Jump to content

Fokker F.VIIb3m Southern Cross- Based on Valom kit

Recommended Posts



IMG_8696 (1280x960)






















This may be of particular interest to the Subjects from Australia and New Zealand

This Fokker F.VIIb3m was originally Wilkins Polar plane "Detroiter" that ended up crashing. It was repaired using also parts of the F.VII "Alaskan" -that was the other plane of the polar expedition- and painted with the reg. 1985 as the Southern Cross with some sponsorships (The S.F. Chronicle, Fageol Flyer, Spirit of Los Angeles), flown finally to Australia with the registration 1985 earning much deserved fame -but without the sponsorship letterings-; it was re-registered there as G-AUSU and finally as VH-USU -and as such again in many different decoration schemes that differed from one another to some major or minor extent, as well as in windows and doors location and engine gondola types and other details.

 Later in its life the plane was restored to a more original configuration, and in that guise it can be represented with the kit as it comes, studying of course that later scheme. However, the kit, as it is, was not duly modified for the configuration necessary to represent the machine on its epic flight to Australia. For that you need to work a bit. And study another bit.
Depending on which moment in the plane's life you would like to represent, the details are as subtle as this: for the Fageol Flyer livery, you can see six-point starts, but from then on, only five-point stars depicting the iconic constellation. The kit's decals have seven-point stars, following the inaccurate museum "restoration" -that somehow mixed some features of the plane at different stages of its life.
 So this is one of the many VH-USU configurations, one less-commonly portrayed in photos and one I have never seen in model form before, that entails a specific decoration on the wings.
 The kit required some modifications and many additions to fulfill its destiny as presented here, but it is a fair base to work upon, so much so that I bought another one to build perhaps as the Wilkins polar exploration machine, or the Argentine ex-Friendship, or some other arcane livery.
 Valom's Fokker F.VII -already a bit dated- is not really a refined kit, although the resin and P.E. add-ons surely help. It's a bit heavy-handed and requires work to show its potential. But with some little skill, good references and love, it can be transformed and adapted to depict many Fokker liveries. Parts for those transformations are sometimes included already in the box. It is much better than  the Frog/Zvezda release, no doubt, but still needs the modeler's help to shine.



Edited by Moa
the photo links didn't work, new ones uploaded
  • Like 28
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hello Moa,


I think you've done a great job with your model, and I really like the configuration you chose and how it's been photographed. Doing this particular aircraft is on my wish list...


2 hours ago, Moa said:

This may be of particular interest to the Subjects from Australia and New Zealand


That is true! An aircraft that had been through a lot. It is now housed about 15 minutes from where I live (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Cross_(aircraft)).


Kind regards,


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your kind comments. 

"Dalea" member stresses the point, a lot of time was spent researching. This is particularly important, since the kit represents a more generic version, apt to many planes, but not totally accurate for the Ocean Crossing event. The livery of this model belongs to a few years later after the crossing.

However, if modelers don't want to embark on a deep modification, the kit could be used to represent the plane as it was later in life (the parts are present in the sprues) so no doors or window modifications are needed. But other details may apply.

Long life, this plane had, and a significant one (although all life is significant) with many changes; a challenge an a joy for historians, amateur researchers and modelers.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
22 hours ago, Bob Henry said:

Please pardon my ignorance, but what scale is it ?      

I think it is 1/72 (Valom kit is in 1/72)

Moa, congrats! Very nice result




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...