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!


  1. Great airplane - based on a captured Neuport. On the D1 the engine crank turned one way while the cylinders turned the other, so at 1800 rpm, the prop was turning at 900 rpm. Clever.

    Ernst Udet was the inspiration for the character Ernst Kessler in the movie "The Great Waldo Pepper".

    That sure looks to be a challenging kit, though. Nice job on the scratch cockpit.

    I recently added to the models I have in boxes and have purchased the tools/paints I'll need to build them. All airplanes to which I have some connection - two Kawanishi H8K2 "Emily" flying boats - 1:144 and 1:78; a 1:48 scale PBY-5A; two scales of Kawasaki T-4 "Blue Impulse" jets; a 1:48 Nakajima A6M2-N floatplane (Tamiya); and a 1:48 Cessna 172 which I plan to paint to match the one I owned back in Hawaii.

    As I haven't put together a model in many years, these should keep me busy. I'll have to order them in a way to get my practice on the least important of the group first. Will get started soon.

    Your blog is very helpful and inspiring. Thanks, Arkonbey.

  2. The kit sure makes you work for it. I really like the scratch built. Great job!
    I'm looking forward to the rest.

    I'll get some plasticard from the store next week to start repairing my Orljonok (the engine fell in ages ago and to make matters kinda worse I dropped the entire kit about couldn't fly)

  3. @PB: Oooo! That is a sweet selection. I loves me the flying boats; though that PBY is wayyyy too big. You're at the place I was last year as far as figuring out where to start. It's daunting.

    You could:

    1) start with the Tamiya, as they are so well engineered it's hard to build up badly.

    2) find out which one is still available and start with that one. If you mess it up you can get another easily.

    3) go with the 1:144 'cause it's smaller.

    4) grab randomly and jump in. I started on a whim one day after a hard day at work. Just grabbed a P -26 Peashooter from the hobby store, came home and started building.

    I would wait on the Cessna until you feel confident, though. It's got a personal story attached to it and you want to do it right. Is it on floats?

    What helped me was finding a local modeling group. I'm looking forward to seeing your stuff!

    I'll have to check out the Great Waldo Pepper

    @Arjan: This kit is SO much work. I'm learning a lot, but grrrrr.

    You haven't finished that Orlijonok yet? A plane that awesome-looking HAS to be built. How did you drop it 3m? Were you running around your place making 'zooooom' noises? :)

    As you repair it post some before and after shots, please.

  4. Thanks for the ideas. I thought I'd start with the 1:44 Emily and work up from there. Yes, the Cessna will come late in the list. it's on wheels. I'll keep you posted.
    You do have to see Waldo Pepper - one of the best flying movies EVER.