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Monday, May 15, 2017

Tipsy Junior (Dujin, 1/72nd) - The "Kit Noir" French genre

 (This is the step-by-step building article. For the completed model please go here:

We modelers are truly grateful for the small/cottage kit industry. They release kits that are a joy, different, out-of-the-beaten-path and frankly delightful -and civil-.
They do not posses or have access to all the resources that big industry has, so they do their best. Many times their standards are really high, and sometimes they are not really quite there.
But without them, we may be condemned to a dull, repetitive endless stream of the same old-same-old.
So, to all of them, and in this case the late Monsieur Dujin, our gratitude, admiration, and support.
Now, all that been said, please accompany me in another tongue-in-cheek kit adventure...

The French not only created Film Noir, they also developed the Kit Noir "genre".
This is a kind of kit surrounded by darkness and mystery, cast -as fate is indelibly cast- in resin, where the parts are not quite defined, as if immersed in a resin fog; their location is imprecise, and the instructions vague, arcane or nonexistent.
Since French also invented Champagne, they like to give this kind of kit a "bubbly" feeling, full of little bubbles of gas; something that may have made them uplifting, but instead, when you start to fill-in all those pin holes and air bubbles, it feels more like a bad Champagne hangover.
In any case, no one else would probably release those designs.
So, you have to pull your sleeves up, and get at it.
This little thing came in the mail courtesy of Keith Hudson, so to him my gratitude.
When I opened the package, I got the impression that this was a better Dujin kit than the ones I have seen or built...but it happened to be just partially so.
Prop, main wheels, tail-wheel, and something indefinable that could be the landing gear legs, were so mismatched in the resin web that they merited the guillotine. The same device could have been used to separate some of the parts from the occasional resin tree. But once done and cleaned-up, most of the shapes were there, and if not perfect, seemingly pretty buildable. I got a spare seat.
The prop was repaired, the tail-wheel and main wheels were replaced by Aeroclub items (from an ever-dwindling stock). The strange undefined elements will be replaced by wire, solder, or styrene rod, once their function is determined, if ever. Since Dujin kits do not have a parts' diagram, exploded view, or equivalent, you are left to enjoy the suspense.
A length of wire, vacuum-formed windshields (two!) and decals are also included. Most likely the vac windshields will be replaced. I'll hold judgment on the decals until I try them.
The Fairey Tipsy Junior, built in Belgium by a Fairey subsidiary, was designed by (you would have never guessed) Mr. Tips. It falls outside the scope of my time-driven subject envelope, but we'll make an exception, since it is so cute. Oh le petit coochee-coochee.

Look, mom, decals!:
A mutant resin sprue
Not that bad, after all...:
...or is it?:

And ready to start the journey:
Well, I knew it was too good to be true: the registrations were actually blue. That makes this kit qualify not only for the Kit Noire genre, but also a tiny bit as Kit-Fiction:
The fuselage sides are glued together, since the seat can be glued to the wing:
 The fit of the wing and stab is surprisingly good (dry-fit here). The minute size of the plane (and therefore of the kit) is evident:
If you need to have a drink, what about a Martini with a "Tipsy" olive?:
 Color notes for the plane are incorrect. The plane (OO-TIT) was yellow, blue and aluminium:
When I look at that registration I find it somehow "titillating".
If those L-shaped, messed-up items in the casting web were indeed the landing gear legs (we may never know), then they were, how to say it...optimistic. New legs are made from wire and sleeves:
The fuselage walls, coaming, and back of the cockpit are too thick. They were thinned -down with the rotary tool. The seat is glued on the wing. Once again, if you do not thin those walls the seat won't fit:
 The opening needs enlarging:
 Control stick and rudder pedals are fabricated, inst. panel is also thinned-down:
Parts are washed with lukewarm soapy water and rinsed. Dujin's kits resin has a demolding agent that is very persistent, and no matter how many times you wash the parts, you may need to apply primer before painting:
 The bottom of the aft fuselage was rounded in the corners, the kit got the shape wrong:
 Easily remedied with some sanding:
 The cockpit is furnished on the wing and the inst. panel installed in place. The rudder is given a metal control horn. If you are modeling OO-TIT (as I am) bear in mind that the trim tab appears only in some photos, and it's absent from others.It was present in OO-ULA, though:
 Wing and stab are glued:
 Vertical stabilizer is glued:
All in all, a straightforward build:
 Primer is applied to reveal any blemishes:

The primer revealed a few spots that needed attention:

Another coat of primer, this time white (as a base for the yellow and aluminium generic colors) is applied:
The aluminium color is applied. It will be later masked to apply the second color of the scheme:
Masks applied:
 Yellow airbrushed:
 Masks removed:

Now for the remaining parts like wheels, prop, windshield, exhaust stacks, and details like control cables, fuel cap and stab struts; then touch-ups:

Decals arrived! for this Dujin Tipsy and for a scratchbuilt project, the Avia BH Exp:
 Decaling begins:


  1. next thing I'll be sending you the Merlin Boeing 40 kit.... :-)

    Great start!

    1. Yeap. Merlin exactly. You have to be a sorcerer to build it ;-)

  2. Whenever I start a Merlin, Unicraft or Dujin kit I find it to be the perfect time to buy more sanding sticks, sandpaper, primer ( in the big bottles:-) and of course, sheet plastic....
    Looking amazing as usual- Nice Job on correcting the shape


    1. If we had only bought stock options on those companies, Keith ;-)