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

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mira III "Golondrina" (Swallow)

 (The completed model is here:)

Every country and every time has its pioneers, many times unrecognized for one reason or another. Argentina is not exception and the work of Mr. Virgilio Carlos Mira did not get perhaps all the support it deserved. Mira developed its own designs from the remains of an early Bleriot monoplane. These designs evolved into a series of successful machines of which we present here the third iteration, the Mira 3 “Golondrina” (swallow). This plane flew through the 20’s and incorporated some devices that were practical, affordable, functional and clever.
Fellow enthusiast Armando G. enticed me to build a replica of such important subject, since he had seen and photographed one scale model at the museum in Aeroparque airport, Argentina, many years ago. The photo shows a decent effort, but with some minor inaccuracies, again evident when compared with photos of the original.
Some information can be found mainly in “Historia de la Industria Aeronautica Argentina”, by Francisco Halbritter, in “Los Registros R 1928-38” by Gabriel Pavlovcic and the A.A.H.S. Journal of summer 1968. It should be noted, though, that as it is common with obscure types, some data found in these sources is not totally correct, and that there is some mislabeling regarding the five or so versions that were built. The first reference contains a plan that is absolutely off the mark for the stated version, the third. When compared with actual photos of the Mira III the plan is almost useless. The deviations are so many that it would be impractical to detail them all here.
I started after gathering references by correcting the plan to provide for a better base for scratchbuilding. A few items as you can see in the photos are from my ever-dwindling stash of Aeroclub white metal aftermarket details. The rest of the model follows more or less scratch techniques that I have presented already many times, the images anyway tell the story.

A special mention of the dreaded white decals should be made. As you all know standard printers can’t print white, and I don’t own an ALPS printer, so one solution is to hand-paint the motifs on clear stock and then apply them as normal decals. Normal white enamel applied with a brush did not do the trick, the lettering being small and convoluted. Enamel pens of fine point did not provide the level of precision needed, so I printed the fuselage background color on white decal stock leaving the lettering “hollowed” (thus white). Of course I first had to create the lettering image, find the correct font, etc.
The rigging is relatively simple and the colors are based on a model that used to be at Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires of which Armando took a photo.
The interior is already in place. Two "ears" were added to the cowl to blend it with the fuselage sides as per original:
Painting session:
Home made decals as a negative on a white decal sheet, surrounded by color to match fuselage and rudder.
This is one approach, the other is enamel white micro-tip pen on clear decal:
The time-consuming job of adding the "wires" is in process:

1 comment:

  1. Hmm. When this is finished it could be a candidate for conversion to S.E.5 maybe.
    The last picture with those thin wings surely never flew?? Biplane - a new definition.