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Michel Detroyat Morane Saulnier M.S.230 conversion. Heller 1/72 half-scratch

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A build from 6 years ago:


One of the many version of this particular machine, which was heavily campaigned in the airshow circuits.
Study your photos if you are thinking of building one, many details varied from season to season, and there are other equally attractive livery options.

Call me Francophile. I have a soft spot for Heller kits, which were a big part of my modeling endeavors during my childhood and beyond in Argentina. Subtler than the contemporary Airfix*, more refined and not has heavily handed. I have built a good number of them, and still find them charming. Their fit is far superior than many contemporary kits of the short-run type of course and some of the normal injected type.

To add to that, I feel a mischievous pleasure in transforming a war machine to a civil one, so I got this kit from my usual supplier, who we’ll call Xtmos from Florida in order not to reveal his true modeling Super-Hero identity.
For those interested there is Smer re-pop that even has (here sounds of trumpets...) a different civil livery! so you do not have to modify anything.
As soon as I opened the vintage box I noticed a strange, although somehow familiar deformed object with a green hue....yes! that mini-bottle of glue! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! By now, the substance had mutated into some glow-in-the-dark, kryptonite-like scary thing! I called my Hazmat team, which is composed of the minute Preiser figures that were sent to me by the Evil Genius Sönke Schulz, who lives inside his Volkano lair. Once the Preiser figures, under the stern command of Helga, cleared the kit box of any hazards, I started to study the parts for the conversion. As you will see in the photos, the ailerons follow the French secret technology of “now you see’em, now you don’t”, so you have to engrave their separation line on the underside of the bottom half of the wing.

The wing's central area has to be "filled-up", since the aerobatic machine did not have the same cut-out as the series plane. The stab has a different outline at the tips and the control surfaces are dynamically balanced. There is a headrest and a different windshield, plus two windows where the fore position used to be, and no instruments’ protuberances -as depicted in the kit- on the upper deck. I found an article advising to correct the rudder profile (which may be too small in the kit) and will have to provide, in order to replicate my subject, a new cowl, LG legs, modified upper fuselage deck, home-made decals and some other minor details; among them the removal of a sort of tab/footrest on the mid left fuselage side.

My intended subject is the aerobatic Michel Detroyat MS-230 in its flashy red/white/black livery. There are many potential civil subjects for the Heller M.S.-230 kit, but most would imply designing and printing white decals which I can’t, since I do not posses and ALPS printer.
F-AJTP, my subject, appears in photos -depending on the time they were taken- in slightly different schemes. I counted five so far. Check your photos carefully. The wheels have pants on most of them, but not all.

Heller’s instructions on my vintage kit have some spots where the “Instruction stupidity" syndrome clearly shows. The most glaring area is the depiction of the cabane struts’ positions. Why, my dear fellow modeler, manufacturers represent small areas with even smaller drawings? Why the exact location of the parts is as mysterious as the location of the Holy Grail?


*Oh, my, would I be now expelled from Britmodeller?
















































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Simply beautiful!


Some interesting comments on the Heller kit - quite amazing that this kit has been around for several decades and yet I had never heard that before. 





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8 hours ago, Moa said:

*Oh, my, would I be now expelled from Britmodeller?

We'll let you off with a warning as it's a first offence. ⚠️


8 hours ago, Moa said:

Call me Francophile

That's more likely to get you banned! :nono:



Beautiful model and that's an exceptionally nice paint scheme.

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Very nice looking a civvie MS 230! A single seater, moreover...

Perfect results as always.


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A beautiful model - as always, and a very interesting background. Thanks too for the build photos - always useful for us scratchbuilders.

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1 hour ago, Courageous said:

Lovely paint scheme. Do Base do you use with your reds?



White, Stuart, otherwise is very difficult to render a bright red. It'll work on aluminium too (I will be doing that on the RWD-8 I am building now)

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Superlative work as usual.

I'm sure there would be plenty of protest from the rest of us at any suggestion of being banned from Britmodeller!  LOL:winkgrin:

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