supporting structure using wire and stretched sprue. Now I call that optimism. But I could call it many other things. The parts separated from their molded backing sheet: Wheels, radiators and prop to go to the trash can: Very good plan (the plane I am representing diverged from this plan in a few things, there was a very visible gap between wing root and fuselage, and both spars and leading edge are seen exposed in that area in photos): Instructions: Some preliminary work on the parts: The wings are treated -as in the original- like what we would call today a Jedelsky airfoil, some other contemporary planes like the Caudron biplane used that arrangement too, with upper and lower surfaces in the first 2/3rds and one surface after. Problem is that there is no great match between the two parts: And here is why: the manufacturer used the same top part, resized, for the lower part, so when located with the furrows up if fits, bummer it has to go relief up to be effective:
  2. A Ford Trimotor that lost two engines. An Airfix 1/72 conversion. I had very fun building it and that is probably why I managed to finish it before it managed to die as many of my project do. It does look a little different to the standard Trimotor. Notes from the build here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235020768-ford-8-at/
  3. I've fancied doing something a bit different for a while now, and having found these nice kits of classic airliners for decent value I thought I'd give them a go while I wait for decals for my yellow Whirlwind. Still waiting for the postie to bring a Roden DC-7 in JAL livery too. I'll make the Comet and Vanguard oob, including decals, but the 707 I'm planning to do as Pan Am. Just not sure which one to start first. I haven't made a 1/144 airliner since my teens.
  4. What a joy to see a civil Sikorsky S-51 released by LF Models! And with a Los Angeles Airways option (there are three different options in total), none the less! Los Angeles, the city that we, its dwellers, love to hate. I live now in the same county, but not fortunately anymore in that city, for which I praise and thank all the saints of all religions, those already invented and the ones to be invented yet. I rushed to buy one. And what a pleasure it was to open the box and see what looks like a nice molding, plenty of detail, a photo-etched set and decals, accompanied by nicely printed instructions. Thanks LF for releasing a very nice kit of a civil helicopter for us suffered and often dismissed civilized builders! I have built LF kits before, and this new offer is above in quality from what I had built. LF offers, separately, the option to purchase painting masks for the decoration and another set for the transparencies, which are NOT included with the kit. I immediately plunged into frantic research. To my luck, I found some pictures of the intended model, and even some movies. Here are some of the things I noticed: the green color suggested by the kit for that livery may be a little light. Color photos of the Sikorsky S-51 and other Los Angeles Airways helos show a darker hue, consistently. I even found a color photo with a sign of the company logo in a darker green. A mystifying detail: while some of these S-51 LAA helos have the exhaust to the left as shown in the kit, some have it to the right (no, the photos are not reversed, they are oriented the right way). Hum. Photos and clips suggest that at least some of the helos had the tail rotor blades painted a warning red (which looks a tad faded), not black as depicted in the kit. Some stills show a narrow red line separating the green and the white, at least in the cabin area. Pay attention to the P.E. details, as not all helos had the belly elements the same way. I have seen before Sikorsky logos where the "S" is blue, but, lacking evidence, I'll take the all-gold logo offered by LF. You get two sets of blades, earlier and later styles. Check your references! The transparencies look good. Now, I have been in love before, and at the beginning all is roses, but things change as you start to build. We'll see what's the case with this kit, but so far, I am very enthusiastic about it. Very nice choices: Things very reasonably packed, colorful and quality-printed instructions: The goods, nice!: All contents come in re-sealable bags, well done!: Fair, clean moldings with good detail: Hum, I would like to open that door...I am surprised that it isn't an option in the kit already: Nitpickings start here: Why, oh why, do so many manufacturers chose to represent in their instructions very small parts and sub-assemblies with very small drawings? Maybe blow-up drawings, representing small things with bigger drawings? so we don't have to guess what the heck is going on there and/or run for the magnifier? And would it be possible to proofread the translations into English by a professional, or even an English-speaking modeling enthusiast you may be in touch with? As you sell your products through British and American distributors, what about them having a look at the translations? Or asking an English speaker as native language to have a look at the text included in the kit, giving him/her a production sample? Many will be happy with that simple arrangement.
