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RAAF DH.89A Dragon Rapide / Dominie - Tasman Reboxing - Finished


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My submission for this GB is going to be the Tasman Models reboxing of the Heller 1/72 DH.89A Dragon Rapide.




This upgrade box provides decals for 5 schemes, a white metal instrument panel, vacuformed canopy and some wire for rigging. I will be building this as the RAAF version.


There are also detailed instructions for those wishing to improve the model accuracy through scratch-building, as well as a double-sided sheet with over 40 reference photos.

Super-detailing is not my within my repertoire, so this model will be primarily OOB. I intend to do full rigging, either with the supplied wire or some EZ-Line, which will be a first for me.


Parts have been washed and prepped, just need to find some bench-time later this week to get started!

Box contents below.


Shiny white plastic:



Additional upgrade parts and kit clear components:



Example of reference photos:




Edited by lewis25049
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Welcome to the GB with what looks like a very nice boxing, with the reference photo's and all, very thoughtful. I've used EZ line for my one aircraft build and I can certainly recommend it. But that's just one experience 🙂 


Good luck with your build.

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Always good to see another Drag Rap! I'm building that kit (or rather, a hybrid of that and the Airfix boxing; the air ambulance version) and the instructions are extraordinary as far as information for super-accuracy goes. Enjoy the build!

Edited by TonyOD
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A great choice :thumbsup2:

Some Tasman boxings also included white metal replacements for the fronts of the engine nacelles.  I was never convinced that they were an improvement though :winkgrin:



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12 minutes ago, TonyW said:


The Ambulance version makes me think of Kenneth Williams overacting with his MAAAATRON... as Hattie Jacques chases him down a corridor. Quite how I made that link is anyones guess. 

That one crashed with the loss of all on board in 1946 sadly. The story is here if you’re interested:



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Got a bit of bench-time over the last few days, so did a little bit of prep and painting.


Mostly just did some interior work, with the windows masked (internal and external) and the base colours applied.

The instructions simply called for interior green for the cockpit / cabin. A number of civilian DH.89's were pressed into RAAF service at the outbreak of WWII, so I decided to improve the cabin interior slightly with a two-tone white/grey cabin with blue seats.

The seat legs are still to be painted, as well as the detail painting in the cabin/cockpit. I often use aircraft interiors to practice techniques since it will mostly be hidden, so will do some weathering with oils and pastels.


The next update should be a bit bigger, with the interiors complete and the fuselage halves joined (hopefully!).









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Quick update for the little bit more work done over the last few days.


Managed to get all the detail painting done, primarily the seat legs, cockpit interior and pilot's seat. I also scratch built some seat belts out of tape with small styrene buckles. I don't know whether it's accurate for this aircraft, but I think it looks alright.

I dirtied up the interior a bit with some oil paints after applying a dull coat, just to give it a bit more of a used look. This was done using a dot filter technique.

Finally, managed to get the fuselage halves together. Both fuselage halves had an outwards bow, meaning when the tail was together, the forward halves were ~10mm apart. I glued the halves in sections, starting with the rear. The forward fuselage had a bit of a gap, so I used super glue and CA accelerator to fill/join this area while I held it as close together as I could. It'll stay taped up overnight to ensure the glue sets properly. 


The RAAF aircraft has the familiar dark earth / foliage green / sky blue camouflage scheme. My plan is to add the lower wing only, keeping the top wing separate for painting. I can then add the top wing once fully painted, and touch up any areas around joins that need filling/sanding etc.

The kit also provides a vacuformed canopy in addition to the usual kit parts. I've never worked with vacuformed components, so if there are any critical tips/techniques please let me know. 


Next up: Addressing seams and adding wings!


Dirtied up interior:



Kitted out cabin, including scratch seat-belts/buckles for the pilot.



Buttoned up:


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This build was put on hold for a short period whilst I finished a 1/72 Sopwith Camel that had been languishing on the shelf of doom. This GB was meant to be my first attempt at rigging, but I jumped the gun and went to town on the Sopwith Camel. Results are in the RFI if interested.



That said, progress has still been made on the DH.89:

 - Wings glued and fitted, seams attacked.

 - Wheels painted, and nacelles fitted. These still require tidy-up prior to primer.

 - Canopy masked and fitted. Unfortunately I couldn't get a satisfactory fit with the vacuform component, so went with the kit piece.


The top wing has just been placed in situ for the photograph, but the fit looks pretty good and should be pretty straight forward.

