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Poles Apart - a PZL 'In Foreign Service' Tri-andem ride for your amusement! *2 down, 1 to go*


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Hi all, having just rolled the Canuck out of the workshop onto the apron, my bench is now heaving a sigh of relief... but that relief is to be short-lived as I contemplate the next phase of my stash reduction plan.

 

So, I've done a tandem-build before, where I did an Airfix Hawk and a MisterCraft P-40K on the same WIP thread a while back - which was moderately interesting. Over the weekend I was perusing what I had left to build (don't go there!) and pondering what subjects I'd not done before, and what subjects tend not to be so common on here. It occurred to me that I had no less than 3 kits of Polish WW2 aircraft, all different designs from the drawing boards of PZL - Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (State Aviation Works), quietly maturing under a mountain of other boxes. One of them was quite simple, the other 2 less so. So I had the idea that I would try and document the builds of all 3 simultaneously. I mean, what could go wrong? Oh no, wait - the last time I said that was back in February 2020, so maybe I should just shut up and get on with it!

 

So, what am I going to build? Well, there's this wee beastie:

 

CsYq8x4.jpg

 

A P-11c. I have visions of this one finishing way before the other two! Which are, this:

 

NFDI3mP.jpg

 

A P-23 Karaś, this will be first Heller kit I've ever attempted!

 

Oh, and this:

 

DS9TSaD.jpg

 

A 37A-bis Łoś ('moose').

 

OK that's great, but why 'Poles Apart'? Well, having looked at the OOB decal options, it seems that with the overrunning of Poland at the start of WW2 by the Germans and the Soviets, those surviving Polish aircraft were quickly put to work by their respective captors, and re-badged accordingly. Some were also taken on by the Romanians, who subsequently used them to attack the Soviet Union! Thus, it is my intention, at this stage at least, to apply 'foreign service' markings to each.

 

No progress as such to report, apart from the ordering of a plethora of AM stuff - PE, canopy masks, decals and the like - from the Big H and an outfit in Poland, Super-Hobby, that I've used before and gave pretty good service. The P-11c I am going to do more-or-less OOB, as it's pretty simple and the cramped cockpit is unlikely to afford much of a view of any detail I might choose to add - having said that, watch this space! :D

 

One add-on has already been taken care of: the kit-supplied engines on the P-23 and the 37B are rubbish, and the after-market 9-cylinder radials are way too rich for me, so I have raided my spares box and come out with 3 9-cylinder radials from my old Italeri Ju52 kit. I might need to bash them about a bit, but I'll take those for the win!

 

So, buckle up folks! For now, though, it only remains for me to say, at this stage : 'Tally Ho, Yellow!'

 

 

Edited by clive_t
Changed 37B to 37A-bis
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No probs, grab a brew and a chocolate hob-nob and pull up a chair! I daresay there are better kit-makers out there covering this subject, and I know that MisterCraft don't exactly cover themselves in glory on here, but the P-11c was £2.99, the 37B was £5.99 so not surprising when something like that falls into my shopping basket!

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It'll be interesting to see how you get along with that Heller PZL P.23 Karas (it's named for a kind of fish, a crucian carp, to be precise).  Do you have the Profile Publication from the 1960s to use as a guide?  It's probably already outdated. The Los is so, so tiny!

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22 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

It'll be interesting to see how you get along with that Heller PZL P.23 Karas (it's named for a kind of fish, a crucian carp, to be precise).  Do you have the Profile Publication from the 1960s to use as a guide?  It's probably already outdated. The Los is so, so tiny!

Thanks Mr Kenny, also for reminding me that I do have several such publications covering different aircraft. As luck would have it, I found these in my collection:

 

G6EHoFv.jpg

 

FothDB0.jpg

 

I don't have one for the P.11 unfortunately, but I found a good set of photos of a preserved one on net-macquettes.com, which has already allowed me to determine what the cockpit should look like, as well as some anomalies with the rudder and the blisters under the wings!

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Goodies from the Big H this lunchtime. The add-ons for the P.23 - decals, paint masks, PE seat belts and the PE detailing kit:

 

kuqaVok.jpg

 

Just the remainder from Poland to arrive, then I should be good to go!

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Slightly late, but otherwise everything I ordered has now arrived the interior kit, exterior kit, masks and decals for the Los:

 

CspeYLS.jpg

 

I think I will make a start with the P.23 first, before tackling the Los - mainly due to it being a fair old time since I last did anything with PE, and the Los detailing kits are made by Part, who I note from the supplied 'instructions' still have that characteristic relaxed attitude to explaining where and how it all fits! Eduard's instructions, by contrast, are a dream! So I think I will get my eye in with that one. It could still all go horribly wrong, I suppose, but I figure this plan gives me my best chance of success all round.