  5. Well, my commitment to concentrate on Civil Aviation this year (and after....) has got off to a hesitant start, as I waste my time fooling around with an old Polish bomber. It's a PZL 37B by a Polish kit maker - ZTS. My only excuse, and I really need one, is that it's a twin tailed, twin engined 1930s plane and I've been working through a bunch of Lockheed's Twins!! Anyway it's time to MOVE ON And I'm making a start on this.... This is more like it! One of the decal options is for the 1990s Lufthansa historic plane decorated as D-AQUI but that seems to throw up a few issues. Like wrong engines, as it's been fitted with Pratt & Whitney radials. Doors and windows layout on these are a bit of a minefield really, and a load of exmilitary airframes going on to civil work straight after the WW2. Straight engines or turned out, doors behind the cockpit.... It's all just as mixed up as the Lockheed Twins situation. I'm going to have a go at a 1930s plane. Back then Lufthansa named their airliners after famously heroic German pilots and aces of WW1. Boelke was one, and the example supplied on the decal sheet is Manfred himself! On D-ABIK. At the moment I'm bogged down with building several tiny seats and an interior. That's right.... I'm doing a fully appointed seating area!! Windows are quite big and I can get some of the doors open, so I hope this is not a waste of time. Like a PZL 37B by ZTS.......
  6. In a very welcome turn from its usual choices, some years ago Planet Models released a number of civil kits, of which I have built these delightful Focke Wulf A.16 and Monocoupe: I have also acquired their Lockheed Air Express, their passenger-carrying Messerschmitt M.20b-2 and their Focke Wulf F.19 "Ente" (Duck, or "canard" -French in turn for duck- as the configuration is mostly known), the type that occupies our attention today. It makes me smile that many modelers and aviation enthusiasts find the Ente and similar planes "weird", when the truth is that the canard formula was prevalent at the beginnings of aviation, and even today is used with some frequency (Rutan's designs, Saab Viggen, JAS 39 Grippen, XB70 Valkyrie, Dassault Rafale, among many others). Here is one example of a "Gee Bee" "ente": For years I have been gathering reference material on the F.W. Ente, feeling attracted to its unusual, yet elegant lines. There were two Entes, 19 and 19a. In the earlier 19 the support that holds the fore plane was slim and completely faired. In the 19a that support changed into a complex multi-member exposed cabane structure. The 19a had added downward-pointing vertical "fins" on the main wing. They had different propellers and engines (Siemens SH11 the 19 and SH 14 in the 19a), as well as changes in color in the metal surfaces and in the marks applied. The 19 flew in 1927, eventually killing its pilot, non other than Georg Wulf, one of the founders of the firm. The 19a flew in 1930. You may find of interest this downloadable NACA pdfs on the type: 19: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930090641.pdf 19a: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930090260.pdf And here is a link to a newsreel, courtesy of Getty Images, showing the -predictably- so called "tail first" aircraft: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/coming-or-going-kent-eng-the-vice-versa-bird-visiting-news-footage/1080308752 An excellent reference in the very interesting and well-informed German ADL site (in German, unfortunately): https://adl-luftfahrthistorik.de/dok/focke-wulf-f-19-ente-entenflugzeug.pdf This same article can be found at Jet&Prop 3/02 There is such an abundance of readily available reference material and photos on the Net that ignorance while building this kit is inexcusable. Kits in 1/72 have been previously released by Lüdemann (resin) and Airmodel (Vac+resin). I have not seen them first hand, so I can't comment on their particularities. A number of modelers feel certain reluctance to build resin kits, being that because of the general lack of locking devices, the annoying pouring blocks and casting webs many parts come with or in, the toxicity of the dust produced during sanding, the fact that there is little or no adjustment time if using CA glue, their dislike of the alternative (for certain parts): epoxy, or just because their price tends to be high due to different fabrication processes (that is more of the manual type). I have built a large number of them, as well as vacs, so to me they are, in a way, the same. As there are differences between injected plastic kits, there are also differences between resin kits. Some are despicable blobs full of blemishes and air bubbles, bent parts and dubious shapes, and some are exquisitely mastered and cast. Personally, I find Planet Models kits somewhere in the middle-upper range. They are not subtle or have delicate detail, they feel -and are- chunky and heavy, but they can render a nice replica with a bit of care. Planet Models' Ente is not a new kit, I believe it was released about 2005, so it has certain things that will need correction, if you are the type that takes pleasure in provide some fair degree of accuracy to your models. The kit has been reviewed in the Flugzeuge-Modell Journal (3/2007) where the reviewer points out to a few areas that need care, and builds a magnificent model, but, as usual, read everything, but trust only photos of the original. Contents. I got a brochure from CMK, product no doubt of the convoluted relationships between companies in Eastern Europe. I have some times bought a kit that in the box showed one brand, had in the sprues stamped a different one, and yet had another logo on the instructions.
