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Focke Wulf F19a "Ente", 1/72nd Planet Models resin, with tweaks


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In a very welcome turn from its usual choices, some years ago Planet Models released a number of civil kits, of which I have built these delightful Focke Wulf A.16 and Monocoupe:

 

 

 

I have also acquired their Lockheed Air Express, their passenger-carrying Messerschmitt M.20b-2 and their Focke Wulf F.19 "Ente" (Duck, or "canard" -French in turn for duck- as the configuration is mostly known), the type that occupies our attention today.

 

It makes me smile that many modelers and aviation enthusiasts find the Ente and similar planes "weird", when the truth is that the canard formula was prevalent at the beginnings of aviation, and even today is used with some frequency (Rutan's designs, Saab Viggen, JAS 39 Grippen, XB70 Valkyrie, Dassault Rafale, among many others).

Here is one example of a "Gee Bee" "ente":

 

For years I have been gathering reference material on the F.W. Ente, feeling attracted to its unusual, yet elegant lines.

There were two Entes, 19 and 19a. In the earlier 19 the support that holds the fore plane was slim and completely faired. In the 19a that support changed into a complex multi-member exposed cabane structure. The 19a had added downward-pointing vertical "fins" on the main wing. They had different propellers and engines (Siemens SH11 the 19 and SH 14 in the 19a), as well as changes in color in the metal surfaces and in the marks applied.

The 19 flew in 1927, eventually killing its pilot, non other than Georg Wulf, one of the founders of the firm.

The 19a flew in 1930.

 

You may find of interest this downloadable NACA pdfs on the type:

19:

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930090641.pdf

19a:

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930090260.pdf

And here is a link to a newsreel, courtesy of Getty Images, showing the -predictably- so called "tail first" aircraft:

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/coming-or-going-kent-eng-the-vice-versa-bird-visiting-news-footage/1080308752

An excellent reference in the very interesting and well-informed German ADL site (in German, unfortunately):

https://adl-luftfahrthistorik.de/dok/focke-wulf-f-19-ente-entenflugzeug.pdf

This same article can be found at Jet&Prop 3/02

There is such an abundance of readily available reference material and photos on the Net that ignorance while building this kit is inexcusable.

Kits in 1/72 have been previously released by Lüdemann (resin) and Airmodel (Vac+resin).

I have not seen them first hand, so I can't comment on their particularities.

 

A number of modelers feel certain reluctance to build resin kits, being that because of the general lack of locking devices, the annoying pouring blocks and casting webs many parts come with or in, the toxicity of the dust produced during sanding, the fact that there is little or no adjustment time if using CA glue, their dislike of the alternative (for certain parts): epoxy, or just because their price tends to be high due to different fabrication processes (that is more of the manual type).

I have built a large number of them, as well as vacs, so to me they are, in a way, the same.

As there are differences between injected plastic kits, there are also differences between resin kits. Some are despicable blobs full of blemishes and air bubbles, bent parts and dubious shapes, and some are exquisitely mastered and cast.

Personally, I find Planet Models kits somewhere in the middle-upper range. They are not subtle or have delicate detail, they feel -and are- chunky and heavy, but they can render a nice replica with a bit of care.

 

Planet Models' Ente is not a new kit, I believe it was released about 2005, so it has certain things that will need correction, if you are the type that takes pleasure in provide some fair degree of accuracy to your models.

The kit has been reviewed in the Flugzeuge-Modell Journal (3/2007) where the reviewer points out to a few areas that need care, and builds a magnificent model, but, as usual, read everything, but trust only photos of the original.

 

IMG_6988+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Contents. I got a brochure from CMK, product no doubt of the convoluted relationships between companies in Eastern Europe.

I have some times bought a kit that in the box showed one brand, had in the sprues stamped a different one, and yet had another logo on the instructions.

IMG_6988b+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

 

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Material is provided for you to cut your own clear parts:

IMG_6989+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The surface detail:

IMG_6990+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 The rattling bag of delicate parts, what could possibly go wrong:

IMG_6991+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The parts still with their pouring blocks:

IMG_7007+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The "curly" detail parts for the foreplane are not very accurate, more on that later:

IMG_7008+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Other detail parts (rudder pedals, control column, inst. panel):

IMG_7010+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Some of the more delicate bits broke apart:

IMG_7011+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

 

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Fortunately, after cleaning up, no banana fuselages "a la Dujin", but the nose wheel well will need correction (more on that later):

IMG_7012+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

All parts separated form their pouring blocks and cleaned up:

IMG_7013+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Substitution of some not so good items begins:

IMG_7014+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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Notice something?

IMG_7015+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 Do you notice it now?

IMG_7016+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The two issues are now fixed: hole for one of the the struts in the proper side, and replacement of weak resin axle for a metal pin:

IMG_7017+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The mudguards were a bit chunky to my taste, so new ones are vac-formed over slightly bigger wheels:

IMG_7019+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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The first thing I do before starting to build a model is checking the kit against references.

