1/48, 100 % scratch
This model was built to show
- a model can be made
even if there is no kit, and
- scratch building a model doesn't require
parts from other kits. Naturally I could have used a suitable tail wheel, but in
this case even this part had to be home made.
In principle (pictures see
- Fuselage parts (in this case two front and two rear
parts) moulded over polyester form cut out and
joined on the inside with a thin plastic strip; lines on form to show
where to cut. In principle like forming cockpit hoods (see page C), but
different insofar, as the softened plastic is wrapped around the form very
gently. If pulled too much the upper half will be thinner than the rest.
- Wings: Balsa core laminated with thin plastic sheet;
"fabric covering" (outline of spars) shown by raised lines, embossed from the
inside with a ball pen; outline of ailerons traced afterwards with pointed
- Nacelles: As fuselage parts; each consisting of
circular front part, two cylindrical panels, upper part, two lower parts,
these three held together by front bulkhead which also accepts motor.
- Exhausts: Front bent plastic sprue, rest plastic tubes.
- Horizontal and vertical stabilisers carved and sanded
plastic sheet, control surfaces spearate parts with embossed "fabric covering"
- Canopy: PVC over polyester form (see page C).
- Pilot: Scratch (head from Verlinden mechanic).
- Motors: Crankcase: Hole in scrap plastic, rest
filed and sanded to correct form; cylinders: plastic parts with ribs from thin
copper wire (wound around); rocker arms: sprue heated over candle, then ends
pulled apart, parts of suitable diameter cut out and fitted; ignition cables:
thin copper wire; central ríng: sprue heated over candle and pulled around rod
of suitable diameter (both ends should overlap slightly, then cut through
vertically, slightly bend both ends to meet and fix with glue);
- Propellers: Strip of plastic sheet evenly heated over
candle, when it gets floppy, ends pulled evenly apart while twisting a little
(to achieve prop incidence); strip separated in the middle and both parts
cut and filed to correct form (see also own
- Propeller hub: Built up from several tubes of suitable
diameter, front end plastic rod.
- Tail wheel: Slice of plastic sprue, sanded to shape;
steel wire axle and arm.
- Landing gear (added afterwards): Hydraulic part is a
nail (head cut off), rest tubing, wheels cut out and carved/sanded with help of a drilling
machine (plastic part secured with bolt and nut), hub cover added afterwards.;
doors formed and detailed as usual.
- Painting with Humbrol enamels, cockpit covered with
masking tape, thin strips where frames should be frames cut out.
In summary: The motor cylinders admittedly were
a tedious job (but somehow fun),
the rest (after some head scratching how to make) no problem. Certainly preferable to
some vacuum offerings with overdone "detailing" and other mistakes. After seeing
both the 1/72 and the 1/48 kits I could contenty lean back. They aren't any
better (and I insist that PVC moulded canopies are better).
thoughts and tips for modeling see "Modeling ABC"