  7. The civil derivatives of the Bristol M.1 monoplane are attractive little planes, perhaps not as well known as they deserve or as much as their military counterpart. Avis is doing a wonderful deed releasing a series of civil machines that are elegant, fairly priced, well detailed and produced to a nice standard. I have recently built and present here the Bristol Racer, the Short Cockle, and the Short Satellite. All very pleasant to build kits that produced satisfying renditions. This is the last of the series -that I am aware of- for now, and since I saw the beautiful model posted by @Unkempt I decided to post a WiP, for those of you who have the kit or are thinking of acquiring it. Avis released many variants of the M.1, but I was drawn to the civil "D" racer kit. The parts have some flash that requires some careful clean-up (the previously-mentioned kits had very clean molds), and be sure you check the fit, since this particular kit, unlike all the others, may need some extra attention. After the sprues were washed with mild detergent on lukewarm water and dried, most parts were released and, as said above, carefully cleaned up. The plastic seemed to me a bit harder than all their other kits, more in line with their former releases (Crusader AG-4, Mig Utka, that I also built and posted here and were just a teeny tiny coarse). A very complete interior -for the scale- is provided, as well as the Lucifer engine. There was a very beautiful inline engine version that perhaps may tempt Avis for a follow-up kit (VH-UQI) and other civil registrations that differ a bit on details (G-EAVO, G-EASR, M-AFAA). May be the aftermarket industry will come up with some nice decals. For a change, there is plenty on the Net to see and learn from, especially photos. I recommend you do it, especially to fix a couple minor things on the interior. Oh, my!! An evil kit? (curiosly, Luficer is literally "light-bringing"): Some plastic gasping seems to indicate so!:
  8. Another commission for the same client who recently had me build them an A380 in Emirates colours. This is the Zvezda 777-300ER dressed up in the 26Decals Emirates 777-31H livery. My client has just flown out of Stanstead on one of these bound for Dubai and wanted another reminder of her journey in 1/144 scale as a ceiling hanging display. The Kit: WOW - this is an amazing kit and certainly far better than the Minicraft 777 which I have previously built and had to alter with numerous Braz resin front-end and engine corrective parts. Zvezda have put some incredible engineering into their moulding detail and the central one piece wing join is a great way to hold the correct profile (their 747-8 and 787-8 kist both use the same attachment method) While 26 decals have never disappointed me, either Zveda or 26 have the window spacing wrong. I've had to attach the window decals in groups of 3 to avoid spacing problems. I should have this completed within the next few days or so.
  9. A completed commission build for an Emirates passenger who travelled down to Cape Town from Dubai last year on one of the Airlines A380-800's and wanted to remember the experience in 1/144 scale. Not competition standards by far but sufficiently Airbussy to have satisfied the client. Kit cockpit piece omitted and replaced with 26 Decals set in conjunction with the detail set supplied with the A380 House Colours decal sheet. The fishing line suspension lines are quite fine and don't really show up here but this has been built as a ceiling hanging display. Mr Hobby Acrylics used throughout and glossed with Humbrol water based Clear.
