Monday, May 2, 2022

Curtiss Jenny barnstormer- Olimp from Ukraine 1/72nd - Lillian Boyer



A contemporary card:

A wonderful little kit from Olimp in Ukraine. The Curtiss Jenny is so famous that hardly needs any introduction. Olimp's rendition is absolutely charming, a pleasure to work with, and has a nice level of detail. They released different boxings to cover a number of sub-types, but they seem to be mostly sold out now. In fact, several fellow modelers wrote to tell me that they have this kit, so it seemed to have sold well.

The step-by-step building article is here, perhaps useful to read if you have the kit, as it needs a couple of touches.

This was such a pleasant build, the plastic is fantastic, the fit good, the parts very easily removed from the sprues and promptly cleaned up, and you get some spares as several versions are included in the trees. How I wish that the rule for short-run kits were something like this. Such pity that Olimp didn't seem to pursue the injected plastic market and concentrated on resin.

Lillian Boyer's plane was chosen as the subject for this build, in the common post WWI war role of barnstormer. You can see clips of her hair-raising stunts in the building article following the link given above.

My thanks to friend and fellow unmodeler Christos Psarras and his unsinkable dogs, Coochie and Smoochee, for providing the decals for this project.

And since we are in the Ukraine subject, let's hope that the grip of the despicable wannabe dictator -pals with the orange ignorant clown we had here- is released from this country, so its people can continue to live free and in peace.

Practicing the routine on land with the pilot:

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Gulfstream G-450 - Amodel + Welsh Models kitbashing/scratch 1/72nd



Who said that two objects can't occupy the same space at the same time?

(The step by step building article is here:

My dear friend David the Logarithmically Tall flew in the real plane and wanted a model of it. In order to replicate the version intended, G-450, since it doesn't exist in natural state in the modeling 1/72nd universe, two kits had to be combined: Amodel's Gulfstream G-550 and Welsh Models' Gulfstream IV (in its C-20G boxing). I hereby freely and willingly declare my almost total ignorance on the matter, or any jet matter, in fact. And I wish to remain as ignorant as possible, since it is not within the envelope of my modeling interests. Give me a Farman Jabiru any day.

I can't really write a fair review of either of the two kits involved in this endeavor, as I combined parts of the two, but I am familiar with Amodel, as I built some of their kits, and I must say that they are not the friendliest to build, but they do have an array of very interesting and truly appealing subjects, if many times with some issues: ill or indifferent fit, plenty of inconvenient engineering, absence in many cases of locating devices, accuracy issues, and too often puzzling or vague instructions. Being completely uninterested in jets as I mentioned, can't comment much either on Welsh Models, but I am thoroughly familiar with resin and vac kits and multimedia releases, and I also have built a great deal of them. If you are willing to put the hours and the effort, you will end up with a nice model, provided you have enough experience. Welsh Models vac parts have surface detail and a good, convenient gage; the resin parts are fair, but need a small degree of filling and re-working; the kit has no instructions whatsoever. The white metal parts in general are good and well defined, and have nice detail, but in contrast the instrument console is crude, and the solution for the (clear vac) cockpit transparencies is not very practical, plus there are no cabin windows provided, only decals for them. No real interlocking, or locating devices, or securing means are offered, assuming I think that the buyer will be experienced enough to provide the necessary engineering solutions. So be prepared for the extra engineering and work, and no little head-scratching. I tend to be lenient with a cottage endeavor like Welsh Models, but I expect more from an established company like Amodel, that has greater resources. Neither kit provides masks, but the Amodel kit has a few P.E. parts. So far my personal nitpickings, and yet, you can see an encouraging number of Amodel and Welsh releases made into very nice models on the Net, so it can surely be done if in able  hands.

Due to the high amount of kit surgery needed to be performed, I -needless to say- ended up with much more that I had bargained for (when the project started, my friend thought that the Amodel kit was the right variant, but, of course, it wasn't), which consumed much more time and effort than either kit alone would had, so I ended up enacting a strange version of "Dances With Sandsticks", not very happily, if I may add.

To add interest, I opened the cabin door and fabricated some of the interior to the extent it could be seen from the entrance, and acquired a wonderfully detailed aftermarket 3D-printed stair. The same company, Click2detail -in Shapeways-, offers cabin and cockpit transparencies and flaps, if you really want to go to town.

This time-consuming, kit-crossing, detail-adding enterprise produced what I think is a fair representation of the type and -at least to me- a credible model, being this my first corporate jet. Sometimes, for some reason or other, we extend our subject horizons, and thus get involved in some curious modeling adventures. This time we were fortunate enough to get away from the Knights Who Say "Ni!".

My gratitude to friend and fellow modeler Christos Psarras and his unsinkable dogs, who provided important input for the build (I am referring to the dogs, of course), and to Mika Jernfors of Arctic Decals for producing the wonderful sets that save many of my builds from oblivion.

 From these two kits the new bird arose:

A bit of the interior was scratched to reveal a partial interior with the opened door: