Ediciones Alcan, S.l. Tel: +34 986 487227 Avda. de Vigo 70 Fax: +34 986 487228 Alto de Puxeiros 36416 Mos (Pontevedra) Spain
from Paula Vazquez <email@example.com> of Alcan: Ediciones Alcan, S.L. was founded in 1993. This company is part of an industrial group with a vast experience in the high quality Graphic Arts sector.
We do not sell directly to the public. At this point we have distributors in Germany (Scheuer & Strüver), the Netherlands (de Prins uitgeverij) and Sweden (Statmedia), but we will probably be exporting to France and the US by the end of the year.
As well as commercialising our paper model line, we accept commissions for both design and printing of models and reproductions of any type.
Model Size Scale Sheets Pieces Difficulty DELUXE SERIES U.S. Steam Engine 1875 54 cm 1:24 Moving wheels, rods, steering wheel, etc. SSC Coupé 26 cm 1:24 Moving wheels, steering wheel, etc. GOLD SERIES 240-2070 Steam Engine 72 cm 1:24 27 400 3 Mercedes Sportwagen S 26 58 cm 1:6 24 321 4 Mercedes SSK 1928 43 cm 1:7 20 201 4 Peugeot Torpedo 48 cm 1:8 22 361 4 Peugeot Bebé 1905 35 cm 1:8 14 202 3 Ford A 43 cm 1:6 20 201 3 MINI SERIES Bentley Lemans 1930
BMW 315 Sport 1934
Ford roadster 1929
Ford TT-Land 1927
Ford V8 1932
Ford Pick-Up 1936
Ford Taxi 1930
Ford TT 1927
Rolls Royce 1928
Bugatti Royale 1924
Ford Bis 1936
Hispano Suiza 1932
Hispano Suiza coupe 1934
1:24 4-6 35-50 2 MARITIME SERIES Wasa 1628 55 cm 1:100 14 370 3 Super Model Ships (3 models in the same box): Stern trawler fishing boat 34 cm 1:220 4 123 2 Mussel fishing boat 24 cm 1:50 2 43 2 Rowing boat for sea loch 19 cm 1:24 1 35 2 SPACE SERIES Cirrus X-32 30 cm 12 370 2 CPX-3 Spigrahf 36 cm 22 120 1 HK-21 Space Cruiser 24 cm 15 68 1 Starcargo 32 cm 19 91 1 ZX-3 Zingraf 25 cm 8 49 1 SS-10 Interfhace 40 cm 28 102 2 CS-15 Hartword 16 cm 6 33 1 RACING TRUCK SERIES J&C ALCAN 21 cm 1:24 6 68 2 TANK SERIES C.V. 35 Armoured car 32 cm 1:10 9 239 2 C.L. 3 Armoured car 32 cm 1:10 10 264 2 MINI PLUS SERIES Testarossa
1 6 1 Note: Difficulty levels 0-5 (where 5 is complicated)
from Stephen Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>: In response to an inquiry for information for this FAQ, Alcan very generously provided a sample model for review purposes. I haven't had time to build it, but I can make some comments in the way of a 'box review.'
The 1928 Mercedes SSK is part of their Gold Series. The model is 1:7 scale and is designed by Chema Alvarez. The kit comes as bound volume in a large format, 246x352mm. The printing is outstanding, nicely shaded colours on glossy paper with excellent registration. The paper, although stiffer than most bond paper, is much lighter than most card models. The caliper is 5.5, thicker than typical bond paper, but thinner than the 8-9 mils of most card models.
The instructions are mostly diagrams, with brief explanatory text in 6 languages. They look quite clear, and there are several good photographs of a built-up model to guide the builder. The part numbering is unconventional; parts are numbered by the sheet they appear on (e.g. A1 through A8 on one sheet, B1 through B5 on another,) rather than in order of assembly. However, this will facilitate finding parts, and the diagrams make the order of assembly clear, so I don't think this will present any problems, even to a modeler used to another scheme. I noted some minor problems in part identification and a few potential pitfalls, detailed below.
There are 202 pieces, and the complexity looks moderate. The detailing looks pretty good for a model of this complexity, particularly as automobiles are challenging in this medium. The tires are built up from squared cylinders, with layering to provide some roundness, and shading in the printing makes it look quite good in the photos. The wheels used printed spokes, again skillfully shaded. Other details are good.
I suspect that, because of the relatively thin stock, some parts may need to be doubled, particularly in the frame. The instructions aren't entirely clear about how the bonnet and passenger compartment fit; I think that careful dryfitting will be necessary before these sub-assemblies are put together. There are some idiosyncracies in the part numbering. Part A6 is mislabeled as A2, but it's clear from the diagrams which is which. The part labeled C14 in the diagrams is apparently labeled C19 in the sheets to be cut up; no part C14 appears there. Although there is a part C5, it doesn't appear in the diagrams and I couldn't figure out where it goes. The taillights (part H9) also don't appear in the diagrams, but it's obvious where they go. Parts J5, J10, and J12 also don't appear in the diagrams. The diagrams show 3 headlights, but the photographs show only two. There are either too many or too few of parts P1, P2, and P3 (depending on whether you want to build up both sides of the tires, or just one.) There seem to be extra parts D23. Construction of the gas filler cap is unclear; the photographs show part D24 where the diagrams call for D21. There is no coloured code indicating interior regions to be cut out; the only obvious pitfall here is the dashboard C4, which is pierced by the steering column C22. Clearly it would be wise to make up the steering column first, as cutting and fitting the hole would be difficult after the dash is installed. The last sheet has no parts identified, but is filled with solid blocks of colour that seem to not quite match the colours of the model. This may be intended for doubling, or replacement of damaged parts, or scratchbuilding extra detail; it's not clear.
Some of these issues may become obvious during construction. In any case, apart from some minor problems, this looks like a very nice model. And automobiles aren't very well represented in paper, so it's very nice to see some good examples.
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: Not a big fan of car models, but started on the Alcan "Mini" series model of the 1924 Bugatti Royale. This is THE CAR that I think every little boy must imprint on early in their life. Low slung, driver up front in an open cockpit, huge long black hood, huge fenders, sort of a black and yellow Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Anyway, the model is great. Color is bright, printing and fit is exact, the attention to detail good. It is a pleasure to build. This is my first experience actually building one of the Alcan models, and I am impressed - they come in a box, like a plastic kit, and are attractive and sturdy.
from David Green <email@example.com>: I recently finished the Alcan ZX-3 Zingraf. This is my first Alcan model. Its best features are the price (very inexpensive) and the quality of the printing. I found the card a bit stiff and difficult to curl into cylinders or fold. The construction is very repetitive, all solid polyhedrons stuck together. Possibly the idea is to allow a creative modeller free rein to construct a different model. With a glue-repelling metallic ink and no internal support the elements come adrift easily.
My Star War-crazy kids like the result - I suppose it was designed with the youth in mind. Having seen very impressive photos of other more elaborate Alcan models e.g. steam locomotive/vintage cars, I will reserve judgement until I try one of these. This one was good value for money.
from Peter Ansoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I've just finished building an ALCAN X-3 as a display model for Pete Heesch. I was not too impressed by the modular concept -- it was very difficult to mate the flat surfaces together neatly, especially the larger ones. I had to cut access holes in inconspicuous places to get "behind" and make decent joints. I also found it difficult to get everything neatly aligned; my ship has a noticible gap between the aft "wings" and the midship "wings".
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: This "Paper Lego" approach for the ALCAN space ships was very appealing to my 14 year old son. He has never shown much interest in most paper models, but dove into the ALCAN X3. The use of the repeated block elements liberated him - so that he felt comfortable modifying the design as it went together - indeed, he was thinking it would be interesting to just have a bunch of the blocks to assemble however he wished. It seems to work for the Lego generation, who have obviously have different ideas about what a "good model" is.
from Louis Dausse <l.dausse.PMI@worldnet.att.net>: Here is a review of a different type of model that PMI has taken on from Alcan of Spain. It is from their new space series. A walking fighting machine, the Cirrus X-32. It is full of guns, rockets and lasers so I guess it is a futuristic military model. Pictures can be found on the new page of our web site.
It is articulated at the hips, knees and ankles. The "body" elevates and swivels, so it is possible to position it in a great variety of ways. The knees and ankles are articulated by way of rubber bands, supplied with the kit. The secret to its standing are the 4 sliding "hydraulic" cylinders, made very cleverly, that attach to the front and rear of the legs. Without them the machine only flops around. The cylinders give it the rigidity needed to stand in place.