  10. Well, work on the second Anson started, and this time the goal is to reproduce a machine used by the London School of Flying, G-AMDA. The previous experience with the recently posted Anson should be of help, and an opportunity to improve a thing or two that I missed on that one. G-AMDA also flew in other guises (Derby Aviation), equally attractive, but the elegant two-tone blue scheme of this one definitely appealed to me. This airframe needs a few things modified: new clear nose, cowls, landing gear, the addition of a football antenna loop fairing, and other minor details. An old release: With documentation! I acquired a set of Eduard masks and a Flightpath photoetched set. You can see that I have made already the new cowls and gotten new engines:
  11. 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
  12. I like this old kit. I'll try to explain why. The "Nippon" (Japan) was one in a series of conversions for civil use stemming from the Mitsubishi G3M line. Several planes, not always identical, were converted or modified for a number of civil duties: passenger and cargo flying and "good will", record, or propaganda flights. The details are complex and extensive, so we'll untangle them later on. Here is a list, taken from the Golden Years registers, of all the Mitsubishi transports I could find there: J-BAAS Mitsubishi L3Y1 Asahi Shimbun J-BACI Mitsubishi G3M2 Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and Tokyo Nichinichi 00.08.39 J-BADY Mitsubishi L3Y2 J-BEOA Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Soyokaze' J-BEOC Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Yamato' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BEOD Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.10.39 (Conversion of 96/G3M1) J-BEOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Tatsukaze' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BEOF Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.04.40 (Conversion of 96/G3M1) J-BEOG Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Matukaze' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BFOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Amatsukaze' 00.03.40 J-BFOF Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.03.40 Forcelanded in sea and sunk off Haneda J-BJOD Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Isokaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Hamakaze' 00.11.40 J-BJOF Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Okikaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOG Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Namikaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOH Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Hokaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOI Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Yakaze' 00.02.41 (DNKKK: Dai Nippon Kōkū Kabushiki Kaisha, Imperial Japanese Airways 大日本航空株式会社) J-BACI, one of the two subjects that can be modeled with this kit, made an around-the-world flight, http://airhistory-nippon.la.coocan.jp/nipponflight.html visiting many countries and attracting a great deal of attention (no doubt the goal of such endeavor). Among those countries was Argentina, with the plane landing in Buenos Aires. Many of the flights performed by the civil variants of the plane where as said in the category of "good will" flights. However, considering the events immediately after (like Pearl Harbor), one perhaps should be a tad skeptical assessing the real nature of them. Regarding the different registrations/machines, it's not just a matter of slapping them on, since there were many differences among machines, some quite evident. As always, base your model and detail on photographic evidence, and pay little heed to captions and written descriptions, many times inaccurate. For the moment, and regarding the kit, it must be said that this tool -with modifications and additions- was released a large number of times covering a variety of subject through many years. This last incarnation in civil guise by Arii, is still, in spite of of its vintage, a nice package at a very convenient price. So what do we get? We get a bag where everything but the instructions is packed: transparencies, decals, sprues. Not the best packaging, as we know. But there is a piece of rigid cardboard to support the load. The transparencies contain many parts not to be used, as they belong to the bang-boing-paf versions, for which I care much less than little. The decals cover two civil versions, J-BACI and J-BEOC. The parts are modified to cover this civil versions, but still some things will need to be added. The surface is interesting, consisting -again, old mold- of myriads of engraved rivets and panel lines. Of course a bit exaggerated. Nothing that an invigorating exercising sanding session -or many- won't take care of. A blast from the past: the place for the hinomarus is also engraved on the wings -now that is vintage for you-. The interior detail I strongly suspect belongs more to the other versions than to the civil ones . No cabin detail whatsoever, but some cockpit detail. The landing gear legs can rotate upwards!! -this always reminds