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Hotel Papa

1/48 Aero Team / Modela L-13 Blaník

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OK, so here goes:



This is the kit:


ibxxTRy.jpg




What do we have here:



3So36JC.jpg



The plastic is the well known Modela model that was sold under a few other brands as well.



8KRKyyo.jpg



Detail is rather indistinctive and of the raised lines variety (The funny shape at the cockpit wall is supposed to depict a pouch...). Some improvisation will be called for here. Especially so as the cockpit of a glider is about the only opportunity to show some detail and the large canopy gives a clear insight. (The new AZ / Admiral model is much nicer here. )



qekzeYw.jpg



Xf69xCJ.jpg



This edition differs from the Modela offering in the marking options. Decals are printed by Propagteam. There is a quite nice white variant in blue and red trim (the Czech national colours), and two more Czech markings in more standard livery (one of those with the top-mounted engine; only three of these were ever built).


And then there is the variant I intend to build: A natural metal bird (most Blaníks were NMF for the most part) of the British Air Training Corps.



Looking at the Instructions you can see that there is not a lot to be built on such a glider. Main points are detailing a nice cockpit and duplicating the smooth skin that you try to maintain on these birds. I first thought about giving the Blaník a few dents and dings, but looking at pictures online I found that most of them are kept in pristine condition. On the lower side of the fuselage and the outer lower wing panels some wear and tear probably can't be avoided, but other than that they usually look spotless.




This already brings me to a cry for help from the nice folk on this board: Have any of you been in Air Cadet training? I have no information whatsoever on the inside of this plane. I can make it fictious, but I'd rather stay close to the original. Questions in detail:



Colour of the textile paneling an flooring?


Colour of the seat cushions?


Colour and style of seat harness?


Colour and style of parachute used?


Would an air cadet during flight training wear an uniform? Standard glider-issue pot-hat or Air Cadet beret?



Thanks for any help you might be able to offer.




The build is also entered in the Less than a Tenner GB.

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Do you know whether this kit is currently available? I'd like to add it to the stash : )

Blaniks tended to be beige and grey inside for the most part. Here's a 1/72 etched fret for the CMR kit showing typical seat belts. I can only address Canadian Air Cadets but when they go flying, headgear is not allowed onto the flightline due to the risk of FOD. Baseball hats may be permitted, but nothing with a hat badge. Cadets with uniforms would wear them, apart from senior cadets (and especially the glider ops staff) who would wear flight suits. Here are some Canadian cadets on a typical day flying, not with a Blanik.

Edited by Jessica

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Do you know whether this kit is currently available? I'd like to add it to the stash : )

Don't know about the Aero Team edition (it's limited to 1000 pieces; I only ever have seen it once). I have searched for the Modela kit (It was available for some time under Conrad's brand at Conrad.de) but it does not seem to be currently available. The AZ Model one is, however, and it's a much nicer rendition anyway.
The Modela/Conrad kit pops up on eBay now and again. In the UK it seems to usually go to 13..15£. Might be worthwile to also check eBay.de, but many vendors there don't ship internationally.
Hey, here's even a Canadian version if you're not afraid of resin.

Blaniks tended to be beige and grey inside for the most part. Here's a 1/72 etched fret for the CMR kit showing typical seat belts. I can only address Canadian Air Cadets but when they go flying, headgear is not allowed onto the flightline due to the risk of FOD. Baseball hats may be permitted, but nothing with a hat badge. Cadets with uniforms would wear them, apart from senior cadets (and especially the glider ops staff) who would wear flight suits.

Thanks a bunch for the info. Not to be snooty or anything, should have been clearer with my inquiry: the "typical" information is quite easy to come by. I was wondering if the RAF had the interior designed/equipped to their standards.

Interesting fact about the headgear. Here we tend to be more concerned with the health of the personnel than that of the equipment... But then, the standard glider pilot hat is an all fabric pot-hat or a base-cap. This again out of concern for the equipment. Knocking and scratching about hard stuff inside the canopy is frowned upon.

Edited by Hotel Papa

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I was wondering if the RAF had the interior designed/equipped to their standards.

HP,

I've very glad to see someone having a go at this rarely-seen kit. I have two in the stash as the l-13 Blanik is a particular favourite of mine having been the aircraft in which I *really* learned to fly at Yorkshire Gliding Club in the late 1970s, after having completed my basic flying training on Singby types with the air cadets at 622 GS, RAF Upavon. It is one of the nicest-handling gliders ever built and I find it very sad that they are now no longer flying.

If I may correct an minor misunderstanding, this particular Blanik was not actually an RAF aircraft, nor was it an Air Cadet machine. Life as an air cadest would have been much more exciting if we had had access to Blaniks rather than the low-perfromance open-cockpit Slingsby T.21b and T.31. This and ther other handful of RAFGSA Blaniks are often referred to as RAF aircraft, but that's not quite the case.

The RAF Gliding & Soaring Association is open to military and certain civilian personnel but is not part of the military command structure, and its aircraft are not part of the military fleet. By contrast, Air Cadet gliders in my day certainly were part of the formal RAF fleet and bore military serial numbers (though I think they are all civilian registered now). The RAFGSA Blaniks didn't train air cadets, only members of the RAFGSA's individual clubs. The clubs operate in much the same way as civilian gliding clubs, not under military discipline. The Blaniks were flown under the airworthiness oversight of the civilian British Gliding Association.

So there was no question of the RAF tailoring the aircraft to a military specification. And as for the clothing worn, go with standard UK civilian gliding gear! However, if you decide to do an RAF gliding school scene using a T.31 or T.21b, then we cadets used to fly in uniform, less headgear. Orginally standard battledress, then a bit later we switched over to the "woolly pully" style of uniform. The instructors generally flew in old lightweight flying suits. Oh, and we never wore parachutes in gliders in those days. We weren't going over 1000 feet off the winch launch anyway.

(You may wish to see an earlier thread here - http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234949097-rafgsa-l-13-blanik-274-colour-scheme-pictures/ )

Edited by Work In Progress

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Finally some progress, albeit slow. Have prepared some scratched parts, the smallest of which are 0.75 x 1.9 mm. Quite cross eyed at the moment.



Anyway, the first of those are assembled, and that's the result:



8Yg9HYSl.jpg



It's one of four spoilers. Parts for the other three are ready. The spoiler is cut from the 0.1 mm thick aluminium of a Red Bull can. I was hoping that I might be able to use the silver parts of the can directly. No such luck. The can is coated inside and out with some varnish, so I have to grind the surface. The ribs are cut from thinner aluminium food container. Rods are copper wire.



There is a quite nice etched set available from Brengun. However, as I also entered in the Less Than a Tenner group build, that is right out. Well, learn some new skills...

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