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Found 69 results

  1. I have been making threatening noises about this build for some time now - and now it's time for me to make a start. I have been gathering materials and resources over the last few months - still a few critical items to lay my hands on but I think I have enough to make a start. A bit of history: A few years back I was lucky enough to be given the job of redesigning an original Pullman carriage. The owner wanted it to run on the tracks again and after a spate of rail crashes in the UK, rail regulations were tightened considerably. This carriage was originally a wooden bodied carriage so there was no way the authorities were going to let that back on the tracks without some serious modifications. My job was to survey the carriage and come up with a design (in steel) that would allow it back on the tracks. I was lucky in that many original features were still contained in that wooden shell, which we were able to reuse. In short, we brought the carriage up to Edinburgh, removed (or rather, smashed) the wooden structure until we were left with just the chassis. The carriage was then rebuilt (in steel) as close to the original design as we could, while being very sympathetic to the original styling. Since then I have always wanted to build a scale model of the carriage - I still have all the drawings I made during that two year stint, and my model is going to be based on those, at 1/32 scale. I have some idea of how I am going to tackle some of the build, but mainly no idea about most of it. I just know that I am going to have to scratch just about everything. Here's a few shots of the drawings I am working with. First up, the chassis and sideframe structure.... (just an overview) The vestibule ends - which gave us a lot of trouble to design, as structurally, they take the brunt of any collision forces. Incidentally, my name, along with others on the project team, has been stamped on the shear plate in the vestibule ceiling. Lastly, here's what the carriage should end up looking like. This particular carriage was important as it was the last of it's type ever constructed, way back in 1951. Unusually, it has square windows at the kitchen and toilet areas - these were usually oval on Pullmans. I believe this is running today and can be booked for private charters - a bit more expensive than your standard BR ticket though. As always with my builds, this is not going to be a quick one - I reckon on about two years or more to build this one, but I have to make a start somewhere! So, to begin, the chassis plans printed out to 1/32 scale Some bits and bobs ready to begin. As you can see, this is going to end up around 600mm or so in length The first cuts begin.... oops did I mention that I am building the chassis in brass ? I should also mention that I am going to try and stay as true as possible to the original chassis structure/design. What on earth am I doing here??? Too late - I've started..... now I just need to learn how to solder lumps of brass together btw I placed this thread in the vehicles section as it seems to get a lot more traffic than the trains forum. Mods feel free to move it if I have broken any laws
  2. Here I go again .... another bl**dy locomotive. I promised myself after spending many years (off and on) with my Flying Scotsman that I'd never make that mistake again. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions they say. Growing up as a wee lad in Fife Scotland in the 40's through to 1951 when we emigrated to Canada I was enamoured with steam engines ... the bigger the better. I saw and travelled behind many an A3 and A4 and on my trainspotting days my favourite place to be was on an embankment across from the local station. Frequently engines would arrive, detach from their train and shunt down a siding right below me to take on water from the stand. I've never forgotten the feeling of being there marvelling at these wonderful, machines, feeling the radiant heat, hearing the panting of the air pump and smelling the smoke and steam. Ah, the glory days. Of the LNER big Gresleys most I saw were of the A1 through A3 classes but then one day I saw the most wonderful looking machine imaginable to a young lad. Union of South Africa passed our home where we lived on the 3rd floor and I heard that unique chime whistle as she arrived in Dunfermline fresh from Edinburgh and the Forth Bridge. 60009 always had a special place in my memories no matter how many other A4's I saw and, as an Edinburgh (Haymarket) engine, I saw her often. Fast forward 70 years and here I am, still enthralled with 60009 and watching every YouTube video of her. Only recently I've read that she is about to be retired and that she will be coming home to Fife to reside in a purpose built museum ... I hope I can see her one more time. So, after waxing all poetic about A4's, there's only one logical step I can take and that's to have a go at scratch building one ... Makes sense don't you think? Should be a piece of cake. I've selected a set of A4 drawings off the web, scanned them, enlarged them to my scale*, printed them off then glued them to various cardboard and plastic backings. I'm using my usual Renshape composite material to shape the body. The tender, when I get to it, will mostly be made up from Arborite or Formica sample panels and the motion will be aluminium salvaged from various electronics, computers, cameras and whatever. Off we go .... * It's just going to be an ornament on a shelf. 