me of the 60's and the Beatles:-) The rest has a rational break-down and again interesting surfaces and detail, we will see this as we advance on the build. I think this old kit in its new guise can be turned into a decent model -and you can see many good ones on the Net, some exceptionally built. Let's see what we got: Out of the cellophane bag: The transparencies are not bad at all: Although the surface is slightly pebbled and looks faintly milky. Future bath in its future, no doubt: The hinomaru placement mark (I know...), the hail dimples or golf ball rivets, but quite restrained panel lines. My idea is to sand the surfaces quite a bit to reduce those golf ball dimples to their minimum expressions, and refresh the panel lines if needed: A view of the second sprue: The engines are molded integrally with the cowl. If not awfully wrong or offending, I nevertheless just ordered after-market ones and will remove them, which also facilitates painting -however, the cowl was black on the original plane, so you may get away painting everything black and picking the engine up with a dry-brush of silver-: The main sprue. The Japanese figures look a bit circumspect or pensive: Some of the parts, a bit of flash, some ejector pin marks, the usual: Instrument panel, not bad if you want just a quick build: The props, not really accurate but passable, again, if you just want a quick build:
  13. I love the strange but somehow harmonious lines of the Lysander, always did and always will. But I do not build military planes anymore. Imagine my joy when I read, in a very old Fana magazine, that one was acquired to fly, under British registration, for Monaco Airways! A frantic search and extensive consultation did not render any results, whatsoever. Years passed, nothing else came up. Days ago I saw that a new kit may be in the works according to BM's rumormonger. So finally, since I only have four models in their final and most delicate stages, I decided to bring Lizzie to life, and bought the Pavla kit. And I asked for the help of my French fellow modelers and friends.
  14. Well, another wonderful little kit by Avis of an appealing subject rendered in great detail, with sound engineering and molding, which makes for a pleasurable build in all departments. The step-by-step build is here: Even as a short-run kit, these last civil releases by Avis have raised that bar in that category high up. As you can see, I built three of their recent kits in a row, something I seldom do, but I was enchanted by the subjects and the quality-price ratio. The care on the details, the good instructions, clear and at a readable size, the good decal sheet, the printed clear parts, the accessories included, what a delight! There is a minor issue with the decal placement under the wing, please refer to the WiP for correction. As I said elsewhere: It warms the cockles of my heart!
  15. Another attractive civil release by Avis, again combining nice detail, good engineering, affordable price and appealing subject in short-run form. The box has alternate parts and even offers the perks of beaching wheels, a fuselage resting scaffold and a bench, all with multiple parts. How's that for a little kit? The Short Brothers S.1 Cockle (first named Stellite) was a one-off endeavor commissioned privately. First flying in 1924 it shows another effort by Short to master the intricacies of metal airplane building (seen also in the S.4 Satellite), having an aluminium hull and frame. The very small twin engine arrangement reminded of a scratch I did time ago, the Gnosspelius Gull, and what do you know, Mr. Gnosspelius was indeed attached to this project as I found out doing some research for this build. The prototype had some difficulty trying to separate itself from the water, and being marginally powered -to put it mildly- it was no surprise, but finally achieved flight by making some changes to the airframe. The original tail was later replaced by a larger and differently shaped one, and it ended up being used for some trials and experiments (The kit has both tails for you to chose from). Instructions tell you to paint the hull bottom and wing floats black, which is not unusual, but at least one clear photo shows the plane with no color whatsoever on those areas, having the hue of the rest of the plane, aluminium. A very unreliable small card drawing with the wrong registration found on the net shows those areas on red. The choice is yours. With all the recent Avis releases I am (flying) in heaven. It is not often that I get on a roll regarding manufacturers products, but after completing the Satellite, working now on the final stages of the Bristol Racer, and getting this one, I just had to start it. It calls you. Again, even as a short run offering effort is made to keep things clean, sprue gates small, and detail satisfying: Two horizontal and two vertical tails are offered: The detail is convincing: Even the minuscule Blackburne Tomtit engines are rather convincing for this scale: Decals for the two versions and the usual Avis film windshields: I will go back to the Bristol Racer for a little while, but I'll be back, as it was once famously said.
