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Moa

The Flight of the Phoenix, scratchbuilt, 1/72nd.

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The epic movie "The Flight of the Phoenix" is a favorite of many modelers and aviation enthusiasts. Two versions exist, from 1965 and 2004.

The first is the one that will occupy our attention here.

It would be redundant for me to abound in comments and notes about the movie itself, since most are familiar with it, and if not a quick Internet search will provide all the necessary background, plus I like to use the available time to build.

Suffice to say that the movie used several airframes for its static and motion shoots.

Of course there is the "original" plane that has the "panne", the Fairchild Packet. 

Then the plane that is "built" from it, then the plane used by Paul Mantz (Timm-Tallmantz P-1) for the real flying sequences, and then the modified North American 0-47 used for some shots to cover for the demise of the Timm-Tallmantz P-1.

(Here at Britmodeller you have an excellent representation of the "static" plane by Mike N):

 

I will be aiming for the plane used to film the flying sequences (there were actually two, see below).

There are many differences between the filming static prop and the flying machine designed by Otto Timm. The static prop has a three blade prop, if you excuse the redundancy, while the flying machine has a two blade prop. The wing on the static prop has a more elongated appearance with more squarish tips, while the flying machine has a shorter wing with round and narrow tips. The noses are very different, even if at first glance they look somewhat alike.

Many other differences can be spotted. 

Sources state that to expedite construction of the flying machine Tallmantz Aviation used the nose, engine, prop, cockpit and wheels of a North American T-6 Texan, as well as the outer wing panels from a Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor, so I got those kits ("used", at a fair price) to expedite my construction too, although this is not going to be a fast one, since the schedule ahead looks busy.

The main body is a cylinder, while the tail is a cone, as in the original. The tail feathers will be the usual styrene sheet construction  with spars.

The old Heller kit and the parts that may be used:

42227652830_fc42efb894_b.jpg

 

Since these are going to be cannibalized,  get affordable ones in a used state:

IMG_7828+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Parts that may be used from the Texan:

42227653690_fb3d47ecf2_b.jpg

 

A couple parts are glued to determine the diameter needed for the main body:

29099780697_cd9edfaf90_b.jpg

 

Edited by Moa
to add information

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A piece of irrigation PVC pipe and the Expeditor wings (the wing's outer panel are needed):

30169483048_7b12efaf1d_b.jpg

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Reports suggest that the real flying plane suffered a series of mishaps, and it did not have a pleasant handling behavior.

Some modifications were performed, and among those I noticed studying the images one that I haven't seen yet reported: the perforated beams that act as landing gear struts and skis (clearly visible during construction and early tests) were at some point modified in a way that in ulterior flights the beams are actually "solid", and their "holes" are painted on.

 

A few low passes and the crash can be seen here:

 

Edited by Moa

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Hello Moa,

 

I saw Mike's build earlier this week and noted this new post with interest. One of the reasons for this was that I recently saw both versions of the Flight of the Phoenix models in a box at a club meeting a couple of weeks ago. They were from the collection of one of our members, Fred Harris who passed away recently.

 

It is interesting to see the planes elicit so much interest to be the subject of so many modeller's scratchbuild projects. I was slightly tempted to pickup Fred's planes while they were being given away however I already have a display shortage so passed it up. The models still looked good though they are in need of some repairs.

 

Good luck with your build!

 

Cheers

 

Michael

Edited by Michael louey
Avoiding confusion for the thread

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5 hours ago, Michael louey said:

Hello Moa,

 

I saw Mike's build earlier this week and noted this new post with interest. One of the reasons for this was that I recently saw both versions of the Flight of the Phoenix models in a box at a club meeting a couple of weeks ago. They were from the collection of one of our members, Fred Harris who passed away recently.

 

It is interesting to see the planes elicit so much interest to be the subject of so many modeller's scratchbuild projects. I was slightly tempted to pickup Fred's planes while they were being given away however I already have a display shortage so passed it up. The models still looked good though they are in need of some repairs.

 

Good luck with your build!

 

Cheers

 

Michael

Hi Michael

I have seen on the Net also scale paper models of them, and even flying models, definitely modelers like them! As the "designer" in the movie eventually happens to be a flying models designer, it has that added interest to me, since I also make flying models and long ago designed a couple.

In a way, is a borderline fantasy plane, but the fact that there was a real flying plane in the movie, sort of grants permission to build a scale model of it.

Thanks for the added information and your interest.

