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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cabin civil conversion for Caudron G.III - Choroszy, resin, 1/72nd scale

 (This is the step-by-step post. For the completed model please go here on this same blog:

As with the previous posting, this deals with a civil conversion of a WWI kit.
And once more, it is a "cabin" conversion.
The attempted conversion:
I found this civil take on the Caudron G.III in the pages of Les Ailes #436, 10/24/1929, thanks to the Gallica repository (thanks, Gallica!!).
There are a large number of civil conversions for the Caudron G.IIIs, but none like this one, with a passenger cabin. It was used by Raoul Lhuillery to transport his family on excursions.
After browsing for G.IIIs kits, I decided, for no particular reason, to purchase the Choroszy kit. Like the few previous Choroszy kits I built or saw, there are a couple of things that will make you sigh...
 Contents of the box:
 Very nice photo-etched parts and clear plastic:
First the good:
a detailed resin kit, mostly well molded (more on that later) with reasonable scale thicknesses, with a very nice photo-etched fret, and things bagged separately in an attempt (more and that too later) to protect the contents. A piece of clear plastic was in the box too.

The not so good:
quite so-so instructions, which seems to be the norm with so many kits, too small, and with the P.E. parts not differentiated from the resin ones. The parts of course do no have identificatory numbers, and there is no parts diagram, so you will be guessing in many instances.
As with other kits from this manufacturer, some parts arrived already broken, which really pisses me off. Choroszy could use those "ears" or sidebars that other resin manufacturers use to protect the parts in the casting blocks. The wingtip was broken, and I found (after much looking around) the fragment to glue it back, but one of the landing gear skis had its front broken, and no fragment was there. The way some parts are united to their casting blocks (like the seats) makes them prone to breakage in separating them.
In any case, spares seem to be provided (difficult to asses since there is no part numbers or diagram) and that should cover for it.
One landing gear main skid, though, was broken and there is no spare part for that.
The throttles come as resin parts, but they should have doubtlessly been included with the P.E. parts.
My kit did not have the decals that according to the lid should have come in there. No worries, since I won't be using them anyway, but they could have been useful for a fellow modeler down the lane.
This kit in general is a bit overoptimistic in the sense that part of the detail will have to be replaced by wire or very thin styrene rod. The fragile and in some spots uneven resin parts that depict the trusses are a bit of wishful thinking.

The group of the main parts:
 After some cleaning up:
 The wingtip was broken, I found the fragment inside the plastic bag, after looking everywhere:
 Glued back. Not so lucky with one of the main landing gear skids:
 All contact surfaces will have to be refined a bit, since the fit is mostly vague all around:
 Ready to wash:
 The engine is not bad, but the distance between cylinders is uneven. Not much of a problem if you leave the offending area inside the cowl and glue the engine in place (as in not rotating).
(It could be substituted with a better Small Stuff engine which are truly superb if you feel like. I decided not to at the end):
 The prop is not the best I have seen, and it is pitted, but there is a P.E. boss for it:
 The Pick Up Sticks game including in the kit...wait, no, these are actual parts:
 Seats, on their pedestal. be careful separating them as not to knock off the gossamer sides:
 Same for the other one:
 A couple parts broken and I think missing too:
 Front of the landing ski broken, fragment nowhere to be found. In any case, some modelers (like me) would rather not use these parts, replacing them with equivalent-section styrene or wire:
 After some Zen meditation the seats were successfully separated from their casting blocks against all odds:
 Now some order was attained. Modeling Kosmos versus Modeling Kaos:
A drawing is modified with the needed changes after much research:
Trying to grasp what is what:
 Some parts are not completely molded, but as said there are spares:

 What seems to be a spare third group of parts:

 The prop can be easily fixed with a small touch of putty and sanding:
 The wing struts:
  The parts that seem to comprise the "fuselage":
  Parts seemingly associated with the landing gear:
 Parts that most likely belong to the tail:
The kit's "fuselage" is leveled down to match photos:
 The front coaming is shortened, shaped and glued:
 The "cabine" wood master is started:
 A little front portion is added. Next will be the windshield:
The wood and styrene master for the new canopied top is completed:

To vacuform a whole top demonstrated not to be practical. Therefore just the font was used.
To fabricate the rest of the cabin, opaque styrene sides were produced, but cutting the windows on them proved not quick enough, so I decided to use clear sides and mask the windows. Clear styrene which will glue well to the other parts crazed upon curving it, so it was discarded. Other clear plastic (a random piece I had in a box) that didn't craze when curved was used instead, but had to be glued with cyanoacrylate:

 Other parts of the interior are set up, and a "bench" for Lhuillery's family members fabricated:
 The Gallica article states that the pilot's seat was at the very end and raised to improve visibility:
The locating holes for the struts are drilled (more like dented) and some basic color is given to the cockpit. Details in other colors will be picked up subsequently:
The spoke wheels of the kit will not be used, since Monsieur Lhuillery plane had covered ones. New aftermarket white metal items are prepared for the task:
 The modified interior is in place, ready to be covered by the scratched canopy:
The upper wing center section is removed, since the outer panels attach to the cabin:
Aft cabin glued:

 Windshield added and all windows masked:
Some airbrushing:

The other side of the flying surfaces, and parts with different colors (wheels, prop, engine, cowl) are painted:

Struts are painted a wood color:

The resin booms and struts for the tail are discarded for being not really good, and new ones are made of styrene stock:
 I had to print my own scaled view, since the kit provides only scale drawings for the top and front views, and not for the side view (the one in the box cover is under scale, the ones in the inst. sheet are over scale):
 The photo-etched stitching for the wing panels is painted and glued in place.
Struts are mounted on the lower wing:
 Top wings are glued in position:
 The diagonal struts are glued:
 But in trying to glue the other side, I realized that Choroszy's ruler was missing some millimeters, since on one side the distance between pre-marked locations is 28mm, while on the other side is only 24mm, one rib bay short. You are left to your devices to fix this (nothing that a heavy hammer won't cure):
The tail unit is now being worked:
 The etched boss replaces the relief on the resin prop. Real "springs" will substitute the kit's resin parts, for extra rigidity:
 A view of the parts being prepared, a few more parts added to the unit:
General view of the build so far:
The Arctic Decals images are applied:
 Then the booms are added, together with other minor re-enforcement landing gear struts:
 A dry-fit of the tail unit, the actual gluing shall be...interesting:
 The decals even include the Chauviere prop logos:
Tail now glued:
 After the wheels are added, rigging will follow. The small size of the model is made evident by the pencil:
Wheels on:
 Auxiliary struts and tail control horns on:
Fifty-two segments of rigging with 40AWG steel wire, and some more to go:
The count of lengths of wire measured, cut and glued amounted eventually to about 80:

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