  16. The chubby silhouette of the Bristol Racer at first sight doesn't look like a wonderful choice for a streamlined speed machine. Nevertheless it was thought that by encapsulating the whole engine some gain was to be had. Surface area vastly increased, though, and produced an aerodynamic shadow that spoiled the efficiency of wings and tail. In any case, that strange choice has given us one of the most distinct shapes of early aviation, besides being irresistibly cute, and having you wanting to pinch its cheek. So much in love I was with this thing that I ventured years ago to build a not particularly good vacuformed kit of it, posted here at BM. Some years later I even got a special set made by Arctic Decals to go with the kit (that provided no decals whatsoever, and had many other shortcomings. But hey, it was, after all a Bristol Racer, and who would kit it anyway? Well, Avis just did!!! But first, here is the old beast made with the vac kit After the nice experience with Avis' Short Satellite, I just had to retrieve the box from the vault and start it. One of these has already been built and posted here at BM by @Unkempt, who did a wonderful job. So, let's see where this goes. The box, known already by many here: Contents: Detail: The biggest parts are removed and cleaned up a bit: Some parts will need your attention. I had to remove material from the inner rim on the part on the right, to let the relief on the part of the left get inside. Also the locating key has to be sanded a bit to allow the parts to be joined: A small issue on this kit is the position of the fore legs of the L.G. I joined the parts just with a blob of Plasticine from behind to show what's going on here. As you can see there is no recess for the fore legs, as it should be, because it intersects the ventilation canals. What is wrong here is hard to tell: are those canals too long or too aft? is the LG position -or other parts- out of wack?: As you can see the master maker started to carve the recess for the legs, but encountered the issue and did not proceed further: But, if you align (fill) the two lower canals to match the external ones, you may create just enough room for the recess to be carved and so comfortably accommodate the LG legs:
  17. Congratulations to Avis for their recent releases of charming civil planes, a welcome and refreshing change from what is usually seen in the hobby scene. The model took less than a week to be built, working a bit every day. For details please refer to the building post: This is a very nice little kit that will only require a few details to be added to shine. The Short Satellite was one of the many efforts by aviation companies to obtain a reliable, affordable, safe, reasonably performing light plane for the civil market, being aimed to individuals or Aero Clubs. The graceful, well-though lines look modern compared to contemporaries, and so does its "metal can" fuselage construction, whilst the rest was the usual wood and fabric.
  18. I am elated by the release by Avis of a plethora of charming and good-looking civil planes in 1/72, a welcome break from the usual gloom and doom, with less common and sometimes colorful types, and all this at affordable prices with a reasonable level of detail. I am acquiring their releases to support their choices, eager as I am for not really common civil kits, having been many times forced to resort to conversions of existing kits, or scratch-building, to satisfy my preferences for graceful, well-meant, significant and why not many times cute and adorable little flying things. All the late Avis releases are short run, meaning that you have to put a little of yourself there, you know, that thing, modeling. The Short Satellite belongs to the Light Plane category, the same league for which I scratched the De Havilland D.H.53, Gnosspelious Gull and the Parnall Pixie posted here some time ago: A good reference for these types is The Lympne Trials, by Ord-Hume. I have had a file on Satellite for many years. In comparing the kit to my files I found it to be quite spot on, even having in the sprues the two engines (Cherub and Scorpion) that the plane had (The plane attended the Lympne light plane competition in 1924 and 1925 with a Cherub, and the 1926 one with a Scorpion). The kit provides a closing part for the aft cockpit for the version with the registration (as depicted in box art), but it also flew with that registration with the aft post uncovered. Parts are provided of course for both positions. There is a very small omission on the decal sheet: the scheme with the number 8 should have also two number 8 under each wing, with a white outline: http://www.shu-aero.com/AeroPhotos_Shu_Aero/Aircraft_N/Short/Short_Satelite_S_4_G_EBJU_01_large.jpg Besides what it is provided in the decal sheet, the plane sported an additional scheme with the number 15 -and still with the registrations-, plus the logo of the 7 feathers Aero Club on the nose. The fuselage of the Satellite was made entirely of metal, hence its aspect of cobbled-together tin cans. Contents, including a printed film for the small windshields: Nice instructions you don't have to look at with a microscope: The expected level of detail for this kind of kit:
  19. Here is finally the completed model of the Avro Anson in all its civil glory. My thanks again to the kit donor, Ebil Genius and Modeling Nemesis Sönke Schulz from Marzipanland, Volkania. The WiP article is here: This was a long and somewhat winding road, but in the process I learned a large number of things about the kit and the original planes, that I will promptly forget as I face a second Anson build, ready to recur on old mistakes and make new ones. Thanks also to Arctic Decals for the set I commissioned that allowed me to finish the model in such definitely not really subtle scheme There is a special joy in redeeming old dogs with new tricks, and you hone in the process those Shaolin skills. I think this would have made Master Sandpaper proud...