The illustrated instructions are excellent. This is not really a difficult kit , but there is a lot to it. The other space kits are suitable for people of 8 or 9. This one takes some understanding of mechanical action. It took me about 20 hours to put it together.
from David T. Okamura <email@example.com>: When I ordered several paper ship models from PMI last month, I was very interested in the Alcan 1:100 scale Wasa. (This is the last product in the "New Items" part of their web site. Their stock number is ACL 1256, and it has to be ordered via mail.) Since I am a member of the Ship Modelers Association, I wanted to see how this model compares with some of the works of art produced by my fellow members. (One has spent 10 years on a Sovereign of the Seas, and is still working on the hull carvings.) While I was initially dubious when placing my order, I was very pleasantly surprised. The following is my preliminary overview:
Alcan Wasa 1628
This 1:100 scale kit consists of 7 nicely-printed and varnished pages (9.25 by 25.75 inches), 2 pages of bulkheads, 3 pages of sails (in thinner paper), and one sheet of acetate with printed ratlines. Also included is a sheet of diagram instructions (rather comprehensive) and some tan cord for the standing rigging.
(It appears from the instructions that I was supposed to get some thinner cord for the running rigging, but I already have suitable thread.) There are 370 pieces, which isn't much for a full-hull sailing ship. The completed model is 28 inches long.
I was concerned that the Wasa would look crude due to its large size and small parts count. After all, the intricate carvings that embellished the original ship would only be 2-dimensional. 370 parts doesn't allow for much detail, and the spars and topmasts are flat laminations rather than thin rolled cylinders.
However, looking at the cover photo and the parts I was rather impressed. At first glance, it could hold its own against some traditional wooden ship models. The printing is very good, not overly colorful or garish. One nice touch is the open gunports. You make a black box behind the opening from which the cannon emerges, creating a sense of depth.
The hull construction is unique--I've never seen this before. You laminate one centerline template on a slightly larger piece of paper, then tape the sheet to a tabletop, ensuring that the template is perfectly flat. Bulkheads, spacers and then the hull sides are added. The completed half-hull is removed and the backing paper trimmed. After repeating the same process for the other side, the two halves are glued together, the joint line later covered with a section of decking, the stern galleries, rudder and keel.
Overall, this is a great model for a beginner, and the more experienced can really make this ship look good with authentic rigging. Real ratlines and blocks would be a major improvement. At $25 (PMI's price), it's a bargain. I hope Alcan follows up with more ship models. While not quite in the same league as Shipyard, Alcan has a winner here.
The instructions do not mention this, but I suspect the pages should be laminated to thin cardstock for more rigidity. I'm checking to see what thickness should be used.
from Gunnar Sillén<firstname.lastname@example.org>: As I live quite close to the original Wasa in Stockholm and have a member card allowing free visits in the museum, I am well aquainted with the ship. This also makes it a problem for me to fully appreciate the Alcan model. I agree that the model is well printed and looks very nice. I also think that the kit is an intelligent construction making it rather easy with quite few parts to make an impressive model. The problem is about accuracy. The kit model is not designed after the real ship but after another and not very accurate plastic kit made lots of years ago before the archaeologists and the restoration of the real ship had come so far. This is a pity and a little unnecessary as few ships are so well documented in good sets of drawings as is the Wasa.
I have the Alcan Wasa (unbuilt) at home and have just thought of trying to see if the model could be corrected to look more like the real ship.
I think it is not necessary to laminate cardstock for more rigidity. I have seen the model built and have had talks with Chema Alvarez, the designer. The paper should be sufficiently stiff to make the construction self-supporting.
Avda. de Vigo, 60 Tel: 34 +(9)86 48 72 27 Alto de Puxeiros Fax: 34 +(9)86 48 72 28 Tameiga 36416 Mos Pontevedra Spain
Betexa ZS s.r.o. tel./fax: +42-05-740660 Stefánikova 11 tel.: +42-05-41219778 602 00 Brno Czech Republic email@example.com
from Tomas Belka <firstname.lastname@example.org>: We are a leading Czech company dealing with the production and distribution of paper models. In addition to production for the retail network, where our customers are mainly children and youths but also many grown-up modellers, we make purpose-fit paper objects for specific customers. For example, the Skoda Octavia model for the Skoda Auto Mladá Boleslav, Fischer Airport for the Fischer Travel Agency or Little Driver for the Brno Municipal Police.
Using a special technology we also can develop a die cut card which does not require cutting nor gluing. Such simplified models are, from the point of construction, more accessible to the widest public. The St. Peter and Paul's cathedral in Brno is the first in the line of die cut cards where this technology was successfully used. Second in the line is the St. Bartholomew cathedral in Pilsen. Now we are preparing St. Vencesslaus church of Olomouc (for the metropolitan canonry of St. Vencesslaus in Olomouc,) and the Old Town Town-hall in Prague.
Apart from the already realized models of castles (see catalogue) we are preparing the edition of Bøeznice chateau, Karlstejn castle, Jaromìøice and Rokytnou chateau and other buildings. The team of our collaborators is big enough to be able to prepare an item upon specific customer wishes in a relatively short time. Such items may be any cut-out kit or die cut card of any object in the world. To realize the project we need the most detailed documentation possible (construction plans, photographs, etc.).
Betexa generously provided three models for review purposes, Bouzov Castle, a Skoda Octavia automobile, and a Space Shuttle Atlantis. All three models are bound as booklets, 33x22 cm. The paper is approximately 65# card stock with a caliper of ~8.5. The printing is very nice. Registration of the colour and black printing is fair, but allowances are made in the design for this, so it doesn't look like this will be problem in building. The models come with instructions and background information in three languages, Czech, German, and English, and are abundantly illustrated with diagrams and photographs of the model. The English contains a few idiosyncratic usages--for instance, the Space Shuttle model includes a model of the Magellan planetary probe, which is referred to as a 'cosmic sonde'--but nothing that would be an obstacle to understanding. I particularly like the practice of using photographs of a built-up model. The instructions and illustrations are printed on the reverse sides of the model parts, so you'll be destroying the instructions when you cut out the parts. Photocopying the instructions before beginning would be prudent.
No scale is given for the model of Bouzov Castle (a 14th century Moravian fortress), but the finished model will be about 27 x 24 cm. This is probably the simplest of the three models, and looks to be an intermediate level of difficulty---not quite easy, but not very difficult. There are approximately 65 parts. The level of detail is moderate, as a lot of small details, such as scuppers, lintels, and vents are printed rather than built up, but they are done with shading to give an impression of depth. Unlike the other models, this one has parts that are printed across the fold, which may complicate accurately folding these parts. Parts 20 and 26 are printed on the back cover and are hard to find. The designer is Robert Navratil.
The Skoda Octavia is a small hatchback, modelled in 1:18 scale. It can be built as an easy version, with printed windows and a simple undercarriage, or a complex one, with glazed windows, interior detail, and a more complex undercarriage. A sheet of acetate is provided for the windows if the complex version is built. The complex version includes approximately 200 parts. Some of the parts are printed on a thinner paper, to be reinforced with a heavier card stock. The designer is Pavel Bestr.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is in 1:72 scale and includes a model of the Magellan planetary probe. The shuttle can be built with or without landing gear and with the cargo bay doors open or closed, and the cockpit interior is included if you choose to glaze the windows. Bound into the booklet is a colour poster of a shuttle launch--the German and English assembly instructions are on the reverse of the poster. There are numerous photographs of the details of the finished model, as well as clear assembly diagrams. There are approximately 200 parts, including the Magellan probe. The designer is Pavel Bestr.
from <DanRenoS@aol.com>: The Bextexa shuttle is amazing. Everything fits beautifully, the gear and even the gear doors open and close. It is rendered with an even finer detail level and I've found it to be worth every penny I spent on it.
from Bill O'Neil <email@example.com>: The Birdmobile Osprey isn't too hard to assemble. I built mine about 1986, at night, during a week's vacation in Traverse Bay area (cold evenings in July.... with the fireplace going.) I'd say about 25 hours. Because of its size, the cutting is not tedious; it's all freehand curves, not tight, straight, small details. But, there is a lot of linear footage of feather edges to be colored and this is the time consuming aspect, but makes "the difference." The head pivots via a rubber band mounting, very realistic. Malcolm Topp did a fantastic job, with all the Birdmobiles.
from Bob Bell <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have built two of [the Osprey]. I did not find it difficult but you might want to build one of the smaller birds first ( such as the Merlin) so as to get familiar with the diagraming. The Osprey builds exactly the same as the others but will take a bit longer.
