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  1. A build from 7 years ago of another Monocoupe. this time a kit of the 90A: More and more kit manufacturers venture into the realm of civil planes, not only commercial jets, but private planes, planes from the golden age of aviation, planes from the pioneer period, racers, passenger planes form the 20’s, et cetera. Finally our longing for something different is answered. We can build a model airplane with our kids and youngsters and tell them about adventures, challenges and glamour, and leave aside for a while the seemingly unavoidable miseries of human nature and the objects that represent them. Praised be Planet Models for the launching of several of these beauties (including the Focke Wulf A-16 passenger plane, the Havilland DH85 Leopard Moth, the Bugatti 100P, the Hughes H-1 racer –the last three in 1/48-) There is another resin kit out there of the same subject, released by LF Models. Thanks, Planet Models! Now... yes, some little issues. The kit has a clean and sharp molding, almost no pinholes, easily-removable casting blocks, no warps or partially-molded parts whatsoever. Great so far. Nevertheless, you have to cut open the roof window on both fuselage sides. Well, no big deal (it seemed), although why, why, we rhetorically scream? So out with the JLC saw that Steve gifted us a few years ago. Two across-the-fuselage cuts went well, but you can’t saw the line that goes parallel to the fuselage, so I started carefully to score it with a new Xacto. Several times. And then, very, very carefully tried to pry it loose. To no avail. More scoring, no results. You can’t exert too much pressure, because the fuselage side may break at the weak window dividers, and we don’t want that, precious. More and more scoring and then the section came off cleanly. What was hindering the cut was that the fuselage sides are thick enough to get in the way of the cutting line, so later on you have to carve it from inside too. Planet, what the...?. Then it is the nose, just a solid block. Granted, with some recesses depicting the cutouts in the front, but no engine. Hum. I know some modelers would be grateful for that (one less step towards completion, pal!) but that’s not my case. I like my engines there, even if not much of them is visible. Wheel streamlined pants again are fused solid with their wheels. I know, it’s a small model, and it facilitates building, but surely not detail painting. Nothing of this is insurmountable, and I rather deal with that instead of with pinholes, resin blobs, sticky parts or dubious shapes. Be careful with the smaller parts (joysticks, Pitot, etc) as you cut them loose from the backing web. Wash all parts to eliminate mold-release residue (again, watch-out for the small bits) and sand to refine the parts using a mask. Toxic resin dust is no joke. The vacuformed transparent bits come in a small sheet. They are crisply molded, but their transparency leaves a lot to be desired. In the photo you can see how it looks, and, by the way, that’s after washing and drying it. What looks like droplets or humidity or release agent or oil, are actually blemishes, solidly transferred on the sheet. In that sheet you will find two parts not accounted for in the instructions. They are doors, I assume in case you want to file open the ones delineated in the fuselage and pose the model to show, to better effect, the excellent interior provided. The instructions are good. They depict a few parts, with their measures, that you have to get or make yourself. All easy to deal with. The decals, which I didn’t plan to use, are from Propagteam, usually of a good standard as previous experiences with them indicate. And so it began, by vacuforming a new cowl to replace the resin solid one and making a vague resemblance of an engine to put inside it. Since almost nothing can be seen through the cowl slots, no more is needed. One of the doors was removed and the fuselage sides reduced in thickness from inside. Even so, the interior assembly, as it is almost invariably the case with resin kits, had to be sanded down in order for it to fit. The instructions -again in the tradition of most resin kits- are vague, to say the least, regarding where to position certain parts, in this case the instrument panel which should be closer to the pilot and not in the area at which the instructions generally aim, therefore leaving a gap where the coaming should be. Oi, again, Planet. The fuselage was finally closed, the tail feathers added (not before drilling the holes for the ulterior rigging) and the landing gear glued at this point. Wings were given pins and matching holes drilled on the fuselage stub wings. And here another question: since the Mono has 0 dihedral and a one piece wing that seats atop the fuselage, wouldn’t have been more effective to engineer the kit likewise? This and other questions may have asked the Sphinx to Oedipus... As you can see in the accompanying images aileron horns (not provided) were installed. Home-made decals meanwhile were printed. The scratched door and minor parts were prepped too. The windshield was separated from the clear vacuformed sheet, and to my surprise it was a good fit. All the other clear bits were home-made. Masking and painting ensued, decals and details, and this little bumble-bee was ready for departure. You have to open the roof cutting through very thick resin: The nose of the model is used to vac a part, and a vague resemblance of an engine is fashioned, only to be seen (not that seen, actually) trough the slits on the front of cowl: Landing gear legs were some of the parts that had issues: Charming little thing:
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