  20. Carl Jung regaled us (among many other things) with the concept of "significant coincidences", which he enveloped on the idea of "synchronicity". Little I knew, when I bought an affordable and vintage kit of the Percival Proctor to convert it -as I frequently do- into a civil machine, that the livery I would end up choosing (among a large number of candidates) will have a connection with my country or origin that I wasn't aware of. As I was building the kit and gathering data on the chosen registration, G-AHWW, I came across a website (The Aviation Forum) that provided information about its pilot, Arthur Bradshaw, and stated that he had worked, about 1947, as a pilot for the Argentinean airline FAMA (Flota Aérea Mercante Argentina, loosely translated: Argentinean Merchant Air Fleet). In 1950 Bradshaw returned to his natal New Zealand -from England- in the plane with his family. For the long flight he added an extra underbelly fuel tank. The "merchant" New Zealand flag was used on the rudder, which had a red background (Bradshaw, as I just wrote, was a merchant pilot, and was ferrying this plane to start a commercial endeavor). In the few images I could found, I can't see a reg. on the right wing (which is the case for some of those I studied, -and built), and can barely see an almost invisible trace of them under the left wing, in a non-contrasting color, so I went (just a provisional guess) for silver outlines regs. on alu paint/dope background. The building of this vintage kit was simple and straightforward, and I indulged in just a couple of additions, to keep the effort and time invested in line with the quality of the molds. My thanks once more go to Arctic Decals from whom I commissioned and purchased the decals used. At the time of this post Dora Wings issues, -among many other nice civil subjects- a Mark I and Mark III of this plane in 1/72, which of course are contemporary molds that offer a superior quality and detail. But I like the old dogs once in a while, gives you this warm feeling of having rescued a kit, as it was famously said: "Take a sad song and make it better". (The WiP is here:
  21. I am ever looking for conversion projects in order to redeem boring and drab doom machines into colorful, joyful, useful and uplifting models. Many times the suitable kit happens to be a very old and outdated one. Perfect examples of those endeavors are -among many I posted here- the two Westland Everest planes: That, coincidentally, were re-issued by the same company that boxed the Proctor: Air Lines. This for what I can tell was originally a Frog mold, and it also more recently came out as a NOVO boxing (which already gives you the clue that you are communicating with the spirits of the departed kits...). On the pro side: you can get them for an affordable price, they are abundant as most modelers moved on the better and newer releases (and for good reasons), and if you botch one you just trash it mercilessly and forget about it, no stress ruining a good kit here. So, I got this old and humble kit and started to look for nice civil liveries, of which I found a lot. But soon I discovered that many of my potential subjects actually belonged to other variants of the type, and would require some modifications. Since a reasonable improvement and detailing of the kit already would consume certain time, and not wanting to get into a building quagmire, I discarded the subjects that belonged to other marks of the Proctor and centered on a few candidates that were more or less a direct adaptation of these machines into civil use. The parts were liberated from the ever-present flash, cleaned up, and slightly refined. My boxing -bought 334,677th hand- was missing a side window, no big deal. This area needs to be opened up, so one hole and two razor cuts do the trick: Vent drilled: Another small intake drilled: All locating pins were removed since invariably they actually dis-located the parts they were supposed to seamlessly align, and stabs and wing halves were shaved a bit, since they sinned of fatulence (yes, correct word, no typo, it describes a known kit malady that makes kit parts -especially flying surfaces- look excessively fat).