Incidentally did you know that the wings, legs, and head are removable so that the bird can be easily transported without damage.
from Jeff Cwiok <email@example.com>: First impressions so far: excellent quality card, the printing appears generally above average though not quite perfect, with a number of tiny registration errors. These can be dealt with when touching up the cut part edges, so this is not a big problem. A nice cfm touch is the use of heavier weight card for the internal structure, and thinner stock for the detail parts. Also interesting is the option of a traditional 1:250 waterline model (ala Wilhelmshaven) or a full hull model, for those so inclined. This is no doubt a carry over from the Polish origin (in 1:200 or 1:100 scale) of some of the kits. cfm appear to be continuing the practice (the waterline Prinz Eugen and Kranich kits being the exceptions).
In fact I recognized one of the kits from its previous incarnation as GPM's 1:200 ROLNIK, Polish missile corvette. This is the same model as the cfm Tarantul I corvette, this time in both West & East German markings. I praised this kit last year when I first received it from Pelta in Poland. Nice to see this one in 1:250!
The fine detail of several of the German vessels is noteworthy, particularly the S 100 schnellboot and M 40 class minesweeper as well as the early war destroyer Erich Koellner. The supplemental AA armament sheet included with this kit should be issued as a separate item, as should the similar items from the Prinz Eugen kit. These would be handy for dressing up older kits.
The oddities in the cfm line are the reproduced East German 'Kranich' kits, the icebreaker LENIN and light cruiser SVERDLOV. These are obviously produced from scans of production copies of the kits, rather than the original artwork. Both unfortunately have problems. The LENIN has part outlines in places that are blurred, or faint, as if not high enough resolution was used during the scan process. This will make scoring and cut out of the small parts challenging to say the least! This one is suitable for an experienced modeler only. Still, the cover photo shows that a decent model of a unique subject can be made from this kit. The SVERDLOV on the other hand is quite sharply copied, but was scanned from a damaged kit. The original was apparently wrinkled slightly, and this was not smoothed out enough before scanning. As scanning produces basically a photo, it can be unkind to less than perfect material, in this case reproducing the wrinkle shadows superimposed on the artwork. This resulted in a banded or splotchy look to several parts, most noticeably the hull sides. The die-hard will explain this as "weathering!", typical of many Soviet vessels, so this is not an insurmountable problem, but it is there. Otherwise an impressive kit. The drafting reminded me of a J F Schrieber kit, such as the carrier Graf Zeppelin, with a certain 'German' look to the drawings.
One can also spot the Polish origin of a few of the kits (YAMATO, ORKAN, J-K-N class DD) by the similarity of the drafting style to the JSC kits. Funny how draftsmanship seems to have a regional quality.
One other thing is the packaging, i.e., in booklet form, with color covers vice loose sheets in a poly sleeve or shrink wrapped. This has allowed more in the way of support material, such as plans, photos, and a large colored profile. One or two quirks caught my eye here; some of the text in the cfm kits was typed up in rather a hurry as several 'zeros' ended up as 'lower case o' (i.e., 1:25o scale vs 1:250 scale, M 4o vs M 40 , etc.). Also, apparently all Royal Navy destroyers are "Tribal class" in some way, even though the J-K-N class and L-M class have nothing to do with the Tribals! To be fair, this is similar to the English habit of calling all war built German destroyers 'Narviks', even though there was never any such class name.
At any rate, in closing, I would rate the cfm line as a most welcome addition to the 1:250 scale ship series.
from David Hathaway <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have just about finished building the Digital Navy German Torpedo Destroyer (free on the web.)
I printed out the destroyer twice - once on the colour wax-based printer at work and again on my HP Deskjet 690c. The wax one was shiny but better resolution, the deskjet was a bit "dotty".
The GIF is designed for American letter-sized paper, so I had to cut it about a bit to fill an A4 sheet or it would have been undersized - damn thing is tiny as it is! Paintshop Pro worked a treat for that. I printed it twice, once on card and once on heavy paper (120gsm?) - the hull formers and deck I thought would be better as card, the rest as paper.
I have had flu the last four days so have had the time to make it. I have just finished putting together the deskjet one as I thought the non-shiny finish might be better. I was probably wrong. I will probably make it again, now I know what not to do. The advantage of the print it yourself ones is you can do them again and again and .... The cruiser appeals for the same reason.
The destroyer is a good little model. Lots of detail and the opportunity to add more if you want, e.g. railings (oddly, some are provided but some aren't?) The numbering is a bit off, don't be suprised if you don't find a couple of pieces. Also be prepared to think on your feet, I had to make two mounts for the torpedo tubes that aren't included but needed and use the photo's on the site for the bits missing from the instruction diagrams - two small winches go just in front of the funnel and the searchlight on the bridge assembly isn't shown.
The stand isn't included but should be easy to make, I cut mine down to a water-line model so can't vouch for the lower hull. No problems with the fit of anything, a first-class model. I have put stretched sprue masts on mine and it looks a treat.
from Mattias Martensson <Mattias.Martensson@emw.ericsson.se>: A few weeks I received a CD with the 1:250 USS Arizona from Digital Navy.
The model is to be printed on 25 sheets which are stored on the CD as PDF-files to be printed out with Acrobat Reader. The CD also contains instructions and a number of photos of a completed model.
It is an impressive model. I particularly like the colors which look very realistic. The model is intended to be built as a full hull model but it can be done as a waterline model with some minor surgery (Roman kindly provided me with extra parts to make this job easier).
As far as I can understand, the model is very accurate (compared to drawings and photos in Stillwell: Battleship Arizona) and represents the USS Arizona from 1941.
I am still working on the hull and decks, but so far I am very satisfied with accuracy and fit of the parts. This is a model that I really can recommend to every card modeler interested in ships. It has this undefined magic quality that makes me start building the kit instead of just storing it for later use, which unfortunately happens to the majority of the models I buy. I even think I will complete it in the near future (before the end of this millennium).
from Joe Cangero <email@example.com>: I started the Digital Navy Admirable class minesweeper tonight. This is my first ship model, so I didn't have a piece of glass or plexiglass to use as a building base for the hull. But I did have a suitable piece of 1/4" foamboard handy. I simply took a sheet of transparency film and secured it to the foamboard with four pushpins. A few spots of glue, and I was set. Now I have a lightweight 8-1/2" base for small ship models that I can pack with the tools in my travel kit.
The pieces in this model are tiny, but I found an easy way to make the large gun turrets movable in the up and down direction -- both top and bottom pieces have small black dots at the pivot points. I originally used a short piece from a straight pin, but that just looked too big. What I settled on was a piece of nylon thread rolled in some Elmer's glue and set aside to dry (a little trick I used to use to harden the end of the thread for rigging my ships in bottles). I cut it to length and threaded it through, securing it with a small spot of glue on each end.
You can make the guns with the cone shaped bases movable left and right by using a piece of straight pin (because it will be hidden inside the cone). Just push the pin up through the bottom side of the deck before gluing it to the hull formers. Cut a small disk and with four tiny spots of glue, glue it to the underside of the deck over the head of the straight pin (keep the disks small so as not to interfere with the bulkhead formers). That holds the pin in place and allows it to swivel -- now you can cut to length and glue the top side to the gun.
from Harry B. Frye, Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The Dover Spirit of St. Louis went together very well. There is one error in the area of the front cowling. I don't remember exactly what it was. So as always prefit and double check. The little Ford truck is cute, needs some help in the area of the fenders. A few small strips works real well. Don't be scared by the spokes for the dolly, it actually comes out real good. The Dover model is actually printed on better paper than the original Zorn model.
from David Hathaway <email@example.com>: I have made the Dover Robie House and enjoyed it a lot. Cut out a baseboard big enough to take the model and glue the parts in place as you make it, making absolutley certain that things are SQUARE. I had big problems not doing this, as the building sequence assembles the house in a big "ring" that is a pain to stick down and get square once assembled. I have some ugly gaps in the roof pieces as a result.
There is no green "gutter" piece for the little piece of roof over the balcony over the front door. I cut a piece from the center of one of the other bigger gutter pieces.
