Kit: Eduard (1:72)
An aircraft I've always wanted to model in 1/72 but kept putting off due to the fact that there were no good decals for it. Superscale did this aircraft on sheet 72-664 but the "Winged Devil" (or God of Wind, whichever you prefer) markings could best be described as a caricature of the real thing. I decided to have a go at producing my own decals. I traced the profile in the Windsock Datafile, scanned it in, reduced it to 1/72 and then printed it out on white decal paper. The coloured areas were handpainted and then the decal was cut out and applied as normal. This results in a slightly thick marking but is a big improvement on Superscale's cartoon-like marking. Most of the other decals on the Superscale sheet were the wrong proportion so in the end only the top and bottom crosses were used, the rest being cut from black & white decal paper or coming from the spares box.
Jacobs of course replaced the Oberursal engine with a Clerget, in this vein I used one of the amazing engines from Small Stuff to replace the kit engine. This was without a doubt the most nerve wracking thing I've ever assembled; the pushrods aren't much thicker than a human hair and the spark plugs are about the size of a grain of sand. Fortunately Small Stuff includes spares of both, though the inclusion of a microscope to assemble the engine wouldn't go amiss! I managed to irreparably bend one of the pushrods (having used all the spares) so the engine, though it originally rotated, is fixed in place in order to hide the bent pushrod behind the cowling. The latter needs to be thinned considerably to get it to fit over the engine. The prop was one I carved many years ago for a long defunct Sopwith Triplane, this was cut down and reshaped into a Lang propeller from a Camel as per the close up photo of 450/17.
Guns are etched items from Toms Modelworks and the cockpit is as detailed as I could make it. I'm pleased to finally have this aircraft in my collection and the Clerget engine and British prop makes it stand out next to a standard Dr.I.