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Moa

Junkers Ju-52 Aeroposta Argentina, Italeri 1/72 conversion

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Long ago, my older son, also a modeler (and a very good one, not that I am his father) built an Aeroposta Argentina civil passenger plane based on the Italeri kit and dedicated the build to me when he posted it on a known modeling site. Now it's time for me to build another and dedicate it to him!

I have been always fascinated by the role of Aeropostale and Aeroposta in Argentinean aviation, where the names of Saint-Exupery, Guillaumet, and Mermoz , together with local heroes, stand prominently.

One of the machines used by Aeroposta, most noticeably in the southern routes to and from frigid Patagonia, is the civil version of the Junkers Ju/52m (mainly "ge" machines). I always steer clear of the nauseating nazi symbols, so this is a good opportunity to redeem this machine with a much better meaning and story.

 

Some photographic references exist covering 5 machines:

Tierra del Fuego

Ibaté

Pampa

Quichua

Patagonia.

 

I base my conversion on the Italeri civil issue of this kit. Whilst others exist (Heller, Airfix, Revell re-issue) all have their particular quirks.

The Italeri civil version kit, if lacking in some areas, at least had the aft fuselage gun position deleted and the pants, plus a full civil interior.

Looking at photos it's evident that the different machines listed above changed a bit during their lives, and differed among themselves in some details. I did not want to have to deal with too many changes, so I leaned towards the machines that do not need new cowls, props, or engines (some received at some point P&W or Wright engines, three-blade props,  and different cowls).

Other details to consider are:

-number of oil cooler "tubes", grouped under each engine either in twos or threes, and some times mixed installations.

-wheel pant decoration, which varied (and pants sometimes were removed).

-Presence of a door on the nose, right fuselage side, immediately after the cockpit, absent in the kit.

-deletion of big cargo door on the right fuselage side, present in the kit.

-possible addition of two barely visible hatches after the cabin, both sides (one is marked on the kit from inside, the right hand-side one.

 

At some point, to my immense joy, I realized something very interesting that I have never seen in any artwork, or plans: since these planes operated in bad weather and an awful number of times in snow or snowed territory, some paint schemes include a high-vis color on top of wings and stabs. I deem that color orange, as per well known practices. Only few photos show this scheme, but they do it very clearly.

All planes had the rudder painted with the Argentinean flag colors, but many times the rest was left on bare metal (besides company marks and registration). Some photos show a machine with the typical "curvy and pointy" ex-Lufthansa black nose and engines.

I was elated as said with that discovery, and as photographic evidence started to confirm it, I ordered as said the Italeri kit.

Upon getting the kit It was immediately obvious that, if some efforts were done to produce this "civil" version, said efforts were a bit lazy, half-hearted and ill-informed.

The list is long, so do your own research looking at photos (NOT only at drawings, side views and the like, many times inaccurate) and compare your kit with the desired machine, as I did.

Italeri provides in the sprues two alternate parts for the cargo area, one of which would be pertinent (the two-window one) IF the corrugations would match those of the fuselage. What a blunder, so much for a seamless transition.

Now, as we all know, replicating corrugations is not easy but certainly can be done, but I don't want to spend the time, so I just ordered another kit to cut a piece of the fuselage and splice it to the first one, plus need more cannibalized surface to make the front door to the right, shamelessly absent form the kit and present in all civil versions I have photos of. Failed on homework, Italeri! But both kits were inexpensive, being old issues an second hand.

There is small hatch (molded from inside in the kit) that you could cut open. In one photo that hatch can be seen removed (which I may replicate). Photos show a second hatch to the left, absent from the kit, but present in company's drawings.

 

So, changes needed for ALL five AEROPOSTA machines:

-Delete large cargo door on right fus. fixing the inaccurate corrugations on kit part.

-Need to add the front fuselage door on the right side, right behind the cockpit.

The passenger door is as per the kit, no problem here.

Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia and Pampa had the Argentinean flag along fin and rudder

Quichua and Ibaté only on the rudder

 

And individually

Tierra del Fuego:

Scheme a)

Engines and cowls as per kit, 3-3-3 oil coolers, plain aluminium.

Scheme b)

Painted on high-vis:  2-3-2 oil coolers, new PW engines and cowls, no wheel spats, new Hamilton Std. three-blade prop with spinner,

 

Quichua:

High-vis, 2-2-2, double line pants, need to change the 3 cowls to Townend rings.

 

Patagonia:

1) cowls/props as per kit, 3-3-3,  inverted light color single triangle on spats, curvy and pointy black (Lufthansa style) decoration on nose and engines,

2) No colors on fuselage, double line spat.

 

Pampa:

1) cowls/props as per kit , 3-3-3 oil coolers, no decoration (plain aluminium).

2) high-vis decor, double line spats.

 

Ibaté:

1) High-vis, 2-2-2 oil coolers, double-line spats, same scheme with and without engine shields.

