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Moa

Nungesser Hydravion, Scratchbuilt 1/72

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From 2014, 5 years ago, comes this strange creature:

 

Back to weird, as it should be.

After some wandering around toying with more plane-like subjects, the usual stints and dabbling into related fields (the cars and buses), is back to the roots time.
For years all those who know me had to endure the shower of esoteric stuff upon their modeling heads. I am sure they miss it, so here it is some more of that.
There is beauty and beauty. There is the predictable, boring, repetitive beauty of the known types that have been modeling far beyond saturation, and there is the gourmet, secret pleasure of the beauty hidden in more selective subject choices. I'll just say to you, as an example of what I mean: Farman Jabiru. A subject one day I hope to honor.
Meanwhile today we gather to celebrate an even more arcane type: a winged creature born in darkness and shrouded in secrecy, but coming now to light in all its splendor, the Nungesser Hydravion.
How strange in so many ways is this apparatus, regarding not only its appearance but also its provenance. Reportedly it was created by or (more likely) made for Nungesser, the famous French pilot -although no other sources than the Gallica archives state so-. Design-wise, is of the canard type; they probably thought that if a duck floats, then a "canard" -duck, in French- configuration would be optimal (or at least safer) for a flying boat. Interestingly enough, is a tractor canard, that is, the engine "pulls" from the front of the "fuselage" and therefore does not push from behind as in other canard designs. No details other than the ones that can be surmised from the very few photos are found or provided. Nevertheless, this extremely attractive weird ugly duckling surely deserves to come to life in model form.

As usual, I started by having to draw the plans for it, very carefully studying the photos, comparing, and tracing, and erasing, and re-tracing, etc.

This bird was all wood-covered, save a panel in the upper front of the "fuselage" that looks like formed metal sheet. Window-doors with three hinges each are seen in both sides, along with profuse windowing ahead and after them. The radial engine is fixed, as one can safely assume from the exhausts connected to the cylinders and gracefully curving out and back on both sides. I had the file on this subject for years now, waiting for the odd chance that more material will be eventually revealed, and although that was the case for many of my files that sat quietly in the dark, in this case the mystery remains.

 

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From the Gallica archives:

f1.highres

 

f1.highres

 

f1.highres

 

f1.highres

 

 

 

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Fantastic!!!, It's amazing that this plane flew !!

 

nungesserha-4.jpg

Edited by spiton

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I sure hope that guy holding up the wing can walk (and run) on water!  One also wonders about the effects of spray on takeoff on the health of any boaters in front of this French delicacy's take-off run.

 

Ah, but a fine model none the less.

Edited by jeaton01

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Flipping heck, that's a thing. :unsure: Your rendition  of course is sublime. :)

Steve.

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Possibly the most absurd flying machine ever built (but I expect you’ll find something even sillier).

 

Nice model of s truly preposterous subject.

 

AW

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f1.highres

Saw this one and had to look twice, thought the building was part of the aircraft.

Outstanding build (as always).

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Very glad you included the reference pictures with this one, otherwise I was going to conclude you were having us on.  That is one weird beasty. 

 

Matt

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9 hours ago, spiton said:

Fantastic!!!, It's amazing that this plane flew !!

 

nungesserha-4.jpg

Still no evidence 😉, a thrown brick doesn't fly to, but this one seems to have actually left terra firma... so maybe all wonders left the world then...

 

either way, a beautiful piece of scratchbuilding and I love these weird flying machines getting pulled up from a far and almost completely forgotten past... Maybe a tip, for the metal plate on top, you can add the rivets/nailing by painting them. The surface can become less monotone by adding some random metal paint by brush (something like dull aluminium)

 

11 hours ago, Moa said:

as an example of what I mean: Farman Jabiru. A subject one day I hope to honor.

Had to look that one up, And now I'm wondering, the one with two or three engines?

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4 hours ago, Silenoz said:

Maybe a tip, for the metal plate on top, you can add the rivets/nailing by painting them. The surface can become less monotone by adding some random metal paint by brush (something like dull aluminium)

 

Good tip.

 

4 hours ago, Silenoz said:

And now I'm wondering, the one with two or three engines?

Can't decide, that's why I did not built it yet.

Most likely the four-engine, since it allows the cabin to be seen through the front windows.

 

Cheers

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Now that is truly...arcane. It looks like a garden summerhouse with all the leftovers of wood, those that naturally accumulate in sheds and garages, optimistically nailed onto it. It must have been pretty heavy, and it must have needed gallons of varnish to minimise the amount of water that would inevitably have soaked into the wood.

 

Your wood effect looks absolutely spot on. Cracking little model.

 

Jon

Edited by Jonners

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5 minutes ago, Jonners said:

Now that is truly...arcane. It looks like a garden summerhouse with all the leftovers of wood, those that naturally accumulate in sheds and garages, optimistically nailed onto it. It must have been pretty heavy, and it must have needed gallons of varnish to minimise the amount of water that would inevitably have soaked into the wood.

 

Your wood effect looks absolutely spot on. Cracking little model.

 

Jon

Jon, it's the boathouse and the seaplane that goes in it.

 

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Well you have shown us some extrordinary types Moa, but this one is one of the most extrordinary. A lovely set of construction photos - and the clothes peg reminds us of just how tiny tis is. Fantastic model - as per usual.

 

P

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6 minutes ago, pheonix said:

Well you have shown us some extrordinary types Moa, but this one is one of the most extrordinary. A lovely set of construction photos - and the clothes peg reminds us of just how tiny tis is. Fantastic model - as per usual.

 

P

You are very kind, P.

Cheers

 

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Remarkable little aeroplane and model! All it needs is a little potted flower in one of the windows and some curtains.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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24 minutes ago, Learstang said:

All it needs is a little potted flower in one of the windows and some curtains.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

Exactly, your typical French mansarde:

1920px-LouvreLescot.jpg

 

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I believe what you have there is a drawing of the Caproni Ca.60. Without the wings, of course

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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18 minutes ago, Learstang said:

I believe what you have there is a drawing of the Caproni Ca.60. Without the wings, of course

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

Brilliant!!!!!

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