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Caudron’s little eagle: Caudron C.600 Aiglon, 1:72 SBS model

May 7, 2017 in Aviation

And here it is: the SBS Caudron 600 – finished within a week. I’m a slow modeler so I say wow! When I came home from the Moson Show I was so full with modeling experiences that I thought I need some time before I can sit down on my chair and make somethin’ small again. Next day I made the interior and another day took the fuselage and wings together… The progress was so fast I really amazed (well I ought to make good kits from now on 😀 ). The engineering of the kit is so clever and the moulding is so good that I haven’t got any drama during the building process. What I realized about SBS pervious kit (the DH 88) is true here also: as the kit made solely by 3D technology the fit is too good (even the very thin layer of glue can make difference here!) so especially with the interior parts You need to check the fit first (and sand some material from the parts to make room for the thin CA). Not a big deal or nothing beyond an average modeler’s ability. Another little hitch is that some parts are ridicolously small in some cases – it’s probably just me and I always wonder when I see modelers working in 1:144 scale or alike. I strenghten all the main parts with some steel wire (I make such treatment on all of my resin kits) to make the model strong and durable :). This plane is really small: You may can’t judge from the pics but the model’s fuselage only 11cm long. I choosed the red sweden painting for this little sport plane this time. The instruction says silver (I found good pics about silver C600 on the net) which was a metallic paint as the plane has wooden/fabric construction. My favourite color is the Tamiya TS-17 (decanted and airbrushed for better control) for anti corrosion or metallic silver paintings. I used some artistic license here as I painted the engine cover (which was metal) and the wing tanks covers (also metal) with Alclad polished aluminium and Vallejo duraluminium. In most cases I don’t like decaling (fight with silvering, warping, disruptin… brr) but this time it went surprisingly good – but these long stripes made me nervous at first. The decals are first rate! They are very thin so You have to keep wet the surface constantly when apply them but they strong enough to hold up well the positioning and after You wipe off the water they conform beautifully. I didn’t use any setting solution but a little Micro Sol later and they worked like charm; just see the nose ring – I didn’t need to make any tuch ups just applied the decals and that was all. This is particularly good news as SBS recently make custom decal sets too and I suppose those behave like this. I made some minimal weathering at the end but these sport planes always kept in pristine condition so I didn’t want overdo it. So this was my fastest build this year and this was a resin kit 🙂 My biggest problem now, what shall I do next?
I hope You like this little elegant French sport plane. As always any C&C are welcome!

Caudron C.600 Aiglon 1:72 SBS Model – first look

April 29, 2017 in Reviews

Oops, they did it again!

As may everybody knows in the scale modeling world (or at least on this site) the Moson Model Show just finished last weekend. Beside the extraordinary exhibition, competition and exchange (model market) this is the perfect place to meet modeler friends from around the world and grab some rare stuffs also. I’m fortunate enough to name the SBS Model company members as friends of mine (great girls and guys) and at their stand (where they announced their hot new Macchi M.C.72) I can took my hand on their Caudron C 600 Aiglon kit (and some botlles of Duvel they generously shared with me). After the second beer Mr. Csaba Bordacs asked me if I wanted to write a review about the Caudron here on Imodeler (for more beer to come) . How could I refuse such an opportunity? So I said yes and now the kit is on my desk (with some progress already to be honest).