There are a couple of other errors, but most are obvious. I just wish Dover would use a different card.
from Gregory Chuck <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Just received my Z scale sample. It is B&W Western bank style bank on a half letter size sheet. Instruction are printed on the back. Sample is fairly simple. Lines are nice but there is a slight wavyness near the bottom (only when viewed up close). Color medium suggested are color pencils, crayons (the big ones for those that keep breaking the regular ones, hehe), or water color. Alchol based medium is NOT recommended. They offer a old town, railroad, city block, and a factory set for $6.00 US or four for $20.00. Also offered a grain elevator set for $5.00.
from Kell Black <email@example.com>: I received my complimentary N scale train station from EZ models the other day and I put it together this afternoon. Bad news...the roof doesn't fit as designed. Specifically, the small jog that should allow for the "L" of the main structure simply is not wide enough. It is easily solved by some careful trimming OR by slicing at an angle into the walls and then tucking the excess in, HOWEVER, this seems to be an egregious oversight in a sample model of only six pieces.
Other than that the model is a clean little item, neatly printed black on white. The printed 2d elements - windows, shingles, doors, etc., - are successfully rendered, but the designer would have been better off NOT drawing the 3d hanging lamps at either end of the station. Flattened as they are, they wind up looking like eyes from Egyptian tomb paintings, staring off in opposite ends down the tracks...
from Fil Feit <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I suspect that all of them are of similar design/construction. This one [Bainbridge Mansion] has several sheets of blue heavy card for the walls, porch, tower, steps, porch rails, etc.; two sheets of lighter white paper for trim (each window is trimmed, and there is roof trim and porch trim and rails); a sheet of lightweight brown roofing material (the roofing has the shakes pressed into it, for a nice 3d effect); another sheet of brown for roof caps; and translucent plastic for windows. All sheets (except the plastic) are die-cut, and required little additional trimming (although for thin parts like porch rails, I prefered to use a knife to remove the pieces).
Because the main cards are so thick, bending creates a deep white line at each corner. However, since the walls are all one color, only one color of touch-up is needed. One interesting note: the model is designed such that all folds are back; no scoring of the back side was ever needed.
The instructions are thorough in places, and lacking in others; a beginner might be confused, for instance, about whether the "glass" should have the glossy or matte side out. The instructions are clearly geared towards the beginner. They mention that if glue gets on the outside of the model, you should use your knife to remove it, and not your fingers, for instance. They also add a humorous touch now and again: at one point, they tell you to "take the glue into another room and hide it until you completely understand the next step." They also have a small checkbox next to each step, so you can mark the steps you've done. The instructions are well written.
My only complaint is that in some places, the walls do not match up as well as I would like. I've had to do a bit of touch-up to make sure that there are no gaps between walls. For the most part, things fit together well.
Another nice touch is, lighting kits are available. I don't have a price for these kits. The models themselves are about $10, and the manufacturer will send free replacement parts, if you've lost or damaged a piece. They also sell individual sheets, if you want to do any customization.
I guess I've spent about three hours on the model so far, and the chimney, steps, roof, and a bit of trim remain. The manufacturer estimates six hours for the model.
from Scott Warner <email@example.com>: I picked up the set of ten jets, and the set of ten WWII fighters from Fiddler's Green. When built, they are small models (about 5 inches long) with a corresponding lack of detail. For the size, the card used is somewhat thick making it ver hard to form the cones used as the nose pieces for the jets. So far I have built two of the jets and one of the WW II airplanes (Sorry I can't remember which ones). One of the jets, 1 came out fairly well, the other one was dismal due to the problem with the nose cone. The WWII airplane came out fairly well also. They go together fast (which is what I wanted - I have been working on a Tank by ALLCAN for about a year and I decided to make 1 of these every once in a while as a break.) They also are fairly sturdy - I'll probably give them to my nephews to play with.
from Bob Bell <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have quite a few Fiddler's Green structures on my N scale railroad and they look ok. I have also built most of their planes and hung them as mobiles. Most of the models in this line are quite simple but with a bit of extra detailing they can be quite realistic. They are also ideal to send as post cards to people you want to introduce to this hobby. I have sold lots of them in my gift store.
from Bob Del Pizzo <email@example.com>: I've built a couple of their kits, and agree with Scott Warner about the difficulty in shaping the nose cones and prop spinners. Fiddler's Green recommends building them from balsa where applicable. All in all, they are sturdy inexpensive kits that are perfect when you need a break from a long-term project.Albert Locker's web page includes some tips for builders of Fidder's Green airplane models. Chip Fyn of Fidder's Green suggests using a pencil tip as a former for the small spinners.
from Clark Britton <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I am about 75% into Fiddlers Green Me 262. Since it was so different in approach to the JFS, GELI, and Modelik I thought it would be a change of pace. Unfortunately after three aircraft using a similar type of construction I found myself wanting the those attributes. For example, the FG Me 262 fuselage is tab constructed and the instructions show a cross section and says "shape the fuselage like this", but the sections don't naturally hold the shape so I had to go back and using other references, scratch design and build several bulkheads for the cockpit section so that the fuselage will sssume the correct cross section. In order to get the wings to form correctly I had to add tabs and clip the tips of the wings, I could then force the paper to hold its shape and attach to the fuselage with only a butt joint (there are no wing spars).
Chip did a nice job with the design of the basic engine using only one piece. It formed a reasonable replica of the Jumo ram jets and attached to the wing well. The engines had no interior so there was just a hole. I don't know why he did not provide interior intakes. I worked out a cylinder and a cone to fit both ends, colored them with marker and now they look pretty much like all the other models. There is plenty of room on the card sheet to have added these little developments (2 bulkheads, 4 small nose cylinders, and 4 engine nose cones, and wing tabs) and in my judgment these additions would have improved the model construction and look of the finished model. The paper and printing are appropriate for the size of the model and in my judgment is better suited to the construction process than the card stock used on five other FG aircraft I have. I don't know the weight of the sheet , but it seems to be close to a 65# offset cover stock.
All in all Chip Fyn has designed a nice little model using minimum parts and in places (the engines) it excels in design ingenuity. It requires some scratch building to come up to the "look" of the other Me 262 kits.
from Denis Boudreau <email@example.com>: I think I found a better way to achieve the gull wing dihedral in the F4U model. This one model is actually what prompted me to buy the FG cd-rom in the first place and I was damned determined to be able to build it. First two attempts ended in frustration. But after a few other models under my belt I decided to slow down and try a different approach. First I removed all of the tabs and replaced them with seperate ones so that the seams met perfectly. The only exception was the tab on on the center of the wing for the gull shape. When I started wing construction I glued all trailing edge surfaces first, leaving the center gull tab unglued. Then glued the wing to the fuse. Once dry it was easy to then bend the wings to the proper angle and set them with glue. This way may have covered just a little more of the hinged area of the wing but was way easier to complete.
Fly model Tel: (0-418) 58-78 Wojciech Kowalczyk 09-500 Gostynin skr pocztowa 50 Poland
from Harry B. Frye, Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Fly Models are suppose to be the premier kit of the low to middle price kits. I am just about done with their ME 110. Fanastic amount of detail, good printing, good paper. Several mistakes in swapping part numbers from one diagram to the other. Fit generally good, but had to trim and snip in several places.
from Lars Kaschke <email@example.com>: Much depends on the respective designer. FLY-models nearly always will want some serious patching.
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have built several of the Fly models and have bought a lot more to add to my collection. I consider these to be the best models for the money. With a lot of the other companies pricing models out of sight it is a pleasure to get quality models at a reasonable price. These are very well engineered models that go together very well. I particularly like the internal supports that they give you in the tail and wings. This helps to keep the tail and wings straight and prevent then from warping, much better then the one center piece that most other companies give you.
Just one comment, most of the aircraft have great coloring but there are few that the colors are suspect. They seem to be some of the older ones, the newer ones I have received have been outstanding. Thankfully there have only been a few with this problem and I think, because of the superior engineering, even these are worth building.
Just got my first Fly model ships; Akagi, Saratoga and Tone. They are much less detailed than the Wilhelmshaven or Modelcard models that I have previously built. I just built one of the little aircraft and did the flight deck and even though the models is not that complicated the coloring is good and the engineering looks excellent. I am anxious to see the new model, the Alaska, that has just been released. I would bet that it is much more detailed than their older models,
from Lars Kaschke <email@example.com>: I have built two Fly Model planes, the Black Widow and the Go-229 and wasn't very happy with either. Though not as bad as GPM's Liberator there are several massive constructional flaws in each.
