Kit: Lindberg (1:48)
Curtiss JN-4 Jenny - Air Ambulance - Like most WW1 modellers I have a stash of
old unbuilt kits in the loft including some Aurora, Hawk and Lindberg items. The
Jenny would probably have stayed there a lot longer if I hadn't been grabbed by
a picture of this Ambulance machine in the old Profile.
A white Jenny with big red crosses? - Yes please.
It was a pleasure to be re-aquainted with this venerable old kit and after
some severe rubbing down of the wings, there was little else to correct. I had
to guess at what might have been inside - so fashioned a slatted "bunk" for
the patient. Basic colour was Tamiya Insignia White and red crosses were fashioned
from red decal strip.
Kit: TC Resins (1:48)
Short 184 - HMS Ben-my-Chree 1915 - This is the TC Resins model from South Africa
and the minute I saw the kit I knew I had to build it. As the only 1/48 Short
available it is to be welcomed but it has to be said, it is a fairly rough kit.
The wings are very thick and need much sanding, which unfortunately tends to expose
more bubbles in the resin the more you continue, Fuselage bottom requires a fair
bit of work too.
Once you've got over the major surgery, the marvellous big beast takes shape
and all is forgiven. I used the kit brass wing struts (thickened with PVA glue)
and a mix of kit struts and shaped brass wire for the float struts. One problem
during construction is the sheer weight of the model and I devised some brass
wire handles for the propellor shaft and rear lifting points to allow me to
move the thing about.
I used Humbrol Leather and Brown mixed for the floats, then drew the fine
grain with darker brown artist's pencil. Overall aircraft is sprayed Xtracolour
Linen with kit transfers for Union Flags and stencils, but some Tauro Italian
Roundels (without red centre dots) for early RNAS Cockades. I gave it some slight
weathering on metal panels and radiator but kept the linen clean as I didn't
wish to overdo it.
One point worth mentioning is that the rigging is functional - the wings are
very heavy and sag. I used Monofilament running right through both wings to
hold them straight. All in all one of those kits that I wouldn't relish making
a second time, but pleased with the results.
Kit: Blue Max (1:48)
Spad VII.C1 - Aviation Militaire, Spring 1917 - This is the Blue Max kit built
straight from the box, with the small addition of one of the windscreens from
the JMGT kit. Subject is S254 - one of Guynemer's "Vieux Charles" machines. (Since
the photo I have put the undercarriage rigging on!) This kit had some very thick
wing edges which required careful thinning to retain the scallops.
SPAD VII.C1 - 23 Squadron RFC, Summer 1917 - This model resulted from me building
the Blue Max kit as "Vieux Charles" (can't show that one as it ain't rigged yet!).
I dearly wanted to use the other set of markings and thought I would try a conversion
of the DML XIII to a VII. I used the BM kit as a pattern and cut down wings, fuselage
etc. to arrive at the results shown here. I don't pretend its perfect but it adequately
shows off the colourful markings. (Now where is that JMGT kit?)
Kit: SPIN (1:48)
SPAD A2 "Pulpit Fighter"
Western Front 1916
This is the marvellous SPIN resin and brass kit and makes into quite a splendid
little model of this unusual aircraft. Opening the box is not for the faint-hearted!
This took a lot of pre-build planning to work out what would attach to where,
how to mount the pulpit, what to drill for later rigging and what would be seen
through all the openings.
Probably took longer than any other model built recently. I have to say I am
pleased with the results but was surprised when one of my Pfalzes did better
in a recent competition. It won and I felt like saying to the judges - but the
SPAD is a much more difficult kit and a better model! C'est la vie!
The figure is the AJP Frenchman, and I thought his air of insouciance would
be exactly what A2 crew would need to get in the damn thing at all! I have the
SPIN A4 with those terrific Russian markings but it'll take me a while to get
up the resolve to build another Pulpit I think.