22" buffer to buffer, same as my Flying Scotsman. Get over it! Here's my rough bandsawed block of Renshape. It's a start. Lots of power tools gets it soon down to a recognizable shape ... and that iconic swoopy footplate is cut out and attached. Body filler applied and sanded out ... Kylchap double exhaust roughed out, shaped and filler applied. I mounted the model on a board so that it's at the correct height so I can check the shape with a plastic cutout template. It really helps to have the model sitting at the correct height and attitude. Next I rough out the cab. The sides are fabricated from Arborite/Formica sample panels which I like as they are so flat and strong. The roof is cut from a sheet of steel salvaged from stereo equipment. Bent it slowly to shape over a block that I shaped into a template. Lots of cutouts and small sliders, vents etc added to it. Gradually I make more external fittings, pipework, handrails, and give it a rough coat of paint to see how she looks. OK, now onto the wheels. As with the Scotsman I made a master driving wheel and one bogie/cab/tender wheel from Renshape. Using my Dremel in a drill stand I ream out the spaces between the spokes. Once the master is finished and sanded I fastened it into a container and poured silicon over it to make a mold. I want to use machined aluminium as the wheel rim so I set that into the mold first then pour a 2 part urethane casting material into the mold. This bonds and hardens to the metal rim to make a usable wheel after some filing and sanding . Here's the small set of wheel rims and one with spokes. They will be cast in a similar method. Next I want to fabricate the fairly large spring sets that are under the cab. Since there's only one on each side I decide to fabricate both (rather than cast a pair). I made them both from scrap aluminium. There are ribbed gussets (?) on either side of the axle boxes and I found a perfect sized heat sink from a computer that let me cut out suitable gussets. Lots of hacking and hewing later I have a decent pair of springs. Mounted on a temporary backing here. So here's an "in progress" shot with her older brother the Flying Scotsman whose tender she's pinched. They don't look like it here but they ARE in the same scale. Next comes the fun part. ... fabricating all the metalwork/motion that goes with the wheels. I didn't take many pictures of making each piece as that gets boring. I have an aluminium strap that is 1" wide by 1/8th thick and almost every piece is hacksawed, filed and polished from that. The driving and connecting rods have a recess cut into their faces (a "U" shape) and I hog them out using cutting wheels on a Dremel. Lots of filing follows. It all gets bolted together using tiny bolts that I recently purchased. If I drill the hole in the aluminium slightly smaller than the bolt then I can slowly screw the bolt in such that it cuts threads and can be removed and replaced easily after that. Here's a work-in-progress shot. The Phillips bolt heads will eventually be filed flat and six-sided to look appropriate. The "body" has had the paint stripped and some fairing has been applied. Thanks for looking in. More to come. Frank
  3. I was planning to build a Finnish Buffalo in this GB, but while leisure-browsing wikipedia I found the following image which lured me away from the chosen path. I present Flygfisken (image courtesy wiki): This thing has it all: it is quirky, has complicated rigging, a tailplane raised on sticks above the fuselage and a rotary engine suspended only by strings and struttery with an assortment of pipes going up to the fuel tank on the upper wing and down into the cockpit. And skis! It also has pedigree. It is a Donnet Leveque flying boat Type A (or C, opinions differ) first bought from France in 1913 by the Flying Baron Carl Cederström. It was called the Flying fish, a nick-name its paintjob likely helped to popularize: https://digitaltmuseum.org/021016340773/carl-cederstroms-flygbat-flygfisken-vid-loudden-1913-flygmaskin-av-typ Although that is tempting, I shall build it in its snowmobile configuration. Cederström sold it to the Navy where it got designation L II but retained its popular nickname. As the designation implies this was the second Donnet Leveque of the Navy - the first was bought by the excess money from a public donation that was collected to buy a [pocket] battleship (the government had decided it couldn’t afford any, so a public fund raiser was started - and the people decided it could indeed not only afford a battleship, but also some aeroplanes, but I digress). The Navy made good use of the plane until they donated it to the Marine museum in 1919. It was recently restored by volunteers. There is one mystery. The wings have one extra pair of interplane struts now compared to in 1913. My guess is that this is not an error by the restorers, but is an addition made back in the days after a crash, which according to what I’ve read, required extensive rebuild. The problem is is, I need to find the dimensions of these new wings.
