Our Muse, that will guide us through these times of political darkness

Friday, December 14, 2018

KP 1/72nd De Havilland DH88 Comet racer

What else could be added to what have been said about the excels beauty and the graceful lines of this design, or the feats accomplished by it?
I will just add that because of my unquenchable love for this plane I have built a number of DH88s, from Airfix ancestry and from the beautiful and exquisite resin cast offered also in 1/72 by the Hungarian firm S.B.S. Model.
Still undeterred, I bought the recently released boxing from KP, a manufacturer that has been lately releasing some beautiful kits, the civil Avia B.H.11 among them
Encouraged by those releases I embrace now the build of this DH88, an injected rendition of the iconic machine.
I have to say, before starting, that the SBS kit is a formidable one, and I don't believe that any injected kit could beat it, but the idea is perhaps to have an affordable, easier to build endeavor for those that still tremble and shake at the mere sight of a resin kit.
Fear not, this KP rendition is in some ways well above the old and venerable Airfix kit, being a much modern kit, but I am sure connoisseurs will soon find areas that may leave a bit to be desired, as is seemingly the fate of all things produced by humans, including little humans themselves.
Here are some shots of the contents, for your perusing and amusement:

 Now, this is a short run kit, meaning that instead of using the known techniques of gluing the parts together right on, aka "assembling", you may need to utilize an arcane technique, nowadays almost in disuse, called "modeling". These pips, for example, will need careful removing:

 Due to the nature of the molding process (and some questionable master-making) some parts will present small dimples that will need filling:

 The detail is good overall:
 There is a reasonable degree of surface detail:

 More dimples:

 And the culprit as usual is a master for the part that is not properly hollowed, rendering a too thick area that contracts on cooling. If the spinner and pointy nose would have been a hollow shell, no dimples would have been present. Instead, the master maker produced solid parts that in turn provoked the defect. Nothing to tear your vest and cry, though. The detail on the spinners, otherwise good, will no doubt suffer. I clarify that the dimples are NOT the ones molded for the prop blades, which are located on a different position:
 I sanded the main parts flat, without exaggerating, which will produce a bad fit down the lane, so be careful and restrained:
Short run technology, small, thin and fragile parts, and thick sprue gates don't get along well.
Long ago I learned that this rod-like parts are better cut from stretched sprue than try to extricate them and clean them, wasting time and energy:
 The cockpit pan is assembled and wing and wheel halves are glued together.
There are very small (and again fragile) additional structural parts to glue to the landing gear legs. Perhaps they were not molded as the ones already present there to allow for the legs to spread and accept the wheels. Whatever the case, they are too wide and need careful trimming and gluing.
Most parts are rendered thicker than one would wish, but hey, short run, affordable kit. What can you do (besides trying to thin walls and such). I have the impression that the wings and horizontal stabilizer (and vertical stabilizer) are again thicker than what this scale calls for. May be it's subjective.
The nose tip clear part is present in the same sprue that holds the canopy, but absent from the instructions and parts's map.
The Ratier prop logo is present on the decal sheet, but not really accurate.
In any case we have a decent kit of a nice, important plane, with some reasonable detail, for a reasonable price. One can't have it all:
The locating recesses on the stabs roots are drilled through. The landing gear braces are replaced with parts made of rod stock:
Some additional notes I am jotting down as the build progresses:
-The nose tip clear part is present in the same sprue that holds the canopy, but absent from the instructions and parts's map. 
-The Ratier prop logo is present on the decal sheet, but not really accurate.
-The landing gear parts that attach to the legs coming from the back at the well should have an horizontal connecting bit, absent from the kit, and are somewhat inaccurate (look at photos of the real thing).
-The interior depicted is not accurate for all the three planes you can build with this kit, so again check references. There are variations depending on the specific plane and at different times on their lives.
-The engineering of the engine gondolas will prevent the modeler from dealing comfortably with the different colors of the elements of the landing gear, wheel well, wheel and the gondola itself.
-The wings are a butt joint with the fuselage (but not the stabs, which have pips, go figure), so it is highly advisable to procure some means of securing them (metal pins, plastic rods, etc).
-As with other DH88 models, you have to take care of the flaps underneath the fuselage, which run from the wing to the center line, and fill any seams that may disrupt their contour.
-If you butt join the wings with the angle they have built in, you may end up with excess dihedral, so check that up.
-There is no provision or any indication for the prominent Pitot that goes on the right wing L.E.

