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  1. Happy Birthday Royal Air Force Today is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. If you did not know that already you are probably on the wrong website. Some time ago I decided that I wanted to mark this occasion by starting a new project on this date and have of late spent much time thinking about what the subject should be. Naturally enough, Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancasters and myriad of famous post-war types all came to mind, but these are well-covered subjects and so I dwelled on the matter a bit deeper... What about something that was in service on the day the RAF formed? What about something that had served in both the RFC and the RNAS prior to the formation of the RAF? What about something that was crucially important both to the newly formed air force and essentially all of the commonwealth air arms that were to follow? What about the Avro 504! To me, the Avro 504, more than any other single type, captures the spirit and the essence of the nascent Royal Air Force. This type had seen service as a fighter, a bomber and reconnaissance aircraft prior to being 'relegated' to the training duties at which it excelled. By 1918 this was the most numerous aircraft in the RAF (and probably in the world) with more than 7000 being built during World War One alone. In the new air force almost all aircrew had been trained on this type and I should think most of the ground crew as well. It was the foundation of the skills and professionalism that have been the hallmark of the service ever since. So, foolishly, I'm going to have a crack at building one in 1/32 scale. Here are the plans I will be using...provided most efficiently by Len Whalley at 'aeroplans.co.uk’ (Great service thanks Len). As you can see this is a screen-shot of my electronic copy because my friendly computer draftsman at work is on extended Easter holidays. He'll be back soon! In the meantime I'm going to use these plans as a starting point, they are fine for the general layout and dimensions. And here we go... Start with a good straight, clean bit of wood. In this case I'm using Jarrah - just like I did in my Mig 15 build here... www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235012524-mig-15-scratchbuild I'm using Jarrah mostly because it's the strongest wood I can get hold of. Having studied the plans I can see that there are going to be some challenges with maintaining the structural integrity of this model, especially once the extensive cockpit has been hollowed out - hence structural strength is going to be a major consideration. It's a beautiful bit of wood this - straight close grain almost flawless. The oval below marks the only knot in the entire plank, it's tiny and is fortunately positioned so it can be easily excluded from the fuselage cut-out. Here I'm marking off the first cut for the fuselage. I'm cutting it much longer than it needs to be for reasons you will see later on. And here it is - the first cut - made on 01 April 2018! Hooray... Two lengths have been cut for the fuselage so that I can work to the natural centre-line thus formed... The wings are being cut from some thin slices of sapelli. Another high-quality hard-wood. I've chosen this because I do not want the wings to sag and think that sapelli will be rigid enough to hold it's shape over time. And here's the rough cut-out of the tailplanes. I think that the tail is going to be the only easy part of the build. And so -after 20 minutes of work I have the very, very rough outline of a biplane... No - this is not an April Fools joke, this really is the start of my model! I don't know how long this is going to take but given the slow pace of my previous (still uncompleted) project that you can see here: www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235021633-hmasm-ae2-scratchbuild I would say this will take at least a year and possibly much longer. I've never built a biplane before. Wish me luck... Best Regards, Bandsaw Steve (ex-Reconcilor)