  4. Hello... I greet the community from Argentina. I see that I joined Britmodeller in 2015, but I never wrote anything... I can assure you that I'm not a ghost! ^ ^ I am a lover of everything that has wings produced between 1919 and 1939... I am also very tempted by the WWI planes, and the beautiful curves of any time (of some planes too). Although the interwar world is usually silvery with some well-documented colors, being a ghost can sometimes be very convenient at the moment of interpreting lost livery in b/w. I embrace this hobby from the scratch, drawings, and some projects that revolve around them. My English is very bad, so I apologize in advance. If the subject be up to my knowledge, and I have time, it will be a pleasure to participate in Britmodeller. Saludos Matías
  5. This is a kit I've had on my to-do list for a relatively short time, but needs must, opportunity rises etc. etc... Did not expect to join the GB at the beginning, however, being confined to home there's no time like now. So, without further ado, I present you: The Swedish* Heavy Metal Display - Solo build. The kit is delivered in a sturdy, compact, but tall two-part packaging: Clicking around the site, I've also taken the liberty of adding some Aftermarket bits. Consisting of some LED lights:
  6. (with all due apologies to the Bandsaw) Even though I swore (sort of ) that I'd take my WIP down I have to admit I'm a serial starter. Having gone on my semi-annual pilgrimage to one of the few remaining modelshops in Ireland up in Dublin and almost buying a 1/72 kit of the JI, but not, I decided to see if I could find any plans, I got a semi respectable set from the web and scaled it to 1/48 and started construction (Tuesday), however realizing a that I'd gotten my scaling all wrong and was actually building in 1/3 something instead of 1/48 and b) that I had a very old Airfix magazine (1983 afair) with a good set of 1/72 plans ( no mucking about just resize by 50 % and we're up and running) I started again. So far so good, it's mostly flat angular shapes (imagine if you will a bathtub made from plate steel with the crew and engine bolted to a Fokker style tube and fabric back end, although the latter models had steel covering on the whole fuselage) so the fuselage went together pretty easily, just the rear quarter deck and some filling/sanding. The wings will be a major challenge....
  7. I'm building a 1/144 Sopwith Pup. This Valom kit requires some serious work to get to my standards so a few weeks of work to keep me busy. Starting with a Le Rhone 9c engine.
  8. Hi folks. Here is a simple carving of a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa 250 that has kept me busy for the past couple of months. Entirely scratch built and hand carved from mahogany to 1:20th ish scale. Hope you like it. Merry xmas!
