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Around the World Pedro Zanni's Fokker C.IV, 1/72 conversions


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zannitokyo.jpg

 

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In 1924, amidst the growing fever of records that were supposed to bring individual and national prestige, Pedro Leandro Zanni, an Argentinean aviator of certain experience and mounting renown, embarked in an around-the-world flight. The endeavor, extremely daunting at the day, required needless to say serious logistic and financial support. Zanni got some official help and popular collects were organized, in order to buy two Fokker C.IV machines: a land pane christened Ciudad de Buenos Aires, and a seaplane named Provincia de Buenos Aires.

Fokker's name and the fame of his company and planes grew significantly during and after WWI, so his aircraft were almost synonym of quality and reliability.

Other Fokker C.IVs were used for reconnaissance duty, as mail planes and even for other (also failed) record attempt, like the famous Tacoma-Tokyo flight by Wark and Brown, in their beautiful red converted passenger machine.

The tale is very long, but finally Zanni, accompanied by mechanic Felipe Beltrame, started from Amsterdam (Fokker's then base) the planned flight. Under difficult conditions and with more gills than support, Zanni covered a big part of the planned route, but suffered several mishaps and accidents, some due to external conditions and perhaps some due to his eagerness to make the whole thing work, taking some risks that didn't pay off. The machines ended up incapacitated beyond repair, and since funds and support were limited, the around the world flight was cut short in Japan, where the seaplane capsized as contemporary photos show. Nevertheless Zanni was hailed as a hero, and to some extent the world press echoed his valiant efforts.

My older son and I talked about these planes as a modeling project for years, and I finally acquired two Omega Models 1/72 resin kits of the Fokker C.IV, with the idea of this joint-venture where he will model the wheel version and I the float version.

Now, Zanni's Fokkers were modified machines with somewhat extended span, a third seat behind the normal two, some changes on the nose, additional windows and other minor mods, all of which need to be translated into the models.

 

When I got the Omega Models resin kit I found it to be quite simple, even a bit Spartan perhaps. It is a correct kit but disappointingly plain (especially considering its price), for example the wings lacked any detail, no ribbing effect and not the faintest trace of scalloping on the trailing edge. Not even the prominent wing tanks engraved outlines.

The fuselage sides were equally bland. The shapes seem correct and the cast is in general clean,  with just a couple bubbles. The landing gear looks fragile and I think it is better replaced by metal. The same may apply for the struts.

All flying surfaces are attached to their casting blocks by the trailing edge, opposite to what is customary in resin castings, since it is easier to true a leading ledge than a fragile trailing edge. Why Omega Models chose to do that, I don't know, perhaps there is a good reason (to avoid bubbles? to avoid short poors?)

The feel of the kit in general is akin to a Planet Models kit, if even a bit simpler.

For the price I paid for these two kits, I would say, given the cost, that they lack finesse and detail. The same money will buy a refined kit from other manufacturers, alas yet again, this is the only Fokker C.IV in town

 

In order to convert this kit to Zanni's machines, many things need to be taken care of:

-engine was different, so the nose has to be reworked and engine detail added

-radiators were different

-wingspan needs to be extended, most likely by means of inserting a section.

-small windows need to be added on both sides of the fuselage

-a third crew position needs to be drilled on the turtledeck

-different marks need to be created

-floats need to be provided and properly rigged for the seaplane version

-a number of other small details typical of the Argentinean machines.

 

Some changes can also be seen during the short lives of the two Argentinean Fokkers, in the markings, engine piping, tankage and other details.

 

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The parts are low in count and very basic, with none or minimal surface details:

IMG_1958+%25281280x950%2529.jpg

 

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Why "glue together" these these three parts, hindering separation?

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As I was saying...an axle broke. In any case needed to be replaced by a metal pin:

IMG_1946+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

It seems the master broke and was hastily re-glued:

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A couple bubbles, present in most resin kits (but no all):

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Parts attached to the pouring block by the trailing edge?

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Zero ribbing or scalloping detail:

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No stringers for the aft fuselage nor panel lines for the front.
Plain as plain:

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I got these floats from Khe-Kha Art Products, an excellent cast with good detail that is almost perfect for the seaplane version of Zanni's land Fokker C.IV

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Edited by Moa
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Don't know how I missed the start of this thread but looks interesting, especially as their's a float plane involved. With those hefty wings and fuselage, I can understand the use of metal for the undercarriage and struts.

 

Stuart

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I gave up on buying Omega kits long ago, they are much too basic unless they are copied from somewhere to offer new versions.

 

I have no concerns at all tho that you will not master this

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1 minute ago, Moa said:

Yeap, a bit of a disappointment, I have to say.

Still, we will endeavor.

Cheers

It's a quite unfortunate tho, they have extremely interesting subjects, many obscure and hardly knows types ...

 

Cheers !

Martin

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7 minutes ago, Moa said:

Yeap, a bit of a disappointment, I have to say.

Still, we will endeavor.

Cheers

Good luck with that.......not quite the 'Merlin Models' of resin, but close !

 

Thanks for educating me on (yet) another resin marque to avoid........