 

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On 8/1/2020 at 2:15 PM, Brandy said:

Veerry interesting! Beer and peanuts ordered.

 

Carry on!

 

Ian

OK, I will! :D

On 8/1/2020 at 5:27 PM, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Wow.  The PZL-37's canopy complexity is out of this world!  I'll be watching closely.

You're not wrong - I found a Y-T clip where a guy did a build of a 1:48 version, and he modelled it with the canopies open!

 

Anyway, what of progress?

 

First, the all-but-obligatory sprue shots etc:

 

fYlcPYB.jpg

 

Not massively burdened with complexity, it would seem. No matter, I am sure the PE will up the ante where complexity is concerned! Canopy sprue, oh and the substitute engine, courtesy of Italeri via my spares box:

 

SL4kter.jpg

 

Finally, the PE fret(s) and some printed acetate for the IP dial detail:

 

zXaNSXF.jpg

 

Scary.

 

So, we can get straight to it, right? Well, not quite: a small hiatus then ensued as I wanted to order something that would minimise my chances of lousing up the PE - specifically, this new swanky RP-Toolz PE bending gizmo:

 

XEPYNuY.jpg

 

This is my compensation for yet another wedding anniversary soon to be observed - I have my black armband in the sock drawer, all cleaned and pressed and ready to go.

 

Unfortunately, having got it I then realised too late that I had intended to order some brass burnishing fluid from the same outfit, but forgot to add it to the basket! That will be arriving tomorrow, apparently. However, in the meantime, I was at least able to make a start on putting the engine together - no PE involved here, thankfully:

 

xWk7IbC.jpg

 

Hmm, a bit messy. Still, a bit of a swish with a scalpel and some thin styrene rod, and the donor Italeri Ju52 engine, and I had this:

 

9IOwUxk.jpg

 

With the engine cowling halves put together, and some offcut styrene rod for a prop shaft, I now have this:

 

ZNtb7hU.jpg

 

The engine and the cowling are loose-fitted at the moment, pending painting.

 

The other thing I looked at doing was adding some detail that I've never done before - riveting! There's plenty of it according to various reference photos I've seen, and I managed to unearth a schematic diagram of the fuselage side showing where the lines of rivets go.

 

I have owned a Trumpeter riveting tool for a while now (one of many impulse buys from a past visit to a modelling show somewhere):

 

7rZZwqa.jpg

 

To be honest, it's rubbish, for one simple reason: the framework that supports the wheel is too cumbersome. It's impossible to see where the blade is in contact with the subject, and thereafter you're not able to see where the blade is actually going as you attempt to roll it along the surface. Fortunately, I practised on a gash bit of styrene sheet first, and was horrified at the results. In the end, I resorted to using the blade on its own, by attempting to roll it between fore-finger and thumb - with noticeably better results, although not perfect by any means:

 

OJNnqE2.jpg

 

8GgOcCt.jpg

 

I thought about making a new handle for it, until I had a bit of a light bulb moment. Fortunately, I have one of those EMK Kits razor saws, with the plastic handle that screws together with a blade held securely between the two halves. I took mine apart, and hacked a bit of plastic away inside, and lo and behold the Trumpeter rivetting wheel fits inside, and can turn freely:

 

q1ttD2w.jpg

 

Game-changer!

 

Too late for the starboard fuselage half, but you can bet I will be using this for the rest of it!

 

That's it for now, thanks for looking in! :thumbsup2:

 

 

 

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A riveting tool!  Wow--this is getting pretty serious now.  I too was intimidated by the amount of photo-etch for a relatively small airplane. I am impressed at Eduard's research, however!  Fortunately, I think the PZL-23 is pretty well documented.  Less so the mysterious Jastrzeb, for example...

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On 8/9/2020 at 4:11 PM, TheyJammedKenny! said:

A riveting tool!  Wow--this is getting pretty serious now.  I too was intimidated by the amount of photo-etch for a relatively small airplane. I am impressed at Eduard's research, however!  Fortunately, I think the PZL-23 is pretty well documented.  Less so the mysterious Jastrzeb, for example...

Thanks Mr Kenny, I am putting off the PE work until I feel I can devote enough of an uninterrupted day to really get into it. That probably won't be until Thursday at the earliest. No matter, plenty of other things to look into...

 

I wanted a decent 'dress rehearsal' of the home-spun riveting tool before committing to anything significant. Fortunately, the kit provides optional horizontal stabilisers depending on whether one wishes to model the 23A or the 23B. So with that, I made an executive decision that if push came to shove, I would model the 23A - hence I would chance my arm with trying to rivet one of the 23B horizontal stabiliser and its moulded on elevator:

 

uOBBmHD.jpg

 

I can tell you I was mightily pleased with that! I followed a diagram to try and emulate the rivet pattern, and though I says it meself it's pretty damned close! :)

 

So, onwards and upwards with the port wing upper and lower halves - I set to again, but this time using a steel rule to keep things on the (literally) straight and narrow given the much longer lines of rivets required in places:

 

8N2QLXq.jpg

 

All told, this took me just over an hour, and I am delighted with the results! :thumbsup2:

Edited by clive_t
Rubbish grammar
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The riveting looks very nice! I must see if I can trim the yellow plastic bit down on my Trumpeter riveter (bought at a model show, several years old and pretty much unused).