I don't do that in the spirit of trying to find faults or defects, which I find rather mean, petty, and quite sad, but in the spirit of finding the truth, of discovery, for the pleasure of research, and the joy of encountering things that have been not spotted yet, and, if applicable, use them to make the model more accurate.

In this case, again to my joy, I have found so far three things:

a) There was a legend ("Focke-Wulf") painted on the belly of the plane at some point

b) The nose wheel well was not the shape described in all 3-views and the kit, but a rather nice complex shape that allowed the wheel to transit its arch (its movement was linked to the rudder)

c) All renditions that I have seen so far of the details on the fore wing were not really accurate.

 

The kit's wheel well box and a drawing of how it should be. The wheel was braced by two forks, not one as in the kit:

IMG_7018+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Nose+wheel+well.jpg

 

The "Focke-Wulf" legend on the belly, that I have never seen described or added to plans anywhere:

Focke-Wulf.jpg

 

The detail on the foreplane:

Foreplane+detail.jpg

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39 minutes ago, Greg Law said:

This will be an interesting build Moa. I will keep an eye on it.

You are welcome anytime, Greg

Cheers

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A thorough wash with mild detergent and lukewarm water. In the past I learned that resin kits have a persistent mold-release agent:

IMG_7020+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 It would have been smarter if Planet would have integrated that bit of rudder with the rudder:
IMG_7021+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The bits are separated:

IMG_7022+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Then glued together and in turn glued to the rudder, where they can be later blended-in much comfortably:

IMG_7023+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

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Helping the manufacturers:

Many times, for whatever reasons, manufacturers can't get all the details, and occasionally make some mistakes.

They can't do everything for us, so we are left with the task of doing some checking and refining.

Many of us are just content (and nothing is wrong with that) with building the kit as it comes and just enjoy the assembly. Others like to go a bit deeper and enjoy research and adding a thing or two.

Do as you please, and have fun, whichever way is your way.

I personally enjoy finding details and correcting things a bit, when and where it seems appropriate (and fun).

-The wheel caps had two small holes (the kit's wheels have none)

-The kit is missing what looks like little vertical fairings covering instruments (mirrors?) for the pilot to see, ahead of the pilot and to the sides of the windshield

-There were louvers on the engine fairings, absent on the kit

-The very small clear areas ahead of the pax windows could use some little enlargement

-There are no indications on the kit for the wing tip nav lights, seen in photos

-The kit has as surface detail in the fuselage properly scaled pane lines and small rivets.

But, if it is correct that the areas depicted were aluminium panels, rivets can be seen in photos only on the nose tip and on the metal-covered areas behind the engines. Other areas, even in good photos, don't show any rivet detail that I can see (but may be it was there). So do not exaggerate that detail! do not apply black washes! subtle is good!

-Apparently there are no photos of the cabin interior, but it is known that it followed the one on the Focke-Wulf A16 (as did the wings), that is: three passenger wicker seats in a limousine configuration, i.e.: one with its back to the front bulkhead leaving room for access through the door, and two side-to-side in the back, facing forward.

-A Venturi can be seen in photos under the left wing, between the engine and the vane

-Planet located the fuel caps on the exterior of the wing fuel tanks, but they are on the interior side (see photo)

-Planet missed the metal panels on the wings above the engines, which have noticeable access round holes (see photo)

-The exit of the rudder cables is asymmetric (see photo)

IMG_7024+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7025+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

It beats me that all those details can be realized by merely doing a good Internet search and looking at the available photos online. And yet, little attention is paid to them.
 

 

 

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Now that I am familiarized with the parts, I would like to mention that the casting looks very good in the sense that I have found no bubbles or unsightly excrescences, or any deformities.

My only nitpicking is that the wings could perhaps use a bit more washout, which was pronounced on the Ente.

 

I struggled to decide if opening the door or not,

IMG_7027+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

but at the end sanity prevailed...and I opened the door:

IMG_7028+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

 

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Next was to correct the too small little windows.

(It is worth noting that as just built and flown the Ente did not have those little windows).
In the case of the left fuselage that small window was entirely misplaced. The pencil mark shows where it should be:

IMG_7029+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

The right-side fuselage small window is enlarged:

IMG_7030+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

New little window in place:

IMG_7031+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Inaccurate one plugged:

IMG_7032+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

And now...
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM...
Planet has the windows not aligned, being the right-side fuselage ones too far ahead:

IMG_7033+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

IMG_7036+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Which produces this:

IMG_7034+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

Now, I immediately went back to my references and checked all photos and clips that show the plane from the side, and I can see that, opposite to what the kit features, they windows are aligned, which also makes sense structurally.
So, what do we do now...

 

 

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I guess its out plastic card, super goo and baking soda time. Been there myself more times than I care to remember.

