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  1. These are all old builds, and in retrospect should have been posted at the beginning of these series. They often represent the first, hesitant steps on scratchbuilding. Here is another from 2008, 11 years ago (original text as posted then): The Golden year of 1935. Mr. Neil Mc Gaffey from Inglewood, California (a few miles from where I live) wanted to build a plane from out-of-the-shelf components. The idea goes more or less like this: you go to the auto parts store and get a couple of wheels, a dashboard, brakes, instruments, a seat, a big radiator and probably a dashboard hula dancer if you feel so inclined. Oh, don’t forget the engine; a Ford V8 will do just fine. With this concept in mind the Mc Gaffey AV8 Aviate was created. And it looks like the concept. So I had to build it. A double boom, single rudder and panted wheels make for the finer design details. As it happens too often, I had to take the hard-to-find three view and compare it with the equally hard to find, mostly grainy, small-sized photos. The comparison wasn’t at all favorable, so out with pencil to correct the (many) inaccuracies of the plan. I have to be grateful that a not-very-accurate 3v even existed, though. But either the 3v describes another incarnation of the same plane or the courageous draftsman had only a verbal description, given by his mother-in-law of the plane upon to base his work. A couple of points that were the merry occasion of some guessing: the interior of the fuselage (other than the side-by-side seating configuration) and the colors. I left the twin-booms without any bracing, because in spite of knowing that it should be some, I couldn’t find any views of the area; so I’ll have to add it later when evidence appears (it will sure do, immediately after this article is posted). I followed two parallel courses regarding the engineering of the fuselage pod. You will see both in the accompanying images. They are self-explanatory (which means that they explain it to themselves, not to you). At the end the less revolutionary method (the one I have been using lately, implying the masking of an all-transparent upper half) was the one chosen. The other method uses and internally glued transparent part, affixed to the roof of an opaque part in which the windows are previously cut (the wider frames, anyway; the narrow ones were lately added). This approach was devised in order to escape precise paper masking, and use instead liquid mask painted over the “windows”. There was, of course, a difference in depth that looked convincing enough in 1/72, but would probably look better in larger scales. I had the option of lightly sand away some of the cockpit frames, especially close to the windowed areas, but opted instead for the normal masking. It is something I liked to experiment with, though, for future reference. The prop was carved from a popsicle stick. The spats (five parts each) and a few more parts were then fabricated. Main and tail wheels are aftermarket products. The good news is that you learn a lot when you scratch-build your models. The bad news is that you learn mostly by committing mistakes. Painting involved some exhaustive masking, and I made a mess trying liquid Micro-Mask for some areas. This is the first time I used the product, although I have used similar ones in a large number of occasions. It will take ages to dry, it will creep where it shouldn’t and after hours either will leave wet spots or hard to remove areas. May be it was a bad flask. Who knows. The few available photos are not a very good quality indeed, and no registrations or marks are visible. On the rudder and bellow the left wing panel something can be almost guessed in that regard, but it could be anything, so no marks for this one. Again, after this article is published, an encyclopedia on the Aviate will be published in Lichtenstein -in Esperanto- by a Bora-Bora scholar. And I will have to be heading towards the printer. The sound of that Ford V8 in the air and the sight of the twin-boom marvel was for sure an unexpected and awesome experience. Ah, the wonders of the 30’s!
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