by Dave Calhoun

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Ansaldo SVA-5

Kit: SMER (1:48)

Ansaldo SVA-5 built from SMER kit in 1/48 scale. Windsock datafile was used for plans. @ kits were used to get proper sized wings, fuselage measured OK. Sheet styrene was used for control surfaces. Interior was scratchbuilt, as were bombs & jackets for Vickers guns (evergreen styrene). Fuselage was covered with Superscale medium wood grain decal. Wings were hand painted using 1/4" bristle brush & a stippling motion, dark green & red brown were painted over CDL. Roundels are from Americal/gryphon, and black lion & letters & numbers are home made decals done on a photocopier. The orange & yellow flag decal was hand painted on clear decal sheet. A lot of work, but the end results are well worth it. Hand carved wood prop was added, but I think it looks a little chunky. Model won a few awards at local contests, including "Best WW1 award" from John Marcos at the 1995 Patcon show.

Ansaldo A-1 Balilla

Kit: Karaya (1:48)

This is the Karaya resin kit of the Ansaldo A-1 Balilla. I did a full build article a few years ago on Internet Modeler but was unable to find the back issues with the new format to get the correct date. Anyway it was my first kit entirely made from resin, and it went together better than most styrene kits, and has very fine details and nice thin trailing edges. This is finished as one of the American flown Balillas flown by the 7th Kosciuszko Squadron in the 1920 Polish-Soviet war. slightly OT but it was built in 1918 and this one is marked as the aircraft flown by Captain Merian Caldwell-Cooper who flew in the USAS in 1918.The wood was my standard artists oil over acrylic, I used Bare metal foil on the cowling sprayed with dullcoat to tone it down,and the rigging was made from ceramic "Wonder Wire". I scratchbuilt from styrene the special metal fittings that attached the flying wires to the wings, they didn't use normal turnbuckles on these. Also styrene was cut to go between the ceramic flying wires and painted black to represent the taped wooden pieces used on the actual aircraft. Unfortunately my dull coat on the wings and tail turned the bright red Polish insignia a washed out pink color. Thanks to listee Bud for the leftover Polish decals to finish it off again.

Caudron G.III

Kit: AJP Maquettes (1:48)

The AJP Maquettes kits are made in France, and feature photoetched metal framework that is covered with tissue like an old Aeroskin model. I decided to build their Caudron G.III since it is the only 1/48 scale model available of this important aircraft. Building this taught me many new techniques, I soldered the main parts together, and scratchbuilt the stabilizer and wing tips from brass rod. The kit is not very accurate compared to the Windsock Datafile plans, but it looks like a Caudron when done. I used ceramic wire for all bracing wires, and invisible thread for all control wires. the cowling was scratchbuilt, using two Eduard Nieuport 11 cowlings and sheet styrene to get the correct shape. The Eduard Nieuport 80hp LeRhone engine was also used. Two French figures from Hecker & Koch were used, and I made a base covered with plaster bandage and static grass to make it easier to move the finished aircraft, which was very fragile.


Kit: SMER (1:48)

Here is an oldie but goody, one of the first WW1 models that I built in the early 1990's. I found the SMER kit in the back corner of the local hobby shop, the price was more then than they are nowadays due to the rarity of Communist manufactured kits at the time. I built it to resemble Lanoe Hawker's 24 Squadron aircraft that was shot down by MvR. Unfortunately I had very few references at the time, but did get the red & white struts, sawtooth white edge on the bottom, and painted it a home mixed "chocolate brown" as my article told me to do. Of course I had no photo of the plane or a Datafile, so I did not know the Serial #. This had a little bit of added detail such as Aeroclub white metal Lewis gun, and Aeroclub white metal Gnome engine and 4 bladed prop. I added rigging from stainless steel wire which can be seen snapped off the control posts in one of the photos. These photos are all that remain of it now.

Hanroit HD2

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

This is the Eduard Hanroit HD2 Profipack kit. It was built out of the box and had some nice photoetched details for the interior. It was painted as one of the U.S. Navy aircraft stationed at Dunkirk in 1918. The gray used by the Navy in 1918 is still a mystery to me, I tried to match the gray used on Navy fighters in the 1920's and I think it looks pretty good. I hand painted the fuselage band with a French blue, figuring it was easier to get the French colors than the US dark blue out in the field. The rigging was monofilamint with wire turnbuckles and came out good, even got the double flying wires figured out. This color gray blends in nicely with the background, whether it be a gray sky or sea. Looks like the Navy got their camouflage colors right back then, as they are still using similar colors today! I am thinking of doing a diorama of a pier and a sailor working on it since there is no beaching dolly and it looks silly leaning back on the tail.

Curtis JNR 4D Jenny

Kit: Lindberg (1:48)

1/48 Curtiss JNR 4D Jenny built from the Lindberg kit. It represents the first aircraft used by the Mass. Air National Guard in 1922, based in Boston and still wearing markings from the 1st Aero Squadron. Nose was converted to Hispano using styrene & putty. Wheels are from Eduard Fokker E.III. Rigging is stretched sprue attached with Elmers glue. All else is out of box. Only references that I could find were a b/w photo of actual aircraft, a close up of the nose of the JN 4D at Rhinebeck, and a rigging diagram.

Sopwith Triplane

Kit: Aurora (1:48)

Aorora Sopwith Triplane. 1/48 scale built around 1992. I used an original Aurora kit and detailed it with white metal parts and decals from Koster Aero. Was my first Aurora kit that I tried to accurize, looked OK but still used the kit wings that were not accurately profiled. Modeled as the twin Vickers armed aircraft "Black Maria" flown by Raymod Collishaw in Black Flight.

Sikorsky S-16

Kit: Master Club (1:48)

This is a short run resin kit made by master club in Russia in the early 1990's. The best moldings of any kit I have ever built, resin or styrene. All the struts came with reinforcing wires embedded in them to give them stregnth. The amazing spoked wheels came pre assembled. This was an experiment on layering the paint to represent a translucent clear doped linen aircraft, and I think the results were successful. Decals were from Americal Gryphon for the roundels and banner on the fuselage, the banner on the tail was cut from wider rudder stripes. Rigging was ceramic wire with stretched plastic Q-tips used for turnbuckles. The Lewis gun had a scratchbuilt ammo feed chute, syncronizer rod and handgrips added to it. Aircraft represents the S-16ser flown by Imperial Russian ace Juri Gilsher in 1916.

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