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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Zeppelin Staaken E.4/20 completed

Here is the Zeppelin-Staaken E.4/20, a 1919 all-metal cantilever monoplane passenger plane, with four engines integrated in the wing!
If that does not warm the cockles of your heart...I don't know what could.
The models features full interior and the four full engines, as can be seen in the step-by-step building article an kit review:
including a bathroom and washroom, with toilet (of Bourretin type), sink, tap, mirror, etc.
Mail compartment, luggage space, cabin, etc.
Very little of this, alas, can be seen in the completed model, save glimpses by peeping through the nose and peeking through the windows.
I reiterate my gratitude to Sönke Schulz and Alex Bigey, the generous donor of the kit, the Ornithopters for their immense -and many times unfathomable, contradictory, misleading, biased, de-based, mistaken, erroneous, obscure, undecipherable and arcane- wisdom, and very reluctantly to the maker of this Classic Plane kit, the Father of the Creature, the Maker of the Monster, this Quasi-Formed Frankenkit, who endured a lot of flack in my previously-posted review and construction article, all absolutely well deserved; but... no kit, no model, so you folks may find a place in your hearts to forgive him. I didn't...yet. Unless of course he produced this kit by accident, which may bloody well be the case, in which case he is exonerated of any blame.
Surprisingly enough, there are a number of Zepps out there, mostly made from this Frankenkit. If modelers are willing to wade through a very unpleasant "kit" in order to build a plane they like, that speaks volumes of the subject. SO, once more, why most mainstream bellicose manufacturers insist of their predictable, boring, redundant releases, one asks oneself rhetorically?
The research on this plane demanded many, many long hours, not only from me but from other fellow modelers and friends. To all my deepest gratitude. There are photos, but not many, and most are of not really good quality.
As the plane went through several modifications during its short life, beware of the details you may like to add. For example: the downward-opening front door (which doubles as the nose of the plane) is associated with the canopy modification, whilst the side-opening front door is associated to the open cockpit, and many times a nose wheel.
The cargo bay aft the fuselage was accessed from the top, the crew climbing at the tail and walking on the fuselage top.
There are several -and some times contradictory- versions about the interior, as discussed on the previous building article/post. Sorting out accounts, I believe the cockpit in this version was accessed from the cabin (bellow) through a retractable/foldable ladder, and so I depicted it.
I insist on this point: watch out what details you include, they were not all present during the entire plane's life. Check your photos, come to your own conclusions instead of copying existing models, drawings or plans, which invariably contain inaccuracies, difficult to avoid in this cases where info is not abundant.

Good night, and good luck


  1. One of your best, Claudio. I especially like photos 37 and 44.

    1. Thanks, John.
      You are very kind.
      I also like this one. There are always things to improve, but I think overall it is quite pleasant.