  2. Dear forum members, After my first scratchbuilt model (Turbolaser Diorama) I have decided to try it with a second one. A studio scale Snowspeeder 1:10 scale. This project has been a big challange for me as this whole modelling still feels new to me. In advance sorry for not posting the progress of my work for the past 14 month. I wasn't convinced that I could build this model and did not want to post pictures of something what ends in a chaos. The Snowspeeder is one of my favorite models from Star Wars. Another reason for building it was that I thought that I won't need to vacuum form any parts and could build all parts somehow pretty easy. At the end it wasn´t so easy, for me very complicated and much harder than the Turbolaser diorama. The main issue was that the Turbolaser gave me some freedom to build it in scale, the Snowspeeder not. If there is anything out of scale or shape you see it immediately and it doesn't look good. I have bought a Bandai Snowspeeder 1:48 and upscaled it as good as possible. I have also used all pictures which I could find online. I wanted to build a big 1:10 studio scale model, like what they have used in the film. The model is about 55 cm long, completely scratchbuild from styrene parts and building time is 6 month until now. I started it 14 month ago but meanwhile I took an 8 month break from the build as I didn‘t want to see it anymore. Many parts needed to be build twice because I made mistakes. Now as the model is very advanced I wanted to show it here in this forum first. It is still not finished, some things are still to do and it also need to be painted. This will happen during this year I hope. Please find attached some pictures of my model. Almost all parts except the fuselage are not glued yet because I want to paint the fuselage first. All other parts are fixed with tape for the pictures which looks not perfect but good enough to get an impression I think. I hope you like the pictures of my Snowspeeder. Thank you and best regards, Mark
  3. This is a first for me, a scratchbuild, so let me tell you the reason why. The intention is to build a Japanese Steamer, the Fushimi Maru and that will be a scratchbuild. So before I start on that build, I thought I better 'cut my teeth' on something less demanding, like a tug: to learn some new skills. The deck plan, side profile and the build process of the subject was acquired via @ShipbuilderMN but this is in wood, I don't do wood, so plastic is going to be used. A quick search of 'tug line drawing' revealed these free plans: Although these are not of SA Everard, they are of a very similar tug and good enough for this exercise of boat building. The plans were scaled so as I can use a standard size sheet of plasticard and copies printed. It's going to be waterline, so we have a 'waterline' base cut to shape, marked with the frame locations and a spine fitted. A few frames fitted. Comments welcome Stuart
  4. After building several 1/48 jets, many RAF, I really fancied adding a different jet to the range. After thinking about it for a bit I settled on an HS-125 Dominie. Trouble is no one does a 1/48 Dominie kit. There are a few desk models about but not a lot more. So I should have given up there really. Then I got a 1/72 plan and copied it up in size, and put it away for a year or so. Then dug it out again & worked out the central fuselage would be about the size of a plastic waste pipe. and I started wondering what it would look like. So what size would it be built up? Some cardboard and some messing about came up with this: Then started on the back end in plasticard. I am planning to put circular formers in and overlay strips of plasticard. Then build it up with some P38 car filler to try to make the shape So one quarter of a back bit started. No idea if this will really work or if I have the skills to do it. All advice and tips gratefully received as I clearly don't know what I am doing or am taking on! Oh, and if you know a Dominie well, please look away now. I don't wish to cause offence.
  5. Hello All, I have been permitted to bring my long-running scratch-build of the Fairey Long Range Monoplane across from the WIP section, here. I have reached the point where I almost have a set of basic parts. This has been a long time in the making - I first acquired a pile of reference material in 1997 for a flying version (didn't happen), and I've been working/stalling on this project for over two years. Hopefully being part of a GB will keep my posterior in gear so I can finish it! The Fairey Long Range Monoplane was built to capture the world distance record, powered by a single Napier Lion engine. Two were built - the first one crashed in an attempt, but the second one succeeded, setting a record of 5,309mi/8,544km from Cranwell, UK to Walvis Bay, South Africa in February 1933. The UK for two months held all three of the speed (Supermarine S6B), distance (Fairey) and altitude (Vickers Vespa) records. So it's got to here: I built the wing and tail surfaces out of balsa - the wing is OK as far as it goes, but needs cutting up to free the control sections and detailing to add the fabric wing effect. The tail fin and rudder need separating and fabric effects, and the tailplanes need to be started again because they should be about three times thicker than the ones I have made! The latest fuselage is made from a plastic card profile with card formers, filled in with scrap balsa and Milliput. The Milliput has been sanded away until you can just see the edges of the formers. This is my third attempt: The first two fuselages ended up being too small, so I have used one of them for experiments on simulating fabric covering, using fishing line and filler. Although I had some success with that I think scored plastic card (as seen in the picture) will be neater and easier. I'm back at home next week so I hope to be back at the bench then! Thanks for looking, Adrian
