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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Noorduyn Norseman Forest Service -modified Revell 1/72 kit

It all started when I realized that I needed a pair of floats for a De Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide project.
Since there are no aftermarket EDO floats for it, I acquired an old Noorduyn Norseman. The floats in the kit are not accurate, but can be improved upon.
But the boxing came with floats, skis, and wheels, so no harm was done requisitioning those floats. And besides the design sort of grew on me.
A quick search rendered a few attractive subjects, from which I chose one plane used by the US Forest Service. I think that is a good cause for any plane, to take care of nature, instead of obliterate it. 
Photo from Bill Larkins Flickr photostream:

This is, as many of you know, and old mold, originally a Matchbox release, and then squeezed a bit more by Revell, which is my boxing. It is not a bad kit, but the flying surfaces suffer from Ribitis, that is, the inflammation of the ribs, in all flying surfaces.
The parts were carried to the doctor, who happened to be Sanding Sponge Bob Doctor, that gave the patient a firm and repeated scrub under water, until the inflammation disappeared, leaving a more acceptable skin.
So, without intention or premeditation, I found myself in the process of building a chubby Noorduyn Norseman.
Other than show what I am doing, I won't abound on information since this kit has been with us since Victorian times. It is so old, that Revell actually blotted the original brand an date engraved on the molds.

To the right and in the foreground, the original accordion wings, to the left and background, the sanding has already started:
 There is a difference:
 All surfaces follow the same treatment:
 The floats that come with the kit (that I snatched and will be using somewhere else) are not accurate, and need re-working:
 All flying surfaces sanded down, all parts cleaned up and ready for assembly:

The detail on the fuselage is nice. Pity I don't know what was inn the interior of the Forest Service plane, so I can't open the door and hatches as I often do:

 The now blotted original branding:
 And now the flying surfaces are more like photos of the original plane:
Whatever parts come in halves are glued together, and the seams tidied-up even if they are not pertinent to the specific subject modeled. The smaller parts had an awful fit, being the locating devices out of wack or too big in the case of the pips:
The floats work for the other build continues:

My subject had lights on the wings, thus they are drilled and home-made lenses are provided:
 Comparing photos of my subject with the kit, the most evident detail that has to go are those additional hatches. There are deleted:

Airscoop hollowed:
 Correction of details,continues, checking against photos of intended plane:
 Details are added:
 Rigging holes for the tail feathers:

To be continued....

Saturday, May 23, 2020

De Havilland D.H.60 Gipsy Moth, double build, 1/72 Avis and Amodel kits

A rather classic subject, and thus unusual for me, but here is a build of two Moths.
I bought the Amodel and Avis releases believing they were different molds, but no luck.
A very old Amodel mold was released long ago, and that was different (and not in a good way).
Therefore, here are two Moths, one for me and other for dear friend David the Tall of Chicago.
As much I may know about really arcane subjects, I am a total illiterate on these widespread types, and had to start to educate myself.
In any case, here are the boxings and contents.
There are many versions out there in different releases, but apparently the sprues are more or less the same. Save that the seaplane has floats, of course, and the Amodel has an extra wing with slats.

I started with the cockpits, but noticed the strange absence of the front joystick.
 Nope, nothing in the instructions. I was told that often the first joystick, usually the student or passenger joystick, was removed and stored:
Floats AND trolley:
I had replaced the kit's joysticks (that only provides one, by the way, for the back seat), but I wasn't happy with them either, thus I made better ones:

I know what version friend David wants, on wheels, but I still haven't decided which would I do, hust in case, I am building the trolley and floats (clamped in the photo):
 What??? what are these parts doing in MY sprues!
Heresy! Sabotage!
 My guess is that they got things wrong here. The parts should go where the little squares are, not where the plan is indicating:
 As in there:
The floats have detail, a bit faint in parts:
 When that seams is cleaned, those inspection caps will go away, thus new are made punching kitchen foil:
 Once you clean the parts, most look really nice, and with pleasant detail:
Cleaning proceeds carefully, but at a good pace:
 The closer I look at the parts as I clean them,  the more respect I develop for the master maker.
The impression of vagueness comes actually form the molding process, not the parts themselves.
 I also love that with these kits you get a lot of spares!!
Whatever parts was practical to remove and clean, are in the container, ready for assembly. Smaller bits or those that can create confusion, are still in the sprues:
Another issue with the instructions.
They will have you glue the other half of the engine with that flat ridge upwards:
This is the wrong position for the part
If you put the part like so, as the instructions ask, it will go ill:
 Problem is, if you do that, the fuselage top won't close:
 The way to glue the part is all the way around, that flat ridge down:
 Thus allowing the fuselage to close, and providing a base for those cylinders, and closing of the gap in that space inside:

 You may have to "help" a bit with the fit thinning that "flute" or air channel:
 The small and sorta cute chunky representations of the throttle quadrants. I actually used them (they can be seen glued already above in one of the images):
The fit of this part of the floor that comes separate is not good. The opening in the fuselage sides has to be enlarged, the the cross-member on the part has to be trimmed back, or it will bump onto the sides:
A first airbrushing session is in the makings:
Base color:
It's been a long day, but there is not much to show at the end of it.
Preparing the floats for the Moth (just in case I want to use them) and a pair of repurposed Norseman floats for a floaty Dragon Rapide. I corrected the shape and am adding the right detail to make them more like the EDO floats they are supposed to represent.
The diorama props are further assembled and enhanced.
Some detail painting on the fuselages of the Moths and an unrelated prop:
More work on the interior before closing the fuselage:
Fuselage halves joined. The fit is not good, as we knew. But can be worked out with patience and ulterior puttying:
To provide prop rotation, the axle is retained by a piece of styrene, thus avoiding the almost universal silly expedient of having to glue the prop at this stage to achieve the same, creating a painting and masking nightmare in the process. How many decades this impractical feature has been carried on?:
 Nose on, airscoop hollowed:
In an incredible, almost unreal feat of modeling, I glued the lower wings to both fuselages.
I deem these builds 99% complete, the worst is surely over...or is it?

To be continued...