DH-4 in U.S. Mail Service Aurora 1/48

November 29, 2012 · in Aviation · · 6 · 1.8K

Another of my builds from my distant past. (When did I get so old?!? ) Completed 36 years ago from the even then ancient DH-4 kit. Modifications include removal of all surface detail, the markings where depicted by raised outlines remember those? The cockpit was moved to the rear and the front position converted into the mail hold. Then engine was one of, if not the first, attempt at scratch building a major component. Exhaust fabricated from brass tubing heated with a candle to simulate heat discoloration. The fuselage was planked over with basswood and clear coated. Rib detail was added to the flying surfaces with tape and painted a cotton color with the 'hairy stick'. Struts were made from basswood strips sanded to shape. Wires were made from florist wire straightened by stretching the wire between two pairs of pliers. The prop was carved from balsa as I recall, I really should make a better one, the prop bolts in the hub from short lengths of wire.
These airplanes carried minimal markings and where quite plain in appearance. I built this as a generic aircraft so I applied only a "U. S Mail" on the sides. I probably should add some numbers to the tail as that would be a bit more prototypical.
A bit ancient but it still looks ok in the display case. I have another in the stash, might be interesting to build another and see how they compare... Eric F.

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6 responses

  1. Very nice! Your kit has some great details! Remember that being old and feeling old can be very different things- I just ignore how old I am!

  2. Oldie but goldie 😉

  3. Even in the close-ups it looks like a "wooden" model. Fascinating.
    Modeling has changed so much in the last 30 years.

    • Forgot to add that it reminds me of a book by Harry Woodman from sometime in the 1960s, which I still consider to be one of the best modeling handbooks ever written. It's a bit sad that construction and scratchbuilding skills are not that widespread today. Lack of time, I guess. Thank you so much for sharing this.

      • I too am sorry to see much of the interest in scratch building fall by the wayside. I like to try and keep that alive( plus I can't afford to buy too many of the superbly done aftermarket sets available!) I did break down and get aftermarket cockpits for my massive VAQ-209 build currently in progress; 4 Prowler, 5 Intruder and 3 Growler!

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