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Moa

HaWa F.3 cabin conversion, 1/72 Airfix

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Another "cabin" conversion of a WWI plane, from 2011, 8 years ago.

 

You may have seen before articles I posted depicting conversions that were made after 1918 to civil use of pre-existing models.

It is nice to be able to have civil options for kits that are around and mostly easy to get.

Dropping passengers instead of bombs fortunately became the thing to do for a number of planes that became the precursors of the airlines and airliners. The first ones were –as it is the case here- direct adaptations of pre-existing material to which a registration and -if you were lucky- an enclosed cabin were quickly slapped on.

If you are interested in the prolific and romantic period known as the Golden Age of Aviation... I suggest you go the library.

The venerable 1/72 Airfix Hannover CL.III kit was used as a base for the conversion. I left the kit in a drawer for some time and...there! when I opened it again the model was ready. This proves that the best way of building models is to let them build themselves.

I was told about this method (unmodeling) by Christos Psarras from Florida, so all credit goes to him.

If in spite of my selfless advise you still need to build the kit yourself, then you may start by toning down the ribbing mainly in the wings, and also a bit on the biplane stabs. Since you are at it, you may like to eliminate ribbing altogether in the center section of the upper wing, since it was plywood-covered, and on the fixed part of the lower stab. Both wings have ejector pin marks that you may like to fill and sand. The outer struts are joined by a “bridge” that has a carved counterpart on the underside of the upper wing. That is supposed to help with alignment, but I filled it in, since it detracts from the aspect of the finished surface and in my case only helped to annoy me anyway. Other parts like the landing gear legs were refined a tad, since they sport that kinda clunky look of the kits of another time.

I cut out a section on the fuselage where the passenger cabin was supposed to be and carved a plug from basswood upon which the Psychedelic Mattelation process was bestowed. Playing music from the sixties will help giving the Mattel vacuforming psychedelic machine operation some appropriate context. The vacuformed part was made of clear plastic; the windows were masked later on before painting.

The very Spartan kit interior (flat slab seat and Airfix mummies) was replaced with adequate bits: a Victrola, bar, cigar lounge, chaise longue, draperies, decorated vases, post-classical statues, Wedgwood ware, the works (not really).

The HaWa F.3 had room for two passengers, seating facing each other in true early aviation limo style (that is, imitating a coach) so they could discuss Kant and Schopenhauer comfortably.

The Hannover CL.III used an Opel Argus of 180hp, but the conversion HaWa F.3 used a Mercedes D.III of 160 hp. The Airfix kit comes of course with an Argus (or some of it, anyway) but fortunately I had a full Mercedes in the spares’ bin. A suitable exhaust was scratched for it. The stabs (upper and lower) are not connected in the HaWa F.3 by the bars that come with kit, so those were omitted. The kit, on the other hand, does not have the struts that connect the upper wing with the landing gear foremost strut.

As modelers know, to determine the exact colors of these machines is a challenging enterprise, so informed/educated guesses  have some times to be made. So far I saw images of two machines, one with the number 81 on it and one with only the manufacturer’s designation on the fuselage side. I went for the latter which also had a two-tone passengers’ cabin door. In the original some areas of the wings and tail were plywood-covered, and the lozenge was painted on instead of the pre-printed fabric used for the rest. Accordingly, those areas were painted wood color too and later lozenge decals were applied on, showing the effect of the darker areas visible in the original.

There are number of converted limousines of this type that can be modeled using existing kits with little modifications. I hope this article inspires you to attempt this line of research and building.

I would like to thank Soenke S., master of the Evil Galactic Empire. From his secret volcano lair he sent useful suggestions and data that were instrumental in the making of the model. Same thanks also go to Tracy Hancock.

If you are a learned WWI lozenge expert, prone to lengthy discussions and much pondering about the hues and shapes an number of lozenges, as we endlessly see in the pertinent forums and websites, I invite you to remain silent, which is always healthy (especially for me in this case).

