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London & Provincial type.IV "School Biplane" and type.IV "Fuselage Biplane" [1/72 scratch]


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Posted (edited)

Hi all...
 

At the urging of the friend @Moa, I decided to rescue a scratch that I had archived for four years and get down to work again with him, and publish it here on Britmodeller.

I hope it is in the interest of the community.
 

A brief history.
 

The former Stag Lane aerodrome, if we are located throughout the '20s, was undoubtedly synonymous with De Havilland. But in the previous decade another story ran in those grounds.

In the context of the first months of the WWI, the confirmation of the aeroplane as a new military "tool", and the growing need for pilots to "wield" it, is that some contracts are obtained for the opening of aerodrome and establishments for that purpose.
In September 1914 Messrs. Geoffrey Smiles and W.T. Warren founded the "London & Provincial Co." pilot school on the ground they bought to the north, in Egdware, where they will install the school and the Stag Lane airfield.
The first batch of instruction aircraft were the English-made Caudron G.III with Anzani engines. In 1915 it was added an L&P "Brevet biplane" of own manufacture, similar to the Caudron but somewhat smaller.

Success accompanies them, and with the intention of modernizing the aeronautical material they hire designer Anthony Fletcher, recently move away from Martinsyde, to manufacture their own training aircraft.
In 1916 London & Provincial Co. introduced the "type.IV" or "School Biplane", with 50hp. Gnome 'Omega' rotary engines, and the undoubted imprint of the works of "Tony" Fletcher. In this case, emphasizing the instruction role, the cokpit is totally open, in tandem, but the student and instructor occupy the same open space.
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In July of that same year, Flight magazine presented L&P type.IV "Fuselage Biplane", modified for aerobatic flight. The fuselage is narrower, the cockpits are closed and differentiated, the wing and the tail is larger. The engine is an 80hp Anzani. In October this aircraft will obtain the record of loopings in a demonstration on the Hendon aerodrome.
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In the remainder of the War the London & Provincial Co. will be assigned as part of the RAF "18th wing school of instruction".

I couldn't find the precise information on how many "School Biplane" and "Fuselage Biplane" planes were manufactured by the London & Provincial Co. on Stag Lane, but it can be said that four type.IV "School Biplane" planes reached until 1919 ( K-117 / G-EABQ; K-118 / G-EABR; K-119 / G-EABS; K-138 / G-EADT), and the looper type.IV "Fuselage Biplane" G-EAQW until 1920.
 

After World War I, all contracts and subsidys related to the conflict are cancelled immediately. The aviation industry will undoubtedly be the most affected area. We already know the becoming of many manufacturers, designers, and the urgency of civil and commercial aviation.
The London & Provincial Co. will also be found in this situation.
In January 1919, 40 vacancies were announced for pilot courses and the arrangement of Stag Lane airfield and its aircraft for air events and some commercial flights. The company was in a reorganization process at the same time that a dispute began with the Department of Civil Aviation. Finally the license is not renewed and in July of that year the "London & Provincial Co." closes its doors.
With the closure of "L&P" the four L&P type.IV with a 50hp Gnome engine are also lost trace.
The facilities will survive and part of them will shelter the brand new company that Geoffrey De Havilland was creating, which will be formally established on September 26, 1920.

As for the looper L&P type.IV "Fuselage Biplane", sometime in 1917 it was acquired by the Richmond company "Whitehead Aircraft Company", another contractor of elements and aircraft for the War Office, to be part of the group of aircraft from your flight school. The first jump tests will be done on this machine with the Calthrop parachutes, enlarging the front cockpit to facilitate the departure of the passenger. According to the images it can also be seen that there was a redesign of the landing gear by one of the "anti-overturn" type, and of the nose of the fuselage behind the 80hp Anzani, which still maintained it.
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https://youtu.be/tttHD9s0jrI


Within the same process of company reorganization after the end of the War, the "Whitehead Aircraft Company", which also carried debt and capitalization problems, finally entered bankruptcy in 1920, with the auction and liquidation of its assets. The L&P type.IV "Fuselage Biplane" registered by Rodney A. Whitehead as G-EAQW in February 1920 will be part of these asset sales.
In an article published in Flight magazine on May 20, in addition to reviewing his history, he can be seen in a image with a shiny new look and in good flight conditions. The landing gear returned to its original configuration, a new livery with well-placed regulatory registration, and a new 100hp Anzani engine more powerful.
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If the plane had a buyer or not, it will disappear from the registrations that same year.

 

The planes I decided to represent are the London & Provincial type.IV "School Biplane" (no painted registration) from 1919, and the London & Provincial type.IV "Fuselage Biplane" G-EAQW from 1920.

It is a work that I am resuming after four years of suspending it. My scratch speed is not the same as my friend @Moa's, but slowly I will show some progress. Now I definitely want to finish it.

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Here are some images of the model construction process. They are all from 2016. For now they are like this...

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Cutting the first plastics...

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Control sticks...