  6. I've had a few setbacks over the last few weeks which has affected my modelling mojo considerably, in fact I haven't done any modelling since early June: -a flood, back in June, meant I had to box up all my ongoing builds and store them whilst repairs were done. -my laptop went belly-up, which meant an unexpected and expensive new purchase, so couldn't afford to go to Telford -our TV had a fault and it had to go away for repair. None of these issues were insurmountable but I've been struggling to raise any enthusiasm to dig out my kits again and continue with the builds. I am trying to get back into it but just don't seem to have any interest in my previous work and so I have been looking to do something different, which might kickstart the mojo somewhat. I was impressed by Kevin Aris' large-scale SD-14 card model and thought perhaps I could have a go at something like that. The SD-14 kit is too expensive for me though, so I am going to attempt doing something of my own. The plan will hopefully to build an aircraft carrier. Initial drawings have been done and the first frames have been cut out. These frames are for the bow section and in this area the gap between each frame is 3 feet. At this scale that works out at 6.35mm betwen each frame. This means I need to put spacers in between each frame and the best way (I think) is to separator strips to each piece. This should also help to strengthen each frame piece, which is only 0.5mm thick. The plastic strips have been cut and then glued around the edge of each frame section, plus a strengthener piece down the centre. The first frame has been glued into place. It is not the front frame, but No.8 frame and I placed this one first as it gave me room to place a try square either side to ensure the piece was vertical. All the other frames can be formed around this one. These strips are 5.75mm wide which, when added to the 0.5mm frame piece, gives a frame gap of 6.25mm which is near enough for me. So far so good, the tops of the frames are all to a uniform height, it is just the positions of the separator strips that make it all look uneven. I've just made some more calculations and realise that this is going to take a lot of plastic, which invariably is going to work out quite expensive............. However, I have found an alternative which is to use card from cereal boxes rather than plastic. I know where I can get an endless supply of card like this! All I then need is to strenghten the edges with thin strips of plastic and this will reduce the amount of plastic I need to buy for this project. It doesn't look much at the moment, and working with white plastic is not the best for photographing progress however, this is just a start, and is really just an experiment but, hopefully, it will give me the incentive to get back into building again. cheers Mike
  7. Work in progress on this unusual 1960's New Zealand topdresser - the PL.11 Bennett Airtruck (this one technically the Waitomo Airtruck ZK-CKE). Scratchbuild. 1:48. Cowl, windscreen and tail just tacked on for the photo. Designer was Luigi Pellarini who also penned the PL.11 Transavia Airtruk
  8. I started my first project of 2019...a scale model of the Nostromo Airlock from the 1979 movie Alien. I will be working from this Ron Cobb concept drawing and a handful of photos and frame grabs from the movie. I have recently bought a "Silhouette Portrait" cutting machine and will be using that to do most of the tricky styrene cutting. I'm starting with the outer doors, which I have cut out the various pieces which will be layered and glued together. The machine is amazing. I never could have cut those out by hand in a million years. The doors are cut from .030" styrene. the raise panel details are cut from .020". Things are starting to be glued. I've wrapped the outer edges of the doors with thin strips of styrene. These broke when I bent them and will need a bit of filler, but over all things are off to a good start. Unfortunately, I ran out of my favorite glue (Tamiya Extra Thin) which is worse than running out of beer, because the local shops sell beer. So it will be a week or more till I can do any more assembly. Thanks for looking in.