 

Without much further ado, here is the cabined HaWa:

 

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Wow, what a cool little conversion - an airliner with lozenge! Looks very good. The bar would have been absolutely necessary back in those days. Lots of Schnapps would have been required before flying in one of these things - the crash rates were quite high back then. What did you use for the rigging?

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3 minutes ago, Hobo said:

Wow, what a cool little conversion - an airliner with lozenge! Looks very good. The bar would have been absolutely necessary back in those days. Lots of Schnapps would have been required before flying in one of these things - the crash rates were quite high back then. What did you use for the rigging?

Thanks Hobo.

If I recall correctly for the rigging I used black-stained (Sharpie) monofilament line (invisible thread bought at Michael's craft store, again if memory serves).

I sometimes use thin metal wire (the recently-finished LVG, for example) or ceramic "wire".

Regarding the lozenge after the war many planes were impressed into civil service, as passenger and mail carriers, most of them conserved the lozenge, and many even the wartime marks. As time went by and the economy improved, some were painted, re-covered, or just made new.

Another example of left-over lozenge can be seen in this model I made time ago of the Zeppelin Staaken, a plane that wasn't a war relic, but was made new with was available in the hangar:

 

Cheers

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Another type which is new to me. I am familiar with the Airfix kit as I remember building it when it was originally released and hand painted the lozenge....! That is a beautiful conversion, and by the look of your construction photos, relatively straightforward.

 

P

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Moa, thanks for proving that an airplane can be “cool” even if it doesn`t carry guns, bombs, and missiles.  

 

Kudos on the outstanding result!!! 👍

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1 hour ago, pheonix said:

Another type which is new to me. I am familiar with the Airfix kit as I remember building it when it was originally released and hand painted the lozenge....! That is a beautiful conversion, and by the look of your construction photos, relatively straightforward.

 

P

Hi P

It wasn't as you point out a laborious conversion at all.

You painted the lozenge by hand????

We lost many a good modeler collapsing in the middle of that endeavour!

Glad you survived!

Cheers

 

28 minutes ago, Sky Keg said:

Moa, thanks for proving that an airplane can be “cool” even if it doesn`t carry guns, bombs, and missiles.  

 

Kudos on the outstanding result!!! 👍

You are most welcome, Sky Keg!

👍

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Moa,

 

I also painted by hand an Airfix Allbatros D V as flown by Lt von Hippel (who was killed whne his wings fell away when he entered a steep dive). I will post some photos in the RFI section: I know that you do not like military aircraft but you may just like to see my handiwork from over 4 decades ago.... I also mixed some of the colours but I did not paint on the rib tapes - that was one set of brush strokes too far.

 

P

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12 hours ago, pheonix said:

I will post some photos in the RFI section: I know that you do not like military aircraft but you may just like to see my handiwork from over 4 decades ago.... I also mixed some of the colours but I did not paint on the rib tapes - that was one set of brush strokes too far.

 

P

I would definitely like to see that!

Cheers

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15 hours ago, pheonix said:

Moa,

 

I also painted by hand an Airfix Allbatros D V as flown by Lt von Hippel (who was killed whne his wings fell away when he entered a steep dive). I will post some photos in the RFI section: I know that you do not like military aircraft but you may just like to see my handiwork from over 4 decades ago.... I also mixed some of the colours but I did not paint on the rib tapes - that was one set of brush strokes too far.

 

P

I just saw it, great model, P!

You have the patience of a saint.

Saint Lozenge of Maidstone, we shall call you.

Cheers

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That's a sporty-looking Hannover, Moa! Nice model!

Mike

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Posted (edited)

That is a little beauty. Well done. I really like the form and the finish is fantastic.

Edited by Greg Law

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11 hours ago, Moa said:

I just saw it, great model, P!

You have the patience of a saint.

Saint Lozenge of Maidstone, we shall call you.

Cheers

You are very kind Moa.

I am not sure that my wife and friends would regard me as a saint however!!

 

P

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