Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sausage-fingers vs. Tiny Planes

A couple of months ago, a company (whose name now escapes me) had a half-price clearance sale of their Heroics & Ros 1:300 scale WW1 aircraft. Naturally, I couldn't resist bait like that, and I bought a whole bunch of them.

Among them is the DH2, a British pusher (i.e. with the propeller at the back) scout (i.e. single-seat fighter).

This thing is a double-buggering bastard of a model to assemble. I've scratch-built a micro-scale DH2 before, back in the Olden Days when I still had things like eyesight. It's the painted model in the left foreground of the photo. I made it out of wood, cardboard and wire, and I'm pretty sure it didn't take me as long to scratch-build that one as it's taking me to assemble this prefabricated model.

The problem with the H&R model is that almost every single piece is cast separately — every wing strut, each tail boom — and there is no easy way to keep everything straight and square while you're putting it together. The components aren't cast terribly precisely either, so the struts and booms are out of scale and everything has visible mould-lines where the moulds were slightly offset. I've replaced all the wing struts with wire, which still looks massively over-scale, but at least it's round and smooth.

This is a model that would be vastly improved by having most of the components made in photo-etched brass, with only the nacelle really needing to be cast. I'd make a template and do it myself, except that I don't have access to the means of exposing and etching the brass.