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French double-decker

July 9, 2015 in Aviation

Long before the A380 took to the skies, there was another twin-deck, four engine French airliner, the Breguet Br.763 ‘Deux Ponts’. When a 1/144 injection-moulded kit of the type was announced by F-RSIN, I immediately ordered one, seduced by the beautiful colour profile on the box lid.

At first glance in the box it looked pretty good – recessed panel lines, good detail on the engines and wheel bays, nice decal sheet and no clear parts to contend with. However a closer examination of the styrene revealed numerous surface imperfections: pebbly texture, odd lumps of excess plastic, gouges, divots, sink marks – even what looked like a human hair embedded in one component. There were ejector pin marks in glaringly obvious positions such as the upper wing, not to mention copious amounts of flash on some parts. In short, every single piece of the kit required some measure of clean up, a task made even more necessary by the unforgiving nature of a gloss white and natural metal colour scheme.

The kit’s a real tail-sitter so needed lots of nose weight, in this case three hefty nuts, one filled with ‘Liquid Gravity’. Styrene tabs were added all around the fuselage edges to add rigidity and a base for any filler that would be needed.

Overall, the fit of most parts wasn’t too bad. The wing halves needed some giant ejector pins removed with a grinding bit, but the trailing edges were commendably thin.

Flash was everywhere, in fact I felt like I was carving the propellors out of solid chunks of plastic. The main undercarriage legs were cleaned up, but the forward leg was so deformed it was replaced from the spares box, as were all of the wheels.

With so much filling and sanding, re-scribing a lot of the lost surface detail was inevitable, but eventually it all went together. The decals were superbly printed but the cheatlines were too large and had to be trimmed, while the codes were too small and had to be enlarged.
Despite the battle I quite enjoyed it in a masochistic kind of way, and the finished model looks OK – from a distance.

2 additional images. Click to enlarge

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34 responses to French double-decker

  1. It certainly looks as if you created the proverbial “silk purse” from that ‘sow’s ear’, Mike. Fantastic job on this! Turned out really nice indeed. Good work.

  2. I’ll say it looks ok! Very nice – the old bird has a very pleasing aesthetic, and you did a wonderful job on her.

  3. Thanks, Mike! Never seen one done. It has a certain charm, don’t it?

  4. That thing sure looks very “French”! Great work F-RSIN mut be the illegitimate red-haired child of Mach 2.

  5. Hey Mike,
    What a lovely build, I have got space in my display cabinet!, if you ever want to part with it. Nice one.

  6. Holy moly, that bare plastic reminded me of an OKB-144 Yak-40 that I did battle with years ago. You really whacked this one into submission. Superb.

  7. As soon as I saw the first picture I knew this was one of yours Mike,absolutely amazing work and very nice photography ,more please !

  8. Nice build Mike, especially after seeing the state of the pieces before you cleaned them.
    Well done mate, very fine work.

  9. Fantastic work in any scale, Mike, let along 1/144, although I guess this is the correct scale for such a beast.

  10. Hello Mike
    You did an amazing work on this French Beauty.
    Definitively fan of it

  11. Magnifique !!!! bravo for this marvellous build.


  12. Lots of work makes a beauty out of a beast, very nice job!

  13. What a beautiful, clean and convincing build of an attractive and unusual subject. Top marks!


  14. Hello Mike, looking at the sprues, you did a marvelous job on this Brequet.
    I have to get back to the real history of this plane.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. beautiful metal on a dog of a kit…just outstanding

  16. Lovely Mike, looks more than OK even up close.

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