- Black Widow
- Profiles 2b, 2c, 3a (too small), 9a (too big) do not fit
- Instrument-panel for rear-gunner is too long
- Section 6 does not fit at all, has to be thoroughly reworked
- Upper part of MG-Turret 19 does not fit at all, has to be thoroughly reworked
- Part 14 (rudder-section) is a nightmare, does not fit to 13 at all
- 7c does not fit into 4a & 7b, has to be thoroughly reworked
- Engine-intake does not fit, has to be reworked
- Profile for wings seem to be intended for another model, forget them
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Fly Model Mig 23I started this model after finishing the GPM F-15C as I thought it would be a simple project after the complicated F-15. Well it was not, this model was as complicated and took as long to build as the above model. As with most of the models out of Poland this models instructions are in polish. To make it more complicated there is only one sheet of diagrams and they are not very intuitive. I had problems figuring out what they wanted with the swept wings and the intakes. The drawings were not much help and I had to do some experimenting to get these correct. They give the drawings to make the wings so that they can be movable but it did not work with me. Even though I used fairly still card stock I could not get them to work correctly so finally gave up. I left the wings so that they could be swiveled in any position but they are not tied together and you must set each wing separately.
Construction started with the fuselage. Construction is of the standard butt and glue that we see in most of the Polish models. The area where the wings will fit is built as a separate box that the wings will fit in at a later time. There are three pieces that you must cut holes through and match up so that you can fit the pins the wings swivel on when you attach the wings. I had no problems with the fuselage construction until I got to the intakes. Since I had no directions and the diagrams were not very clear it took me several attempts to get the intakes correct. It is a very elegant method to get the shapes and areas between the fuselage and intake correctly but it is no very intuitive. I put the cockpit in the fuselage as I built it but did not do this with the wheel wells. I built the fuselage and then cut the area where the wheel wells were to go and then glued them inside the fuselage.
The tail section was a complete disaster. I built and attached the elevators and they would not fit. I cut and modified them until they did and after I finished I found there was a piece that would have made them fit. The diagrams do not show this but if you build this there will be a big gap on the top of the elevators if you glue them on correctly. There is a piece that will cover this gap, it looks weird as there is a gap on the top and not on the bottom. I attached the rudder and found that I had to really bend things around to get it to fit correctly. Again after finishing the model I found that there were additional formers that I did not put in the rudder which would have made it fit much better.
When constructing the wings you must make the pins that go through the box you built in the fuselage. This will allow the wings to sweep forwards and back. You then cut out a set of gears, which are supposed to interlock inside the fuselage and allow the wings to move together. I got the pins to work correctly but could not get the interlocking gears to work. There was too much give in the box to hold the gears in the right place and the ends of the gears fray out easily. If you want to have the wings sweep together than I think you may have to construct the box and gears out of wood. Also watch the front of the area where the swinging wings touch when the wings are all the way forward. The wings will push this area up causing the wings to sweep to far forward. If I build this again I will reinforcement this area.
The wheel wells went into the fuselage easily but the landing gear is very complicated. The nose gears is simple enough but the mail gear has many pieces because of the way the gear retracts up into the fuselage. I simplified this, as I did not want to spend the time making all the small parts. I then made the center line tank but did not like the missiles that came with the kit. I printed out four of the missiles that came with the Hobby Model Mig 21 and constructed them for this aircraft.
Ratings for the model:
- Instructions: Poor (they are in Polish)
- Diagrams: Poor (only one sheet and not very instructive)
- Fit: Excellent (except for my mistakes)
- Coloring: Excellent
- Difficulty: Difficult
Over view: Makes up into an impressive model that I can show with the wings swept in any position. This is not an easy model to construct, you should have experience in building card models and in particular card models from this company. The lack of directions and instructions make this a model only for the experienced.
from Thomas Peters <thomas.peters@UniBw-Muenchen.de>: On the Fly Model Mig 23: I agree it is a difficult kit and from my point of view there are several construction errors and fitting problems... I did not finish the aircraft, see my card model page for my workbench. From my point of view the whole front fuselage section is mis-shaped and did not match the original aircraft - unfortunately I had a water damage on my unfinished model and some parts have a strange outfit now :-((( - I forgot to close my room window during a rain shower...
from Bob Del Pizzo <email@example.com>: I've built the free mini Zero from the W.W.II Pacific series. The plane looks petty good for it's size, despite the fact that the wings are flat. This is a tab and slot method of construction, which in this scale makes it a fun project. The PDF format prints well (I use an HP printer) and the colors are in register. The entire series is only $7.50. This is a great way to get started in paper modeling.
There are also downloadable reprints of Rigby kits from the 40's. Note that Mr. Koopman will be updating these kits to include the original static display models such as the B-17.
Phil Koopman adds: it should be noted that, except for the F-117, all of my models are designed to fly - not display!Sadly, Mr. Koopman passed away not long after contributing this note to the FAQ, so there will be no further updates to the Fly'N'Things models. They are still available here.
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: I am very fond of these large format kits - as something that looks better from a distance - I and my son have built perhaps 20 of them - most hanging from the ceiling. The large format is impressive for the modern jets and airliners - the DC-3 in particular comes out remarkably well. They are fun to build, but we rapidly ran out of room until we started hanging them. They are terrific for starting things up with kids - some of the easier ones are very inexpensive, and still make up into an impressive result. If you are into WWII German bombers, the supply is nearly endless. Get the complete listing of what's available from PMI, and try one of the smaller modern jets for a starter - say the Northrop 5A.
from Thomas Peters <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The GELI-kits are really cheap, most of them easy to build, but not always very accurate. Especially the coloring is often fiction. But the glossy finish of the silver printed aircraft looks very good. Gear and cockpit are not very detailed in most cases. I saw most of them finished on a model exhibition and build 4 of them by myself:
The X-3 Stiletto:good shape, yellow colour (ugh), easy too build and the only 1/33 kit available.
The Mig-25 Foxbat: well, you know, it's a Mig because of the red stars, but the nose is 5cm too short! Anyway, it looks impressive, you should have a little bit of experience to build it. The silver color looks great.
The F-100 Super Sabre: good shape, color ok, easy to build.
The Hawker Sea Hawk: also good shape, color hm?, easy to build.
Several GELI-kits wait at home for me to build them. I will not recommend the WWII aircraft because of the bad camouflage pattern, but if this is not so important they are all nice and large kits. The Russian aircraft with silver finish are a good choice, I think.
And when I say easy to build, I mean these in terms of card model building. Usually I am a plastic modeler with my main interests in 1/32 scale aircraft, and plastic modeling is MUCH easier in the most cases :-)
from Jeff Cwiok <email@example.com>: I'll second the above comments. Geli does the gloss and/or silver finish to a fault, even where not appropriate (military camo schemes). OTOH, Schreiber & Wilhelmshaven do the dull finish to a fault, even where not appropriate (50s & 60s jets & airliners)! At last Wilhelmshaven is starting to get the idea; their most recent releases (P-51D Mustang & Bristol BRITTANIA airliner) were done on slick coated stock, for a superior effect. Schreiber has done this from time to time (old Lufthansa 707 & 1:200 Graf Zeppelin airship--also foil Ju-52) but not consistently. Geli does what Geli does.......camouflage is not their forte.
I have built 1 out of the dozen Geli kits I have (Sukhoi Su-9 'FISHPOT' 1960s bomber interceptor). To get an idea what these look like finished, see my web Photo Album.
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: Just got an order back from PMI with a refund on the GELI, and Lou Dausse's note that "GELIs will be unavailable for the forseeable future". That is a long time. Are they belly up, or are there still other sources for the GELI line? Though some find them crude, I like the SIZE and the finish on the airliners is good.
from Thomas Peters <firstname.lastname@example.org>: As far as I know GELI in Austria prints its card models only a few weeks per year. It seems like the person behind GELI doesn't need the money from the card models for his livelihood. The problem that GELI-models are often unavailable for a long period is not new to me. So don't be too worried about it. [Editor's note: and yes, some other sources still have stocks of GELI models, e.g. Marcle in Britain. PMI is now reported to be back in stock.]
from Clark Britton <email@example.com>: I have now completed the Geli (1:33 scale) Me262. These are my observations:
- The Geli model is not a very good representation of a scale model of the Me262. In comparing its cross sections to the base plans I have it can be seen that the designer took a lot of liberty with the shapes. The fuselage ends up sort of looking like the Me 262 but is much slimmer and not as wide. The length of the landing gear and size of wheels are much out of scale.
- The Geli fit is not very consistent. It is loose in places and tight in others. The wing in particular does not fit very well and the inner wing structure is very flimsy and had to be reinforced to work at all. The wheel construction was poor and does not look good when finished.
