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Ford Flivver, Scratchbuilt 1/72nd.

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A model from 2 years ago.


Civil aviation once had the very democratic dream of providing everyone with a personal plane, as it was happening then with cars. It didn't do it off the goodness of its heart, let's be frank, it wanted to create a market -already filled with home appliances and such-.

The dream (sorry, can't help it) never "took off".

But the trend spawned a legacy of "flivver", "personal" planes, though, that make the delights of some modelers (I have built a few).

Besides the floppy beginnings of the aeronautic endeavors of the Ford company and the later success of the -copied shamelessly from Fokker and Junkers- trimotor transports, the company turned its attention to the personal market. The glossed-over figure of -ideologically very dubious- Henry Ford merits no further mention in this article, but let's start by saying that as the result of that directive Otto Koppen designed the Flivver in 1926, which was reputedly an original idea of William Stout, in charge then of the company's aviation program.

The diminutive Flivver had an Anzani of 35 hp engine, a wooden airscrew, a wide landing gear track, Gottingen 387 airfoil, and a span of 22 ft.

The Flivver came in two flavors: the first one, with an Anzani 3-cylinder engine, no dihedral and no braces, and the second one with a 2-cylinder engine, dihedral, inverted wing bracing, different tail and inset ailerons. Many other differences apply.

The first Flivver was modified a number of times (shorter ailerons, for example) and photos show changes in the engine cowling, upper fuselage and instrument panel.

As usual, if you want to build one, check your photos and written references.

Since no manufacturer wanted to kit it in 1/72 due surely to its limited bombing capacities, I decided to scratchbuild it (there is a William Bros. injected kit issued in 1/48, many times mistakenly stated as 1/72 due to its small size).

This very little model has a chubby and cutely stumpy appearance, and it wouldn't have been out of place in the comics and cartoons of the 20s and 30s. Its stance is proud, and you expect it to walk away swinging that wing to one side and the other on its short lading gear legs.

An old Aeroclub prop was used (thanks, caballero Armando!) and the adapted cylinders came originally from Matías Hagen (gracias, Mati!).

No decals for this one, since I will depict the model unmarked as it appears in trial photos with a particular prop, spoke wheels and a shorter engine cowl (and in Flight magazine, Feb. 17 1927). As explained above, the plane was modified many times, and decorations and details vary.


The Flivver is reproduced here as it appears in photos in what seems early test flights. No markings and a different fuselage top and nose than in later modifications. Photos show a spoke wheel -this model- and covered wheels -my other 1/100 model-.

The finding of the photos with the absence of markings was a blessing for me, since I did not want to publicize a brand associated with the historically glossed-over figure of Henry, whose discriminatory ideology was extremely questionable in many regards, as articles in his newspaper of the time prove.

But since the plane was the product of other minds and hands, and it is a really a cute little thing, I thought it deserved the effort of a scratchbuild, twice! since I made the 1/100 (by mistake)  and 1/72 versions.

Please don't sneeze.





































A 1/100 minime:



The dreaded bane of small models and parts:








Edited by Moa

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What a little beauty.

Please keep your build pictures coming.

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I've known of the Flivver for a long time, courtesy of Capt. W.E. Johns & Biggles, but I'd never seen a picture, or model of one, so thanks very much for completing my education.  :)

BTW the ANT-25 is a cracker.

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2 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

What a little beauty.

A little beauty indeed Moa. Didn't know how little until it was in your hand. 



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Another gem. Where you get these ideas from beats me - but please do keep them coming, they are so interesting.



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20 minutes ago, pheonix said:

Where you get these ideas from beats me

Hey P, just look behind the rows of warplanes 😉 (metaphorically speaking)

There is more to aviation....



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Now that's just cute. 

Ye Gads, it's tiny though. 

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Fantastic looking models, built the williams bros kit a few times, it's small enough in 1/48.

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