  9. Hello All, I'm going to build a big one
  10. A build from 2017: The De Havilland D.H.53 Humming-bird represents the concept of light plane. It was contemporary to the Parnall Pixie and a small number of them were sold to particulars and the RAF. Power plants varied, and the first model had a Douglas of 750cc. According to information found on the Net, one plane ended up in Chile, two in Australia and one in Canada. The plane had a span of 30"1' (9.17 meters) with almost constant chord, but differential airfoil, which varied in thickness along the span. The usual scratchbuilding techniques you may have seen in my posts were employed, to ensure a satisfying measure of accuracy and a bonafide reproduction. A resin prop cast by Matías Hagen (thanks Matías!) from Argentina was used, with resin wheels from the spares bin and adapted resin cylinders again from Matías. 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 often obviated by modelers. A model of the Parnall Pixie, a plane -as said above- designed under the same concept and flown contemporarily to the D.H.53, is being built in parallel. Originally it even had the same Douglas 750cc engine. A number of different decorations can be seen in photos, many of them most likely in aluminium dope, sometimes with the fuselage in a darker color, and in some photos it's shown with what seems wings of clear doped linen, with certain translucency. I selected a subject (G-EBHZ) based on a very good photo I found on the Net, that had the same scheme as the restored machine that used to fly in England (G-EBHX), until unfortunately had a fatal crash in 2012. The machine chosen, G-EBHZ, changed schemes, and I was fortunate enough to find on the Net photos of them. One is an all-aluminium scheme with the logo of the Seven Aeroplane Club, an AC with seven feathers (thanks, Sönke). Another is blue and silver, like as said the machine restored. Be sure that you get the position of the inverted wing struts and the ailerons right. The ailerons started inside of where the struts attach (i.e. closer to the wing root). Also pay attention to the wing struts, configured as a V, and wrongly depicted in some plans as the aft member being parallel to the TE, when in reality both struts converge at an angle (look at photos on the Net, easily found). I commissioned the decals from Arctic Decals (thanks, Mika!) Bibliography: DeHavilland Aircraft since 1909 (A.J. Jackson) 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
  11. Hello All, I've had a set of plans and a hankering to build a Fairey Long Range Monoplane for a long time now (since 1997), and a testing group build on another forum gave me the excuse to get going. There are no injection or resin kits of this, and the only vac-form I know of was produced in 1985. So it's a scratchbuild job! I dug out my balsa stocks and had a look. I didn't want to carve a one-foot-something tapered wing out of half inch balsa, so I started messing around with a composite structure: The idea was to have a curved upper surface of soft 1/16 balsa wood. More support needed! Shaping was done by plane first and then sandpaper. There wasn't too much to take off - mostly shaping the tips, LE and TE. Dihedral was added with a saw cut. I painted the balsa with Ronseal wood hardener (designed for rotting window sills, which is where I know it from) and then sprayed with Halfords filler primer, which is a jaunty shade of orange. Fuselage was six slices of 1/8" balsa, with the beginnings of a cockpit cut out, stuck together into halves which in turn were tacked together (hopefully I will be able to get them apart again) and roughly shaped with a razor plane. When the black line round the middle gets smaller, that tells me I am sanding down near the profile. I made tail surfaces out of 1/8" balsa, and sealed them with superglue. I used a plastic bag over my finger to spread the glue around - it saves a lot of finger scrubbing later! After some sanding and filling, I could put a coat of regular grey primer on the wing. I still need to touch up a few dings before it's ready to detail. So next up is to finish the fuselage, and then the basic shapes are done. Then I can resume regular modelling! Thanks for looking, Adrian
  12. A build from 12 years ago: Beauty is sometimes a hidden quality that only needs just the right eyes to be discovered. Motive, on the other hand, may remain forever hidden when you think about the rationales that supported the creation of certain flying things. In any case, how can anybody resist the charm and flair of winged wonders like this one. The more you enter into the strange lands of esoteric designs, the less information is likely to easily appear. In this particular case there were no plans or three views, just a very few images available upon which you should muster enough building steam to arrive to a safe landing, which, be it said, wasn’t the case with the real plane. The Arctic Tern was a special-purpose plane created in 1932 to provide a photo platform to survey Alaskan regions, intended to be used by Shell in its explorations. As far as we know, it was really used to scare the pilot, passengers and bystanders, not to mention the occasional real arctic tern. Besides the pilot, cruelly semi-exposed to the elements, two enclosed positions were provided on top of the floats, with forward-leaping windscreens a la Fokker F.10s or earlier Boeing 247s. The real plane’s original wing was donated by a Lockheed Sirius, the tail by a Vega, being the engine a Wasp of imprecise denomination. The design unavoidably evokes the Savoia Marchetti S.55 and specially the Bleriot 125, among various other beautiful flying creatures. The model at a glance: Starting from the photos a drawing was sketched as a truly optimistic base for the ensuing construction. The floats came from a Sword Beech Staggerwing, which were slightly broadened with a sandwiched styrene sheet and later re-contoured. The front of the structures on top of the floats came from modified left over pants of the Matchbox Heyford. The engine, prop, main wheels and struts are from Aeroclub. Everything else was pretty much squeezed-out from the Fifth Dimension, including the Sculpey-made “upper” fuselage. I really do enjoy making these strange creatures of wonder, it feels like touching the unknown.
