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Fa 223 Drache, 1/48 Special Hobby

I built this a while back and had it in its carrying case, to take to a show. Well, the drive way at our house had the same pitch as the roof, and when backing out, the model slid from one end of the case to the other. Well of course it was damaged because it is so spindly. It sat in that case until this weekend when I pulled it out and made repairs to it.

This is the Special Hobby kit, a limited run kit and in general the fit was very good for the fuselage and cockpit. The only issue is the part to hold the tail onto the forward section was not going to work the way the kit suggested. I had to build a bulkhead and a brass tube to give it the strength to stay in place correctly. The tail section seems to weigh as much as the rest of the model all together. To get it to stand, I built a little brass wire stand, it is somewhat discrete and strong enough to hold this heavy tail sitter up.

The rigging for the rotors, was difficult to build, and get correctly positioned. Once positioned and glued they proved to be fairly sturdy, although the gear aren’t. The kit is built out of the box and overall I am fairly happy with the results.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.


28 responses

  1. That’s a very intricate build. You must have steady hands and great patience to have done such a fine job building that.

  2. A fantastic job out of this definitely difficult kit, Walt!
    Got the same kit, courtesy of a friend here in iModeler, hope to build it one day!

  3. Some of these Special Hobby kits are a labor of love. Now add a early Helicopter with lots of glazing and it fragile to begin with out of the box . . .

    Walt B., that is a impressive build to say the least. I like the sharp work with the cockpit canopy, the color is done to scale, the rigging is sharp, the white walled tire, everything is unified and comes together to make a great build.

    Two thumbs up.

    Looking forward to seeing and reading about your next build.

  4. A great result with what I know is a much more difficult kit than you described, @luftwaffebirdman. Very impressive.

  5. Amazing build and repair Walt @luftwaffe-birdman
    Would love to build one too, regardless the difficulty.
    Your result is exceptional.

  6. You’ve done a fantastic job of a bloody difficult kit – I think you underplay just how difficult this build is!! Definitely a model that wants to break and a nightmare to transport to model shows. Mine has been repaired more times that I care to remember and is currently in its box awaiting repair yet again – it may resurface as a crash diorama!

    • Thanks David, @davecope109, I used copper wired pins at the ends of the tubing structure to help secure it to the fuselage. That really helped solidify the entire outrigger structure. Getting them aligned was another issue altogether. I was so heart broken over the breakage, I let it sit for years that way. I am glad I fixed it, it really is a fairly impressive looking build when you put it on the table, with those rotor way out there, it really takes up a lot of real-estate.

  7. Super job Walt! I imagine you spent a considerable amount of time to tame this beast.

  8. So glad you repaired this one to share it with us, Walt. You have done a magnificent job on a difficult short-run kit and saved it from a disaster on top of that. You would never know it had had a mishap. The Fa 223 is a fascinating flying machine. It makes one wonder what the Germans could have accomplished with helicopter technology if the war had gone on longer. All in all an historically intriguing subject and a museum-quality build.

  9. That’s something we don’t see everyday. Job well done on what is obviously a difficult kit.

  10. Wow Walt, just wow. I really like what you’ve done with that kit.

  11. I think this build was a lot of hard work. Very well done.

  12. It looks like a very tricky build, Walt, and even more tricky to transport safely to shows, definitely liked.

  13. Exceptional work, Walt, with beautiful and spectacular results. The clarity of your canopy is amazing! Congratulations on rescuing this build – a better fate than most of the prototypes had!

  14. That’s a clever trail prop. A good way around the awkward clumbsy counterbalance we all have to deal with. Exquisite build.

  15. The Drache is a real treat – thank you for sharing this one @luftwaffe-birdman!

  16. Thanks to everyone for the kind remarks, and Erik, @airbum, I sometimes enjoy doing oddball and obscure stuff. I also have a Fl 265 built in my collection. I some how recall that kit being more of a challenge and I was not as happy with the results. I also want to do the Fl 282, which is available in 1/48, but I have never come across the kit.

  17. Walt – that’s an impressive Drache. Looks like it must have been a real grunt to achieve such a fine looking result and you certainly pulled it off. Glad you rescued it.

  18. Excellent work on an intricate kit. Looks fantastic.

  19. I think I’d be sobbing tears if something this well done was broken in transit.
    The rotor outriggers look like the modeling stuff made of nightmares.
    Impressive work.

  20. Nice, beautiful work on your build!

  21. Walt, @luftwaffe-birdman
    This is an INCREDIBLE model…………. and I never knew that a kit of this type even existed. Man oh man……… by looking at the structures involved, I can see how it would be very fragile. You can’t tell it was ever damaged, so my hat’s off to you my friend !!!

    I definitely pressed the “like” button. Thanks for sharing this beauty with us. It’s one of a kind, and a first for me.

  22. Amazing Walt, so glad you decided to repair it. What a beautiful aircraft and you’ve done it so well. That canopy must have need crazy to mask. Well done.

    • Thanks Anthony, @anthonyricco, the masking was a bit of a challenge. It helps that the framework was fairly evident. I used Parafilm for the mask. I really like Parafilm for certain applications, but will bow to pre-cut masks when I can. I have had Parafilm on a model for over a year and had no problems removing it when done, because really there is no adhesive on the film. The one thing about it is though when you decide to mask put a brand new blade in your knife.

  23. Wow, Walt! (@luftwaffe-birdman) This looks worse than a biplane. Very well done.

  24. All of the above, Great work!

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