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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Scratchbuilt 1/72 Alexandrov-Kalinin AK-1

 (this is the building article, for the completed model, please go here:

Since I have started the Amodel Kalinin K-5 and the Italeri Savoia Marchetti Corsa conversion, I thought what could be better than to start yet another (third) model? So I am now scratchbuilding an Alexandrov-Kalinin AK-1 of 1924. Please notice that the first Kalinin and the second Kalinin are not the same, and should not be confused, being these Kalinins two different comrades that happen to share the same surname due to the economy mandate of the last quinquennial plan. If you think that sharing the same last name can be problematic, think about sharing your cot, bathroom and shoes.
In any case, the AK-1 was a boxy and irresistibly cute nice little Russian passenger plane. One was built and it can be seen in photos at different times in its short life with different schemes and some mods. One photo shows the Lamblin radiators hanging underneath the fuselage, other shows the plane on skis with no visible markings, yet some others show a sort of complicated scheme with abundant lettering and symbols.
Since Mr. Malain Bourret (aka the Frozen Tundra Cyclist) of Canada has already scratchbuilt a nice 1/48 scale rendition of the latter, I thought I would go for a different version. By the way, you can see on the Net interpretations of its colors as being green, blue, red, metallic and grey. It is up to you, dear comrade, to pick one.
The AK-1 was powered (the term may be excessive) by a water-cooled Salmson 9cyl. radial engine. It could carry four including the pilot, who weathered the elements in an open cockpit as Russians do to enjoy the breeze and temper their characters. Of these four people, a couple of fortunate ones rode inside in a well-appointed cabin that most likely included a samovar and had enough leg room to perform that strange dance that we see in movies in which they extend their legs in the air while crouching with their arms crossed on their chest. Heck, in that cabin was perhaps even room for a Victrola playing the famous Russian song "Oigadoñaya" (interpreted in Argentina by Les Luthiers).
In any case, just bear in mind that the wings had a design that gives the deceiving impression of a gull wing, illusion produced by the thickness of the airfoil being constant from the root up to the point where the struts attach.

Interior details are added:
Seats being made:
 More details added:
Skis are made of wood:
Decals are made for the upholstery, reproducing cushioned leather seats and wall decoration and applied:

The skis are varnished, masked, and sprayed with a metal enamel to simulate their guards:
 Mounting fittings are also prepared:
Fuselage sides are joined:
Thing happens:
The fuselage floor is added:
 The roof is painted, given a light, and prepared to be glued on top:
The upper fuselage is covered and part of the nose structure is in place:

 A general view of most components so far:
Other nose parts that will support the cowl "petals"are added:
The instrument panel is added:
 And then the spars and other nose parts that later will be trimmed off:
Sheeting is trimmed:

 The "petals" of the cowl are patterned and put in place, first the bottom one. This sections are on one end flat (where they meet the fuselage) and curved on the other (where they meet the round former back of the spinner) so they have to be per-formed by gently bending them before gluing:
The side cowl covers are in place. After the upper one is added all will be trimmed:
The last cowl section is added on top, small holes are drilled for ventilation of the cement that were also present in the plane for exhaust and drainage:
 The main parts are loosely dry-fitted to check everything:
The horizontal and vertical tail control surfaces are separated and given  control horns:
 The ailerons are given control horns and the location of the linkages and struts are drilled:
The landing gear elements are prepared:
 And attached to the fuselage, together with the stirrups and tailkskid:
 On your skis! locating holes for tail struts, control leads and such are drilled at this stage too:
 Lamblin radiators readied for later insertion:
General view:
 The two doors and windows are cut and masked:
The tail feathers are glued in place, together with their struts and some rocker-lever mechanism parts that will connect with the elevator control horns:
A layer of white is airbrushed to provide a base for the other colors:
Dark Blue is airbrushed on the corresponding parts:
Then the aluminum color is applied:
Details are added one by one:

The diverse tail linkages are in place, as well as some other details underneath the fuselage:
 The wings are attached:
 The main airframe is now ready, but many small parts are yet to be added -as seen in the image above this one:
Fabrication of just one of the details, the wind-driven generator:

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