deHavilland aircraft
by Paul Thompson

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Airco DH2

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

DH2. 24th Squadron a/c just prior to capture. Blue Max kit in 1/48th.

Airco DH5

Kit: Czechmaster (1:72)

Airco DH5. Czechmasters resin (I think - there where no instructions) in 1/72nd. A very nice little kit. I put a super little instrument panel in there before I realised no-one would be able to see it. Honest. Finished from an illustration in the old Profile, with a Part bomb rack. Colour was Humbrol chocolate.

Airco DH9

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

There are several 1/72nd conversions from the Airfix DH4 to the DH9,and also the excellent Ardpol resin kit. This one is made by MBC Models. It consists of an Airfix DH4 and a new resin fuselage, with an insert for the cockpits, and new engine, radiator, undercarriage, weapons and tail surfaces. There are also new innermost interplane struts, but these where not usable. There are 2 sheets of decals on solid carrier film, and photos and details for 4 examples of Dutch machines, some interned, some purchased after the war. I chose one of the former,a very tatty machine interned in June of 1918. This machine was B7629 of 211 squadron, with a white A and stripes on the fuselage, and white sunburst on the rudder. The A and national markings where painted out with a darker colour by the new management, who also overpainted the rudder in orange. For the PC10 I used the Mister Kit paint, with Humbrol chocolate to obliterate the British markings.The orange is also Humbrol. The Scarf ring and airscrew were discarded in favour of Aeroclub items. Rigging is rolled copper wire and HSP. The decals went on fine except the stripes which I couldn't get to fit, so I swiped some from the Blue Rider kit. The wings where sanded to within an inch of their life and the decal strip used for the rib tapes. Unfortunately the top wing was too thin to remove all the existing detail - I went right through it in places, and still have some starving cow relics left.There is no armament fitted in photos of the real thing, so I left it off. Sadly enough, the struts are too long and the top wing sits too high - my fault entirely.

Airco DH9

Kit: Ardpol (1:72)

Airco DH9. This is the wonderful Ardpol resin in 1/72nd, out the box. All errors are my own.

American DH.4

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

This was interesting. The kit is mostly good, with a few accuracy issues I'm not too bothered by, and the business with the observer's stool. I've not seen a photo of the structure supplied in the kit so made up a seat according to the plans in the Windsock Datafile. I also made a recce camera which is more or less invisible behind the observer's position, unless you adopt an illegal viewing position. Oh well. I've used the kit transfers for the 50 Aero Squadron as supplied, but moved the roundels to the outboard position. There's a photo in the Datafile of number 5 from this squadron where you can see them so, and also the suggestion of a top wing chevron (which I'm not sure about and can add later if I ever see better evidence). There are no large numbers visible on the top wing. Mr Gannon seems to have taken the colour scheme from the old Profile publication, which also shows a blunt spinner and wing mounted flares, plus a light behind the observer. In fact this illustration seems to try to crowd in all the features ever mounted on an American DH.4, so I'm not convinced by it. I rolled an office chair over the white metal scarf ring so used a spare Aeroclub one instead. The Marlin m/gs received cartridge ejection chutes from heated rectangular section plastic bar stock. Aside from Eduard control horns and a few really minor details the rest of the build was out of the box. Rigging is mostly my first brush with ceramic wire (thanks Ken). I like this stuff, but needed thinner material for the doubled control lines. This is smoked invisible thread. Main paints are a Humbrol olive drab and radome tan. If I did this kit again I'd slice off the moulded pulleys - they're a bit more complicated than the kit version. And I wouldn't deflect the ailerons so much.

Airco DH.5

Kit: Karaya (1:48)

Relatively quick and painless build, with the aid of the usual Windsock Datafile. Finished with kit markings for A9507, at one time with 64 squadron. The photo and caption on pages 30 and 31 show the later spanwise aileron balance cable fitted, and an Aldis site, so a few lumps and bumps were scratched to reflect this. The pennants are PTFE tape painted with Mr Kit British red, and the idea is that the wind is blowing them backwards. PC10 is Humbrol dark earth mixed with black, CDL is Mr Kit British CDL, and rigging is HSP and rolled copper wire. Very nice kit.

Airco DH2

Kit: Roden (1:32)

October 2011, and it's been a while since I was happy enough with anything to put it in the gallery. This one's okay, -ish. Lovely kit, but the plastic could do with being a bit stronger. As it is, the booms sag a wee bit under the weight. If you use wire or sprue rigging this will cause you problems. I used EZline, which is an elastic thread. Also added most of the Eduard PE set, except for some brackets, and the plug leads (which seem to be for another engine). For the latter I used copper wire. You also need to trim the second eyelet off the elevator and aileron control horns. The DH2 doesn't need them. To be accurate, you should check which of the several modifications your chosen airframe sported. Now it's too late I suspect that mine should have had the aileron nacelle exit location about 1 cm aft, just behind the wing leading edge. Also possibly remove the fairing at the rear of the nacelle. Build time 8 days. 1/3rd of that was the expected struggle with Roden's inflexible decals. Worked in the end.

Airco DH4

Kit: Roden (1:48)

Kit markings for N5997, 2 (Naval) squadron RNAS, February 1918. Decals well printed except white out of register on fuselage roundels. The larger wing cockafes would not respond to Micro Sol and Set. In the end I used 9 applications and cut them to shreds with a scalpel, but they're still pretty iffy. I hadn't any others the right size so they stay. The bird and 'M' motif on the nose is too large. Apart from the decals, it was a nice kit to build. There were a few warped parts which wouldn't straighten, such as upper fuselage panels, but since there are alternative versions and I had 2 kits I could pick and mix. A couple of parts had the odd design fault, but were easily fixed by cutting. This aircraft in the Datafile photo has a weighted aerial hanging out of it, but since there isn't a w/t set in the kit I'm pretending it wasn't installed at the time the model represents. Ahem. There's no bomb load in the photo either, but the loadout modelled is shown in other photos. The bombs and racks are a mixture of Roden plastic, Aeroclub metal and leftover Eduard PE.

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