British Models
by Ken Schmitt

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Blue Max deHavilland 2

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Geoffrey's first plane. Ok, DH1, but the Deuce is notable in turning back the 'Fokker Scourge'. De Havillands are notable to me as a superb bush plane. Otters and Beavers, built in the 30's and 40's, are still dropping canoe trippers off to the tender mercies of the weather & Windigos. Building the kite of origins seemed tribute. The kit. hmmm. My humble suggestion is "go to Tom Morgan's page on the list". Then go get yourself some good eyes and a parts box full of talent...Mr. Gannon put a very nice 80 hp Monosoupape in the kit as well as the Lewis and drum racks and drums, a pair. The booms are wonderful, going together without incident if one is attentive. Watch how you locate the lower wing. It essentially locates all else including the top wing. The kit sheet could be more clear. A fine kit if you can find it. Get a datafile on this bird, their story is a good one.

Aeroclub RAF RE.8

Kit: Aeroclub (1:48)

Built this aircraft to honor a group of steady British airmen who climbed into this crate and did their best. Period photography shows fellows from all over the Empire standing next to these things...Excellent rear gun mount and abundant space for both pilot and observer to complete their assignments. Beyond that, the guy that designed and approved this should have been required to serve 25 missions in one, or re-think the concept, whichever came first. Hats off and a low bow to the folks at Aeroclub for kitting this as well as its forebears, the BE2 series as well as some other British aircraft. The kit is a bit thick in the molding and requires some finesse but is straightforward, really. Some things need sanding and nudging to come into place. The wing molding suits my tastes as does the fuselage surface detail. Much could be made of stitching but that is up to the individual. That rear gun mount is a nice touch from Aeroclub. It's a fun kit and rewards you with a damn fine example when finished. What-a-bus.

Roden 1/48 SE 5a - Progress

Kit: Roden (1:48)

The kit comes with beautifully molded surfaces, but chooses to interpret tapes at each rib on the wings as either non-existent at the scale depicted or leaves it to the builder. Pedro has a method he's used on past builds where you double two exacto blades, fit them in your knife and then gently draw them across the plastic, scoring in a twin row. Scoring lightly. Guided by a straight edge. I then took some very fine grit, worn paper and sanded and knocked the burr off throughout. Enough is there to catch some drybrushing, maybe show some surface dimension and that's it. About like a decal tape would do, and that is Shane's suggestion. It's a good one. Doing Fokkers has acquainted me with that method, but I decided to try scoring to see how it works. It *is* a bit faster, it just hazards one's own skill - you could always fix mistakes, I guess. I used a straight edge and ... some patience. : ) The wrinkles are the pucker - stressed fabric you see in many period photos, particularly in British machines with large stitched panels. Two of these recent kits - SE 5a and Bristol f2b each evidence this, sometimes fairly dramatically. I chose to carve them into this kit with a blunted exacto - like miniature whittling. To see if it could work. What turned out is a bit overscale and a tad less off the characteristic "look", but so far, I'm encouraged. After the fact, found out Harry Woodman has a method involving foil. Diego sent a page. Am not too sure about that, as unlike Mr. Woodman, I have neither the skill or patience. Foil gives me hives...Oven wrap is even more heretical. I'll send more shots once the paint shoppe's open for business so we can see how all this worked out. "You'll be needing men of intelligence on this Quest, er, Adventure, trip..." "Well, I guess that leaves you out."

SE5a Blue Max

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Until Eduard comes up with their SE and Camel, you must make your own struts...Other than that and a 10 pounds of cockpit in a 5 pound fuselage, it's an easy kit. Beginners, you learn to: make your own struts, mine were brass and hand painted, go after market for little details, like the windscreen and use anything convenient for glass, cellowrap works nice, make a dihedral rig, which for the SE is pronounced, paint burnt exhaust pipes, and fit extremely tiny bendy metal bits into reasonable poetry. The upper wing took 3 tries. I built two at once, the other is Mannock's with a Hisso but no markings-still looking for a good photo...Cursed the entire British Isles roundly throughout the process until the SE's sat on their undercart. Then admitted the Brits turn you into a 'proper modeler' whether you like it or not. I really enjoyed this kit. Blue Max does very nice wing tapes, good surface details and this kit has options for both SE5a's.

Sopwith Triplane Eduard

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

O Canada. Raymond Collishaw, fine pilot and his 'Black Flight' Triplane. Three wings, Sir Thos. got there first...Out of the box, this is quite an easy kit. Did not distinguish myself beyond that. There is a fair amount of fine PE for detail, particularly the engine pushrods and the mahogany wing booms. The color scheme is understated & menacing, black, khaki and CDL. Research into PC-10 and 12 is on the uncharted part of the map. The original specs for the formula call for, among other things, vermillion. Olive is yellow and black. Put some orange in it (close to yellow) and watch what happens. Olives are even crazier to chase around the workbench than grey for jets. Each nationality also have their own clear doped linen. This model was completely brushed, including drybrushing. Maybe a tad overdone. Really wanted the lattice work around the cockpit to show. Wonderful kit. A pleasure.

Blue Max Sopwith Camel

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Here's some progress on an old Blue Max Camel. The struts are brass, the decals, Eagle strike, early Barker "6313" and the paints are MrKit PC-12, a wash of Citadel Scorched Brown and drybrushing with PC-12 again lightning up to "Israeli Khaki". The wood paneling is a base of Citadel Vomit Brown, then Vermin Brown and then streaks of Dark Flesh. The metal panels are Mithril Silver over a black base, dotted with little white thinnish spots to attempt a corked cowl & panels. It kinda works... Am held up on how to weather the decals. What to over-coat the Future with to give the surface some tooth. Eagle Strike goes on v. nice, btw and can recommend them highly. Fun kit. Eduard's will be more fun, I think. This is my little humor on that kit. A practice effort. It laid half-done in a box for 3 years. Go figure.

Blue Max 1/48 Bristol M1.c

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

These shots are taken from a build article in Internet Modeler, April 2004

This is a very nice kit. Nigel Rayner gave me some info on technique & color, early on, that was most helpful.

The article tells the rest.

I like this little sparrow.

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