  13. A build from 10 years ago: (May be of interest to Aussie members and those inclined to a country life, that is bon sauvages) Agricultural planes constitute a special chapter of civil aviation that is in general not well explored in modeling, in spite the appeal and usefulness of the many subjects that were created for that purpose. These beaten-up work horses are exposed to stressful tasks and hostile environments with the only purpose of helping us. The Bauhaus school of design popularized in the 20’s the “form follows function” motto, and this is especially applicable in the case of the Ag plane. Surely with a taste for the unorthodox, Mr. Luigi Pellarini designed the PL-7 cropduster around the product tank located in the center of the fuselage. To this element the engine support members were bolted as well as the remaining after part of the fuselage. An array of struts transmitted the loads from the diverse parts of the airplane to the same central element, the tank. The lower wing had straight leading edges while the upper wing leading edges were a bit angled back. The result of such elaborate load distribution was a very attractive machine that was ready to fly in 1955, a bit out of my usual subjects’ time envelope but nevertheless strange enough to merit some extension of boundaries. Mr. Pellarini continued to surprise and amuse the aeronautic world with other creations, like the Waitomo / Bennett PL-11 and the Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, which no doubt I want to model too. I had the PL-7 project in the back burner for a time; nevertheless its appearance had me looking at the references I could gather mainly on the Net and some material sent by the late Jon Noble. His help was instrumental in materializing many projects. Wherever you are now Jon, thanks. The model started as a plug that was used to vacuform the fuselage sides and the canopy transparency. Some internal structure and details were fabricated before closing the pod. A cowl was made to lodge the Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah aftermarket resin engine while wheels were from Aeroclub. A styrene lamination was made to replicate the Fairey-Reed propeller, which has a particular twist to it (pun intended) being almost a warped chunk of flat metal. As the parts were being produced a put-together strategy had to be devised, a must when the dreaded strut forest is present as in this case, and even more so given the pod-and-booms configuration. So once the flying surfaces were made some sub-assemblies were created as per photos to make the final put-together more manageable. As with almost all front tricycle landing gear arrangements there is a potential for tail-sitting, so a disk of metal was added to the firewall just in case. Isn’t it an interesting twist of faith that a machine conceived to fight bugs ends up resembling a bug itself? Mr. Pellarini, what a beautiful and strange thing you created.
  14. A build from 10 years ago, and please blame "Head in the clouds" and "Pete in Lincs", who made me do it: Somebody made a flying egg-beater? Not at all. Since the beginnings of the rotary wing design, inventors realized that a twin rotor solved torque and stability problems. Well, some of them anyway. Mr. Landgraf, from Los Angeles perpetrated this beauty. The Landgraf H-2 rotors were overlapped and for that reason by force synchronized. The blades were not hinged but could vary pitch, while little “ailerons” provided cyclic control. The rudder was fixed, so for yaw it was stated that differential torque was supplied to the individual rotors –how was this done is for me a mystery, since they were coupled. The one-person machine was aimed to be easy to fly, which apparently accomplished. The “wings” were only streamlined pods, since they reputedly did not contribute to lift, being the CG far ahead them –for which they would have created a negative pitch force in case they did generate any lift in forward motion. The model: Two (upper and lower) halves were Mattel-formed on a previously Sculpey-made plug; the upper one in clear styrene. The 85 hp Pobjoy engine and front wheel are Aeroclub items, the other two wheels were scratched, since I couldn’t find ones of a suitable size. Interior structure and diverse elements were created, and for the rotor blades Contrail styrene “struts” were used -but the process of converting the raw airfoiled strip to a blade took some patience. Each blade has a tiny “aileron” that was engraved. Since the original aircraft had retractable landing gear, recesses can be seen on the fuselage photos through which you can have a glimpse of the innards, thence the decision of putting the engine, some structure and the fuel tank in the model. The white metal engine also helped to balance the model avoiding any shameful tail-sitting. The stubby “no-wings” were made of airfoiled styrene sheet as well as the rudder. All in all about 80 parts were fabricated, perhaps a bit on the high side considering the minute dimensions of this windmilled tadpole. Colors were applied as per a Mechanix Illustrated magazine color photo. In one photo on the Flight archives a beautiful female model appears posing aside the aircraft, but my intents to get a model to pose with the model were in vain. Doesn’t somehow remind you of the Jetsons?