 

Of these the one that I may be modeling is Ibaté, which had a crippling emergency landing on very bad weather and snow. The passengers, fortunately only a bit shaken (but including women and children) had to wait four days to be rescued by a walking party, and walk many kilometers on thick snow to get horses, and then ride some more, while another plane (Quichua) dropped some supplies. The story is long and fascinating.

May be I will translate it if I have the time.

 

Do not blindly trust the side views or 3 views you may see of the planes cited above. If no doubt well-meant and the work of love of someone that cared, most contain inaccuracies. Look at photos, as much as you can find, of the machine you intend to replicate, and start to take notes.

 

Argentina had of course other Junkers Ju-52 used by LADE (Líneas Aéreas del Estado) and for other purposes, among them cropdusting by the Ministry of Agriculture (and Silly Walks). Many other Latin American countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, etc.) had a number too.

 

The kit's fuselage sides, with the problems explained above:

33774802538_c489d21bf8_b.jpg

 

Different corrugation pattern, inaccurate for these Junkers:

33774802418_264b56e281_b.jpg

 

Front door inexplicably absent from kit:

47652365431_a36839c956_b.jpg

 

This hatch may me opened:

33774801898_c28fa1cc72_b.jpg

 

Look, mom, no gun position!:

47652365871_7e8a5cdf82_b.jpg

 

But instead a sink mark!:

47652365601_3cc8b30746_b.jpg

 

Caused by Italeri leaving the gun position paraphernalia inside:

33774801958_214f435352_b.jpg

 

Parts for the seats provided:

33774802218_7f1df2416f_b.jpg

 

And other nice details (aft bulkhead with folded seat, a bit different on the planes listed above). I will open that door that leads...yes! to the restroom. Toilet, here we come!:

33774802138_dab73146ee_b.jpg

 

Two cabin floors, in this case of course the one with the seat recesses is the one to use. Now, some civil Junkers had the seats pointing slightly inwards, so which is the case with Aeroposta?

Don't miss the next episode!:

33774801648_af6c5c72f3_b.jpg

 

 

 

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I think I shall follow this!

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What is this? A REAL airplane? I am impressed! Can't wait to see what the scheme will look like. (Will it have a men's and women's lavatory? Just detecting a theme here.) International orange conspicuity areas, like the Boeing  and Sikorsky Clippers?

Mike

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1 hour ago, 72modeler said:

What is this? A REAL airplane? I am impressed! Can't wait to see what the scheme will look like. (Will it have a men's and women's lavatory? Just detecting a theme here.) International orange conspicuity areas, like the Boeing  and Sikorsky Clippers?

Mike

The orange areas are not in fact areas, the plane had the color applied on all the upper surfaces of the wings -including the upper sides of the cowls- and horizontal tail, plus the area normally associated with anti-glare paint at the front of the cockpit and upper central cowl.

On the cowls the colored area is bordered by a black line.

The planes so painted also had other paint schemes at other times in their lives, but this is the one that interests me, I think it will make for a very bright Junk. I saw the nice effect or orange and metal on my Earhart Lockheed and loved it:

Plus some of the regs on these Junkers were blue! (Patagonia and Pampa changed the regs. and company lettering color from blue to black, adding quotations marks on the name (i.e. "PATAGONIA", "PAMPA", instead of PATAGONIA and PAMPA)

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Naturally, with "used" kits, you run some risks, and some times you get missing parts, or broken ones, as in this case:

47601299812_231ec6d5dd_b.jpg

 

Gluing this one:

46738451625_b71be32efd_b.jpg

 

33776670848_8e5448cf70_b.jpg

 

Fortune smiled and some bits were still in the box, loose without a plastic sleeve, and miraculously there:

46930192534_66a2bd3ac8_b.jpg

 

But others I had to fabricate:

47601299732_a6507685fb_b.jpg

 

46930192464_6dc2c199b1_b.jpg

 

Four aileron/flap supports were missing from the wing, all were eventually found and glued in place, with high magnification to find out which one belonged where. Very entertaining I can assure you.

Two rudder supports and a few parts completed the casualties, all restored.

 

Yeap, you save some dollars (or blue tigers or whatever is the currency in your corner of the galaxy*) but you spend some time fixing things.

 

*Martians as we know use as currency potatoes cultivated with some dubious methods.

 

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A few parts repaired, and the rest separated from the sprues and cleaned up, leaving the minute ones still attached:

47654386621_e6c7250541_b.jpg

 

Some pesky ejector pin marks are puttied:

47654386561_7a53b93915_b.jpg

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Moa said:

 

*Martians as we know use as currency potatoes cultivated with some dubious methods.

 

 

I grow some spuds, up here, in The Butt-crack Of Western Civilization. Do you think The Martian would be open to trade?

 

33777059188_29b61a5e7a_b.jpg

 

 

Chris

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28 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

 

I grow some spuds, up here, in The Butt-crack Of Western Civilization. Do you think The Martian would be open to trade?