 

[and changing aspect ratio to 16:9 is a good way of keeping your feet out of the photo :) ]

 

Regards,

Adrian

 

 

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Having gotten and liked the RB Toolz scrib-r I decided to get their rivet-r both fit  an xacto handle and The river-r has pretty small diameter wheels. It will see lots of use in the very near future :) 

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How do you hold your steel rule in place?  Do you tape down the surface, then tape down the rule, or do you hold it in place with your fingers?  I'm not sure if I'm sufficiently coordinated to do that--and it does seem to resemble scribing, which I dislike.

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  • 8 months later...

Much-belated greetings all, and in particular those of you who took pains to reply expressing an interest in following this, my current fool's errand.

 

I say 'current', however looking at when I last provided an update you'd be forgiven for leaving a window open in your room for a few minutes to allow the dust to clear.

 

I can offer no real reason for such a long deferment, save to say that my desire to continue with it was severely curtailed by a combination of the situation that we've all found ourselves in for the past few months - albeit with thankfully no adverse health issues to worry over - together with what has proved to be some poor decisions in respect of after-market items for a pretty indifferent kit.

 

I guess the whole idea in going down the whole after-market route is that, with care, patience, skill, and the requisite tools to fold a piece of brass into a box 1mm cubed, one can somehow convert a sow's ear to a silk purse... 6 months on from my last post I believe I have arrived at the conclusion that in this particular kit it's for the most part wasted. Spending the best part of 2 months folding, gluing, re-gluing, dismantling and re-re-gluing an entire fuselage interior that thanks to a shockingly thick (nor replaceable with anything better) canopy will be almost indistinguishable from the blobs of OOB plastic that it replaced, added precisely nothing to my enjoyment of this project. Some of the bits I gave up with as they were so small as to make even bending them to shape a nightmare. The carefully folded PE gondola part was ultimately discarded as no matter how I tried I couldn't make it fit properly, and instead I resorted to re-fitting the original mouldings that I had cut off from the fuselage halves - and mercifully kept in my spares box.

 

Any hopes I harboured that the canopy masks would at least allow me to do a decent job on painting the canopy frames quickly dissolved as it became apparent that the adhesive was not strong enough to allow proper adhesion over the areas where there was any kind of curvature - the paper was simply too stiff, or thick, or both I don't know. I stupidly compounded all my frustration with the PE by insisting on running with the masking as it was, instead of replacing the stubborn bits with thinner, and more pliant, bits of Tamiya masking tape cut to shape.

 

Anyway, enough of my moaning and whining - I have made some progress, however photos of the intervening steps weren't taken. This is how it currently looks.

 

Fuselage zipped up, before canopy fitted:

 

aa6yBGU.jpg

 

Nose, wings & stabilisers on:

 

m2Q855n.jpg

 

Canopy on, and dive brakes (I think) fitted:

 

ETFo2sx.jpg

 

Finally, for now - the underside with the surgically removed gondola reinstated:

 

QcAjy0U.jpg

 

If I can take any positive from this, it would primarily lie in the way the hand-wrought riveting detail looked after painting - that is, better than expected!

 

Anyway, I hope that I will be in a position to update again in less than 6 months' time.

 

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Looks nice, despite your travails with the project.  I didn't fancy that Englishmen were complainers, though, much less tolerated those who complained about stuff!!! 

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On 4/30/2021 at 9:07 PM, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Looks nice, despite your travails with the project.  I didn't fancy that Englishmen were complainers, though, much less tolerated those who complained about stuff!!! 

Thanks. We Englishmen are constant complainers, although usually either under our breath or, in extreme cases, a strongly worded letter to the Times. But you're right in that we don't like to hear others complaining - having said that, every last one of us will continue to complain volubly to each other about the weather - it's our heritage, you know! :raincloud:

 

I guess with this particular venture, it's more about my own lack of 'mojo' to get it finished to what I imagined it to look like in the end - and the simple fact that for want of a decent (e.g. vac-formed, or dare I say it scratch-built) canopy, most of my labour on the internals will go unnoticed. I've done scratch-built canopies before, but sadly the geometry of this one is beyond me.

 

Those bits of brass that now adorn the outside are, for the most part, pretty good. Having said that the bomb racks are slightly wider than it appears they should be, which has necessitated my slicing off the locating pins in order to shift the undercarriage spats slightly outward by about 0.5mm on each side.