I'm looking forward to getting some primer on the model to make it look a bit more uniform and identify any missed seams. First I have to prep all the struts etc for primer, and pre-drill some rigging holes in the wings/tail (I'll fill in the existing ones as they are a bit large).


Hopefully I can get the airbrush out on the weekend and get some paint on the model. It's slowly starting to look like an aircraft!





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After a bit more tidy up and prep, I've finally got some primer on the model.

There's a crack in the nose that will need a bit of work, but once that's done I think she is ready for paint.


Since the last update I've :

prepped all the struts and other small bits

- filled the existing rigging holes and punched much smaller holes in the correct locations. I used a compass point for this. This will allow me to rig the parallel pairs of cables between the interplane struts a bit more accurately. 

- primed the model and small parts.


One thing I forgot to mention last time is that I decided to drop the elevators on the tail. These are deflected when on the ground so I decided to simply separate them and adjust the angle.


Next update will have colour!







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As promised - some colour! 


The first image shows my preferred method of masking camouflage in this scale. I use bits of paper cut to the shape of the camouflage tacked down near the edges. This creates a very subtle feathering of the edges between colours, which I think looks appropriate for the scale. The instructions of this particular kit are actually drawn to 1:72 scale, which meant I could just roughly trace the pattern and cut accordingly.


I'm hoping to finish this build before the end of the year, but there's a few more stages to go before I can fix the top wing and continue installing struts and rigging etc.

My current paint plan over the next week or so includes:

  • Gloss coat
  • Decals
  • Semi-gloss coat to protect decals
  • Oil filters to add some weathering / visual interest
  • Another semi-gloss coat to fix the oils
  • Experiment with post-shading using Tamiya Smoke to better highlight / simulate the ribbed wings and fuselage

I don't have a paint mule, and I like to use each build to try something new or expand on a technique, so I'll provide a before and after comparison of the post-shading for feedback.


Thanks for looking!








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Ticked a few items off the painting check-list over the last couple of days:

  • Gloss coat
  • Decals
  • Semi-gloss coat to protect decals
  • Oil filters to add some weathering / visual interest
  • Another semi-gloss coat to fix the oils
  • Experiment with post-shading using Tamiya Smoke to better highlight / simulate the ribbed wings and fuselage

I should have taken more care with the decals, as there is a bit of silvering evident in the photographs. It isn't very evident in more natural light, and I didn't notice it until the semi-gloss coat was applied.


I took a number of before and after shots of the oil dot filtering process. The lighting is a fair bit different between the sets of photos, but I think they sufficiently show the intended effect of the oil dot filter weathering. 


Hopefully I'll get the last two check-list items done over the weekend.


Enjoy the pictures.




Decals applied:




Clean top view:


Oils applied:



Clean bottom view:


Oils applied:




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Minor setback last night.


I was planning on applying 0.5mm tape over each of the ribs in the wings, and highlighting them with Tamiya Smoke. I've seen the technique used on WWI biplanes to good effect and wanted to give it a shot here.

Unfortunately, I wasn't counting on such delicate decals. One of the roundels tore whilst repositioning the tape, so the idea was quickly scrubbed.


I touched up the roundel, and attached to the top wing to the fuselage.

Photo's below show the damage (after I started touching up the white) and the fixed version.


Today I'll address the minor gaps between the fuselage and top wing using Mr Surfacer 500, respray the touched up areas and start to install all the struts etc.

Almost ready to start rigging!


Torn decal (with white applied):







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This kit decided to throw up a couple of additional obstacles today:

  • When tidying up the top wing, both fuselage roundel decals got unintentionally caught up in a piece of tape. I've touched up one but the other is a complete goner, but there is a spare on the decal sheet. I'll attach it at the end.
  • Installing the struts, one snapped due to the tight fit. Glued it back together and trimmed it a bit to get it to fight.
  • Top wing popped off, conveniently after I'd done all the repainting etc, and the fuselage halves started to crack open. I've mended it as best as I can be bothered, with touch up paint to follow.

That said, all the struts are now fitted. There's plenty more I'd have liked to have done to the kit, but I'm starting to reach the end of the "enjoyment" part and it seems to be a fight to get the final pieces done. 

I'm going to put it away for a day or two and work on something else, and come back fresh to start the rigging.

I'm still targeting to complete this by years end to make it a nice, even 10 completions for 2020.


Obligatory happy snaps below:







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  • lewis25049 changed the title to RAAF DH.89A Dragon Rapide / Dominie - Tasman Reboxing - Finished

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