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Moa

D.H. 83 Fox Moth, half scratch

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Posted (edited)

Not long ago I saw this on Getty Images while looking for something else:

https://www.gettyimages.ae/license/3430428

It was love at first sight.

The search begun, and I learned that there was a resin kit from Aeropoxy and an out of production vac from Aeroclub.

The Aeroclub kit can be seen popping sometimes on online auctions, but is not easy to get, plus it's a bit dated.

The few images I saw online of the Aeropoxy kit didn't tempt me, but in all fairness I did not have the kit on my hands, so this is subjective.

I think that Contour Creative Studio produced at some point a paper kit of the DH83, but I have no direct knowledge of it, besides is not the media I build on.

Since there are in the market now two relatively new kits of civil De Havillands in 1/72nd scale, the 60 and 82, it could be perhaps possible to borrow some parts and achieve a credible representation of such beautiful airplane.

Very fortunately, I was directed by Ebil Genius and friend Sönke Schulz to a thread on the topic right here at Britmodeller, where a great deal of information was provided by John Adams, to whom I am grateful.

I am using a combination of plans that are available on the Net, although none seems to be completely accurate.

So here it starts this attempt to a half-scratched 1/72nd scale Fox Moth, this time the one with the aft rectangular window.

All this is a bit tentative, and although hopes are high I really don't know how far this will go or how successful this may ultimately be.

So let's start the road, but bear in mind that I am very practical modeler.

 

The flat sides and formers are cut:

26039765557_f860bfbf79_b.jpg

 

Windows and doors are cut. Usually I am unable to extricate the door cleanly from a fuselage side, and have to carve out first the opening and then produce a separate door, but this time somehow it worked:

39102859330_2606b26e27_b.jpg

 

Both doors will be posed open:

39102859100_171e8ce424_b.jpg

 

Gluing begins:

40870283452_a9e005569c_b.jpg

 

40912610801_8c4cc79446_b.jpg

 

40018908705_5d57e8fe04_b.jpg

 

It is very small, smaller than I though it will be, how they managed to cram up to four people there I don't know:

39102859190_cbe5dbd34f_b.jpg

 

The window that communicated cabin and cockpit is carved, seat and controls prepared, and the oil reservoir made too:

39102859050_66c5c90d80_b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Moa
to correct typo

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One note about the doors: they are tricky little things, and the midsection expands in a curvature, producing a window the is straight on top but convex at the bottom.

I bent the doors to conform to that shape, but depending on how they finally look I may have to produce a master and vac them instead.

My plan is to use the wings and tail of the new Airfix kit of the DH82, which will need some alterations.

The thread, created by Andy Wood, I was referring to is here in Britmodeller:

 

 

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Is there a hole in the front bulkhead panel for the pilot and passengers to converse?

I seem to remember that the PAX sit facing each other, knees-to-knees affair.

 

One of these landed on a west coast beach a week or so back, for filming of an NZ history programme.

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Wow; that was quick ! Please don't tell me you've done all that in 1 day......it would take me at least a week; maybe 2..... :smile:.  If you are doing that Royal Flight aircraft in your photo, note that DOES have the leading edge slats, which makes things a bit easier...

 

There was just on eBay the first photo I have seen after it was sold to its next owner Belgian Guy Hansez, who retained the same colour scheme with new registration:

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/EGYPT-PHOTO-Aviation-Conference-1933-M-ET-MME-HAUSEZ-DE-LA-DELEGATION-BELGE-/273108915653?nma=true&si=NkXwmvfpECllUixG0ACVk5PJBBI%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

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10 hours ago, hairystick said:

Is there a hole in the front bulkhead panel for the pilot and passengers to converse?

I seem to remember that the PAX sit facing each other, knees-to-knees affair.

 

One of these landed on a west coast beach a week or so back, for filming of an NZ history programme.

Hi Hairystick

Yes, there was a little window hatch that allowed the pilot to see the cabin, and it could be swung open too, according to photos on the Net.

The last image above shows it. It was quite small.

I am sure it was a pretty sight that plane on a beach.