  22. Nowadays it is common practice for Airlines to paint one of their Aircraft in a so called "Retro Look" to commemorate former successful times. In 1952 the Scandinavian Airlines System, short SAS, went another way. They painted one of their Aircraft, in this case a DC-3, in a future livery, . But when the new paint Job was shown to the bosses, they were not amused. They did not like it at all and ordered to repaint the Douglas immediately! As Michael J. Fox said in "Back to the Future, part 1": You guys are not ready for that, but your kids are gonna love it! So this Aircraft never flew in this beautiful livery, what a pity!
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. A model built 3 years ago, to indulge in the expressed predilection of some esteemed members on the inter-wars period. The beautiful Zeppelin-Staaken E4/20 passenger four-engined monoplane was a product of the postwar (that is post-WWI war), and a very good one. Wisely or not (there were, ahem, understandable fears, surely not appeased by the camouflage covering), the Allied commission decided it should be dismantled, so it bloomed only to be scraped. The mind behind this innovative use of metal (in a way different than Hugo Junkers) was Dipl. Ing. Adolph Rohrbach, later of flying boat fame. In a way, it followed the steps of an unlikely (and unrecognized) grandfather, the Sikorsky Russky Vityaz and its successor the Illya Mourometz ( from 1913!!!!!!), very big, efficient and innovative four-engine machines used in part as commercial passenger planes. So the Zeppelin-Staaken of 1919 was not really new or revolutionary in that regard, but it was a much modern design that took advantage of the advances in technology developed during WW1, being an all-metal, almost total cantilever monoplane. For the skeptics: it did fly, and flew well enough. Many years would pass until such an achievement would be recognized or even copied, or re-invented, and DECADES would pass until a conceptually similar plane was designed, built and flown. Now, the bad news: the kit: As I opened the intact bag Lalo Schifrin's "Mission Impossible" theme started to sound in the depths of my mind. The surface is a disaster, the plastic has dirt inclusions, the edges are ill-defined, the "panel lines" have been -unevenly- traced with a banana, some of the wheels are oval...I mean, how hard is to trace a circle? But I am not being totally fair, this kit is not just bad: it is horrid. No interior and no accessories complete (or incomplete?) the package. True, where else can you get a Zeppelin Staaken E4/20? Do you think Revell is going to come to the rescue? Exactly. So we are stuck with this Frankenkit until 3D printers can be bought for twenty dollars and you can produce your own. I have seen some built on the Net, with more or less fortune, valiant endeavors that I shall not dare to criticize. These brave souls did enough, whatever the results. Classic Plane from Germany was the perpetrator of this...thing, many moons ago. You get your quasi-formed (the term vacu-formed would be too optimistic) plastic of decent gauge, some clear material for the windows, a 1/72 plan that does not coincide with some parts (i.e. fuselage length, span), a page of dubious clarity with some notes. Hope and Faith are not included, and you have to provide your own. There are redeeming qualities: the plastic has a good gauge, cuts and sands easily, glues well, and its surface admits finer sanding. There were some changes on the plane that can be seen in contemporary photos, most noticeably: the addition of a canopy above the cockpit. The presence in some images of a nose wheel -to prevent nose over-. Some probes that appear in some photos over the nose area. Changes in the fairings of the wheel struts/shock absorbers. The door opens sideways in most photos but in other photo is shown opening downwards (associated with the canopy). A couple photos show the legend "Staaken" painted and crossed over. The wheels are seen with visible spokes or fabric-covered. There were two sort of tripods on the wings towards the wingtips. So, in order to reproduce an accurate version of the plane at any stage of its life you chose to, you must study photographs. Here I give you the first 4-engine passenger-carrying monoplane built mostly of metal...in 1919.
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