A base color is applied to the fuselage interior and the cockpit pan>

To be continued.....

Thursday, October 25, 2018

RWD-5 bis ZTS Plastyk 1/72nd scale

What were you doing in 1985?
The Polish were making delightful kits.
Among them the one that concerns us today, a ZTS rendition of the RWD-5 (and RWD-5 bis).
I love these old but sound kits, that with a little care can be turned into very nice models. I have built a number of ZTS kits, and all brought satisfaction and good entertainment, being very appealing subjects out of the beaten-to-exhaustion-path, nicely engineered and very affordable.
All that said, modelers can still improve quite a bit through some simple actions (otherwise called real modeling).
My boxing is quite old, but the company is still alive and well:
My plan is to build the machine that crossed the Atlantic (SP-AJU) and eventually reached Buenos Aires (the city I was born). It's not particularly colorful, but with a few touches (open door, some refinements) it should be a nice little model.
So let's see what we got:
Very nice instructions in two colors and a sort of vintage box (old release, now they have pretty boxes):
 Very nice transparencies:
 Overdone fabric effect:

 This is too much and is better toned down:
 The wheels come integral with the pants, a blast from the past that won't do for me:
 The nose front, part of the fuselage sides, won't do for me either:

 Refreshing to see something that is not made in china:
 Sanding the "fabric" a bit (leaving detail, but not too prominent). The nose (metal in the original) is masked to protect it:
 The elevators are separated:
 Now the surface is much more credible:
 The nose tips are carefully cut off:
 Those naive wheels won't do:

 The wheels are removed and cavities carved:
 Small parts removed to be cleaned, there is some minor flash:
 Wing central lower part glued:
 A view of the parts (door has been cut open):
 The tie down holes are drilled (only marked in the kit):
The decal sheet is well printed, and I got a double sheet. The carrier seems thin, but the color of the registrations could be wrong, as it seems that has been established that they were red:
 The separated nose tips are glued together and the air intake, vent hole and prop location drilled as per photos:
The fuselage has two handles depicted closer to the tail, good effort, but I sand them away and drilled holes to later install wire ones:
 Two half-wheels are prepared to be later glued to the pants:
There are two aftermarket sets for this model, a Part photoetched set:
 And a Model Maker corrected decal set:
There are also many other boxings of this kit, some are old and some are new:

The hole for the Venturi is filled, since it was too large:
 Some structure is added:
Now a part of the cowling is excised, and a resin engine adapted to resemble the Cirrus-Hermes IIB:
 After installed a bit of structure and detail will be added:
The Pitot and Venturi are replaced:
Some components are airbrushed:

The prop is masked to paint the metal spinner. The cockpit pan is ready:
 Engine goes in and prop ready:
The aftermarket decal sheet arrived.
Things look good, the sheet seems of good quality, and there is reference leaflet in color on glossy paper, but the manufacturer forgot that the oleo struts were red.
Still waiting for the P.E. set, I think the Polish postman stopped for beer and kielbasa somewhere:
Well, the PE finally arrived, after many, many weeks of waiting:
 The fret will need priming and painting, since unfortunately the metal is not silvery, but brass:
 The interior is completed:
 The fuselage halves are joined and the nose tip, previously separated and detailed, is glued on:
 The landing gear part is glued:
Starting to take shape:
Working on some details:
Dealing with the seams of the wing lower panels and at the fuselage top. The wheel pant -that I had incorrectly painted red before- are given a coat of aluminium. Some parts from the etched fret are assembled and prepared:
A few structural pieces are glued to add interest:
 A gloss back base is applied:
New struts are made to replace the kit ones, that look a bit starved:
Aluminium color is airbrushed to the main elements and the masked windshield:

To be continued....