Cheers

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3 hours ago, Roger Holden said:

Wow; that was quick ! Please don't tell me you've done all that in 1 day......it would take me at least a week; maybe 2..... :smile:.  If you are doing that Royal Flight aircraft in your photo, note that DOES have the leading edge slats, which makes things a bit easier...

 

There was just on eBay the first photo I have seen after it was sold to its next owner Belgian Guy Hansez, who retained the same colour scheme with new registration:

Hi Roger.

I am hesitant to tell you that all that work took place -at intervals- during yesterday's afternoon, for an added total of may be two and a half hours.

Got the slats things on the thread quoted above, but thanks for mentioning again for the benefit of all.

Nice photo, thanks for posting it. The caption date has to be incorrect, though, since the plane didn't yet exist in 1933.

Cheers

 

 

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I don't think I could cut that many parts off a kit sprue, clean them up and glue them together in 2.5 hours.....  

 

I'm afraid you are wrong about the aircraft (G-ACDD), which was built in November '32 (caption of your photo says December '32,when it was presumably brand new) :

 

"ZK-AEK (c/n 4033, ex G-ACAJ, G-ACDD, OO-ENC, VQ-FAT)

The second of Air Travel (NZ)'s Fox Moths, the aircraft was initially registered G-ACAJ in November 1932, but this was altered to G-ACDD a month later. The aircraft was operated by the Royal Flight until June 1933 when it passed to Guy Hansez and changed registration to OO-ENC. He operated the aircaft as far afield as Egypt and the Congo. Sold back to de Havilland in May 1935, the aircraft was onsold to Air Travel (NZ) and shipped to New Zealand. Registered as ZK-AEK, the aircraft operated until October 29, 1943 when it crashed on Franz Joseph Glacier."

 

Don't confuse it with 'modern' restorations with different registrations, as there have been several given that Royal Flight colour scheme, inappropriately....  

  

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4 minutes ago, Roger Holden said:

I don't think I could cut that many parts off a kit sprue, clean them up and glue them together in 2.5 hours.....  

 

I'm afraid you are wrong about the aircraft (G-ACDD), which was built in November '32 (caption of your photo says December '32,when it was presumably brand new) :

 

"ZK-AEK (c/n 4033, ex G-ACAJ, G-ACDD, OO-ENC, VQ-FAT)

The second of Air Travel (NZ)'s Fox Moths, the aircraft was initially registered G-ACAJ in November 1932, but this was altered to G-ACDD a month later. The aircraft was operated by the Royal Flight until June 1933 when it passed to Guy Hansez and changed registration to OO-ENC. He operated the aircaft as far afield as Egypt and the Congo. Sold back to de Havilland in May 1935, the aircraft was onsold to Air Travel (NZ) and shipped to New Zealand. Registered as ZK-AEK, the aircraft operated until October 29, 1943 when it crashed on Franz Joseph Glacier."

 

Don't confuse it with 'modern' restorations with different registrations, as there have been several given that Royal Flight colour scheme, inappropriately....  

  

Dear Roger

You are an exacting modeller with very high standards, and the time you take reflects upon the results you obtain, plus your level of detail is exquisite.

On the other hand, I try to keep things simple to achieve a decent representation of the semblance of the plane in a time that seems to me reasonable, since I want to build them all! ;-)

These approaches (and all others) are valid, as long you feel comfortable with them and the results please you in a satisfying measure. Besides, we become familiar with certain techniques allowing for some shaving of the time needed.

The first laminated wood prop I carved took me a few hours, now it takes me less than 20 minutes to produce one (save polishing and varnishing).

 

I stand corrected regarding the date mentioned, and thanks for pointing that out.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The cockpit floor is reinforced before closing the bottom:

26051666147_b125dba128_b.jpg

 

And here is the donor, the truly beautiful Airfix kit, a joy to behold and most likely to build:

40215962954_6b1e7c9804_b.jpg

 

New Airfix standards are very high, and the product such a joy to have.