- The paper which is glossy, cleans up well if glue is smeared and is easy to work with to form the various parts. The final model does not compare well with the other models completed to date in the "look" of the finished model. The diagrams are clear where they are provided and by and large the model went together fairly well, but I am sure that the work I did with the JFS model went a long way in helping me to construct.
from Bob Del Pizzo <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The Geli X-15 was quick and easy to build. Visually, the model appears to be in scale and is finished in a pleasing dark gray foil, though not truly accurate in color. The great thing about foil finishes is that they are easy to clean, and the color does not smear when wet.
I had some fit problems with the canopy but otherwise no other build problems. Also, the body tends to dimple at the joints, and does not maintain the shape of the bulkheads at the middle of each section. I think the fuselage sections should have been smaller in circumference, and perhaps additional bulkheads or even stringers would solve the shape problem. A picture of the X-15 in the S&S catalog displays the dimpling that I experienced. Still, there are very few examples (in any media) of the X-15, and it looks good from a short distance.
from Yasuaki Wakao <email@example.com>: We have been acting to put outstanding architectures in our community into card models since 1990. Our group consists of students, teachers, and interested persons within our community. The products are all open and provided free of charge.
Our study group was established in order to increase community awareness, creativity, and cultural interest thorough the production of a home page. Our home page is presently introducing "Origamic Architecture" which portrays famous places and historic spots in Ogaki City (located in Gifu prefecture), and the "Nagoya City Art Museum" (designed by Kisyo Kurokawa).
Before long we plan to display on the interesting "Gifu Kenmin Fureai Kaikan" (designed by Nikken Sekkei Co.), "Softpia Japa Center Building" (designed by Kisyo Kurokawa), and many other significant buildings located in Ogaki.
We wish from our heart that our activity spreads among many more people.
from David Hathaway <firstname.lastname@example.org>: [referring to downloading the model from the US--the WWW page is in Japanese.] Yes, you do get gibberish, topped by a very grainy photo of the model. However, the 19 sheets are represented as 19 links on the page. clicking on them brings up the bitmap images of the sheets. Sheet 1 is an exploded perspective of the model.
I have started the model and have a couple of observations.
1. I printed the model sheets out using Microsoft Office Photo Editor and they look much better (and you can read the numbers on the instruction sheet!) if you "sharpen" the image before printing. Note - if you have to expand the images to get full pages expand all the sheets by the same amount! Guess what I did?
2. Reinforce the base - it hase large areas of single sheet unsupported cardboard. Cut out the hole for what looks like an ampitheatre, then double the lot or it will sag a lot.
3. Be careful lining the pieces up and they do go together well. I think it is one of those models you need to make twice - once to work out the best techniques, the second to get it right! I'm still on the first.
4. I am past the base and the building and am working on the pergola-like structures. Take time to work out the fold and score lines before doing ANYTHING as it is not obvious.
5. If I was making it again I think I would watercolour it as it is a very "architectural model" - all white. I haven't looked for a colour photo, but the designer may be able to provide one.
Some sites relating to the Nagoya City Art Museum model:
- Biography of designer of Nagoya City Art Museum.
- Some (small) pictures:
GPM Tel/fax: (0-42) 57-94-40 Lodz Ul. Zgierska 73 Poland Write to: 90-954 Lodz 4 skr.poczt 13
from Harry B. Frye, Jr. <email@example.com>: GPM, only done one, the Grumman TBF. Good kit very good diagrams. Paper a little one the thin side but not too bad. Fit was fairly good.
from Lars Kaschke <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The "Betty" with Oka from GPM was really fine, good to build and superb colors.
from Lars Kaschke <email@example.com>: Took me a while, but here i am with the GPM Liberator finished. Whereas the first GPM plane i built--a Betty with Okha--did fit well, the Liberator is a nightmare. For the first time in ten years i gave up writing down my building experiences. Anybody who tries this one should have a well developed frustration-tolerance, nearly no part fits. I strongly recommend making photocopies of the whole model and pre-build it to find the mistakes.
Some basic mistakes are:
These are the main mistakes I noted down, there are many more to discover.
- the basical mathematical skills of the designer must have been pretty bad. Time and again parts which have to be wrapped around cardboard profiles (hull, engines, upper MG-turret) do not fit.
- the nose-section has no less than 8 mistakes.
- Profile 1h6 is much too small to fit
- Parts 1h2 are much too big for 1h4
- Part 1f does not fit at all
- The instructions do not show where profile 1g fits in
- Diameter from part 1a too big
- The instructions do not show where part 1e fits in
- The MGs of the front turret have either to be glued fast or you have to construct some abutment to keep them from falling in
- The top part of the front MG-turret is too big, make a photocopy
- If you want to build the plane with fuselage retracted beware!
- The flaps for closing the front-wheel shaft do not fit at all
- So does the box in which the main wheels go
- The hull-sections demand extra attention. They do not fit to each other and have to be thoroughly re-fitted
- There are no instructions for the belly-turret. Fortunately the B-17 from GPM (which is by the way identical with the B-17 from Fly Model, but much better paper & print) has the same turret and does carry pictures (seems to be the same designer, so beware of the B-17!)
- The wings fit quite well, what a surprise. To make up for this, the engines are nicely flawed:
- Both profiles in the back-section of the engines are too small
- So are the semi-profiles for the rearmost sections, but these can be left out altogether
- parts 16x and 16ax are about 3-4 mm too short, 16bx of course will not fit after one has straightened out 16x & 16ax
- Making the propellers includes tightly winding up what becomes their centre in which the three blades are glued. Be sure to cut the holes for the blades while the glue has not completely set, otherwise you have a most unwelcome job of chiseling ahead. By the way you have to reposition the markers for the blades, if you cut at the three marked points they will come out uneven.
from Lars Kaschke <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
SMS ThüringenHelgoland Class battleship, German Imperial navy. Scale 1:200 (a 1:250 special-edition is currently available from Scheuer & Strüver)
I built the Thüringen as a waterline model without the anti-torpedo nets, thus reducing the number of parts by about 300 to ca. 2,300, on the other hand I added about 400 parts. All in all the model fits quite well and makes for an impressive sight when finished. The coloring is appropriate except for the deck and the colorless portholes. Newer GPM models are much improved in this respect and I'm looking forward to the arrival of Shokaku.
There are still numerous construction flaws though as well as several oportunities for improvements which I'd like to point out.
Hull with secondary gun batteryThe distances between several ribs are too big, the main deck is bound to sag. To avoid this, I put in longitudinal supporting ribs over nearly the whole length of the ship.
The 15cm secondary guns are a hoax. Much too simple and the barrels if done according to the instructions come out too thick and too short. What I did was to xerox the 15cm guns from the HMV-model von der Tann (enlarged to 125%) and use these. But you can´t use all the parts at 125%, some changes are necessary:
What is really difficult is constructing boxes into which these cylindrical guns can be fitted. I took the parts 27b, 28b, 29b, etc. making a complete circle from the half-circle printed there, cut this out and fitted it with a strip of paper exactly around the circle underneath to prevent the inserted guns from wobbling when turned. The walls around the guns have to be reconstructed accordingly as they are constructed to take up the sham guns provided by GPM.
- The part which forms the cylinder in which the gun is mounted has to be shortened from about 2.1 to 2.2 cm thus reducing its diameter (not its height!). The round parts which close the guns top and bottom actually have to be reduced to 92% of their original size.
- The gun itself is no problem, except for the box-like part in which the cylinder at the end of the gun barrel fits in. This part should be enlarged only 115% (construction flaw in the HMV kit). As this part will still be too wide to fit in the cylinder it has to be cut in two and a mid-section of about 1.5 mm removed.
What you get will be 14 boxes with a gun in each. Counting bow to stern, A to G, the boxes B to E can be put into place easily. The boxes with guns A, F and G however are not high enough, i.e. will not reach the main deck. One has to fit cardboard under them to correct that mistake.
The main deck can be improved by cutting out the three black spots where the anchor-chains go in (good metal chains in different sizes can be obtained from Scheuer & Strüver) and constructing black boxes which are glued under the holes. You have to cut away some parts of rib W1 to make the boxes fit. Around the 15 cm guns A, F and G the main deck should be painted grey underneath.
The hull should be carefully fitted. At its bottom there are two stripes, black and white, cut off the white one. But this will not be enough, the hull is still too high in places. The top will have to be trimmed too, especially the front and the back. At the front I recommend trimming and gluing the bottom part of the hull down first and then adding the top part with the 8.8 cm guns. Behind the holes for the anchors blackened tubes should be fitted to avoid an embarrassing view of the interior.