Those how aren’t familiar with this elegant little sporting plane (according to “The Caudron C.600 Aiglon (Eaglet) light touring monoplane was the work of the outstanding French aircraft designer of the 1930s, Marcel Riffard. He had taken over the design department of the newly amalgamated Caudron and Renault combine at the end of 1933. The first of two prototypes made its maiden flight at Issy-les-Moulineaux in March 1935. A low-wing cantilever monoplane with tandem open cockpits, it had the excellent aerodynamic qualities that became associated with all Riffard designs. The Aiglon proved itself with a number of outstanding flights. Andre Japy flew a single-seat C.610 version from Paris to Saigon between 12 and 16 December 1935 at an average speed of 128km/h. The type was especially popular with French women fliers: Mesdames Dupeyron and Lion flew an Aiglon to establish new women’s straight-line distance records in 1937 and 1938, while Suzanne Kohn flew her Aiglon from France to Madagascar in 1939. … Total production of the Aiglon was 203, some being fitted with continuous glazed canopies over the cockpits. The type was particularly popular with French private owners and flying clubs. A number were sold abroad, 14 being exported to Spain, two to Argentina and one to Japan. With the outbreak of war in 1939 many Aiglons were requisitioned by the French government and used as liaison aircraft by the Armee de I’Air. Some 178 of the basic C.600 Aiglon were completed, each powered by a 75kW Renault 4Pgi Bengali Junior.”

Back to the kit: If You are familiar in the world of limited edition resin kits You know that one can find little gems as easy as horrible blob of resin junks among them. The very rapsodic nature of the quality of small scale produced resin kits (beside the tricks to work with this kind of material) is the main reason that these products long time considered as the territory of enthusiasts or hard core builders.

Lot of things has changed here recently and SBS – IMHO – is one of the most innovative company in this field. They use the latest technology to make their kits, 3D modeling and printing at the highest level. These kits are far cry from handmade masters related small scale products (as a cottage manufacturer I really feel the difference) and really close to an ordinary mass produced injection moulded plastic kit. Naturally the material and the moulding process has some limitations but after You remove the moulding blocks You can hardly say the difference. There are locator pins on the fuselage (and on the wings also – more about them later) quite uncommon feature on a resin (or even a short-run) kit.

As You can see on the pictures this is a relatively simple kit which is a good thing considering it’s multi-media nature so the assembly shoudn’t cause any problem even for those who are inexperienced with resin subjects. The interior details are exceptional the only drawback here (if it can be mentioned as drawback) is that the parts are really small and You have to be very careful not to loose any small parts (and You will need tweezers and magnifiers when assemble I suppose).

The parts are perfecty molded and the grey coloured material they use is easy to work with. The surfaces are smooth and perfect in any respect – the plane hasn’t got too much panel line but they are sharp and thin. The doped elevator and rudder surfaces are look great aswell. Which I saw earlier on their Comet kit is true in this case too: the fit is too good (or too tight as You like). No, please don’t laugh! This is simply part of the 3D technology. I have some experience with designer softwares and this is really hard to achieve perfect toleraces. Not a big deal but You have to be aware the fact that in some cases You have to sand and make test fits but this is advisable when You work on a resin kit anyway.

The mould blocks on the other hand aren’t on the best possible locations – OK I see that this was the best not to loose any details but they are constantly on the joining surfaces and hard to remove without ruin the locator pins. I can manage it however on the fuselage sides and as You see the two half are clipped together nicely. What I have to mention when we speak about fit that is the fuselage-wing joint. There are big locator pins on the wings and their negative counterparts are in the fuselage but in case of the left wing they are simply misaligned. I don’t know what happened here but it seems like some design error. As the moulding block are also on these surfaces You are going to do better if cut down them and sand the surface smooth anyway (and strenghten the joints with some wire instead). This was the only noticeable inperfection on the kit I can speak about and it can be corrected easily.

I think the time has come when these “new age” resin kits are viable alternatives to short run even minstream kits – minus their price – and well within the abilities of an average modeler – just buy some extra thin CA. SBS was prescient enough to release not just civilian but interesting miltary versions – Spanish civil war or WW2 even Hungarian versions to name a few – so anybody who likes this sleek sportplane can choose one according to her/his taste. If You like rare subjects or a bit tired of the too much BF-109/Spitfire stuff this kit worth the consideration. Now I’m eagerly waiting for their Macchi-Castoldi MC.72 to arrive! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who just want to try resin kit building.

When I built the SBS DH.88 Comet kit back then I said that kit was so close to perfection that our (already high) expectations to SBS kits raised again, so I wondered how good their next kit could be. As I see I didn’t need to worry: they did it again.