It is kind of heretic to dismantle such a nice kit, but I bought two, so I will honor it at a later time:

40215960274_98b8663dba_b.jpg

 

A few images to give fellow modellers not familiar with the kit an idea of the good quality:

26051665227_1be17361fb_b.jpg

 

Here is the oil reservoir that I replicated, but it could be excised from the fuselage side to better effect:

40215962464_13f398d12f_b.jpg

 

Restrained and convincing rib effect:

26051664467_4bc80e5fd0_b.jpg

 

The angle of the wing panels needs to be altered:

40215961854_2c582b7aae_b.jpg

 

26051663707_0b56958800_b.jpg

 

40215961384_434d5fb54f_b.jpg

 

26051663057_62e7b5c7b1_b.jpg

 

26051661667_931f034fa1_b.jpg

 

Commendable thin trailing edges:

40215960834_9e78ec466a_b.jpg

 

The parts that I plan to utilize (of the nose, the front only):

40215959784_4f75ecd718_b.jpg

 

Here are the slats mentioned by Roger that will have to go unless you depict the specific DH83 that had them.

The rib relief is so delicate and nicely done, that this will be no doubt a real challenge.

I see two ways:

to remove them and try to replicate the false ribs relief, or to buy yet another kit, and heretically butcher it to excise two sections from the same inner wing to replace the slat areas, which will create a blending challenge (and destroy yet another truly beautiful  kit):

26051661307_d83d6ccbaf_b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Moa
to correct typo

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As I mentioned earlier, G-ACDD HAS the slats, so no need to modify the wings if you are building that.....

 

I completely echo your comments about the sweet Airfix kit......one of the best 1/72 scale biplane kits of recent years....

 

I'm impressed with your 'Gung-Ho' motivation that drives you strongly from one project to the next. Not many people have that level of motivation, myself included...

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Interesting and attractive subject matter. Nice neat work. I likes.

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Wow this looks lovely.   I would love to be able to make something from scratch like that.  Great work. 

All the best 

Chris 

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21 hours ago, Moa said:

It is very small, smaller than I though it will be, how they managed to cram up to four people there I don't know:

Having gone for a flight in one, neither do I! There were only two of us in the cabin so it was very comfortable. But I was a lot slimmer then:

35296484020_90c9389ca4_z.jpgDSC_0529 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

35296487940_30dfbb1fc1_z.jpgDSC_0621 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

and I remember looking at the seat and thinking how lucky I was not to have to share!! Maybe they made people smaller back then?

 

I love the work you've done so far on this project. Thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to the next update.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, k5054nz said:

Having gone for a flight in one, neither do I! There were only two of us in the cabin so it was very comfortable. But I was a lot slimmer then:

Wow, Zac, what a privilege!

A real adventure!

Thanks for sharing the story, your views, and the photos.

Since I am working on two other models (also posted as WiPs in BM), progress was paced after the initial push (have to give priority to finish the other two), but managed to cut apart the lower wing panels, give them the needed dihedral and angle, and glue them to a connecting piece that will be a floor section too. The gluing area is really small, so this may not work, and in any case will have to be handled very carefully once set:

26057156387_46018d7764_b.jpg

 

 

Edited by Moa
to correct typo

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You're the one doing the cool stuff, I just paid for a joyride! :D ZK-ADI was New Zealand's first airliner so I was over the moon to be able to go for a flight at an airshow in 2009. Plus I knew a pilot of one of ADI's stablemates, so an impromptu photo session was organised...

35296486210_1b2fc3bcb2_b.jpgDSC_0573 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

35553359161_e1b969090f_b.jpgDSC_0566-1 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

 

35296484780_14604b938e_b.jpgDSC_0547 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

Pilot's porthole.

34842778244_3d35d48a68_z.jpgDSC_0619 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

And his office.

35296484770_8e1d0c9c8d_z.jpgDSC_0546 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

35296485170_898150ce7e_b.jpgDSC_0548-1 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

 

35553357811_19f5915610_b.jpgDSC_0539 by Zac Yates, on Flickr

 

I tried making a Fox out of the old tool Airfix kit but it all ended up in the spares!

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4 hours ago, k5054nz said:

Plus I knew a pilot of one of ADI's stablemates, so an impromptu photo session was organised...

So cool, Zac!

Thanks again for the photos. I have in my "next to do" stack the old and not so venerable Heller Dragon, plus the Arctic Decals set with goodies for it (window frames and all).

Definitely in the horizon.