For the 8.8 cm TAK (Torpedoboot-Abwehr-Kanonen, Anti-destroyer-guns) in the boxes I used 10.5 cm guns from the HMV Undine, which I didn´t enlarge. If you want them turnable, the boxes have to be given ca. 5 mm more depth. As photographs indicate, the flaps which close the 8.8s had a straight line of 4 portholes.
I left the underwater hull off, some trials showed that it will need serious trimming, it will be really difficult to ensure a smooth fit to the upper hull along the waterline.
SuperstructureThe forward section presents no big challenges, construction mistakes are as follows:
- Not enough space for part 111 (skylight) behind the breakwater, part has to be shortened about 33%
- parts 39 a+b are much to small to fit
- parts 51d are much to long, cut off 3mm
- the hole in part 43 will have to be considerably enlarged
In the stack section construction mistakes are as follows:
- replace 8.8cm guns with corresponding parts from von der Tann, with some diligence the guns can be made turnable (similar procedure as described above for the 15cm guns). Anyway they will look much better.
- Cut a hole in 34b for the mast, make the mast longer so it will rest on the main deck. This will increase the much needed stability of the mast greatly (the mast should be glued down in the finishing stages to avoid accidental damage)
- do not use the cardboard rail but a metal one. (In my eyes the best quality is supplied by: Peter Hurler, Ziegelhüttenstr. 5, 66989 Nünschweiler, Germany)
- The range-finder can be made turnable by using a needle
In the after section construction mistakes are as follows:
- The outer parts b,c,d from boxes 60-63 are too tight
- Parts 64a,c,d and 65a,c,d with which the stacks are closed, are too big. Make xerox copies from 96-98%.
- Parts 64g and 65g are 2-4mm too short
- There are not enough parts 70e
- Part 70c must be reduced to 8mm
- Part 75 is a bit too long
- Parts 88 and 89 can't be fitted under ventilators. They should be left off as they are practically invisible anyway.
- Part 86 has to be shortened considerably. Be careful to mount it where it doesn´t collide with the mast (the compass-quadruped was removed from the ships during the war making room for an lengthened stack from the caboose which reached the mast.)
- replace 8.8 cm guns with corresponding parts from von der Tann (xerox 120%). Shorten part a about 50%. The guns can be made turnable quite easily and will look much better.
- Cut a hole in 77b for the mast
- The range-finder can be made turnable
Main gunsLots of room for improvement here, again I suggest using parts of von der Tann (xerox 120%)
- Make guns made turnable by employing the method described for von der Tann
- TURMDECKE 96p is about 2 mm too short, I countered this by shortening the complete turret - which by the way is essential if you want the turrets moveable (in which case the ladders 75 which lead down from the flying bridge should be left off)
- To enable elevation use corresponding parts from von der Tann
- Do not make the barrels by winding, this looks really clumsy when finished and gives the guns more of a Yamato-calibre. Cut part 96k in four rectangles and put them around each other, i.e. the normal procedure as it is standard for models made in Germany
- Back wall is about 8 mm too high
- The sides of the little boxes 96r,s,t are too long (cut off 2-3 mm)
LifeboatsA really novel and a bit scary design but it worked out better than I thought, especially the fitting of upper and lower section together. Construction mistakes are as follows:
- The part which closes the boats at the back is always much too small.
- The rudders of the rowing boats are too short (cut apart and lengthen).
- The keels are too short and not high enough at the front (cut apart and lengthen).
- In the two biggest rowing boats the big yellow section at the back of part 155h has to be cut out.
- The instructions are erroneous in showing where the mounts which touch the stack's bottom parts do fit
- The color is obviously peacetime, usually the boats were grey. But even then I doubt the red on the motor boats is realistic, it really looked ridiculous, I suggest painting it black.
from David T. Okamura <email@example.com>:
GPM nr 02 -- USS Arizona
This 1:400 scale waterline model comes in a booklet with six A4-sized pages, with the ship's history, brief instructions (in Polish) and assembly diagrams on the inside cover. Top and side view diagrams of the completed ship are printed on the back cover. It is printed in two shades of gray and a yellowish "wood" color, with coloring on the back side of the page for splinter shields and gun barrels. There are approximately 700 parts. When complete the ship is slightly less than 18 inches long, with a 2.75-inch beam.
While it is difficult to determine by simply looking at the parts, the model seems to capture the right proportions of the battleship. With all the bulkheads, the hull should be quite rigid and deck sag almost non-existent. The coloring is very simple, with no plating details, shadowing or weathering. The decking seems a tad too yellow and the staggered planking too regular to be realistic. Perhaps a careful wash will tone the color down a bit. However, the planking on the boat deck is wrong. This should be painted a dark gray. You may want to trace the anti-aircraft gun shield locations before painting, then transfer the lines back after the paint dries.
On the inside of the back cover is a pattern shaped like an upside-down "u". You should make 12 out of tissue paper and wrap them around the 14-inch main guns where they enter the turret. Paint them black.
The 5-inch guns along the sides are depicted as solid casements. They were actually open, with canvas wrapped around the barrels to keep the weather out. Light tan paint should remedy this.
The boats are very simple, with no interior detail. Since most were covered with tarps, you might want to draw the tarp ends and securing ropes along the boat sides. The motor launches need much more work.
The observation planes are disappointing. They are colored gray, with no canopy detail or national insignias. Actually, the planes were blue with gray undersides. The US insignia was a white star with a red dot in a blue circle, which is a bit tricky to create if you don't have a decal in the right size.
The anchors should be hull gray rather than black. Anchor chains must be added.
Overall, the model seems to be technically accurate but lacking in the artwork department. This is a shame, since the model's fairly large size makes the lack of detail even more apparent. With a bit of work one can make an attractive battleship, but I wouldn't go to the trouble or expense of using photoetched brass railings. If you have the shelf space, I'd recommend Digital Navy's 1:250 scale full-hull USS Arizona.
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have two of the GPM models, the Enterprise and the Missouri. I have not built either one but will give you my impressions of the unbuilt kits. Both kits seem to be much simpler than any of the Wilhelmshaven models that I have built. The colors are limited, both ships being done mostly in grey with the flight deck on the Enterprise done in a darker grey. The aircraft are done on light grey paper with darker grey ink where indicated and that is all the markings on them. Overall they seem to be good models but not near as good as the Wilhelmshaven models.
from Thomas Peters <email@example.com>: First I have to say that I have not finished any of my GPM ships... I like the possibility to build the GPM ships as full hull models. I started with the GPM Lützow in 1/200 and assembled all the small boats aboard. The model is nicely detailed, lot of parts, colors and fit are ok. Beware of the 1/300 ships - they are downscaled 1/200 models and I would suspect fit is not so good.
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Review of GPM F4B(?)Mig Killer
This is another of these extraordinary models from GPM. Difficult to build and they take quite some time to finish but when done they make some of the finest card models that you will ever see. As I have said before these models are not for the faint hearted, I have attempted three these aircraft having finished two. The third, the first one I tried, the A6 wound up in the trash after I goofed the tail up. Do not attempt this model unless you have experience with card models, lots of patience and the time to finish it. If you have these I guarantee that you will have a model you will be proud of when you are finished.
GPM has labeled this as the F4B but did it up in the Vietnam era camouflage. Having worked on these aircraft during this era, they were not F4B’s but rather F4C’s. Having appeared to mislabel the aircraft they did an outstanding job of coloring. The camouflage and marking are as I remember them being. The kit consists of 14 sheets of colored pages and two pages of formers. All sheets are in the European format, 8.5 by 11.7 inches. The instructions are in Polish and there are only two and a half pages of diagrams. While the diagrams are very well done there is some details that do not show up and they gave me some problems.
I started construction with the fuselage. GPM has gone away from the butt type construction and is using the connecting strip method. The fit was good but there are some problems in getting the compound curves. The forward part of fuselage is straightforward being nice and round but as you proceed aft it changes. Starting back of the cockpit the shape goes for square on the bottom to round on the top. They do not indicate that scoring is necessary but I found that in order to get the correct shapes you have to figure where it goes from square to round, it is not marked, and score at that area. Once scored you can shape the square and round parts to shape. Watch the pieces that make up the flat bottom of the fuselage. I had some problems getting them to fit correctly and had to print out some extra parts to fill in the area where they connect to the upper part of the fuselage.
