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

Friday, February 14, 2014

Scratchbuilt 1/72 Farman 200 tourisme

-This is the building article, the completed model can be seen here:

Ah, the irresistible attraction of an out-of-the-beaten-path subject, obscure, arcane, esoteric...and why not irrevocably weird.
After all, how many arch-known types of the WW2 can the modeling world need, or even endure?
Your odd model will most likely not be destined to resemble a boring photocopy of the ones already (over)populating the shelves and modeling contest tables, and, best of all, will bring to 3D life a subject that until then was never appreciated. That's a good feeling, isn't it? to bring to life a piece of aviation history that wasn't there before, the designs and hopes of sometimes ignored individuals, the shapes and configurations created by daring minds. Of course, you may get the occasional blank stare from primordial brains that only speak the usual four modeling languages: Spitfiren, Messerschmitten, Zeroen and Mustangen. That is perhaps unavoidable, and can actually be construed as a compliment: "Whozzat?" translated into proper language means "I see something new". But, who am i to judge, I have sinned in my youth too.
There is a more difficult side in dealing with odd balls, though: you are almost surely bound not to find a kit to adapt or convert, or even a plan, or abundant photographic references. Research will take a little time, but man, will it be rewarding. So your little creation will grow from almost nothing to something, in your caring hands and brain. I must say, though, that in this particular case, I did find a 3view, although in some obscure crag in the Net, containing the pertinent issue of the French journal "Les Ailes", together with all the additional stats needed. The plan had to be corrected and refined, but it was a very good starting point.
Considering the year when this creature was born, 1923, one can immediately see its pioneering solutions: cantilever low wing, sport -private- market orientation, a canopy to insulate the crew from the inclement elements, simplicity of design and -for the time- dashing appearance. A precursor no doubt of many other Farman future endeavors.
Of the very few images I managed to find, a couple show the plane without the canopy, in a configuration that may suggest one occupant instead of the standard  canopied two. This type should not be confused with a later model that also got the "F.200" denomination, a few years after. Contrary to the blurbs that are found on the Net regarding its performance (given as pour) at least one contemporary article speaks about many successful flights and good maneuverability. 

The parts are as usual fabricated from styrene sheet. Accessories from the spares box are also readied. As you can see there is a nice Hisso there, which may entice the depiction of an open cowl:
 The plan had to be tweaked and completed to match the photos and stats:
More structure is added and components put together:

More elements are added. This sometimes is not easy to spot, in this case is the wingtip ribs, more longerons in the fuselage, the fuselage floor and some nose re-enforcements needed to later re-contour it:
The wings are closed, ailerons still to be engraved. The metal control horns are installed in the tail surfaces, and the locations for all cables are drilled. The piece of wood from which the upper deck is going to be made is visible. Already about 40 components -some of course just little pieces of styrene- were fabricated:
Ailerons engraved and wood blocks prepared:
 Wood blocks carved and sanded:
 They will be used to vacuform parts:
The wings are ready:
 The airfoil:
Vacuforming the canopy, turtledeck, radiator, engine capot:
The parts dry-fitted:
The multi-part engine is assembled:
 Here compared with the parallel build, the Nungesser Hydravion:
At this point, when things seem pretty much in the bag, the slow details begin. The control horns for the ailerons are installed and the cable exit points are drilled. The landing gear locations are also drilled in wings and fuselage. Tailskid is installed:
Some details of the cockpit are worked out:
 Landing gear legs are made of streamlined brass.
Interior bits about to go inside:
The canopy in place, radiator being prepared:
 Canopy ready, engine and radiator dry-fitted:
All the main parts ready:
Engine exhaust stubs added:
Masking the canopy (the Nungesser model can be seen here too):
Then wings are masked and sprayed with primer:
 Thus creating the rib tape impression:
General view with the wings and tail surfaces glued:
Engine exhausts -as I told you before, when the models seems almost ready, the details begin-:
Painting begins:
Masking and applying the other color:
Ready for the clear coat:

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