Saturday, January 26, 2013

Aviation Classic Issue 3

On 5 March 1936, a beautiful-looking sleek new monoplane made its first flight from the Super marine works airfield at Eastleigh in Hampshire -attractive as it may have been, this aircraft was designed to be the leading fighter of its time and intended solely for combat. The Spitfire was born. It had been back in late 1931 that Air Ministry Specification F7/30 was formally put out to industry. This called for a new front line RAF fighter armed with four 0.303in machine-guns that could reach a higher speed than the Bristol Bulldog biplane. Supermarine, courtesy of the company's chief designer RJ Mitchell, had recently achieved great success with a series of revolutionary high-speed floatplanes that had set world speed records while taking part in the Schneider Trophy races with the RAF's High Speed Flight. The ideas and technology used was an ideal basis on which to look into the development of this new fighter - the combination of Mitchell's designs such as the successful Supermarine S6B, and the Rolls-Royce engine which powered it, had formed a world-leading partnership in the production of high-speed monoplane aircraft.

RC Model Flyer 12/2010

If you are the type of modeler that gets all hot under the collar and excited about the latest 'foamy' that claims to "look and perform just like the real thing" even though, in reality, it wheezes around the sky like a poorly asthmatic, and is accurately painted in an authentic colour scheme that is used by the 'Royal Psychedelic Airforce', then you may want to think again if you were fancying buying the E-flite Sabre. If you do indeed decide to go ahead with your purchase, you may also want to consider ordering the model via mail order rather than collecting it from your local model shop, and you should certainly avoid the temptation to buy it at a show. I mention this simply because whilst it is arguably still acceptable for a small boy who still believes in father Christmas to wet himself with excitement on Christmas morning when said Santa Claus drops off his first ever model aeroplane, the same cannot be said for grown ups!

Flying Scale Models 05/2011

At 81 years old (young?), Ken Perkins shows no signs of taking a back seat in scale modelling! This is good news for readers of FSM, as Ken's latest design, a Mitsubishi A5M4 'Claude' will be a nice change from the normal Warbird type. This model is definitely one that many modellers would leave alone. It has a very short nose, a fairly high aspect ratio elliptical wing and tail, and precious little space to install the necessary kit, due to the aforementioned short nose and thin wing section. Ken actually added an inch to the nose length knowing it would be tail heavy, even with the convenient 'ballast' weight of the Saito seven-cylinder radial engine he used. You'd never know by looking at the photos! I guess if it was a smaller scale, you would notice the extra length, but at 1:5 it's not noticeable. Including 3 lb of lead in the nose, the Claude weighs 21 lbs and has an 84" wingspan. It's of all conventional construction from balsa and ply with blue foam being used for the headrest/fairing.

Modelling and Painting Figures

There's no doubt that modelling figures is the most difficult part of the model-maker's art and the one that can make or break a diorama. There are so many things that can go wrong: if the posture is wrong, if the physical attributes and features aren't lifelike and in the right proportions, or if the clothing and the play of light on the clothing is inaccurate the figures will look stilted and inhuman. And we all know what happens when the figures in a diorama look wrong: it doesn't matter how good the rest of the model-making is, the overall effect will be ruined. Modelling figures well starts with the general proportions of the human body: get these wrong and you're already modelling a fantasy figure! After getting the proportions right, you then have to get the posture right: it must be lifelike and human. Then you've got to make sure the clothes hang properly, that the paint job is realistic.