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Wedell-Williams Model 44 Racer (1931 version)

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Hi all, as my Curtiss Seahawk nears decaling, I thought I'd take a look at a racer. So here is my next build, a Wedell-Williams Model 44 Racer by Dekno in 1/72, I have never built anything by Dekno, a producer resin kits of racers, Golden Age aircraft and subjects from the Spanish Civil War> I have a couple of resin kits under my belt and thought I'd give this little guy a go. 



The box.



The resin.



The decals and instructions. The instructions are one sheet, smaller than A4, one side for the build process and the other for decal placement.

I don't think the build will give me any grief (that's done it) but I foresee problems with the painting and decals. The problem is the gold in that, I have to paint some parts gold and they've got to match the decal gold :pray:.


Hopefully start this soon.



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@Malc2 @2996 Victor @psdavidson, thanks for the early interest guys, I hope I don't disappoint. 


I've spent a few hours this evening gathering reference and photo's that could be useful. 

Louisiana State Museum has a couple of pics that reinforce Dekno's scheme but doesn't mention colours. Both pics don't show the longitudinal brace across the wing braces as per Dekno's instructions.

Alamy has a couple of photos too and one of the pics show '44' without the edging to the wings, planes and cowling... an option if I can't match the gold. Again, no brace across the wings braces.

Air Racing History has one or two pics but has a good amount of reference to pick through like:

Redesigned, the 1931 version of NR-278V would later become the famous No. 44. A full remodelling job resulted in a 23' fuselage, 26' wing span and a Pratt and Whitney replacing the Hisso. Exceptionally clean lines extended throughout the entire aircraft. A streamlined NACA cowl -so small that faired bulges were needed to allow room for the cylinder arms -housed the 550 hp Wasp Jr. Pratt and Whitney engine. Pants covered the wheels, and the gear itself consisted of two narrow, well faired struts.


In keeping with this pattern, race No. 44 was added to the wings and fuselage, a number the ship would retain throughout its entire race career. Thirty hand rubbed coats of red and gold dope gave the racer a finish that reflected like a mirror and looked elbow deep.


In 1933 Wedell was back at the Nationals with his fast No. 44. He had replaced the fabric around the cockpit area with aluminium as he felt that the fabric in this area was a source of drag.




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1 hour ago, greggles.w said:

Very, very nice! 30x coats of paint Stuart, you might want to keep a tally so you don’t lose count..


Mark @2996 Victor you may have noticed already, Dekno have been promoting a new release at 1/48, but I think it is the #45 not #44 ..



Yes, I'd seen that 🤤 looking forward to its being released! They've got several kits on my "want" list :laugh:




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5 hours ago, greggles.w said:

30x coats of paint

If I use 30 coats of paint, it'll look like a brick!


5 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

Popcorn at the ready

Too much popcorn and you'll fall asleep...


4 hours ago, 2996 Victor said:

several kits on my "want" list

Ditto and with SMW next weekend on one shoulder and a racer stash on the other, it could go either way.:shrug:



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  • 4 weeks later...

With the Seahawk now done, time  to look at this baby.



Not a good start with the fuselage.



Lining up the lumps and lines, the front end looks good except the rear wall of the cockpit that will need a little attention to negate a 'step'.



Don't like this spine area one bit. Also, the leading edges of the horizontal tail plane fillets are out of kilter.



Mismatch of the rudder hinge. Overall, I think Dekno have had an issue with casting the port fuselage half but I'm confident that this can all be sorted with a little effort.



Flying surfaces cleaned up and show no problems.



Cowling, engine and prop look good, only issue is a few 'dinks' on the front cowling that'll need filling.



Undercarriage and wheels are all okay except for a big bubble on top of the starboard spat, easy fix.



The little bits; seat with moulded harness, instrument panel, peddles, stick and tail skid. With the exception of the bubbles, it looks like the fuselage needs the most work, onwards and upwards.





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22 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

And there was I moaning about the moulding of my Invader!

Some things are sent to try us Martin.


15 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

good luck with the fix fella.

Thanks Chris


13 hours ago, Malc2 said:

I would be tempted to cut and extend the port fuz and fill the gap.

Hmmm, now there's an idea, I'll take a look at that.


13 hours ago, bissyboat said:

Off to a good start.

Not quite off yet, no glue.


I have suspended this build as I'm awaiting the replacement part from Dekno.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys. After a brief suspension in build, we have good news.


I emailed Dekno of Spain about my fuselage issue and Albert promptly sent my a replacement. I was only expecting the port side, so getting the starboard was a bonus. not perfect but miles better than the original.

While I continue to clean up edges, fill bubbles etc., can anybody tell me the most likely colour for the interior and inside the engine cowling? 



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Love golden era planes and finding these racers intriguing. Great that you sorted a solution to the fuselage fiasco. Looking forward to your progress. 


I was recently surprised at the glossy surface I was (unintentionally) getting sanding some vallejo black primer with 7k grit paper. 30 airbrush misted and polished coats would be an interesting effect to go for (though requiring a bit of madness 😛 )

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4 hours ago, Malc2 said:

Out of curiosity, which of the two original halves match the new pair?!

After writing my comment above, I thought the better solution would be to shorten the long half.

The recent photo is of the two replacement fuselage halves. I did try the original starboard half but the replacement parts were the best option. Before I made contact with Dekno, it did look at both options, lengthening or shortening and the better one was to lengthen...I haven't got to worry now.

4 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

I can dig out the Williams Brothers kit and see of there is any recommendations on there Stuart.

I would think poss Aluminium colour perhaps?

That would be great Chris. I am thinking aluminium but I'm not 100%. About 1932, '44' was rebuilt with a aluminium fuselage after an earlier crash, before that I believe it was lateral ribs and canvas, wouldn't know what colour that would be.

4 hours ago, marvinneko said:

I was recently surprised at the glossy surface

It was surprising to me also, so when it comes to painting time, it should be something I should try and achieve.



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Looks like fun (I have made a couple of resin planes, they have their challenges). Amazing after sales service from Denko.


Best of luck with the rest of the build Stuart.





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