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Moa

Hansa Brandenburg W.29, Modified Eastern Express 1/72

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A build from 9 years ago:

 

It is not a common occurrence that decal makers will release options for civil machines of kits that are sold as warplanes.

When I saw the (made in Czech Republic) Rising Decals “J-Birds” sheet and a related article in the ARAWASI magazine #7 on Japanese Hansa Brandenburg W.29, I was all for it. I wish Arawasi would include more civil golden era plane content.

The acquisition of a W.29 kit proved difficult, though. The MPM, TOKO, and Eastern Express kits were not as easy to obtain as I thought. The available resin kits were not an option for my modeling budget.

Finally Steve K. kindly sent me the Eastern Express release from his stash and Christos Psarras from the soon-to-be Atlantis (Florida) helped me to get another for a future “limousine” version (this one not included in the decal sheet).

The Eastern Express (ex TOKO) kit has a reasonable level of detail. It offers two different stabilizers and two rudders. As a bonus you get a dolly and a couple of supports to prop the model “on land”. The wing-fuselage joint needs a certain amount of shaving and sanding to get it to fit, but I won’t go on describing the kit since it was already reviewed on the Net. Its nose is not applicable to the Japanese versions (which were powered by a geared Hispano Suiza) thence some nose cosmetic surgery was in order. A new radiator, firewal, support pieces and a metal cover were made .An engine was scratchbuilt too as per images. The interior was enhanced a tad adding bulkheads and some other detail parts. The kit two-blade prop was replaced by a touched-up four-blade prop from Aeroclub.

All building and accessories made, the model was painted with a whitish aluminum acrylic and Future applied in preparation for the decals.

The decals are wonderful, but bear in mind that they are thin, as good decals should be. Handle them with care and patience. I used Micro Sol and Set, but my impression is that they may not need setting solution if you apply them to a gloss surface and take care of eliminating water and bubbles. Their color is dense and not translucent at all, they are sharply defined. Two decals folded on themselves as I was trying to apply them (again, they are thin) but adding water and carefully prodding them with a toothpick straighten them out.

Be aware of the direction of the Japanese lettering, you may not notice if you put them upside-down if you don’t speak Japanese. In this case (one of the four machines you can dress with the decals) you have a couple of options regarding some small lettering. Study the provided leaflet beforehand.

After decaling assembly of the main parts ensued and details were added.

There were a number of Japanese Hansas on the civil register (J-BASL, J-BAAI, J-BAFI, etc.) and if you are interested on the type a little research will be in order.

The Hansa has indeed “character”, further enhanced by a civil registration and livery it really stands out.

Stay tuned for the “limousine” version.

(the other HB W29 is here):

 

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Scratched engine:

05.jpg

 

Modified interior:

08.jpg

 

09.jpg

 

Scratched radiator:

12.jpg

 

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Edited by Moa

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