  9. Morning all. Decided for now this is as far as I go with this one until the I get round to the red cross front banner and rear flag....(one day ). From the outset, it was an experimental scratch build with mud.....an effect really not something I'd done in the past....so wanted to give it a go. Anyway, here it is. Hope you like. And please no problem if you want point anything out, I did do it as practice piece for future builds....so open to any critique. Cheers all
  10. Hello folks, inspired by my friend Francis who recently built an M47 Patton, I decided to present the Croatian Balkan War version called “AZDAJA”, that means “DRAGON”. Look the real tank...these are the only two photos about AZDAJA that I found. Note that the tank does not have the headlights: and have the T80E1 links.... For this project I will use the M47 Patton from Italeri, kit number 6447, and I will added a set of photo-etched and resin parts from DEF Model, code 35024, plus the set of metal tracks T80E1 type from Fruilmodel, code ATL-145, and decals from Star Decals 35-C 1085 M47 Patton Balkan War and Peace. I agree with the others modellers that despite its age, this M47 is one of the best kit produced by Italeri, and it is a great platform for improvements. Well, first I assembled the bottom of the hull, the rolling train, I added some missing bolts (only 68) in the most notorious parts of the supports of the oscillating arms: Then, I added casting detail and foundry numbers in the hull and turret, and I replaced the support for the .50 machine gun and added rear lubrication points too: After that, I scratchbuild seven triangular hooks and added more 4 bolts over the rear plate, plus I made corrections in the gun lock: That's all for now...
  11. Hello everyone. I'm still new here..., so here I'm trying my second message. These are my works in progress. For now, all suspended in different stages of construction, for some error that requires a major correction, for boredom, or because the stage that begins requires special attention, especially the development of engines... Anyway, now I am dedicated to some works that occupy me all the time, so necessarily there they will be waiting for the best moment to be finished. Artigau 'Coronel Pringles' ... it was an airplane of Argentine manufacture that flew between 1917 and 1920. It is the work that is first in the waiting list. I have to make the Gnome Omega 50hp, make the simil fabric of the wings and fuselage, and everything else. London & Provincial ... they are the models 'Brevet biplane' (Gnome Omega 50hp), and 'Fuselage biplane' (Anzani 100hp.). It is necessary to refine the details of the fabric of the fuselage and the wings, besides carving the corresponding ailerons. The cylinders of the engines are already made, only the blocks are missing, and everything else... LFG V.130 Strela ... the huge wings of this plane are stored in another box. The Benz Bz-IV engine and all its parts are already made, I just have to assemble it. Work details on the fuselage. Assemble the wings and tail, and continue with the construction of the rest of the parts... FEIRO Daru ... an interesting Hungarian passenger plane from the early 20s. This project I suspended almost at the beginning, since the development of the nose for the Hispano-Suiza was wrong. It will require a lot of attention and better interpretation of the images.
  12. Part 1 of my triplane build, Fokker Dr1, Sopwiths Snark and Triplane in progress, others may follow ...
  13. I thought it was about time I started a kit bash and scratch build again and it just so happens that the club build this year is some Russian tank thing, well most peaple will see a Russian tank I see a anti-grav self propelled rail gun, so I have been rummaging for parts. Yakult bottles check, old remotes check, old kits and plastic bottles (doing my bit for the environmenta) check. OK let see were this goes......
  14. Howdy forumites, its been a long time since I rock'n'rolled, but never mind that now. Today, may I present for your consideration a carved wooden series 1 Jaguar E-Type at roughly 1/24 ish scale. Entirely scratch built out of panga panga and basswood, with a little bit of plastic and brass. Took about 6 weeks with numerous pauses while work kept me away from my toys. I Don't think I'll use panga panga again, it is a bit of a pig to carve as it is splintery, and the heavy grain overpowers smaller details. however, it turned out all right, and taught me some more about the joys of whittling. Until next time, keep your tools sharp and your fingers out of the way.
  15. Hi, I haven't seen it posted here, and I really think everybody even remotely interested in classic British airliners, scratchbuilding, or just modelling should have a good look at it. So check that: http://www.master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=105804 Some early steps have been erased (a pity), but most of the build is there. I'm not the author of this masterpiece (when I have grown quite a lot of talent, maybe...). Hope you like it, S.
  16. This has been on the beach in it constituent part for a while so I thought I would put them together tonight, I still want to add a track cover over the top of the ball but it mostly ready to paint I think.
