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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Revell Junkers F.13

From the archive (2006):

It is somewhere said that the prolific designer Hugo Junkers was trying to invent the soda can but ended up creating the can plane. He applied this design principle to a plethora of well known (and lesser known) efficient planes. In a large saga of forerunners of what will become a "modern" technology, he dealt with the particularities of constructing flying machines from corrugated metal sheet that will influence other designers and entice them to follow the trend.
  This particular aircraft was a light transport used in many countries in land and sea configurations. The model Revell launched time ago into the market is also well designed and beautifully done. It offers the two options described above, with several decaling options, in long-run technology, which draw a sigh of relief from this modeler used to struggle -in order to satiate his appetite for arcane designs- with short-run spawns that require the best of you to arrive to a happy modeling end.   A very nice interior is provided, and if you look carefully you may notice that the cowl that covers the engine -part of the upper fuselage slab- can be easily separated (there is a groove that runs on the back of the part) to pose it open if you so wish. To do that, though, you have to remove two small sections of the fuselage sides and attach them to the above-mentioned part. An engine is also provided, and the parts in general are well molded. I cut out one of the doors, which implied separating one of the fuselage sides -since the door runs from top to bottom-, hoping that general alignment wouldn't be difficult later. Elevator and rudder were scored and deflected. Plenty of images can be found on the Internet for reference.  The pontoons were built, braced together and left aside. A few structural details were added to the front fuselage sides, the cowl and the firewall. The fuselage sides were partially assembled, the interior added and the remaining parts cemented. Since the sub assemblies were painted as much as possible, the exterior was next. In this issue Revell provides several options. I liked two very much: the version on floats and a colorful machine (DZ. 40) depicted on the box top. I finally went for the seaplane, but in this case I may be doing the other one too.
  Corrugated surfaces are not the best friend of modelers, but you may apply diluted filler or a liquid filling product and then carefully smooth things out with a cotton bud soaked in the correspondent thinner, which reduces sanding to a minimum. I then thinned the wing trailing edges a bit and cemented the wing halves, taking care of drilling the holes marked on the lower half and depicted in the instructions.
  Once the main sub assemblies were ready, a coat of black paint was airbrushed in preparation for the metal finish, but to my horror, I was out of Alclad II. I ended up using Testor's enamels, mixing aluminum and blue -just a tad of the last one-, applied chord-wise in shades. Then, after masking -I made a special mask photocopying the side of the fuselage and transferring the profile to masking tape- black paint was reapplied in the correspondent areas. All main assemblies were then put together, touched up, and the little fiddly things were added. A couple of Future coats, removal of the masks that covered the windows, and ready for the decals.
  The decal sheet is very generous and in good register, the images are beautiful, matt, and the whole thing is totally...useless. No matter what I did to them, they refused to blend into the corrugations. I ended up using Future as a decaling agent and getting close to a decent finish. So frustrating after all that work.
  I was able to find on the Internet some alternatives in JBOT decals, but didn't try them yet.
  Anyway, the somewhat cartoonish look of this attractive plane is a sight for delight, and a welcome option for those who want to explore further into the more arcane –and rewarding- subjects of aviation history.

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