  15. A build from 6 years ago: Every country and every time has its pioneers, many times unrecognized for one reason or another. Argentina is not exception and the work of Mr. Virgilio Carlos Mira did not get perhaps all the support it deserved. Mira developed its own designs from the remains of an early Bleriot monoplane. These designs evolved into a series of successful machines of which we present here the third iteration, the Mira 3 “Golondrina” (swallow). This plane flew through the 20’s and incorporated some devices that were practical, affordable, functional and clever. Some information can be found mainly in “Historia de la Industria Aeronautica Argentina”, by Francisco Halbritter, also in “Los Registros R 1928-38” by Gabriel Pavlovcic and the A.A.H.S. Journal of summer 1968. It should be noted, though, that as it is common with obscure types, some data found in these sources is not totally correct, and that there is some mislabeling regarding the five or so versions that were built. The first reference contains a plan that is absolutely off the mark for the stated version, the third. When compared with actual photos of the Mira III the plan is almost useless. The deviations are so many that it would be impractical to detail them all here. I started after gathering references by correcting the plan to provide for a better base for scratchbuilding. A few items as you can see in the photos are from my ever-dwindling stash of Aeroclub white metal aftermarket details. The rest of the model follows more or less scratch techniques that I have presented already many times, the images anyway tell the story. The rigging is relatively simple and the colors are based on a model that used to be at Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of which fellow modeler Armando Gil took a photo.
  16. A build from 7 years ago: A deceiving itsy-bitsy teeny weenie: A surprisingly lively little thing this Monocoupe; the beast in the beauty you may say. With a long lifespan and a design that evolved into many, equally-successful sub-types, the Monocoupe became one of the many iconic shapes of the Golden Age of aviation. Many a machine of this type won or placed high in a remarkable number of races and was used by big names of aeronautics as well as by the general public. There is plenty of material out there for you to satiate your appetite for knowledge, but I’ll recommend Skyways magazine of April 2012, that features a great article and...this very model. The photos pretty much describe the building process, which consists of training a labor force composed of all those discarded 1/72 figures in the spares’ bin. Once they learn, they are good, don’t require food and their only request is to read poetry once in a while. I’d like to thank Lars Opland, Tom Polapink and Matias Hagen for their help with this project.
  17. A model from 12 years ago: Specially conceived to fly to the Boulangerie, get the highest possible number of baguettes and croissants and get back on time for breakfast with minimum fuss. A collaborative venture between Nicolas Roland Payen and Aubrun originated this cute little French plane that was propelled by a 25 hp AVA engine. It flew in 1935 and 1936 receiving later a 40 hp engine which modified a tad the nose profile. At 4.95 meters of wingspan this tiny plane was a consistent flyer of which a derivative, two-place version was conceived but ultimately not produced. Quite a sight it must have been with those curvaceous, moth-like elegant lines and the purr of the small power plant. At a little bit less than 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) span, it's tiny.