Cheers

Edited by Moa

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I took apart C-45 and T-6 models of my own a few months ago to build a model of the flying prop, and gathered quite a few other parts to help. Unfortunately after we moved house my mojo seems to have vanished (or stayed at the old place) so the Phoenix hasn't seen the light of day for quite a while. As a result I'm very excited to see that you're about to embark on the same project. Wonderful!

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7 hours ago, k5054nz said:

took apart C-45 and T-6 models of my own a few months ago to build a model of the flying prop, and gathered quite a few other parts to help. Unfortunately after we moved house my mojo seems to have vanished (or stayed at the old place) so the Phoenix hasn't seen the light of day for quite a while. As a result I'm very excited to see that you're about to embark on the same project. Wonderful!

HI Zac

The legend tells us that the Phoenix is reborn from its own ashes.

May be if you burn the parts you have a model will appear?*

I doubt it, but as a last resource...

 

*Kids, don't do this at home

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The construction guide sketches.

They are in a state of fluxus, though, and surely will be adjusted as I build.

Another note to add to what was said above: the plane flew with both, mannequins (apparently only once, produced too much drag) and silhouetted passengers, so you have that choice too.

Early trials were made with no passengers whatsoever, so you can depict your model any way you like, and still be historically correct.

Furthermore, the plane flew with and without the red markings seen in the original movie, since it was painted in the field after a flew flights.

You need to correlate all those choices, though.

43325745574_04348ec3cb_b.jpg

 

29107498897_fff90b345c_b.jpg

 

42268675260_6ae1062720_b.jpg

 

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The tail cone structure.

This could have been solved in different ways, this is just one:

43172053295_99d3cacfa8_b.jpg

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Interior in progress:

44079336031_4cd204b9ea_b.jpg

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I said that Merlin kit would finally unhinge you and here we have the proof! :mental: I always try to tell them but do they listen? No, they always know best, they know it all and then they come crying to Martian...……….:blahblahblah:

 

Martian 👽

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Really enjoying the build-up and presentation of your researches here Moa. :thumbsup:

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2 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

I said that Merlin kit would finally unhinge you and here we have the proof! :mental: I always try to tell them but do they listen? No, they always know best, they know it all and then they come crying to Martian...……….:blahblahblah:

 

Martian 👽

What can you you do, Martian. They are only Earthlings...

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The pre-curved tailcone skin is attached to the lower spar (where the seam will be more inconspicuous). Once the cement has set, it will be wrapped around the structure, cut to fit, and glued:

IMG_7720+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

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Before gluing the remaining length of the sheet, it is wrapped around to give it the curvature with stress later while gluing:

IMG_7721.JPG

 

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Another interesting build, Moa.  

 

Dennis

 

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Nail biting time. I hope that when the bands are off and gluing is complete that it is a nice smooth cone. :waiting:

 

Stuart

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Holes are made in the front bulkhead to let the cement solvent escape:

IMG_7745+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The engine nacelles are excised:

IMG_7795+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The space is filled with styrene sheet:

IMG_7827+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 Reinforcements are glued from behind:

IMG_7826+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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The tailcone necessitated more structure, so formers were added:

IMG_7830+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7831+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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Ready to be worked on now:

IMG_7847+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7848+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Some parts are given a base color:

IMG_7849+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

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I thought that you'd already done the cone, glad you've the additional support.

Cone complete and looks rather neat...good show.

 

Stuart

 

Edited by Courageous

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The added wing sections are puttied, then sanded. The panel lines are retraced:

IMG_7858+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7859+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The interior is installed:

IMG_7860+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The tailcone glued on:

IMG_7861+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 The build so far:

IMG_7862+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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My goodness this is looking good,  As there is no C-82 Packet kit available, I would guess you will use an Italeri C-119 Flying Boxcar kit and make a new fuselage for it?   

Edited by AMB

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11 minutes ago, AMB said:

My goodness this is looking good,  As there is no C-82 Packet kit available, I would guess you will use an Italeri C-119 Flying Boxcar kit and make a new fuselage for it?   

Edited 5 minutes ago by AMB

Hi Adrian

I suggest you read the post from the beginning.

You are not the first one to get confused about the planes used in the movie (I have explained this quite a number of times by now...)

There was one "crashed" plane (the Packet, actually three of them apparently for different sequences), then the STATIC prop "made from the packet" ( a non-flying prop, made from parts of the Packet), then a flying prop, the Timm-Tallmantz Phoenix P-1 made with parts from an AT-6 Texan and a C-45 Expeditor -plus designer-made parts-, then, when it crashed, a North American O-47 was modified to (barely) resemble the other movie props.

 

 

 

 

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