The can opener: Hawker Hurricane MKIID, Hobbycraft 1:48

April 18, 2017 in Aviation

Hi All,
This is my attempt to make a decent Hurricane MKIID from the venerable Hobbycraft kit I bought on evilbay – how appropriate – from Canada 🙂 . I always liked the Hurricane „Fury without the second wing” look (originate3d from Sidney Camm’s elegant biplanes) and its interesting „transitional” type construction. Beside this I love the cartoonish look of the early tank hunters – oversized guns on relatively small airframes so the MKIID is one of my favourite (as the G-2 Stuka, the HS-129 or the Ju88P). When I decided I want a big gun Hurri on my shelf I realized that the Hasegawa (a natural choice) version became OOP and collectable – therefore rare and expensive. I was offered one that time for nearly 70USD so I decided to bite the bullet and try to make something from an older (cheaper) kit. I didn’t know much about the Hobbycraft one but I saw some decent builds on the internet and I heard that the kit includes the gun pods so I jumped in. Well, my enthusiasm lessened some degree as I opened the box but this is a model kit and I’m a modeller right? We have practically an old Airfix Hurricane (with the wrong wing dihedral and fuselage spine also) with heavily engraved surfaces. The box says that it can be made as a IIC or IID but the details are mixed somehow (ie. IIC wings but MKI tailwheel and some other small imperfections). I see these old kits as a „white canvas” so I can make experiments and alterations without the risk of ruining some expensive kit. The interior is close to nil so I scrathbuild one from streched sprues and plasticard. For the IP and consoles I used Eduard’s PE set designed for the Hasegawa kit. I remade the wheel bay also as kit’s is oversimplified and this part is the main cause of the wings wrong dihedral. I filled the trenches ont he wings and rescribed the whole thing. The Hurricane really needs the rivets and the dzus fasteners to look right so I riveted all surfaces with RB tools riveter (a great stuff IMHO) and sharpened hypodermic needles. With some creativity I can manage to make the wing dihedral right so I can move to the tail surfaces. I cut them apart and make the hinges also. This was a tedious work but they are quite oversimplified OOP and I like these parts deflected to a more natural position on a model. The next was making the guns: I wanted to add some interesting (or focal) point to the model so I decided that one of the guns will be “naked” (without the covers). I used hypodermic needles, an old ballpen ans some plastic card. I altered the covered gun too because the kit part a bit undersized. The guns were handed so the used cartridge ejector chutes directed inwards on both side – You have to cut out the chutes naturally. The canopy also new as the original hasen’t got the separation line between the windshield and the moving part of the canopy. I vacformed several new and cut them apart and used the best two parts 🙂 – simple, eh? I used the kit propeller as I haven’t got better and the HC prop is not so bad for a Rotol one (except the big sinkholes on the separated propblades and the fact that there’s no any positive location point to attaching the blades). I used a BrenGun wheel set, the set includes the correct MKII tailwheel also. The kit decals are practically useless they are aout of register and the colors are… funny. I bought a BlackBird decal set (Hurricanes over the desert) because it includes a IID markings (JV+Z). Originnally I wanted to model the “Honest John” but I didn’t find the particular Aeromaster set at that time. I found several discussions about the 6sqn JV+Z and as I see there are several “final” opinion exist about the color of the “Z” or spinner (balck or red?) and even about the starboard side. finally I opted for the BlackBird Decals choose (red “Z” and spinner) and I reversed the markings on the starboard side (as You can see that on the recently restored MKIIC with hypotethic 6sqn markings). I used Gunze’s MR and Hobby color range for the RAF desert camouflage. I recently use a multy layer technic for the paintwork. I practically make pre shading between each (very thin) layer. At the final stage I even used very fine sandpaper. It is similar to Karoly Bera’s excellent multi layering technic but I simply too lazy for stippling and sanding between all layers and I like making these effects solely with airbrush. I used some artist oils and pastels at the final stage too. All in all it was a fun project but next time when I feel the urgent need to build a Hurricane I will wait for a Hasegawa to appear. Hope You like it and all C&C are welcome as usual.
Cheers, Gabor – See You on the weekend on the Moson Model Show 🙂

Have You got enough Comet at home?