  17. Farman Moustique (mosquito) Winner of the Tour de France, 1924. The diminutive motoaviette Farman Moustique is simple in nature and quite straightforward, nevertheless requires care and attention to detail. The flying surfaces are ribbed and had rib tapes, making them suitable to develop those techniques. The fuselage is mainly a box, but has some additional volumes on the rounded front, curved belly and behind the pilot, and some details like the cabane struts and pilot office. Having wing rigging and control cables and horns exposed, more detailing can be practiced. The completed model is here:
  18. 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
  19. 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:
  20. A build from 2010, nine years ago, when the only option was the extremely poor Delta 2 kit, and way before the exquisite kit from SBS was released. See, kids, we had to make our own models if we wanted something! ask the Yorkshiremen! The Macchi Castoldi M.C.72 is so famous that I won’t bother with extensive introductions or descriptions. With an aura between the paintings of Giorgio De Chirico and the sculptures of Marino Marini, the pure lines of the MC72 speak for themselves. Suffice to say that the speed record it set in 1934 for seaplanes still stands today, 76 years later! It was powered by a FIAT AS.6, which was actually two AS.5 in tandem. It used surface radiators on the wings, floats and, if needed, in the lower back fuselage. Two sets of contra-rotating props were used to cancel torque. Once more the scratchbuilding approach was needed in order to have one. A little relief came from the generic Aeroclub pontoon vacuformed sheet that is available from some vendors. This has floats that were a good general fit to the ones needed here. The fuselage was carved from basswood but since my Mattel Psychedelic Machine has a small plate it couldn’t be used to vacuform parts and the original was used instead. Flying surfaces were made of styrene sheet and for the pontoon struts Contrail airfoiled stock was used. The struts were given the correct silhouette and pins were inserted at the ends in order to facilitate assembly later on. An interior was built with some structural detail, seat, joystick, rudder pedals and instrument panel, but -as it is some times the case with these types- very little can be appreciated due to the small cockpit opening. A spinner that needed a bit of adjustment to match the plan was found in the spare box. Prop blades were carved using as a base a discarded four-blade prop. The vac floats were glued, re-contoured and prepared for receiving the struts. Once those bits came together and after priming and painting decal time was up. I decided to work the radiators as a two-decal endeavor. A metallic brass coat was sprayed on decal paper and the radiator pattern was printed on another. Masks were cut and then the decals applied. For the statistic-inclined here are all the decals used: 2 black strips to cover the exhaust areas 2 aluminum strips for the stripe underneath the precedent 2 registration numbers in white at the base of the tail 2 Italian flags on the rudder 2 crests on the mentioned flags 4 brass decals for the wing radiators 4 brass decals for the struts 4 radiator patterns for the wing 6 radiator patterns for the struts (the front pair, as it is angled, required both sides covered separately 2 tiny aluminum covers on the nose on top of the upper oil radiator 6 louvers on the front fuselage 4 louver pairs on the belly 2 red strips that cut the lower wing radiators in half 1 black strip on top of air intake 6 little decal strips for the canopy frame 6 hinges (they are only little red squares to represent the fin hinges protruding into the rudder) 12 for the radiators on the floats (again, these are two-stage decals) Total: 67 To that 16 streamlined struts were added and a trolley was build to support the model. It is a joy when design encompasses beauty and efficiency, isn’t it?