 

Helpful of Mars 👽

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Both sides are actually a bit displaced, but it's easier to fix the left fuselage side:

IMG_7037+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

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Regarding the above:

One thing about references is that you should read them all, not selectively.

If I would have really read the Jet & Prop magazine article I cited at the beginning, I would have realized that the modeler had exactly the same issue.

Live and learn, but also good ole read and learn.

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The frames are restored with thin styrene strip, and the small window is relocated:

IMG_7039+%25281280x960%2529.jpg

 

No little matter this blatant inaccuracy of the kit, but fortunately relatively easily* corrected.

 

*three adverbs of manner in a row!

 

 

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Lovely subject, way to plumb the depths of wierd Moa :)I'm presuming that it's of interwar vintage.. You do wonder how the FW design team became so conventional given these early designs ( which I had hithertofore been completely unaware of)

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3 hours ago, billn53 said:

I’m with Marklo... where do you find these whacky aeroplanes?  And, what were the designers thinking?

The designers were thinking absolutely all right, as proved by so many successful canards, including those cited above in post #1, and so many other modern planes.

I am always intrigued by the strange psychological denial mechanism that makes people that love (and should know) aviation, mistrust anything that doesn't look like a totally bland Mustang, Zero, Spitfire and the like.

It´s like thinking that all sea life should look like a herring.

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I’m with Moa I think Britmodeller should have a ban on any type that they made more than 100 of ( although I do occasionally build some of them) I despair ( ok maybe too strong) but at least am disappointed at every new Spitfire, Mustang( with the exception of the Lopez hope build where they’re doing amazing work, and of course my Israeli one :) )  me 109 build.

 

As a modeller I’ve always liked the unusual  even when I used to specialise in Luftwaffe types I built 109H s and avia 199s. These days I tend to mostly favour the eclectic or at least less mainstream.

 

As an engineer where I’m always being told to think outside of the box I love the quirky one offs. But over the course of my career it’s apparent that even in R&D groups industry is inherently conservative.  A lot of the radical thinking in aviation was borne out of necessity e.g. the 1945 emergency fighter program arguably  fuelled developments for the next 10 to 20 years and came about because conventional types weren’t keeping up with the allies and weren’t efficient to manufacture. ( sorry to cite a military example Moa)

 

So there you go; my idea for the moderators split work in progress into mass production types ( more than 100 built) and everything else :) 

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Each to his or her own, I say.  After all, taking the Marklo “fewer than 100” rule to its logical extreme would mean that we had a forum full of ‘Luft 46’ paper aircraft that were never built and/or never flew (and in some cases - yes, I am looking at you, Herr Triebflügel - never could have flown remotely safely as depicted).  At which point I’d have to find myself a new forum, pronto.  
 

[There is also the issue that many designs that were relatively widespread in real life are persistently ignored by kit manufacturers - but that’s a different hobby horse of mine that fully deserves to stay safely in its pasture for the winter.]

 

Loving the Ente, Moa.  What was that.... uhhh.. vertical lump thingy underneath the wings for?  Nowt wrong with canards as such, as you say (and this design appears to solve quite a few C of G challenges in a very neat manner)... but lookout must have been something of a challenge for the pilot, what with that large foreplane right in the eye-line!

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I love those wacky designs! I think I had a vacform of that aircraft once?

 

Anyway that was long before we had the web so informatieontsluiting and photographs were harder to come by...

 

I will follow This with intrest!

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Well to extend the argument ( just for the sake of kicking it about a bit) if you were to take the albatross family the 100 filter would rule in the DI, DII, DIV and DXII but rule out the DIII and DV. Similarly for the contemporary Fokker the DI to DVI would be in and the DVII and DVIII would be out.

 

i can see how splitting the forum might be be decisive and tbh, although I find the mainstream builds less interesting, I do still learn a lot of techniques from reading them.

Edited by Marklo
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7 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Each to his or her own, I say.

I think that's the golden rule.

Build what gives you pleasure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(But only in 1/72, civil types of uncommon aircraft)

(just kidding)

 

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6 hours ago, Silenoz said:

Nice and intriguing aircraft. Beautiful work to. Isn't the door too far to the front?

Thanks Silenoz

Yes, as I wrote above the windows are misaligned in the kit, pushing that door a bit ahead of where it should be.

To cut open the door, I strictly followed the kit's outline of it.

Still, it will align with the bulkhead, as it in turn will be moved forward a bit, so it will be between the edge of the door and the little window, as in the original.

The solution is a bit of a compromise, but the alternative is either trashing the kit and dedicate some proper language to the kit maker, or redo both fuselage sides through extensive surgery that may remedy one thing but create other issues of its own.

I followed the same solution found by the modeler in what it seems was the first published build of the kit long ago.

And these kits did not come cheap, as you can find doing an Internet search for them.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

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