  18. A build from 7 years ago: It's a fly!...no, it's a louse!...no, it's the education budget!..no, it's the Mix Hummer of 1924! A 24 hours-long project. Teeny Tiny, tinnier than my previously made Caproni-Pensutti, or my Gurney Grice Mosquito, or my Pou-du-Ciel. The build was enticed by Tom Polapink of Skyways, who sent a link to the Aerofiles file on this one. Here a link to the built version (there were at least two): http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Shumaker/7132.htm I gifted the model to my older son -also a modeler himself- and he entered in a contest by proxy, where it won 1st. It probably is the smallest 1st ever. "Dear..I shrunk the modeling budget"
  19. A build from 9 years ago Racers are usually thought to be sleek and slim. But that’s not always the case. Suffice to remember the Bristol Type 72 Bullet, the Arnoux “flying wing” racer, both posted here, and the subject of this article, the portly Nieuport-Delage 37. They are all examples of what a fast-food diet can do to you. Conceived to race on the Coupe Deutsch, a technical problem (overheating of course, the thing was huffing and puffing) prevented its participation and the machine was put on a strict diet. No more Croque-Monsieur and French toast for you, mon ami. Nevertheless, the NiD 37 exhibited interesting technical features: a cantilever wing of advanced airfoil with no struts or wires, a completely enclosed engine, a clear vision field for the pilot atop the fuselage, hidden surface control mechanisms, carefully-studied contours and streamlining of the landing gear. A “lobster pot” Lamblin radiator was installed to avoid cumbersome, large frontal area ones. Not much, as sometimes happens, is around regarding this remarkable racer; a few photos on the Net, a side view in the Speed Seekers, and a couple mentions on a Flight Magazine of the time. Based on that material a 3view was devised and a wood master was created to vac the parts, which barely fitted into the Mattel plate, producing two very thin (the Mattel can’t handle heavy-gauge plastic) fuselage sides. The rest was also scratchbuilt with the usual techniques you are familiar with: the ever-trusty alchemy set. A couple of Lamblin radiators were created and the better one was used. Exhaust stubs were made stretching a styrene tube, painting it and then cutting the necessary sections. A wood prop was carved and a tail skid was made of tiny laminated aluminum soda can strips to replicate the “springs” on the original. Decals were home made. Racers have an enormous appeal. Their lines, their stance, are always evocative and inspiring. A very small model in 1/72, but with a lot of pizazz.
  20. Hi folks, This is my mad "what shall I build for next year's anniversary of the first moon landing" project. The (stupid idea at my age) plan will be to construct a launch tower (LUT) and platform (MLP) for an Airfix 1:144 scale Saturn V kit. This is just a placeholder at the moment, as there will be weeks of research, scaling diagrams and making drawings before I reach the stage of cutting any plastic. Caveat: I don't expect this build to be anywhere near the standards of Manfred's Shuttle or RichO's Crawler, but I do intend to have fun attempting something. Mike
  21. A bit of a change for me as this doesn't have tracks or a big stick out in front that goes BANG! I've been toying with the idea of getting one of these for some time now, so while I was at Telford this year, I decided to buy one. It's an excellent kit with some very delicate parts. Built straight from the box, it makes up into a nice little model, but I don't do OOTB, so the knives, razor saws, files and drill bits were got out. One thing that does let it down a bit are the wheels, or to be more accurate, the tyres. The tread pattern is very poor, so I have ordered a new set from Hussar. There are many detailing sets available for the Tilly, some to me, a waste of money as it's fairly easy to scratch build some of those parts. Archer decals do a set of decals for the dash board, but Tamiya already include these in the kit. So why pay twice? But one part that none of them do are the three vents on each side of the bonnet. Tamiya mould them as solid items and it looks to be difficult to hollow them out without doing some damage to the rest of the bonnet, so they may end up just being painted black. Right, so it's straight into it without the preamble of photos of sprues (basically because I forgot to take any before I started removing parts). I made a start on the chassis. The front and rear bumpers mountings are quite delicate. The engine is a little gem, needing only a few extra bits and pieces such as piping and wiring. This kit lends itself well to being built in sections. This is the cargo section. I've removed the tie down hooks from the side with a chisel blade. The part that received the largest amount of work was the tilt. First job was to cut out the forward part and clean it up. Then I added three frame hoops which I bent to shape using brass rod, making sure that they were trimmed to the correct length so that the tilt would sit correctly on top of the cargo section. I shaved off the moulded on tie downs and drilled five holes ready to add some string later on in the build. Thanks for looking. John.
