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Josh Patterson
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Ford Flivver. 1/48 Williams Bros.

March 27, 2021 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.5K

Here's one I've been wanting to add to the collection. It started out as a weekend build last week, but I needed time for my gloss blue to dry. As it is one week is stellar for me in terms of getting a kit done!

I don't know the actual release date for this kit but most likely it has been around longer than I've been alive. The parts come on one tree of crisply detailed parts with flash being almost non-existent. The rib detail showing through the fabric covering of the wings and tail is nicely replicated as are the stringers showing through the skin of the lower portion of the turtle deck. The cockpit is simple with a seat, instrument panel and control stick. The rudder pedals are molded into the fuselage halves as is the throttle and inner structure. The truss structure could've been molded in greater relief but for what you can see through the cockpit opening what is there is probably good enough anyway. The cylinders of the three cylinder Anzani engine are the jewels of this kit. They are TINY but the fins don't look over done and the intake trunk and pushrod/rocker assemblies are also nicely represented. (I made the mistake of cutting the stub of the exhaust collector off thinking it was a molding defect. I should have looked at the drawing a little longer!) The landing gear struts are also tiny but I was able to get the tail wheel free floating inside the cutout on the rudder. I did replace the vertical struts on the tail wheel with wire as I thought it looked better than using the thicker kit supplied parts.

The building process is quite care free (apart from tweaking the cutout for the wing as I mentioned in the WIP) and you can keep your tube of filler nestled in its drawer. I painted it with Testors dark blue out of the little jar and metallic silver out of the spray can. I will miss not having the metallic silver as it is great for replicating silver doped fabric as well as aluminum lacquer on planes that are sprayed with it. (Or will this color be hanging around as it is not part of the Model Master line?) I'm not sure when the kit I purchased was released but the decals went on without a fuss. (You just need to keep numbers and letters straight and spaced correctly yourself as they are all separate. I like this better as there is no carrier film covering the paint between them as on the Super Ace.)

I am happy with how it turned out, but when taking the magnified photos some things jump out and say oops. (In fact, it's probably best not to click on the photos to view them! Having the pictures blurry on top of magnifying trouble spots is just insult to injury! I think I'm done taking model photos with my cell phone, at least for final articles!) The cockpit coaming over the top of the fuselage is one example. Looks great to the naked eye but when I took a super close up photo to prove that yes, there is a wind screen on this thing, it just looks like jagged sadness. That said it's far from a six footer and looks fantastic on my shelf!

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13 responses

  1. Unusual but beautiful build, Josh.

  2. Very nice result.

    The kit came out in the late 70s.

    • Thanks Tom. I figured you'd chime in with an approximate release date. Would this be one of their newest/last kits released? Was the Corben Super Ace around the same time then?

  3. I read your profile, and yeah, I guess I never call it AirVenture either. I'm in Milwaukee, and I had the chance to fly in there once during the airshow, that was nuts. The guy I flew in with had a Pilatus ten-passenger turboprop and couldn't fly slow enough to hold the landing pattern with the smaller planes so he hadda zig-zag his way in. That was the only time I flew in, usually drive up and back each day I can go. My older son usually comes with me.
    Nice Flivver, I have one in the stash too, pretty sure I bought it from the gift shop at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit on a family trip a couple of decades ago now. There's a real one in there too.
    Nice to see one finished so well and thanks for the heads-up about trimming parts without thoroughly studying the instructions first! I have the Super-Ace also.
    Nice Lindberg Goshawk too! That's one I've built. I must've dropped it at least three times while working on it, it just had a way of flipping itself outta my hands. I think it wanted to fly or something.
    Liked of course.

    Oh and I believe you about how brutal modern photography can be, and that it looks even better in person with the human eye. Yes, I know.

    • I haven't been to Milwaukee since the c**p started. I gotta get down and see Dennis at Happy Hobby. I'm used to stopping there about once a month so it has been a while since we've been able to chat! (On a side note, I was crushed when Greenfield News and Hobby closed!)
      Sounds like EAA is a go for this year. Give me a holler if you come up!

  4. Love your build a lot, Josh!
    Very cool looking plane!

  5. Definitely liked it's so cool, that blue and silver livery really sets it off.

  6. Josh, @jpatt1000
    I have been watching you build this little jewel and it turned out spectacularly 🙂

    It looks very good parked there next to your Lindberg Goshawk. I didn't realize just how tiny this model is, until I saw it on display with your other builds. The pictures you posted really show the model well. The instrument panel, tail wheel and 3 cylinder Anzani engine photos are very good and show off the tiny details. Then I noticed the windshield... incredible. I think that we are often our own worst enemy and way too critical of our own work. Don't be so hard on yourself as it looks good.

    I have never built one of the Flying Ford's but I have built the Goshawk back when I was a little kid. Now I have found another one and it's still sitting in the box. I'm twisted about which way to go with it, Keep it "yellow wings" or make it a Hawk II and paint it up as Ernst Udet's plane...

    To answer your question about the paint, a few days ago, my wife and I went to Hobby Lobby and checked out the paints they stocked. In the big bottles, I noticed a color they have called "Flat Aluminum". It's an enamel too, so it just might be the same color as before. I picked a bottle of it up and when I spray it I will let you know how it works. Like you mentioned, the Model Master "Metalizer" paints were great, and I would use the Non Buffing Aluminum color for fabric covered aircraft. It just looks (and works), perfect for this application.

    Have you done any more work on your B-52 ? I'm getting ready to post a build journal for the Korean War group build. Jeff Bailey was very kind to me, and we swapped kits. I got the 1/48 Monogram B-29, and he got a 1/35 Tamiya Tiger tank with some extra stuff for it like zimmerit , extra tracks and some additional crew figures.

    I definitely pressed the "liked" button.

    Stay safe buddy.

    • Thanks Louis. No, I didn't use Metallizer on it. The color in the spray can is simply called "metallic silver.) It has a great sheen to it and hopefully it will stick around. I am also finishing up a Bobcat Models Yak-28 Firebar. I have some Vallejo metallics I'm going to try on it to see how I like them. It will not be a display piece, I will build another with the things I learned on this kit (like attach the vertical stabilizer to the fuselage halves before I joint them). I also have their Brewer and Beagle in the stash. The B-52 is still safely tucked away and I have vowed not to touch it until the Peacemaker is done. I do have the B-36 on the table and am picking away at it. A guy over at Britmodeller is also doing one and he added a bunch of boxes to the lower compartment to really busy it up. I think I may do the same. I still have to get scans of my 1/72 decals to Dave Kopielski as he said he'd print them at 1/48. Probably going to regret it, but I think I've decided I am going to foil it. (At least the parts that aren't the dull magnesium.)

  7. Now there's something one doesn't see very often (in my case - never!). Looks great!

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