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Found 3 results

  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 2007, 12 years ago (original text as posted then): The 1917 Bruyere C-1 is one of those French planes that you can’t resist. Not for its fighting qualities, precisely, but for its futuristic lines and configuration. The fuselage was covered in metal and the optimistically denominated “flying surfaces” were traditional canvas-covered structures. The engine was located aft of the pilot and via a shaft moved a pusher propeller. A truly modern front wheel three-point landing gear was installed and the canopy could have well been in one of the Burt Rutan designs. The position of the engine dictated that a series of holes were made on the fuselage for ventilation which, added to the front lower windows, made for a mid-way model construction name change. Instead of “Bruyere”, I realized that “Gruyere” would be more appropriate. As a futuristic sculpture or even as a highly polished, over-sized espresso machine the Gruyere would probably have been more fortunate than as a plane, since it crashed as soon as it left the safe protection of the earth and gave itself to the merciless laws of physics. When art and aviation merge, the results can’t be wrong, can they?
  2. A build from 5 years ago: If Mig is a recognizable name in the aviation world, this particular plane, the Utka (duck in Russian) may be not so. Designed along the lines of the canard (again, duck, this time in French) lines of so-(wrongly)-called tail-first, it joins the multiple planes built by a number of manufacturers using that formula. I was surprised of finding this plane as a kit, and I am happy Avis, the manufacturer that released it, decided to present this attractive and unusual civil aviation design. Congratulation Avis on releasing an appealing and unusual civil subject. At approximately the same time, a resin kit appeared in the market. This other resin kit by Jet & Prop seems to be nice and very refined, but, alas, as usual, with a much bigger tag price. This resin kit presents a different solution for the transparent parts, presenting the whole area as a clear part, a much better approach than the one taken by this injected kit by Avis, which only has individual panes that are rather thick and not absolutely clear. The Avis kit though has some degree of detail overall, however it gives a general impression of heaviness (short run technology). The surface detail is fair, and it has interior details too, if again not particularly refined. No decals are provided, nor photoetched parts or masks. You are on your own to create painting masks for the design, which has a certain degree of complexity. Some flash and mold lines are present on the parts and all require cleanup. The engine/prop pack is designed to allow the prop to freely rotate. The price of this kit is very convenient, and you get a nice replica of an unusual plane, so for me it seems not a bad deal overall. The kit represents one of the many iterations this design went through, so study your photos and references. It is likely that this one may have a propensity towards tail-sitting, so it would be wise to load some weight inside the nose, just in case. My thanks to Mr. Christos Psarras of Parabailarlabamba, and Deimos and Phobos, his dogs, for facilitating the acquisition of this lil' kit. If a little laborious and requiring some patience and skill, it is a fair price to pay for an unusual design: If the mythical Tour D'Argent restaurant in Paris produces arguably the best pressed duck, the duck that Avis pressed in its molding machines is not so great. There a few things that need correction, and some could benefit from improvement, but even if you build it OOB it would be an acceptable model (provided that you bend the wing down to achieve the necessary anhedral). This is a smallish but appealing subject provided by this triple-identity manufacturer, which has a stamped manufacturer seal on one side of the sprue tree that reads "AMODEL", and "MASTER 44" on the other, whereas "AVIS" is nowhere to be seen in the sprues, but is featured on the box. Mysteries of the Eastern European kit industry. The parts are a tad chunky, there are no perks (no masks, no decals, no P.E. parts, etc.) and you will need to exercise those modeling skills, given the short-run nature of this release. And you will have to sweat on your own to mask the model in order to achieve its painting scheme. Summarizing: a nice subject, of a welcome civil nature, a not so great molding and engineering with the limitations of short-run technology, and some amount of work for the modeler due to the lack of masks or even patterns to make the masks for the complex decoration. No decals either, even if the prop needs some. You get interior details and to some extent exterior details, reasonable, but not among the finest. As said above, there is a resin kit of this same plane issued by Jet & Prop that looks far better, but it is (alas!) far more expensive too. And you have to deal with resin, which not all of us love. Do not forget to put some weight inside the model's nose, there is tail-sitting potential here. This one will make you huff and puff and bit, but unless you have the bucks for the other -resin- kit around, there is not much choice if you want your duck.
  3. Model built 5 years ago. The Gee Bee Ascender. Less traditional spellings of the last word of its name have been frequently quoted. Not the chubby racer that the household name Gee Bee would normally evoke, but an experimental plane of canard (duck, in French) configuration (stab first), reputedly built from some Aeronca parts, and propelled by an Aeronca engine of mere 26 hp, according to Aerofiles. In case you are interested, Bill Hannan dedicated an article in one of the issues of his publication Hannan’s Runway. It was translated and reprinted in Le Fanatique de l' Aviation, No 161. And yes, you skeptics, it flew, and well. There is a Youtube clip here: The model was scratchbuilt using the common techniques. As you can see, the engine and prop are tiny. Small wood blocks were carved to get the contours on a couple of places on the fuselage. A door was opened and an interior was created.
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