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Found 8 results

  1. Found yet another one, from the dawn of my scratchbuilding efforts, a model from 13 years ago. What is an Archaeopteryx, besides a very good Scrabble word? Literally, an “ancient wing”. And you know that with that kind of name…err, it will look…well, you get the idea. The Granger brothers started to build a plane upon a design of their own -refined by Latimer Needbam- that flew in the very early 30’s. It was influenced by the equally bizarre –read “beautiful”- Pterodactyls built by Capt. Hill. Although unusual, it has a pinch of elegance. The engine used, a two cylinder 32 hp Cherub of very limited power, made take offs very…interesting. Being a small plane of course it renders an equally small model, as you can see in the image with the quarter. The Archaeopteryx –sorry to make you read this word again- is a fairly simple scratch project, no doubt helped by the use of tiny brass “Strutz” for all of the –many- required homonyms. The photo sequence will provide you with a general idea regarding materials and construction steps. As this little moth-like bug flies off your book case into the eerie atmosphere of the room, it will remind you of Tinkerbell, leaving a sparkly trail as it lands, with a subtle shudder, on your building board. A couple of mentions on Flight Magazine (links to their archives) https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1935/1935 - 1503.html?search=granger archaeopteryx And with a different tail decoration: https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1933/1933 - 0268.html?search=granger archaeopteryx
  2. A very tiny cute little thing from 2 years ago: The light plane concept of course isn't new, and during aviation history a significant number of efforts were directed to produce a small, affordable, low-maintenance, low-power, low-consumption, one or two person machine that could be (hopefully) acquired and used by a large number of people. The concept, as we know, er...never really took off, but many interesting planes were produced, mainly in small numbers. England was one of the supporters of such concept, and organized many events and competitions to entice design and production of light machines. The Parnall Pixie is one of such machines. Designed by Harold Bolas, it was produced in the early and mid-twenties and came in four flavors: The Pixie I, a long wingspan, two person machine; the Pixie II, a short-span, one person plane; the Pixie III with some modifications and refinements, and the IIIa, a strange-looking biplane obtained by the simple prospect of slamming a small wing on top of the plane. The Pixie II, represented here, a sort of "racer", reached more than 70mph (110kph +) with a Douglas engine of 750cc! (bigger than the two-place Pixie one, that had a Douglas of 500cc). The plane had pleasant lines and had a very simple and awkward landing gear that did not have shock absorbers, but actuating just but flexing its steel components. A small number of Pixies was produced, and eagerly participated in many sport events. Other power plants were used, but always on the smallish side. The Pixie II was of reduced dimensions, with a span of 28"6' (5.43 meters!), so the model is also small of course in 1/72. Applying the habitual techniques I normally use for my scratchbuilt models, the main components did not take long to line up. Aeroclub prop, engine and wheels were added to speed-up construction. Care must be exercised in replicating the particular change in airfoil section: thin at the root and wingtip and thick in the middle, a detail some times obviated by modelers. A similar concept model of the De Havilland D.H.53 Humming-bird (manufacturer spelling) -a plane designed under the same concept and flown contemporarily to the Pixie- was just posted here. Originally it even had the same Douglas 750cc engine. Bibliography: Parnall Aircraft Since 1914 (E. Wixey) N.A.C.A. Technical Memorandum No. 261 The Light Plane since 1909 - J. Underwood The Light Plane Meeting at Lympne, Flight Magazine, Oct 18th 1923 The Lympne trials -Ord-Hume Decals again by Arctic Decals:
  3. A little Dujin resin from a couple years ago: We modelers are truly grateful for the small/cottage kit industry. They release kits that are a joy, different, out-of-the-beaten-path and frankly delightful -and civil-. They do not posses or have access to all the resources that big industry has, so they do their best. Many times their standards are really high, and sometimes they are not really quite there. But without them, we may be condemned to a dull, repetitive endless stream of the same-old-same-old. So, to all of them, and in this case the late Monsieur Dujin, our gratitude, admiration, and support. Now, all that been said, please accompany me in another tongue-in-cheek kit adventure... The French not only created Film Noir, they also developed the Kit Noir "genre". This is a kind of kit surrounded by darkness and mystery, cast -as fate is indelibly cast- in resin, where the parts are not quite defined, as if immersed in a resin fog; their location is imprecise, and the instructions vague, arcane or nonexistent. Since French also invented Champagne, they like to give this kind of kit a "bubbly" feeling, full of little bubbles of gas; something that may have made them uplifting, but instead, when you start to fill-in all those pin holes and air bubbles, it feels more like a bad Champagne hangover. In any case, no one else would probably release those designs. So, you have to pull your sleeves up, and get at it. This little thing came in the mail courtesy of Keith Hudson, so to him my gratitude (and under-the-breath grunts). When I opened the package, I got the impression that this was a better Dujin kit than the ones I have seen or built...but it happened to be just partially so. Prop, main wheels, tail-wheel, and something indefinable that could be the landing gear legs, were so mismatched in the resin web that they merited the guillotine. The same device could have been used to separate some of the parts from the occasional resin tree. But once done and cleaned-up, most of the shapes were there, and if not perfect, seemingly pretty buildable. I got a spare seat. The prop was repaired, the tail-wheel and main wheels were replaced by Aeroclub items (from an ever-dwindling stock). The strange undefined elements will be replaced by wire, solder, or styrene rod, once their function is determined, if ever. Since Dujin kits do not have a parts' diagram, exploded view, or equivalent, you are left to enjoy the suspense. A length of wire, vacuum-formed windshields (two!) and decals are also included. Most likely the vac windshields will be replaced. I deem the decals, as usual with old Dujin kits, trash can fodder. I got new ones from Arctic Decals. The Fairey Tipsy Junior, built in Belgium by a Fairey subsidiary, was designed by (you would have never guessed) Mr. Tips. It falls outside the scope of my time-driven subject envelope, but we'll make an exception, since it is so cute. Oh le petit coochee-coochee!