Cheers

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The fix is holding on for the moment:

40235188144_055b809d5e_b.jpg

 

Checking fit, all seems acceptable -the floor of the aft fuselage was glued in place before:

40049491745_28d2c31b92_b.jpg

 

26070973937_9637092e27_b.jpg

 

I added a small spar and notched the fuselage side wall to accept it, to add an itsy-bitsy more of strength:

26070972167_d194d36f05_b.jpg

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A little late now but for future knowledge. I would use a micro drill bit and drill two holes in the inner edge of each wing. The side that butts up to the fuselage. Then i would use two lengths of brass rod as spars. Thats what i do with flimsy wing/fuselage butt joints. 

 

Dennis

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2 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

A little late now but for future knowledge. I would use a micro drill bit and drill two holes in the inner edge of each wing. The side that butts up to the fuselage. Then i would use two lengths of brass rod as spars. Thats what i do with flimsy wing/fuselage butt joints. 

 

Dennis

Hi Dennis

That is a good method, and I have used it before, but the airfoil is very thin here, and I wanted a correct dihedral, which is not as easy to obtain with the rod/tube method, if the diameter is too small.

The advice is good, and it is sound, and appreciated.

Cheers

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Posted (edited)

Oooh, that first photo of the fuselage upright on the wing is exciting!

On ‎21‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 7:41 AM, Roger Holden said:

"ZK-AEK (c/n 4033, ex G-ACAJ, G-ACDD, OO-ENC, VQ-FAT)

The second of Air Travel (NZ)'s Fox Moths, the aircraft was initially registered G-ACAJ in November 1932, but this was altered to G-ACDD a month later. The aircraft was operated by the Royal Flight until June 1933 when it passed to Guy Hansez and changed registration to OO-ENC. He operated the aircaft as far afield as Egypt and the Congo. Sold back to de Havilland in May 1935, the aircraft was onsold to Air Travel (NZ) and shipped to New Zealand. Registered as ZK-AEK, the aircraft operated until October 29, 1943 when it crashed on Franz Joseph Glacier."

 

Don't confuse it with 'modern' restorations with different registrations, as there have been several given that Royal Flight colour scheme, inappropriately....    

AEK was restored to a very high quality in the 1990s, albeit in an overall black scheme with silver trim, and flies happily with Vintage Wings in Canada: http://www.vintagewings.ca/Aircraft/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/15/de-Havilland-DH-83-Fox-Moth.aspx With Air Travel she operated alongside ZK-ADI, the aircraft in my photos.

Edited by k5054nz

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Posted (edited)

I am concocting here a couple ways to make that wing center section/tank:

27075837488_d338f03343_b.jpg

 

39138287230_697a4d5d5f_b.jpg

 

40239415504_656788052a_b.jpg

 

39138286760_08249c5550_b.jpg

 

40239414284_4f10193977_b.jpg

 

 

 

Seats, fuselage sides lined with strip, aft fuselage curved deck:

39137303650_716006c184_b.jpg

 

The Airfix kit nose tip is carefully excised, keeping for the moment the "floor":

27075837208_262f63766f_b.jpg

 

27075836948_8c4d00162f_b.jpg

 

Perma-Pressing the curvature of seats. Aft curved deck glued on:

39138286420_6d8b649f5f_b.jpg

 

Boat passing by (unrelated, but nice):

40239413584_40c8d0e355_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Moa
to correct typo

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11 hours ago, k5054nz said:

Oooh, that first photo of the fuselage upright on the wing is exciting!

AEK was restored to a very high quality in the 1990s, albeit in an overall black scheme with silver trim, and flies happily with Vintage Wings in Canada: http://www.vintagewings.ca/Aircraft/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/15/de-Havilland-DH-83-Fox-Moth.aspx With Air Travel she operated alongside ZK-ADI, the aircraft in my photos.

Reading that link, it sounds like the Royal Flight aircraft had a special interior with probably only a single seat (or double seat) and a pair of folding tables....

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Stunning work so far Moa :thumbsup: 

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Agreed, looking very nice indeed. And the Tiger Moth can rest assured its sacrifice is towards a worthy cause.

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I have to say that I am extremely impressed with what is going on here and am looking forward to seeing more.

 

Martian

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