Friday, February 26, 2010

too busy building to post

About Xmas time, The Mount Mansfield Modelers had their annual swap meet/sale. I saw what I thought was a little gem and asked the guy what he wanted for it. "Nothing", he replied. I asked him a couple of times to be sure and he was. He had too many to build and just wanted to get rid of it. Coolness!

Then I checked on eBay and found out that the kit, in shrinkwrap as this one was, went for $60 - $80! Now, I couldn't take that from him, so at the next meeting, I told him about eBay and what the kit was worth. He still told me to keep it. I told him I planned on putting this at the top of my list of builds. And I did.

Here she is, the Eduard Siemens-Schuckert D.III (kit circa 1993). This aircraft ("LO!") was flown by Germany's greatest ace after Richtofen: Ernst Udet.

Now, Eduard is now known as a company that creates some of the best cast, most detailed, best engineered model kits out there. It was not always the case. This was a short run kit and I'm not sure what they used as molds, but I think they may have been jello. Check out the flash on these pieces:

Here's a closeup of the prop blades:

and one of the guns:

Eduard is now also known for exceptionally detailed and meticulously researched photo-etched detail sets. To make up for the crappy molding and soft detail of the plastic, they included a massive photoetch set. The entire cockpit is photoetch and there are even gun cooling shrouds. However, cool this seemed at the start, the pe cockpit was to become the first bear of the project.

I spent a good three or four hours just sanding the pieces. Gods, there was a lot of flash. I also took the time to separate the control surfaces. It always makes a plane more natural-looking to have its control surfaces not in the neutral position.

Then to the cockpit. Bending and painting and assembling the cockpit was really hard. The pieces were filddly and fragile, but I managed to get it together. For scale, those lines to the left are 1" (2.5cm) apart.

I then moved on to assembling the fuselage (which, by the way, has no alignment pins). Then, due to handling, I broke the damned cockpit. Snapped those side arms clean of. Since the pieces were too small for CA glue and epoxy would be a pain, I decided to scratchbuild a copy out of sheet styrene. It was pretty easy as I had a three-dimensional blueprint handy:

Not bad. I have some shots of the fully completed cockpit, but I haven't dumped them from the camera yet.

And by the way, do you see those tiny buckles on those seatbelts? Those had to be slipped on the seatbelts individually. Jeezum!

Next up: Fuselage Follies!