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Picking up the slack on these ones. As you can see, when I purchased the models, I got two different boxes, if supposedly of the same subject. Scalemates has these two version listed, but no year is given for their release. My assumption is the smaller box is the earlier issue, as it has less parts, but see far below for a comments on the decals, that seem to contradict this:

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As I set up to clean the remaining parts in one kit and all the others of the second kit, I noticed several differences:

IMG_2451+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

These extra parts came in the bigger box (one spare set of wheels, two additional seats of different shape, an axle, two int. pans. and different main landing gear legs:

IMG_2452+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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I confirm the mediocre quality of this kit, as stated before. No surface detail whatsoever, thick casting webs in many parts, a sort of Planet Models resin feeling, but a notch below. The deck should have continued OVER the horizontal tail, not cut short as in the kit.

The crew openings are in the wrong places and should be quite ahead:

IMG_2448+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The smallest and most fragile bits are are very difficult to extract from the web. You can see the web is thicker exactly where it shouldn't, around the parts, and thinner elsewhere. The small parts on these low quality resin kits are just wishful thinking, and better replaced with scratched bits:

IMG_2449+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

You can, wasting an hour, clean them up, still they are too fragile and not very sharp:

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The bigger box (that I deemed above a later release) has laughable decals that do not have the white ink, I guess you are supposed to paint the white before applying the decals, and then match the green of the serial? RIDICULOUS!. But the bag includes clear material for the windshields. Note the black outlines, methinks not present on the original marks on the plane:

IMG_2453+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The smaller box, deemed the first release, has decals that do have the white ink, but no clear bit for the windshield. I don't care, as I am modifying these kits to my own ends, and already have the appropriate set from Arctic Decals:

IMG_2454+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The big box had an extremely hardened copper wire, almost impossible to straighten, and the small box a steel wire, straight.

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All the struttery and landing gear parts had again thick webs, are not very consistent in width, and are again too fragile and difficult to clean up. None of them can be expected to stand the loads of building and handling, as the major solid resin components are heavy, and are all better replaced with airfoiled metal -or steel/brass rod/wire faired with styrene- to obtain a teardrop or oval section as needed. Once more: for the price I paid, I expected more.

 

 

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The inaccurately smooth surface of the wings has to be detailed. Here the fuel tanks are engraved:

IMG_2456+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

There was an area of metal skin underneath too, extending to the struts:

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As explained, this variant had a larger wingspan, thus it has to be extended by the expedient of splicing additional material. I decided to use the tanks external limit as the point for the addition of two sections of about 10mm each. I did not add a 20mm in the middle before engraving, as that would had pushed the trailing edge cutout to the sides, requiring filling the area and re-shaping:

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The anchoring points of the struts will be therefore pushed outwards, so they will have to be filled in and re-drilled further inside to keep the original alignment once the additional sections are in place:

IMG_2459+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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There were two faired objects associated to the fuel system under the center section of the wing. They are prepared to be added later:

IMG_2460+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The inaccurate positions of both crew members are filled with Milliput. They will have to be relocated and re-drilled, and the third position added for this specific plane:

IMG_2461+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Courageous said:

And away we go again. Where do you find your time and energy...

 

Stuart

😄

Time/Energy/Matter= all manifestations of the same ultimately deep reality.

I just transform hours, solar energy and Argentinian asado into models.

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33 minutes ago, Courageous said:

And away we go again. Where do you find your time and energy...

 

Stuart

I suspect Moa is not one person, but a modelling collective:  Modelling Obscurity Artisans.

 

AW

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The nose has to be drilled in several places to represent features pertinent to this plane. By the way, for this engine the kit's prop is rotating the wrong way, so it has to be replaced:

IMG_2466+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

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The kit radiators, very poorly rendered, are discarded, and new ones made:

IMG_2468+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_2472+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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Love watching you work, Moa. For a kit of such ho-hum quality, the resin looks surprisingly free of pinholes. I'm getting the urge to scratch build my first sports plane just watching all this problem solving you do on every kit 🤭

 

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13 hours ago, EDCS87 said:

Love watching you work, Moa. For a kit of such ho-hum quality, the resin looks surprisingly free of pinholes. I'm getting the urge to scratch build my first sports plane just watching all this problem solving you do on every kit 🤭

 

Thanks!

There are very few pinholes, but I can see a couple of big bubbles inside the resin that I am hoping won't pop while sanding.

Regarding your project, I say give it a try, with a light heart, problem solving can be fun an entertaining. Starting simple, with achievable goals, helps.

One of my first scratchs was the Avro F, 14 years ago. It looks quite basic, poor thing, but it was the start of a long and satisfying road:

02.jpg

 

11.jpg

 

Basically an all-slab project.

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Lovely work. A nice unusual subject. Looks very like an oversized DVII. Love the Avro ( autocorrect can be weird on this thing) btw.

Edited by Marklo
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Oooooo another Moa project,  great start, although apologies for my tardiness in missing the start.   Crikey all the issues you mention although this does give you the blank canvas you need to create your masterpieces.  Love the little Avro too.

Chris

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