  22. So here it is completed. For the WiP please tap here: A siesta due to too much Pernod:
  23. A build from 12 years ago: In 1993 a very strange –or familiar, if you think about it- sight in the sky puzzled more than one casual cloud-gazer. The FMX-4 Facetmobile is a homebuilt aircraft created by Barnaby Wainfan with the lifting body concept approach, and its looks, as hinted before, resemble…a flying crushed cardboard box?...a miss-assembled tent, blown by the wind?...or…yes, you got it, a very famous "secret" (no more, actually) plane that uses stealth technology, the same technology used by the crooks that steal from people making millions and get rewarded by their corporate headquarters for it . But I digress. This one reputedly flew before the other one was unveiled to the public. A difficult shape to forget, the Facetmobile was a temptation that posed as an innocent would-be model. Little I knew. The images will tell you how I made it. Suffice to say that I had more than one accident with the superglue, because given the fact that the body was build with two shells of clear plastic, the use of normal styrene glue didn’t cause the desired effects. After –seemingly- months of merciless bouts, the model emerged; not perfect, but perhaps good enough to bring a smile. The original flew, and very well!
  24. A build from 11 years ago> While some designers choose to do away with the fuselage and the tail and create a “flying wing”, others choose to eliminate the wings and create a lifting body. That was the choice of William Horton, from California and Vincent Burnelli, both of them shaped the fuselage as a wing section. The Horton design featured large “endplates” –apparently described as “sealers”- along the fuselage/airfoil to improve its efficiency. A number of control surfaces can be seen at its rear end: a central, finned elevator and two surfaces on the sides that look like elevons (elevator+ailerons). Two fins and rudders are integral with the endplates. It is of notice that the concept of lifting body in this case was linked to the “roadable” plane too, since it was suggested to develop such machine later on. The design can be also described as being of “negative aspect ratio”, since its span is less than its length, roughly a 0.5 to 1 ratio. And perhaps we should clear some recurrent confusion: William Horton was an American from California, while the Horten (with “e”) were brothers from the nazi Germany that later got a free-pass to Argentina for a while. The Horten Bros. designed a number of flying wings and William Horton, as said, worked on the concept of lifting bodies, creating first the plane which model is here depicted, and later a more futuristic-looking, twin-engine bigger machine also called the Horton Wingless. William Horton associated with Howard Hughes, a joint-venture that apparently didn’t work out very well due to the iron grip of Mr. Hughes. Unfortunately, Hughes stalled in every possible way the development and sales of the Wingless. Shame on you Howard. Nevertheless the prototype achieved some flight and its beautiful lines were preserved in a few images. Simple lines on a model don’t necessarily translate into simple construction. Once the planning and engineering started, it was obvious that once more simple design didn’t mean simple construction. One or two parts were modified spare bin sleepers, while wheels and prop –Hartzell on the original plane- were modified Aeroclub items. Only a bit of the interior can be seen in the available photos of the real plane, enough to see the bulk of the long Franklin 68A engine in the middle of the cockpit/cabin while the shaft protrudes ahead of the fuselage. The pilot seat seemed to be the located on the left. The part count was about a hundred when I judiciously stopped counting. Although undiscriminating fellow modelers whose visual education and taste leaves much to be desired dared to call this beauty a “flying toaster”, one thing can not be denied: imagination was for sure abundant in the blooming 50’s.
  25. A build from 10 years ago: What could be more appropriate to fly in than a bathtub? Especially if you learn how to scrub yourself while making s turns, leaving a trail of bubbly foam. With a span of 24’ and powered by a Henderson four-cylinder in-line engine it looks like the ultralight take for 1924. It was replicated a number of times in more contemporary times by aficionados, either because they wanted a simple plane or because they needed a bath. The main parts (flying surfaces, engine and tub) for this project were made in about three hours on a Saturday. The photos describe the building steps. Would you believe me if I tell you that the real plane won a trophy? And so finishes this article, as small as the model it describes. Scratched engine:
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