April 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hi Everyone!

This is my 1:72 DH.88 Comet collection as part of my “Grand plan” to collect all Macrobertson race participant airplane. Two of them are made from the old Airfix kit (with lot of modifications) and the green one is from the new and superlative SBS resin kit (without any modifications). You can see the building process in wip section if You are curious. All C&C are welcome and Happy Easter! Cheers!

Fiat G.50 Finnish Air Force (Ilmavoimat) 1942 – Secter/Hasegawa 1:48

August 18, 2016 in Aviation

Hi Everyone!

Another “spaghetti” fighter, this time Fiat’s attempt to produce something more modern for the “Fighter I” competition than their earlier biplane designs. The “Freccia” (Arrow) in fact was the first serie produced all metal fighter plane in Italy with enclosed cockpit (deleted just after introduction of theplane) and recractable undercarriage. The only reliable engine was available then in Italy was the Fiat A74 radial which was an excellent powerplant but with limited power and relatively high drag (big diameter), that forced the designers to try making aerodinamic (as possible) and light planes for speed so the armament was quite weak in early Italian Types. In combat the Macchi C.200 outperformed the G.50 but the Fiat’s ruggedness served well in far combat territories such in Africa or Finnland. In early 1938, the Freccias served in the Regia Aeronautica (the Italian Air Force), and with its expeditionary arm, the Aviazione Legionaria, in Spain, where they proved to be fast and, as with most Italian designs, very manoeuvrable. The Fiat G.50 was also used in small numbers by the Croatian Air Force and 35 were shipped to Finland, where they served with distinction, with an unprecedented kill/loss ratio of 33/1 despite the inadequate weaponry – Finnish know something about aeroplanes as lot of types declared obsolete or ill-fated served them well during the World War II – remember the Brewsters! At least two Hungarian volunteer pilots flew Fiat G.50s in Finnland during the last days of the Winter War.

I found this very interested camouflage when I planned to make this model and can’t resist the opportunity since I coudn’t decide whether I build a Finnish or an Italian Plane. This livery is perfect as now I have both at the same time! 🙂 There are several speculations about this mixed camouflage. One says that damaged fighters’ main element mated together – it is quite improbable as 3 Fiats crashed during the hostilies altogether. One says that Finnish so urgently needed these planes in the front that wasn’t enough time to finish the camouflage – well maybe. And finally the Italian painting peeled off so intensively that they overpainted the totally exposed areas to protect the airframes. If anybody knows the truth please share with me!

I bought this kit some years ago when the Special Hobby G.50 kit released and these kit’s value decreased delightfully. This was a Hasegawa rebox with beautiful Koige Shigeo artwork and quite good (Italian AF) decals. Once I found a lone photoech fret from a Fliyng MAchines kit in a swap meeting. The kit is a typical example of kits that “looks good on the sprues”. Closely examined there are several issues – uneven and too shallow or on some areas too deep panel lines, thich trailing edges, sparse interior, nonexistent wheel wells, oversimplified engine and some shape issue that makes the finished kit a bit strange (for whose the type is familiar). But we have wings, fuselage, tails and other goodies and we are modelers, right? I planned this built as a revelation from he earlier Smer blob of plastic but finally I improved it in nearly all aspect. You know if You look too much photograps and background materials You will modeling considerably slower 🙂 I made a new cockpit, deepened the wheel wells, made a new mode 3D like engine, cured the trailing edges (by making separated and deflected flaps and rudders), made a new vertical fin and reshaped the airscrew and the cowling (because the original is so squared from profile that makes the finished model almost toy-like). The kit isn’t that bad the fit is good and the engineering is simple (which I prefer on modern overengineered “überkits”) to say some positives too. I didn’t compared the parts with drawings the finished plane looks like a G.50 and this enough for me.

