Allied models
by Robert Karr

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Kit: scratchbuilt (1:32)

I scratchbuilt this 1/32 BE-2 years ago and time had not been its best friend. A couple of wires had snapped plus it had grown a good coat of dust and general grunge. I recently spent a couple of days putting the old gal back in shape.

The wings and tail surfaces were made from 1/16" clear styrene with fishing line ribs, filled in between with 82 gazzillion layers of Floquil "Crystal Cote" used as a clear putty. The internal structure was painted on with fabric color....and a few words about that: some folks have tried to do CDL wings from clear plastic and have not been satisfied with the results. Usually this is from painting the internals a dark wood color, making the structure to dark and stark. The thing to do is paint these internal details fabric color because what's needed is opacity, so shadows are cast- NOT the wood color. It's the shadows we need!

The fuselage was bult up from HO railroad lumber covered in acrylic soaked tissue. All struts are bamboo, rigging is various sizes of fishing line. The engine was made using old standby method of wire wrapped dowels for the cylinders with a crankcase laminated up from sheet styrene. The prop is carved basswood and the wheels are synthetic rubber "O" rings on styrene wheels.


Kit: scratchbuilt (1:48)

This is one of my first major "adult era"scratchbuilding projects, made about 1988 or so. I'd been scartchbuilding for a long time, but this was among the first all-out attempts at smallscale, heavily detailed scratchbuilt models. Some oldtimers may remember it from being a winner in the 1990 FSM photo contest- one of the series of "in flight" pics I took was published there in the November 1990 issue...hey- it got me a free year of FSM! It's 1/48th, scale frame work from model RR wood sticks covered in tissue. The engine is the old standby of wire wrapped around a dowel. The wheels came from a Monogram Camel...I think. All else is scratched. This was also my first attempt at using clear plastic sheet for that translucent CDL effect- on the horizontal stabilizer. Rigging is invisible thread.

A couple of the photos here were taken in those days- the inflight shot and the 3/4 rear left side. The rest were recent, as in three days ago!(August 2004) The old inflight shot was taken through a large sheet of glass- accounting for the odd reflections and shadows....the sky was the pure blue of Southern California! happenstance puff of wind blew the prop as I snapped the shutter.No digital fiddling at all.

I still have this one, and what prompted me to take take a few more pics is that I recently CLEANED the thing and thought it's still not all that horrible. The only damage (visibilty of which is minimised in the recent poses) is one snapped rear landing wire on the left side outer bay.

She seems to still be holding her own.Perhaps one day I'll get around to fixing that one pesky wire.

Sopwith Camel

Kit: Hasegawa (1:8)

I've finished the second and last "Hasegawa" Camel. I must now purge my inner being of Camel skeleton poisons.

The only un-modified kit pieces seen here are the basic cowl bowl, pitot tubes, tires and prop. Most kit parts, if used, are completely reworked. None of the kit brass was used. The rigging is all scratched. The RAFwires are each four rows of 6lb fishing line run up on a jig and slathered with brush-on CA, then filled and primed with alu colored urethane and sanded. Final paint on them is Floquil R&R acrylic aluminum. The only turnbuckles on a Camel are internal, and the flimsy plastic thingies in the kit are too big, and only about a quarter of the number needed. Mine are thin insulation with a core of bread-tie wire looped on the ends. The wheel covers are wrinkled and stained coffee filter paper.

The misery has ended.


Kit: Revell (1:28)

This is the ancient Revell Spad XIII in vaguely 1/28 scale. I built this some time in the late 80's and it's still around. The colors were home made mixes from ????? with lots of consultation with the Project Butterfly issues of Cross and Cockade; the turtle was rebuilt with the former/stringer/tissue method after the kit area was cut away; the rather cliched markings are modified kit decals augmented by bits of hand painting (and fit the best interpretations of the time for one of Luke's airplanes); in a burst of insanity, I added all the tacks in the ribs with a fine brush and white glue dabs, which only show up in some lighting conditions; prop is enlarged; radiator pretty much scratchbuilt except for cowl ring; struts are one of my first attempts with bamboo...the whole model was just about completely rebuilt with no un-modified parts.

Sopwith Triplane

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

The Eduard 1/48 kit. Turtle rebuilt doing the "embossed from behind" thing to include the little upswept fairings infront of the horizontal stabilizers. This is really modeled after a repro owned by the client who bought the model, so there may be some differences when compared to the actual Black Roger, although I kept the Clerget in the model rather than the LeRhone the repro flies with....also, before delivery, I DID redo, neaten up and tie back the pitot leads!

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