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Found 2 results

  1. The somewhat stocky yet elegant lines of the B.F.W. M.20b2 passenger planes can now be shown in model form thanks to this kit in resin, released -long ago- by Planet. The kit has reasonable detail, but still a bit more can be added, and modified to better effect. Although a convincing replica in general terms, some research flaws on part of Planet show in a few places. A number of these inaccuracies are described and corrected in the step-by-step building thread that you can see here: Both decal options are flawed in some regards, as well as several details given for the depicted machines. I had to commission, as it is often the case, my own decal sheet to be able to render an accurate representation of the type. Arctic Decals came once again to the rescue and delivered a great set. Why many kit manufacturers don't bother in the least to look at photos to check their plans is beyond comprehension to me. Still, the fit of the kit parts and detail is good and in general I rate this a much better offering than their F.W. 19 Ente that I built a few months ago. Besides the need to check references to correct the above-mentioned inaccuracies, the build went on quite pleasantly. Many thanks to @CarLos for the help with research. The machine represented here, an ex Lufthansa plane, went to Varig in Brazil in 1937. It served there until well after WW2, ending its long career in the scrap yard. I posted in the building thread an interesting article that I found on the Net (translated from Portuguese) narrating the final days and adventures of PP-VKA. I had fun building this one, in spite again of the necessary corrective research and the bit of extra work needed to obtain an accurate replica, but nothing insurmountable or too laborious. I only wish manufacturers would be better checking those plans. The fact that something has a plan, doesn't mean you can blindly follow it. However, in the end, we do have a BFW M.20, a handsome plane from the 30s for which I thank Planet, and also other manufacturers that venture into these less common regions of aviation, for the happiness of the ones among us that like them and understand and appreaciate their historical, symbolic and aesthetic value.
  2. 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!:
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