They say that Francois Verlinden sayd once that “Life is too short for the second best kit”. Well this kit is – as I guess – the third best kit now so this saying does not apply this time :D. Flying Machines reworked the kit some years ago and they say that is the most detailed G.50 in 1:48 (and quite hard to find and overpriced too) but I strongly recommend Special Hobby if You want to buy a G.50 in 1:48 as their last issues are all beautiful.

It’s not bad if You have one in the stash but prepare some elbow grease. The kit is buildable and presentable just out of the box (just don’t look too much literature on the type). Bad news for the notorious AMS modeller that unfortunately the type isn’t popular enough to generate aftermarket interesting so no photo ech or resin out there (o.k., I made copies of my alterations but I can’t call myself “aftermarket industry” 😀 as these usually lands on my freinds’ desks or sometimes on the internet but no more that 5-10pcs 🙂 ) so You have to go to town – or buy a Special Hobby.

Painting this mixed camouflage was a real fun and makes this rarely seen plane more interesting. Hope You like it, any C&C are welcome. Cheers!

Reggiane 2000 serie III. 1:48 SMER (ex Artiplast) + scratch

May 1, 2016 in Aviation

Hi Everyone!
I started this kit as an experiment as I always wanted an 1:48 copy af this little fighter, but beside SMER (Artiplast originated in the early ’60s) the only kit in this scale is from CA. I saw this week a Classic Airframes Reggiane 2000 kit on evilbay but when I clicked away to safer sites (i.e. where I can’t buy model kit) that tended somewhere well over 90USD – holy c…p! The ex artiplast is notorious as a bad kit that doesn’t build well and You can’t see it built often (but there are some good examples on the net). The experiment was on that how bad is this kit in reality and what can I do with this?
There were a lot of work to achieve this but to be honest with the product the basics are there and at least I could hone my scracthbuilding and updating skills. I only kept the main parts and altered heavily nearly all parts. Made new interior, engine, canopy, wheel wells, landing gears, rescribed/riveted the whole thing, altered the engine cowling etc… As Hungarian AF used this type in the WW2 in Russia heavily I will made a serie I from another kit and also a Hungarian built MÁVAG Héja II which based on this type (but You have to REALLY change a lot of things so I try to collect some mojo for that). So I made resin copies all of my alterations so I can use them later on my other builds (I hope).
I didn’t want to alter more the kit hence the serie III. and Italian painting scheme. Beside this I really like this colorful appearance (it’s just like a kind of parrot isn’ it?). The plane used by the 377 Squadriglia in Sicily in 1942 as a night fighter. The Sezione II. painted their planes’ cowlings red while Sezione I. painted theirs black. I thought that the black cowling would be too “Zeroish” so I choosed red. On these planes the early three colour scheme were touched up heavily with (most likely) Verde oliva scuro 2 (dark olive green – Italian sounds great!). Hope You like it, all C&C are welcome as usual 🙂

Updating an old Iwata HP-B

February 13, 2016 in How-to

Hi Everyone!
I had only little little time to build anything and this post isn’t about finished plastic either. I’m an airbrush guy and fond of airbrushing in general and – as I suppose happens frequently such people – I had and I have several airbrush guns, more than I need and less then I want :D. I tried several brands and types through the years, buy and sell and repaired some for others so I can say that I have some experience with these tools. Later – If there’s some interest occurs – I maybe make a forum topic about airbrushes, airbrushing, tests/comparisons, and for know-how echange. But this time I like to share with You my attempt to update my old Iwata HP-B that I bought used and.

I like Iwatas (who don’t? – maybe not for their prices) for their ruggedness, built quality and general simple and logic arrangement. I already have a HP-CH (a great gun) and when I saw this advertised used with it’s 0,2mm nozzle arrrangement I felt that I needit 🙂 . It was quite a bargain for not much more than a chinese AB-180 but beleive me the difference is huge! This is an old version of their Hi-Line B As Iwata announced their rewampeb Hi-Line serie the price of these old guns declined delightfully. The old and the new are equal performance wise but the new have some alterations that make maintenance and cleanin easier (+pre set/ cut out handle which is nice but not necessary) and the significant change using PTFE (commonly say teflon) seals to deal with organic solvents. The great nature of Iwatas that their head system doesn’t use any sealy as the precise elaboration make them unnecessary. The Hi-Line serie use only one 🙂 seal that relates to paint camber and this is the needle packing seal so I thought that I buy this gun, clean it, chech it and try to replace that sole seal and I have a modern, bullet proof detail airbrush.