 

On which subject, each undercarriage spat is in two halves, with an axle spigot for the wheel:

 

sqm5HAH.jpg

 

Both these are now in place as of about 30 minutes ago:

 

nDneopr.jpg

 

Again almost unnoticeable, the wheels have PE wheel inserts on the outboard side of each wheel.

 

I think in terms of 'which foreign service', I will end up doing this particular model in Romanian Air Force colours - I haven't found any reference photos showing this particular version of the aircraft in German markings, nor Bulgarian (they did have some, but different shaped cowling and a 3-blade prop with no spinner) as far as I can determine. Unless anyone else knows different, of course!

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If I'm not mistaken, you're on steadier ground with Romanian Royal Air Force markings, as many of these aircraft were taken on charge in September '39.

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A minor update, necessitated at least in part by my trying to play it safe with the moulded-on tail skid (by cutting it off) but then failing (by losing it anyway). Typically, such adornments were evidently beyond the remit of the PE suppliers, so it was left to me and my now sizeable box of scrap styrene bits and bobs.

 

I tried to emulate the design from a close-up photo of an original - I don't know which version of the aircraft it was showing, but I do know it was substantially different from the blob of plastic I cut off:

 

5oIZGK5.jpg

 

The grey plastic 'V' bar is the kit part, the white bits are all my own work honest guvnor no word of a lie etc :)

 

I then drilled a hole at the base of the tail to accommodate the single bar (which was apparently a shock absorber), and set it in place with a couple of dabs of liquid poly:

 

FySGtff.jpg

 

Not too shabby, at least it takes a bit of the sting from losing something I deliberately sought to keep safe!

 

After about 15 minutes, and with the glue partially set, I placed the aircraft the right way up on my workbench, so as to allow the flat part of the skid to be flat on the surface:

 

9fPEYQ5.jpg

 

I'll leave that now to go solid before trying anything else with it.

 

 

 

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Morning folks, another little update. I am going with the 'Romanian' livery on this, however yet another in a long string of poor life choices means my building the 23A version has come back to haunt me. It appears that most (but thankfully not all) of the Romanian aircraft were 23Bs. No prizes for guessing who naively ordered the wrong set of decals for it! Ah well, fortunately the Big H had the other set in stock, so those will hopefully arrive next week.

 

In the meantime, I decided to overpaint the flat earth colour with an olive green, but before doing so I was trying to find the right colour for the nose ring (around the outside of the engine right at the front). All the decals and painting instructions advocate that this should be a rust colour, but the reference photos I have seen seem to suggest that it was more shiny than that, more like copper or brass. Anyway, I bit the bullet and repainted it in copper:

 

rRfmpk6.jpg

 

Obviously I stand to be corrected in any and all of this - it can be redone if it turns out my supposition was false.

 

This morning I repainted the top surfaces with Tamiya Olive Green XF58:

 

5zUHFXg.jpg

 

I tried hard not to overdo it, hoping that the 'undercoat' of flat earth would provide some subtle tonal variance to the olive green. I appear to have failed in that, too! :(

 

I also need to repaint the underside in a light blue colour, but I think I will need to go over it with a thin waft of white or deck tan to lighten things up a bit first.

 

Most of the exterior bits and bobs are now in place; only the crew grab handles on the side of the fuselage, and the gunners' armaments remain. Since these are, or at least comprised of, microscopic pieces of PE, I am putting off fitting of them to the very last in the hope that I don't lose or destroy them.

 

So, some more faltering steps, however one positive from all of this is that the mojo is starting to return - only a few weeks ago I was doubting if it ever would.

 

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Hello, @clive_t, great job so far on that old Karas kit, I remember having it in my stash decades ago in the exact same box as yours. I had the Łos too, but in the original ZTS edition, which is the ancestor of Mistercraft's. Ah, memories...

 

Regarding the collector ring's colour, have a look a this thread that has a lot of useful infomation and links to even more.

 

HTH.

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Thanks @Fukuryu for your kind comment, and the very useful link to the discussion on collector rings (as I now know them to be called :) )

 

 

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3 hours ago, clive_t said:

Thanks @Fukuryu for your kind comment, and the very useful link to the discussion on collector rings (as I now know them to be called :) )

 

You're welcome, Clive. Now, let me tell you... You're a better man than I am! My trio was completed with Heller's P-11c; those kits are long lost, but if I decide to re-stash them, I would go for IBG or Arma Hobby; you went the total opposite direction, and I admire your courage. Mistercraft? That alone would make you elegible for some kind of modelling medal for bravery!

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  • clive_t changed the title to Poles Apart - a PZL 'In Foreign Service' Tri-andem ride for your amusement! *2 down, 1 to go*

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