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Friday, June 16, 2017

Scratchbuilt Avia B.H. 1 Exp, 1/72nd scale

 (This is the construction article, for the finished model please go here:

From "Flight" magazine, April 21st, 1921, p. 271:
From the Net, same image in several sites:
Research on the Avia B.H.11 kit from KP took me to my folders where I have many of the other Avia types from some time ago.
These are all cutie little pies, but the first ever one has the charming ungainly looks of the prototypes. It came in two flavors: inline (Austro-Daimler of about ~35hp) and rotary (Gnome Omega).
The first one is what I am representing here, in more or less its mature stage, since it changed a bit since its fabrication.
This was a pioneering machine: monoplane to start with, and with not so much bracing or wires, all in 1920.
Construction of the model follows my usual approach, which presented with a "scratch-kit" after only about three hours of work.

The usual approach:
 The wing has a thicker middle section (apex where the struts go) and winds-down to nothing on the tip and to a reduced airfoil on the root:
 Simple engineering allows for a quick build:
 A little engine is fabricated:
 A laminated wood prop is carved, and the wheels are the spare set  from the KP Avia B.H.11 kit:
 Landing gear and strut material prepared:
 Front and radiator are prepared:
 Fuselage floor is glued, tailskid fabricated, as well as engine accessories:
 Elevators are separated to be posed deflected downwards. Rudder and elevators are given metal control horns. The pilot's seat gets a joystick:
Provision for the engine:

 The covering -in sections- of the top fuselage begins. The interior should be completed and painted before adding the cockpit coverings:
The engine is painted:

Instruments are added, seats are given belts, the spreadbar of the landing gear is readied, tailskid parts are glued:
The fuselage top sections continue to be added. A step is carved:
 The tank visible in some photos is glued on top of the engine:
 The prop is given an etched boss:
The parts so far:
Almost ready now, just a fairing on the nose needs to be added:
The engine bay is also covered. The landing gear is glued in place. The exit holes for the tail surfaces' control cables are drilled:
The aileron control horns are added. This was a rigid linkage present only on the top side of the ailerons, which, by the way, were not covered in linen but plywood:
 All parts are primed:
The tail goes on and wing spars are in position:
 Dry run of the wings, and making of the four wing struts and their anchoring small lengths of wire:
Color is airbrushed:
 Arctic Decals circular masks are used for the wheels:

A windshield is fashioned, first giving a tiny piece of clear plastic the curve of the fuselage top with a slow rotary tool:
 Then the part is clipped:
 Then the top is shaped:
 On the model, with the engine and struts in place too:
The front is glued now:
Beautiful day for modeling!
Build finished, but waiting for the decals to arrive from Arctic Decals:
The decals from Arctic Decals arrived just in time!
They cover two projects, the Tipsy and this scratchbuild:
 Decaling begins:

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