As I said i bought it cheap. It was in generally good (hardly used) but somehow neglected shape so complete dismantling and cleaning was obvious. I stripped it down completely (minus the air valve which worked good) removed all rubber or soft parts and soaked it into some stronger cleaning materials – normally I strongly not recommend this to anyone but this gun as I saw was put aside uncleaned for a long time. I searched through my spare parts and found a PTFE seal which I bought when I renewed my friends chinese airbrush and the size was a perfect match. As You can see on the pics I measured it to the old rubber “O” ring. If You want to play with needle packing You have to have a special screw-driver You can see on the pics. This particular tool have a needle that help align the seal with the packing screw. An important hint about teflon seals: they are compressable and dimensionally stable but not elastic either. If You overtighten a rubber “O” ring that’s not a problen only have to losen the screw a little bit and that’s all. If You overtighten a PTFE seal that might be a problem as – said previously – they dimensionally stable and dont return of their original shape when loosening that screw. The solution is that Ypu have to tighten the needle packingscrew step by step in small increments checking the resistance of the needle. This may means some assembly and disassembly but woth the effort as PTFE seal installed correctly lasts long. The goal here is that You have to tighten the screw that point when the needle packing seal tight enough around the needle that paint can’t overflow back to the valve housing but the needle itself move freely or little resistance. You have to feel it, there’s no any exact measuring here. I hope this help if someone faces similar issues or just interesting how it’s like an old Iwata dismantled 🙂 Cheers!

Workbench 2015 :)

December 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

It’s awesome that we have some memes yet so I’m in! This is myworkbench – sufficiently cleaned uf for the photos. Nothing special – a better part of my living room 🙂 On the third picture is a Fly Synthesis Storch I used to learn to fly on UL – just for some interesting 🙂 Seamless Happy New Year!

Little Fokkers

December 10, 2015 in Aviation

Hi All! Christmas is coming sooo… I built these little planes (1:72) as christmas presents. This time aesthetics was more important than authencticity but I tried my best to keep tha balance between the two things. The DR.1 is for someone whose favourite book’s uses this plane as illustration (hence the white background for the crosses and the natural metal cowling). I bought the E.III in a perfumery (really! :))) ) and made along with the another Fokker. Some things are updated a little aon these kits – both are from Revell – for example the interiors (new seats with harnesses, control columns and instrument panels). These kits are quite basics but the parts fit well and the part breakdowns are logical and good. On some areas the moulds show their ages – particularly on the E.III – as You have to clean up lot of seams and excess flashes. I actually accidentally throw away the machine gun of the E.III because I didn’t realizet that as a part not a pieceof sprue 🙂 – so another cratching. I enjoyed these builds a lot they were stress-free and relaxing experiences (so much that I thinking of make a collection with these little WW1 fighters… but so much kit is awaiting n the stash). These old Revell kits are quite good in every respect I reccommend these for everyone – particularly the red one as that plane really no need too much rigging. I know that it is a bit early but Have a Great Modelin’ Christmas! And have a good day folks! 😉

Fiat G.50 1:72 Airfix

December 6, 2015 in Aviation

Another oldie from the shelf. This is the venerable Airfix Fiat G.50 with some improvement. I made this kit years ago when this was the only g.50 around. I scrachbuild the cockpit area and the wheel wells, intakes etc and rescribed the surfaces. The engine is surprisingly good. I made the gear doors from thin aluminum sheet and cut out/repositioned the flaps. The painting was made after the box art by airbrush, the kit decals were used. All C&C are welcome. Cheers!