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The first parts glued.
Although there is some information about the interiors, basically almost everything is improvisation, taking as inspiration the most documented planes of the time and similar to these models.
The RAF BE.2 was a good reference.

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In this link an original drawing of the instrument board of the L&P "Fuselage Biplane"...

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The materials used for construction are varied: there are wires of different thicknesses, stretched plastic, plastic sheets, cyano-impregnated paper, paper tape to make the seat belts.

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The model begins to take shape...

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The first steps to develop the cylinders of the Gnome and the Anzani.

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Mold making for the "proto-cylinders".


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The complete fuselages have been covered.

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The Anzani and the Gnome block's with the sites marked for the location of the future cylinders.

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Proto-cylinders to start working on the details.


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The Anzani's master cylinder is finished.

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Cylinder cloning is ready.

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At this stage a problem arose. This was when I discovered that the 1920 L&P G-EAQW had some details different from the 1916 original. I found its history with the Whitehead Aircraft..., and the doubts with the livery of this aircraft.

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A new drawing...

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...and the corrections began with major surgery.

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The simplified instrument board of the front cockpit was replaced by a simulation of the fuel tank. That site would be used for test jumps with the Calthrop parachutes.

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No one saw anything... ^ ^

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We start with the wings.

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Stretched plastic to simulate the fabric. First step.

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We continue with the engines. It is time to put the cloned cylinders in their places... We start with the most complex Anzani and its ten intercalated and slightly desradiated cylinders.

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Everything stayed in its place.
 

This is the current moment of the L&P scratch.
I am not very satisfied with the Gnome Omega because it was slightly out of the correct diameter. Maybe I'll correct it...
 

I hope I didn't bore you. I will be showing the progress.

Matías

Edited by matihagen
misspelling + complete info
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11 minutes ago, TallBlondJohn said:

I build biplanes. I think I'm going to have a little cry.

The biplanes are an existential equation, the more difficult, the more beautiful... ^ ^

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Posted (edited)

Stunning work, Matias! You Argentines seem to have a gift for building great models!

 

Martin

Edited by RidgeRunner
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WWWWOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

Incredible work, Matías.

Now THAT is extraordinary skill.

The level of perfection is truly unbelievable.

I am too crying.

Lacing or Macrame seem now to me as good alternate hobby pursuits. I shall have a look. Or may be knitting.

Or feeding Martians.

Sigh....

 

 

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That's absolutely amazing. 

I'll be following this with great interest. 

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This is brilliant! I guess it's the only way to model these unique early aircraft - scratch build them. Great lesson in history too.

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Extraordinary work. May I ask what scale that is?

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Posted (edited)

That really is stunning work and I have scribbled down some notes for my next scratch-build. Thanks so much for sharing those images which helped to clarify your techniques, just brilliant, especially in 1/72. I think I will go back to my butterfly collection now and clean up the dribble!!

Edited by Horatio Gruntfuttock
spelling error
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4 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

Stunning work, Matias! You Argentines seem to have a gift for building great models!

 

Martin

Thanks!... There are so many talented colleagues throughout the world, and very generous, who have shared their knowledge and time, the internet has helped a lot to get to know them, and for my part just trying to learn and imitate them. Luckily some things come out... ^ ^

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4 hours ago, Moa said:

WWWWOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

Incredible work, Matías.

Now THAT is extraordinary skill.

The level of perfection is truly unbelievable.

I am too crying.

Lacing or Macrame seem now to me as good alternate hobby pursuits. I shall have a look. Or may be knitting.

Or feeding Martians.

Sigh....

 

 

Dear @Moa It's no big deal, don't cry that your glasses will be tarnished. In addition, the macrame is the territory of Mrs. V
Better we keep with the plastics than the wish list is very long...

^ ^

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3 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

This is brilliant! I guess it's the only way to model these unique early aircraft - scratch build them. Great lesson in history too.

Dear Ed... Thanks!.. it is a pleasure to read your comment. I'm glad to know that you were interested in the story... (I just edited it because I forgot to write a paragraph at first. Now the text is complete). ^ ^

Matías

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2 hours ago, SAT69 said:

Extraordinary work. May I ask what scale that is?

Oops!... I have forgotten a great detail. It is a 1/72 scale model. Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

I too build and scratchbuild biplanes ( and Lately triplanes and Quadruplane) and I too am nearly brought to tears. 

 

Such neat work and precise model engineering. The two builds look amazing already. So much to learn from your methods.
 

I actually have a project started that will require scratch building two Anzanis in 1/48. So your thread will be a really useful resource there.

 

Edited by Marklo
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We have a saying in the UK: "I'll get my coat..."

 

That's very impressive indeed, especially your level of patience!

 

Jon

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Words fail me. "Superb," "stunning," "awesome," "incredible" come to mind but don't come near describing what I see.

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Remarkable!  I must try harder.

 

Dennis

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Scratch building of the highest order. Wonderful modelling with lots of interesting ideas.

 

P

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Your usual World-class beautiful work, Matias.  But I always wondered how you found the cockpit details for such obscure aircraft; thanks for the explanation !

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