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Ed Russell

Hillson Praga - Sheep in Wolves' Clothing!

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There have been at least two nice builds of the KP Hillson Praga kit on BM by @Moa and @Andrew.S here on BM.

There are no accessible military options but the internet says the Iranian Air Force had one. Mine is indeed a completely civilian one but somehow I don’t think Moa will completely approve!

ln early January 1942 the RAAF directed that civilian aircraft flying in Australia during wartime must be camouflaged. The camouflage appears to have been the RAAF pattern for single engine aircraft in Foliage Green, Earth Brown and Sky Blue. The normal VH- civil registration was to appear above and beneath the mainplanes and on the fuselage sides. ln addition, the directive called for the carriage of a fin flash and stripes.

Photographs show that at least one Hillson Praga was camouflaged in this way and, most conveniently, it ls VH- UXR, one of the options in the KP boxing. VH-UXR was ordered by Light Aircraft Ltd of Camden NSW and arrived in Australia in 1938. After a couple of owners in Wagga, then in Melbourne it was written off when it crashed on landing at Coode lsland, Melbourne on 11 September 1943.


It is really great that KP have brought out this kit – something different and easy to store in a collection! The kit builds up quite easily. I was inspired by the builds here but I thought it might look different (and nicer) with the entry hatch closed.











I did have a couple of problems with decals – some of the large kit registration decals folded up so much they couldn’t be saved. I printed replacements on the Alps printer.




A few notes for prospective builders

1. The Red Roo boxing includes the decals used here


and we will make available just the decal sheet when we have stock.

2. Use the large civil registrations from the kit for the wings but substitute the Medium Sea Grey ones supplied for the fuselage. Use the kit-supplied white registration and then apply the grey letters individually over the top.


3. The fin flash is evident in photos but it appears the blue and white stripes also called for were not applied.

4. There is no definitive photo extant of the upper surface but, as a guide, VH-UXQ had upper wing serials.

5. The Leo Junior artwork was applied on both sides. The Red Roo decal gives you two of  these.

6. It’s unlikely that the wings were left the varnished wood colour called for in the kit. They would not have stood up to the harsh Australian sun without a coat of aluminium dope.

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16 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

I don’t think Moa will completely approve!


Well, it's still civil...

A rose by any other name? I suppose?

I will let you get away with it just this time, Ed :shocked: :giggle:



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If you mean the heading picture, Mr JR (Jack) Pater of Melbourne. A civilian pilot, he bought the plane in July 1942 and crashed it in  Sep 1943.

The diorama base is pinched from a Bleriot XI - the pilot is Harriet Quimby, an "unintended consequence" "victim" of the Titanic...!!!

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