Allied Aircraft
by Glen Cannon

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Kit: Smer (1:48)

have tried a lot of new techniques with this, my 5th biplane model. I was sucked into the beauty of the WW1 biplanes by a build article by Lance Kreig in a Windsock Datafile. Have accumulated a crowd of OT stuff since that I am never likely to build my way through in this or any other lifetime, but understand I am not alone in this. I build pretty much exclusively in 1/48th due to aging eyes and judgement.

Anyways, this is my Smer DH-2. I have joked that you can all credit me with the arrival of the Eduard kit, as I was well into this build when the Eduard kit made its appearance, and prior to this the only option was the hard to find (or justify pricewise at the time) Blue Max kit. Don’t get me wrong, I love Blue Max kits, I have built a couple and enjoy them a lot, but the DH-2s were going on Ebay for US 50+ at the time, and I could have 2 or 3 other kits for that price. But after seeing the beautiful work of Tom Morgan on his, I had to have a DH-2.

I cannot hope to come close to what he created, but was inspired. I used his build and all the others I could find on the internet as a reference, thus ending up with a fictional hybrid of many aircraft. But I took this from the start as a learning exercise for new techniques, so take total blame for it being a “bitsa”.

The Smer kit needs some help. Kind of chunky, slightly incorrect wingtip shapes from what I could see, and terrible starving dog wing ribs throughout. Decals are good though, and I understand the fuselage shape to be better than the Blue Max(?). Also, the serial number on the kit decals was only a couple away from a scheme in the Eduard Profipack, so I assumed both aircraft were delivered together…..

Anyways; I sanded down and reskinned the wings, (thank you Sir Harry Woodman) then removed all surface detail from the fuselage and replaced it with Part stitching/lacing. Scratchbuilt the interior, made my own struts from Strutz and plastic. Sanded and retextured the rear control surfaces with fine evergreen and Mr. Surfacer. Ground some slackness into the sides of the fuselage to emulate sagging cloth. Carved the gravity feed tank on top of the wing, used some Foto Cut wire wheels, an Aeroclub engine and Lewis gun. Added the plastic blades from the kit prop to the Aeroclub metal one that accompanied the engine to get a 4 blade, carved them to shape, used Grandt line bolts for the pulleys on the inner struts for the rigging, and cheated by downloading the Eduard kit rigging diagrams from their website. I used both Eduard and Part control horns and bits. Also, Fred from Fotocut did some bits for a special Lance Kreig had requested, and sold me some of those through the list, so Thanks for that also. Used them for various brackets throughout.

It was a fair bit of work, but had fun with it. I realize it is inaccurate in many ways, but did reshape the wings, open up under the engine compartment, and actually enjoyed rigging it. I used the Aeroclub stretch rigging thread, and rigged it without drilling holes through the wings, although this idea is currently under debate in my mind. I had done so on earlier projects and not managed to touch up the resulting holes well. But in retrospect, it is probably better.

Not totally happy with the wheels. I slightly dished the photo etch, then glued it to both sides of an appropriately sized rubber O ring, I am sure there is a better way and I will chase that down on the list forum.

So, taken as a historic replica it will no doubt have any serious fan of the subject reaching resignedly for a bottle. However, as an exercise I was pretty happy with it, shows some progress for me and how often do you get to learn and have fun?

The adventure continues, I will send in more as I (quite slowly) complete them, I do have some older ones but I am sure that if I had sent them in first the webmaster would have changed his email address and had to move the site to avoid me. Thanks to all here for inspiration and education, there is a real art and beauty to these aircraft and the work displayed on this site. And the sense of community and sharing of information gives us beginners hope. I have every intention of bringing my 10 year old nephew, currently building cars and Spitfires with the crazy uncle, into the fold.

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