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Doug Thost
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Airfix DHC-1 Chipmunk 1/48 scale

December 18, 2021 · in Aviation · · 25 · 1.6K

The has often been referred to as "the poor man's Spitfire". I've painted this one in civil registration for an aircraft in Malaysia in the early 1970s that my dad used to fly, and have been racing to complete it before Christmas as a present for him (he's 92 years old).

My dad and Mr T Rix broke the Malaysian single engine altitude record in this aircraft on the 18 June 1972, reaching a height of 15,200 feet. The Chippy was owned by the Royal Selangor Flying Club's CFI, Mr S "Ted" Baillie-Reynolds, who my 10 year old self remembers as a real larger than life character, more Biggles than Biggles.

I used Experts-Choice decal film sheet to ink-jet print the 9M-ANA registration, with less success than I'd hoped for. It was probably operator error, and I may not have selected the appropriate paper medium for the print. Instead of a solid grey, the underlying yellow shows through quite a lot. Ideally I would have created stencils and painted the reg the same silver-grey as elsewhere, but I was both in a hurry as well as being a bit technically challenged with the old Cameo Silhouette that we had lying around, and never quite got my act together on that one…

The kit itself I had long been anticipating to build for my dad, and was sort-of happy with it. The main annoyance for me was the multi-pieced canopy, which was fiddly and came out less than perfectly. I can see why had to make it like that to replicate the slightly "blown" rear panels at the back, but it's a complete bastard to align, even with the funky little jig they provide. More competent modelers will no doubt do better than I did. The other less than satisfactory bit of the kit is the trailing edges of the wings: way too thick. I tried to slim them down, but at the expense of some wing detail.

Pics of the finished model, and some real-life ones from the 1970's. Hope my old man likes it! Cheers…

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. Greg, well done, and I think your dad will get very happy with this model of the record setting aircraft. On my screen it looks like you hit the colours spot on. Love the included photos from the time they went record breaking. Thanks for adding the comments on constructing the kit, I will keep them in mind when I start mine.

  2. This is an amazing build, Doug @doug
    And a fantastic Christmas present for your dad.

  3. Great work, I’m sure your Dad will be more than happy with his Christmas present.

  4. Such a gem! Great gift. I like the picture from "the days" especially 12.000ft and climbing - albeit at a slow rate, but nonetheless still climbing. I like this one a lot.

    • Thanks very much Erik. If you have a closer look at that photo you'll see three "hands" on the altimeter clock face: the smallest pointing between the 1 and 2 is indicating 10,000+ feet, the next largest is between the 4 and 6 (just over 5, which is not present), indicating 5,000+ feet, and the largest hand is just over the 2, indicating about 220 feet. So the altimeter is showing 15,220 feet. Of interest to me is the airspeed, at only about 55 knots, which may be under-reading at high altitude.

  5. Very well done Greg! ? And, a great gift for your Dad; I'm betting he loves it! ?

  6. Well done, Doug. That’s a one of a kind model.

  7. A great build, Doug!
    What a fantastic present for your dad!

  8. Super, Doug. Super.

  9. Some strong work on the Airfix DHC-1 Doug. With so many paint schemes one can never get bored with just making one. What a neat gift for your father. I know my dad is a hero and if your dad is 92 doing that is heroic and being a pilot adds to the frosting on the kit. More importantly your giving the gift of time too.

    That old adage " There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but, no old bold pilots." holds true.

    Two thumbs up.

  10. Nice result on this.

    For future reference, the way to thin down wing trailing edges is to sand out the parts from INSIDE before assembly. Works every time.

    • Thanks Tom. And yep, bit of a "D'Oh" Homer Simpson moment on that wing fix (actually the flap trailing edges). Your advice is filed away under "important" for next time!

  11. Really nice build of this classic plane! The Chipmunk is on my wishlist, I have seen really nice builds of the new Airfix kit - and this build is definitely one of them.

    I have been thinking for a Cutting machine for a long time, but I can’t justify it for my slow building pace. It would just collect dust, unused in a storage room.

  12. Very nice build, I love the way it came out, looks great!

  13. That is a beautiful scheme for a Chipmunk, and a well-built and painted model. Well done!

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