 

33777059188_29b61a5e7a_b.jpg

 

 

Chris

Confusticate the Martian, my younger son also grows potatoes in...(if you think that's the Butt's-crack... there is no map of where he is)

His are more valuable than gold.

47601856122_423c347a3a_c.jpg

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Which of the 5 Ju 52s named on the original post was the ones at Morón? I know it was sent to Río Cuarto for restoration.

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1 hour ago, Sturmovik said:

Which of the 5 Ju 52s named on the original post was the ones at Morón? I know it was sent to Río Cuarto for restoration.

I think that none of the ones I named is the one you mention (I surmise that you are referring to a machine preserved for historical reasons at Morón).

Most likely it is one of the other Junkers, operated by LADE or the Ministerio de Agricultura de la Nación.

 

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The potato went out of circulation as legal tender some time ago. This was due to people just rowing some more cash when they were a bit skint, which led to hyper-inflation. Mars is now tied to the Flanian Pobblebead.

 

Martian 👽

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18 hours ago, Moa said:

*Martians as we know use as currency potatoes cultivated with some dubious methods

I see- I thought they used them to make vodka...cheapskates that they are!😜 BTW, your build is coming right along- going to dwarf all those teensy weensy scratchbuilds in your display case, but I guess several will fit under the wings when you're finished!

Mike

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12 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

The potato went out of circulation as legal tender some time ago. This was due to people just rowing some more cash when they were a bit skint, which led to hyper-inflation. Mars is now tied to the Flanian Pobblebead.

 

Martian 👽

 

Dang! First Bitcoin, now Martian potatoes. I keep missing all the get-rich-quick things. Maybe I'll just grow more cabbage this year.

 

46744580285_f812412a26_b.jpg

 

 

Chris

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2 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

 

Dang! First Bitcoin, now Martian potatoes. I keep missing all the get-rich-quick things. Maybe I'll just grow more cabbage this year.

 

46744580285_f812412a26_b.jpg

 

 

Chris

Nah! The galactic banks don't deal in fiddling small change anymore.

 

Martian 👽

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29 minutes ago, Martian Hale said:

Nah! The galactic banks don't deal in fiddling small change anymore.

 

Martian 👽

 

I've got a cat. Is that worth anything?

 

 

Chris

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4 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

 

I've got a cat. Is that worth anything?

 

 

Chris

Depends on how cute it is.

 

Martian 👽

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The control wheel is repaired. First a coil is made:

IMG_3416+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Then a brace added and a section of the coil glued:

IMG_3417+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The hatch that goes to a cargo hold is removed:

IMG_3418+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The door is removed from the aft bulkhead and it's glued in place:

IMG_3419+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Some cockpit parts are glued in place. The bathroom and cargo separations are made and glued:

IMG_3420+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 These need removal:

IMG_3421+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

There

IMG_3424+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The fin in the real plane had a visible offset, so it´s removed:

IMG_3422+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

It will later be re-glued in place at the right angle:

IMG_3423+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dogsbody said:

Dang! First Bitcoin, now Martian potatoes. I keep missing all the get-rich-quick things. Maybe I'll just grow more cabbage this year.

 

27 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

I've got a cat. Is that worth anything?

 

1 hour ago, dogsbody said:

Mars is now tied to the Flanian Pobblebead.

 

Há!

None of you will out-biocurrency me!

My kumquat chutney is the only legal tender in the Mondoshawan world, and Leeloo loves it! (and I love Leeloo, must confess):

40694251573_3e8a548531_b.jpg

 

47607954302_48532fca3b_b.jpg

 

32718138767_319d433e5b_b.jpg

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36 minutes ago, Martian Hale said:

Depends on how cute it is.

 

Martian 👽

 

Please meet Muppet.

 

46936843924_ca687ce38f_b.jpg

 

 

 

Chris

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1 hour ago, dogsbody said:

 

Please meet Muppet.

 

46936843924_ca687ce38f_b.jpg

 

 

 

Chris

Is it edible?

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7 minutes ago, Moa said:

Is it edible?

 

Probably not, except as a last, and I mean very last, resort.

 

 

Chris

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Now it's time to separate and clean the seat structures:

IMG_3425+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

And assemble them:

IMG_3426+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

I am starting to believe that producing a good set of kit instructions is a superhuman endeavor, judging from the number of invariably messed-up sets that populate the kit industry.
The instructions tell you to put the corrugated side of the cargo door towards the inside, and don't advise you to drill locating holes where needed.

IMG_3427+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_3428+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Elbows made on sprue rod:

IMG_3429+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Cut at an angle to produce a teardrop part:

IMG_3430+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Refine the parts:
IMG_3431+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Once glued in place a locating hole can be drilled. A more accurate and firm anchoring, don't you think?

IMG_3433+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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2 hours ago, dogsbody said:

 

Please meet Muppet.

 

46936843924_ca687ce38f_b.jpg

 

 

 

Chris

That's pretty high on the cute scale! Whatever did the poor mite do to deserve the name Muppet?

 

Martian 👽

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