When Peter was looking for volunteers to do the prototype build for his 1/12th scale version of the German DFW C.V, I jumped at the chance as I was considering several other German WWI aircraft and the DFW C.V is one of those planes that is rarely modelled. A quick search on-line turned up no balsa kits and only a handful of R/C scratch builds. Although this is a 1/12th scale plane, the wingspan is 43.5" and length of 25", putting the overall size closer to most 1/8 and 1/9 scale WW1 biplanes I usually build. The DFW CV was a two-seater plane capable of fulfilling multiple roles - generally the workhorse of the German air force from late 1916 to the end of the war. The plane was equipped with a single, forward firing Spandau machine gun and a rear facing Parabellum machine gun manned by the observer from the rear cockpit. Despite its size the DFW C.V was not a plane that was an easy mark for allied pilots. It had excellent handling characteristics and was well powered. A skilled pilot could turn the tables on an attacker and the observer could fend off attacks with the Parabellum.
One of our 'missions' at FSM is to try to encourage scale modellers to stray beyond the 'normal envelope' of Spitfires, Mustangs, SE5s and Tiger Moths to model one, or many, of the endless aircraft that have flown since the Wright Brothers first put daylight under the skids of their 'Flyer' back in December 1903. Many of those lesser-known types have been modelled of course and Plans Services in countries everywhere-have many of them covered, but there as still so many 'suitable cases for treatment'. All of which makes Peter Rake's current discourse on designing models and drawing plans a worthwhile read. Thus, We hope that the Morane SaulnierMS 406 featured as our 'Subject for Scale' in this issue represents a challenge for scale modellers with a streak of individuality in them. The MS 406 was France's most numerically important fighter aircraft of the 1939-40 early WW2 period. It's no beauty; but nevertheless has a pugnacious attraction all its own - why no give it a try?
By the time this issue of FSM hits the newsstands, or drops through your letterbox, thoughts among readers must surely be turning toward selection of a new scale project for the Autumn/Winter building season. So what's it going to be then? In this month's issue, we present another of Australian Gary Sunderland's series of successful scale design in the shape of his new quarter-scale Nieuport 27. Whilst working through this, the point arises that, even if a particular type presented in the magazine as a construction feature does not have an immediate appeal for the reader, there is, nevertheless real value in reading and learning about the techniques the designer used in the construction of the model. Discovering how the other fella 'got away with it' makes the reading worthwhile - there's always something new to learn.
Battlestar Galactica was an original and slightly cheesy science-fiction TV series from 1978, created by Glen A. Larson. Its story was based around the idea that humanity lived in a distant part of the galaxy in 12 colonies, having left its original home world of Kobol, and was constantly at war with a robotic android race called the Cylons who wished to rid the galaxy of humans. In 2003, the franchise was re-launched with a new, much darker, edgier and character-driven TV series which aired until 2009. This updated show held the premise that, after years of peace, a second war with the Cylons began with a pre-emptive Cylon strike, resulting in the near extermination of the colonies. This time, along with the traditional Cylons, some of them actually look like humans and have managed to infiltrate key positions within the fleet. The few surviving scattered humans form a makeshift band of various spacecraft to make their escape, and the sole remaining Colonial Fleet Battlestar 'Galactica' protects this rag-tag collection of ships.
From its introduction into service almost 40 years ago, the Hawkeye has been pivotal in US carrier air wing operations. Its long and illustrious career is a testament to a successful design, which, from the outside, has changed little. Internally though, things are different; constant upgrades have enabled the Hawkeye to evolve into a potent asset. Not only does the Hawkeye provide information to attack aircraft, but it also assists with the coordination of in-flight refuelling, detection of enemy ships, and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions. With no replacement on the horizon any time soon, Grumman's venerable early-warning machine will grace carrier decks for many years to come. Being a big fan of Grumman aircraft, and having built numerous Tomcats, the news of a new Hawkeye in 1/48 was very welcome. The only offering in this scale to date was a resin version which reduced even experienced modellers to quivering wrecks.
Arising from fruitful British and French collaboration during the 1960s, the SEPECAT Jaguar proved to be a successful warplane that gave many years of useful service to both countries. Emanating from co-operation between the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) of Britain and Breguet (from December 1971, Dassault-Breguet) of France, the Jaguar was 'blooded' in several important war zones and areas of tension from the 1970s onwards. In French service the type flew with distinction in European skies and further afield, defending French interests, and was used in combat as a part of wider Allied air campaigns in southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The background to the Jaguar and its service with the French Air Force (Armee de I'Air) in Europe was covered in the first instalment of this two-part feature. Following the successful first flight of the initial Jaguar prototype (a French two-seater numbered E-01) in September 1968, continuing development and flight test work led to the French ordering 160 single-seat Jaguar A attack aircraft (numbered from A1 onwards), and 40 two-seat Jaguar E trainers (from E1).
Wingnut Wings has only recently appeared on the modelling scene, yet already the high quality of its products has pushed kit production to new and impressive levels. The rapidly increasing range has convinced more than a few modellers to make their World War One building debut, but this genre demands certain techniques that need practice for the best results. These include wood panelling (see AMW Issue 5/ May 2011), cutting and positioning large sections of lozenge decal and of course, rigging (Issues 8 and 9). Wood panelling has special significance for the Roland D.VIa. It was renowned for shedding the standard semi-monocoque method of fuselage construction, whereby thins strips of plywood were wrapped diagonally around a male former to create a 'bathtub', in favour of overlapping strips of spruce fixed to a wooden framework. In ship-building terms, this was known as 'Clinker-built'.