  4. I am posting this at the request of @TonyTiger66 It is the WiP (not posted at the time) of this RFI: This is a build from 5 years ago, and this kit was from a batch produced long ago. Now the production shifted to other group of people that seems to be doing things better in many regards. The wing should be like in this "Les Ailes" photo: The wing (even with the wrong trailing edge) is the only part that is a near perfect casting: Prop-a-blob, a new type of propeller: The T.E. is corrected: The "wheels" are sawed-off.: The resin "pins" (that wouldn't have endured anything) are also sawed-off and replaced by metal pins. New half-wheels are prepared: Of the two props of the kit you can save none. A scratchbuilt one in process: presto!
  5. Here is finally the completed model that I built for a friend and fellow enthusiast. The manufacturer states that this kit belongs to an earlier production batch, and now they have switched to a different resin. Some rascal of those who hang out around the hangars stole the caps for the filling of fuel and oil, so the plane can't be flown. Bummer. The rascals may return the caps when the replacement vinyl framing for the canopy arrives, to replace the one in this kit that may have been degraded or dried out. The pros and cons and the various issues with this kit can be seen here:
  6. Here is the completed model of this attractive and widely produced parasol monoplane in its colorful civil guise, that started over the Holidays at the in-laws under extremely harsh conditions (British food and unintelligible language). My thanks again to friend and fellow modeler Sönke Schulz, the kind donor of the kit from his Zekret Vaultz at the Volkano Lair. The aftermarket photoetched set and decals were a nice complement to the kit, that in spite of its age can still be made into a nice model. I have two more kits of this charming little thing, that I look forward to turn into companion models. It will be much easier now that I learned the tricks they need. You may visit the WIP thread in this very site here: RWD-5, RWD-6 and RWD-8: with the Praga E114b: "Sturm und Drang", the very popular duo from Volkania, cheer-up the day:
  7. Another beautiful little kit from KP to add to their increasing line of refreshing, attractive, and significant civil planes. The Praga E114 was conceived and built in Czechoslovakia during the mid and late 30s and developed into a whole family of two-place, side by side sports and touring planes with changes in the power plant and details regarding it’s control surfaces, landing gear and glazing, among other minor modifications. There is abundant information on the Net for this one, should the modeler wish to look up for details and background history, as well as -for the more adventurous-, for alternate decorations and possible variants with some little effort. The kit depicts the B version, it is charming and has nice molds, clean transparencies and interesting decals. For us, lovers of things that haven’t been already seen and built to utter exhaustion, this is the kind of release that gets our juices running. An additional benefit for Britmodellers is the fact the the plane had a strong association with the UK, being licensed and produced as the Hillson Praga Air Baby: Clean, nice molding: Interesting detail including a nice interior: Accurate in the fact that whilst everything else was plywood-covered, the horizontal tail was fabric covered instead: Other details visible: Well-produced transparencies that will allow dexterous modelers to pose the leading edge cockpit section opened to allow access as per original: Decoration options on what looks like well-printed decals of quality: Color instructions that seem to make sense and are well printed at comfortable size. As the build advances more will be told. Meanwhile, if you are interested, the Net has a lot of information on the type, with plenty of photos to look at and take notes and get inspired. Congratulations to KP (Kovozavody Prostejov) for releasing these charming types in such quality boxings at a very fair price. A veritable breath of fresh air.
  8. A build from 5 years ago: The albatross is an unwilling character of the infamous Monty Python sketch, but the Albatros (one s) is a nice cute little plane of the early 20s. Mind you, this is in the thick of the biplane era, that will last for (too) long. This remarkably "modern" design says a lot about about mainstream wrong choices. After some information gathering and much mulling over photos (found not a lot, but enough to get a sense) one of the plans was selected as a guide (plans are never, ever, fully correct, although they are of course much welcome especially for us, suffered scratchbuilders). I would like to provide you with a lot of information regarding historic context, similar designs, underlying design concept, the type variants, materials used, number of machines, their uses, the evolution from the L.59 into the L.60, some details in the photos that are a must to consider and so forth, but I won't. I happened to find in my magic little boxes a suitable pair of wheels, a very nice little engine that Master Modeler Matias Hagen from Argentina once gave me, my own scratchbuilt laminated wood prop made with extremely thin plywood planks and a couple of generic seats from some forgotten kit. So prepared, I proceeded to stare at the building board, a Zen meditation technique that brings relaxation, inner peace and universal acquiescence, but doesn't do much in terms of the practical issue of putting together a model. Day two Today more staring is done, not just at the plan but also encompassing the general vicinity and my own hands. The staring was interrupted to sip some Argentinian yerba mate and eat facturas, a pastry of the same origin. Not much actual modeling was done, but a great happiness was achieved nevertheless; i am starting to understand why people do not build models, and why some of them even actually specialize in unmodeling. Day three the first fruits of meditation: the inner realization that the Power of Staring does not cut through styrene sheet. Day 245 The Power of Staring showed the firsts positive effects
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