  21. A build from 3 years ago: (After this long series of models posted aiming to present the case that there is life beyond the usual modeling subjects, today I post what I believe is the last of what I can offer to you on this matter. I had selected an posted these last months a large number of models of unusual planes and/or unusual media. I left out of this chronology a number of more mundane builds for one reason or another, not considering them relevant in this context. Today I post what you may see as my closing arguments regarding what I been building during the past 12 years or so, so from now on I hope I will continue to post the normal builds as WiPs or completed models (I still have no fondness whatsoever for the phrase "Ready for Inspection" and would gladly substitute it for RtF -Ready to Fly). Anyway, here we go: I simply can't resist the bizarre. (A photo of the original plane -and the model- were featured in the very informative aviation publication Arawasi International magazine #13, Summer 2017). Long ago, when I saw on a Japanese site this beauty, I took note and opened a folder for it. The folder, in spite of my best efforts, remained after many years with only that one photo. My Japanese friends and the Japanese sites I wrote to, weren't able to find anything on it. As you can see this delightful contraption was based on a Nieuport 24, of which the Japanese had many, some in very nice civil liveries for which you can even get decals (Rising Sun, for example, produces a set for J-BAFC). I also found online an interesting photo of three Nieuport 24 that were apparently raced by female pilots for a demonstration (J-BAIF, J-TEIO and J-BAPB), may be for another model down the lane. After the long wait during which no info came, I decided to give it a go anyway and bought the Nieuport 24 from Roden (Choroszy also produces the Japanese-built version, the Nakajima Ko-3). The kit from Roden is very nice, in line with their known standards, and as an unexpected bonus you get a bunch of spare parts (engine, props, wheels, stab, rudder, little thingies, etc.) since more than one version is packed in the same sprues. No decals are needed for this project, and that makes things easier (if you don't think on the 234 struts and many parts you have to scratchbuild). In fact, very little will be used from the kit, just the fuselage sub-assembly minus the bang-bang bits. Work starts then by intensely staring at the one photo and trying to make sense of it. A sketch was produced based on the proportions of the many elements and known measures of the kit's fuselage. The plane has two vanes protruding from the mid-line fuselage, a bit ahead of the pilot (acting most likely as ailerons) a "wing" on top of the fuselage and then above it two separate panels for yet another wing. This might thus qualify as a negative aspect ratio triplane. The mystery remains: what was it? who built it? and why? Did it fly? is it a triplane? is it a random accretion of parts flying now in orderly formation? Will we ever know? And meanwhile, should we call it Wingzilla? Here with another negative aspect ratio model posted here before, the Flick-Reinig Apteroid:
  22. A build from 11 years ago: The Demonty-Poncelet was the first Belgian enclosed cockpit, side by side, foldable wing plane. Also reportedly it was the first plane that caused ladies to faint at its sight at aero-shows and the first plane that used a corset, hence the sinuous lines of its waist. It was very active in the 1924/25 period participating in aerial meetings and even won a few prizes (not the beauty contest, though). The first incarnation had a Gregoire engine, an adaptation of a 4 in-line car engine. Then an Anzani of 6 cylinders was installed, modifying noticeably the nose area. It sported a not very common 3-blade propeller and had an all-flying stabilator. That fist version also had to carry the Lamblin radiator on its back, adding to its already notable aesthetics. This first machine was named “Cyrano”, most likely due to the prominent nose that the Gregoire engine imposed on the design. At this stage the plane had only painted the word “Cyrano” on the nose side and no visible registrations –on the existing photo of that early version-. Looking at pictures of later modifications it can be seen that at least 4 more different schemes were painted: Numbers 3, 8, 30 and one with just the registrations and no number. One unreliable source (the Lübeck Marzipan Fliegende Tageblatt) states that Hercule Poirot was a passenger in one flight. The model was built with the usual methods you would apply when using sheet styrene. The wheels came from Aeroclub Models. The tiny prop was made of aluminum sheet, glued to a styrene tube hub that had a metal pin inserted though it. The blades were warped to get the pitch and a photo-etched boss was added at the front. This was one of those builds were you can “feel” the pleasant design of the plane by just handling the components, like a stab or a half wing, even before the parts are put together. Colors are somewhat speculative, but most likely in the ball park. A “wood” treatment was applied to the corresponding model surfaces. The windshield area is not very clear in the photo of this particular version, so again some speculation was necessary. A generic interior was added to give at least the impression of something going on inside, although graphic data in that regard is missing, besides the side by side arrangement. The making of the model was possible in part thanks to information gathered by Tracy Hanckok and Alain Bourret, although they are not responsible for my potential mistakes. Now you know why they called the twenties “Les années folles” (the crazy years).
  23. A build from 11 years ago: The Ford Company involvement in the aviation industry had some bizarre, lesser known sides than its proverbial trimotor. Of this obscure past almost nothing exists now, as if a stealthy hand had erased the trail of some strange ventures. Among those ventures are the Stout Dragonfly (a tandem amphibian design) and the subject of this article: the Ford 15P flying wing. These designs followed the same pattern of the Ford Flivver, aiming to provide an affordable ride to every-day people and in doing so supposedly replicate the success of the Ford automobile. Not many photos exist to document the 15P. There was a mock-up with a faked registration and then the real thing. The lines were very attractive; the engine was behind the two-seat side-by-side cockpit and transmitted power to the tractor propeller via a shaft. And in case you are asking yourself yes, the engine was indeed a Ford V-8 engine. For 1932 the design does really look futuristic, with those curvaceous, trousered landing gear legs and the tear-drop blended fuselage. The 15P flew quietly into oblivion, though. The model consists basically of one upper and one lower vacformed shells with the addition of wrap-around style styrene sheet wings. A succinct interior was provided and a few external details added. The gear legs, given its complex curvatures, provoked a bit of head-scratching during the construction process. The issue was finally solved using several pieces of styrene to determine the general shapes and then “rounding” with Milliput. MV Products lenses were used as landing lights. The originals look a lot like car headlights. Finally, the chubby although somehow racy shape of the 15P came to light and surely Humpty-Dumpty would not have been uncomfortable flying this plane and, like the character, it just makes you smile, doesn’t it? -I would like to thank Mike Fletcher and (the late) Jim Schubert for their help with this project.
  24. A build form 10 years ago: How could anyone resist the temptation of modeling a 1928 small blue and orange cabin biplane that has three doors and Felix the Cat painted on it? When I found the Knoll biplane on Aerofiles, I immediately fell in love with it. Later on I found more information on the Net at http://www.pknoll.net/knoll_aircraft/knoll_kn1.htm Where there was –a rare case with these odd balls- enough documentation to build a model. You will find that there were three versions: Knoll KN-1: three doors on the left hand-side, matching painted surfaces on the right hand-side. Knoll KN-1 modified with only two doors and inline power plant (Hispano-Suiza) (Reg. 8861) Knoll KN-3 with open cockpit on the upper aft fuselage and two doors. Louvers on the engine cowling. And I don’t need to repeat here what you can read there if you like to explore further. The Mattel vacuforming device provided the fuselage shells made upon a Sculpey master previously fabricated. A reasonable interior was also scratched and the flying surfaces were built using the time-honored method of suffering. Some wire and metal “Strutz” were also used, wheels came from Aeroclub. I started to chop down the nose of the model to create the space for the engine, making and correcting many boo-boos in the process. I temporarily sandwiched the engine between two thin layers of Milliput and pressed all the involved parts together to represent the neatly faired cylinder openings of the original. Any squeezed-out material was then removed and the parts later smoothed out. What can I say…: “-Kids, don’t try this at home”. A note for the younger among us: Felix the Cat, the cartoon character represented on the plane and model, is not the brother of “Hello Kitty”, nor is he Barbie’s pet. And since you are so savvy with the computer you can google him to learn who he was. I made the drawing of Felix myself, which was a pleasure and an honor given the immense amount of joy I had as a kid watching his cartoons. Accompanying images will give an idea of the building process as usual, although bloody pictures and violent scenes that portrayed what occurred during the building process have been removed for the benefit of the impressionable audience. After all photos were taken fellow modeler Alain Bourret made me notice that the wheels seemed aluminum color, which were therefore painted over with that color. Tail regs were also added, because they were not any good still on the decal sheet, were they? I made those of a goldenish color, and you can see those additions in the very last photo. And which do you think was Mr. Knoll’s first name? See you in the sky.
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