Once the basic fuselage is done then you will construct the intakes, cockpit, engine exhaust and missile bays. Intakes and missile bays went together with a good fit. Cockpit the same except for the seats, I had to cut them down to get the canopy to fit correctly. BTW the cockpit is extremely detailed. The engine exhaust gave me the most problems with the fuselage. I did not get them correct on this model, I finally figured it out on the F15C. Here is what I finally figured out, glue pieces 26b to the back of 26a before making any cuts. When the glue dries cut the feathers out and then score at the bottom of each feather. Bend and glue the feathers together and you will get the correct shape of the exhaust.
Wings were next, they are done in two parts. Inner and outer so that you have the option of having wings folded or in the down position. The ailerons and flaps are also separate, build the wings and then attach these when done. Watch the wing connectors on the top of the wing, they must be bent and glued so there is a top and bottom. I cut the wheel well doors and put the wheel on the bottom of the wing before constructing the wing. I had some problems in attaching the inner and outer sections of the wing. I still do not thing I got the upward sweep of the outer wing correct. Watching attaching the wings to the fuselage, this has to be done just right. I did several dry fits before I glued it in. The center of the wings meet on the bottom but they give you a piece to cover the point where they meet so it does not need to be exact.
Tail section went together with no problems. Only problem was attaching the stabilizers to the fuselage. The stabilizers are supposed to sweep down but I had a hard time doing this and I still do not thing I got it correctly. Landing gear is detailed very well in the diagrams and I had no problem in building them. BTW I use wire inside the gear, I have found this gives me the strength I need to hold the model up.
To finish the model you can now put on the external fuel tanks and weapons. The model comes with three external tanks, six 750 lb. Bombs, four Sparrow missiles and four Sidewinder Missiles. I did not like the bombs that came with the model so I took six 750 lb. Bombs that came with Emil’s F15E and two 2000 lb. bombs that come with the Fly Model F18 and used them. Final configuration of my model is six 750 lb., two 2000 lb bombs, four Sparrow, four Sidewinder missiles and one centerline external fuel tank.
Ratings for the model:
1. Instructions Poor (they are in Polish) 2. Diagrams Good (not detailed enough)
3. Fit Excellent
4. Coloring Excellent
5. Difficulty Very difficult
Over view: Well-researched and designed model. The coloring especially the weathering on this model is striking. This is not a beginner’s model, it is a difficult model to build and not having English instructions make it more difficult. It is, though, a model well worth building. It looks impressive when finished and it is something you will be very proud to show off.
from Michael Cittadino <mcitt@YAHOO.COM>:
GPM No. 43 Panzer 38(t)
The TankThe PzKpfw 38(t)is based on the Czech designed TNH P-S light tank. When the Germans overran Czechoslovakia they re-designated it and kept it in production through 1942. The 38(t) was an excellent light tank and also served as the basis for several special purpose vehicles including the Hetzer 38(t) which was one of the best German tank destroyers of WWII. The tank was manned by a crew of 4 and carried armament consisting of a 37mm main gun and two 7.92 mm machine guns.
The ModelThis is one of the new series GPM models in the green covered booklets.
As with all of current GPM offerings it is an attractively packaged model. In addition to the color photos of a built up model the booklet includes about 10 B/W photos of the actual tank interior and armament. The model comes printed on 5½ pages with the half page consisting of a textured German flag and a half torso tank commander figure that can placed on the turret hatch.
I think this is a very impressively colored model. The model is printed in Panzer gray and heavily, but realistically, weathered. I think the weathering job on this model is much more convincing than the one on the GPM P-47 Thunderbolt. The effect of the finished model is as convincing as any plastic model that has been weathered with airbrush and pastel. While the artwork is masterful the printing is less then perfect. Some of the part outlines are light with some of the tab outlines literally disappearing. The color printing is sometimes soft at the part edges giving a fuzzy feel to some parts. The effect is one of the model being rendered in water color rather then printed in ink.
This is not to say the model is poorly printed. I enjoyed the visual appeal of the model booklet so much I was hesitant to cut it up and build the model. However, when I finally bought an OLFA circle cutter I decided this was the perfect model to try it out on.
Because of the hand drawn quality of the model I had some concern about parts fit, however, the model went together very well with only some minor fit and construction issues. Over all the construction of the model was straight forward and I would characterize this as an easy intermediate level model. Because of the straight forward construction and attractive finished result I would recommend this model as an excellent first armor model.
Construction starts with building the framework (W1-W8) for the tank hull (1-5). This results in the first fit problem as the framework is a little undersized for the hull skin. I glued a 1/16 sheet of balsa to the bottom and front underside of the hull framework and it fit perfectly. Another problem with the hull is that the hole cutouts for the turret mount on the framework and the hull skin do not line up. I cut out the hole as indicated on the hull skin (2) after the hull framework had been covered with the skins. I then built up the hull and attached the fenders (6l, 6p). There is no colored skin for the underside of the fenders so they should be painted before assembly.
After the basic hull assembly I then built the turret as a separate assembly. This resulted in the second fit problem. The formers for the turret framework (WW1-WW2, 31b) are oversized and need to be trimmed down for all of the turret skins (31-31e) to fit together correctly.
With the turret and hull assemblies completed I built the wheels and suspension. This resulted in the third set of fit problems. The drive wheel sprockets (11, 11d) are not all uniform in size. Since the sprocket holes in the threads (14, 14b) are intended to be cut out it is important to test fit the drive wheel sprockets and trim to fit as necessary. Also the drive wheel spacer (11e) is too narrow. Cut a slightly wider one or shim the wheel halves until they are the correct width for the thread sprocket holes.
Building the treads was next. This was probably the most tedious part of the model because all of the sprocket holes has to be cut out. However, it went quicker then I thought, taking about 2 nights to build the threads. The threads are sufficiently long to allow them to be draped realistically. The threads also presented the last problem area. There are supposed to be two wheel guide sprockets (14a) on each thread, one on each side of the road wheels (13-13f). However, if you double parts (14a) over so there is printing on each side then there will only be enough parts for one sprocket on each thread. While the photos of the built model indicate that this is how it was built it would be nice if the appropriate number of sprockets was provided.
At this point the only things remaining were to build the muffler and attach the small hull details. The result is a very attractively finished and realistic looking model that I think would be an excellent addition to anyone's model collection.
The model is available from Pelta in Poland, S&S in Germany, and PMI in the United States.
Wydawnictwo Andrzej Halinski Tel: (0-507) 81-78 Ul. Kopernika 4a 82-103 Stegna Gdanska Poland email@example.com
from Lars Kaschke <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Much depends on the respective designer, usually Halinski's newer models are up to a pretty good quality. The "Mil Mi 24 HIND" from HAL was really fine, good to build and superb colors.
from Bill Geoghegan<email@example.com>: With five of the Halinski kits in hand -- four aircraft and one boat, all fairly recent -- I've got a couple of observations. First of all, they are all excellent kits in terms of artwork, printing, etc. But there has been a very clear progression over the last couple of years in terms of level of detail, quality of printing, and what I'll call the "philosophy" of modeling. A couple of examples to explain:
The earliest kit I have is an F2A Buffalo issued in late 1995: well done, comparable (maybe a little better) than the most recent Modelik kits I've seen. Not much more cockpit detail than the shell, an instrument panel, seat, joystick template and a couple of other parts (like my Modelik and Fly Model kits). Minimal wheel well detail. No attempt at weathering and little fine surface detail.
Next is the USS Archerfish, issued in early 1997. Hard to compare it to the planes, but it does show some some slight weathering, a fair amount of surface detail -- and lots of tiny parts.
The F4F was issued in early 1998. There's slightly more 2D cockpit detail, a number of 3D components (including a gunsight), seat, etc. Very complex landing gear, as you would expect, with a fair amount of wheel well detail. There's lots more fine surface detail (rivets, panels, access covers, etc.), but little of the hatch and cover lettering you normally expect to see on a real plane. Weathering is limited to gunfire residue. Things are clearly evolving.
The Bf-109 came out in January 1999. That's the one I'm working on now. The change from the F4F is amazing: very subtle printing, including all surface lettering, labels, warnings, etc., subtle weathering (oil leaks, gun residue, exhast residue, scratches, etc.), complex cockpit interior, full wheel wells, etc. The overall part count is about 240, with about 35 parts for the cockpit alone (with lots of 3D components). The final impression is going to be that of a plane that's seen very hard service (validated by the large number of mission insignia. I've finished the fuselage, and the fit is so good that I have to look twice to see a difference between printed lines and glued segment lines. Awesome design.
The F6F is a step beyond that, which is why I postponed it until I'd had some practice with the 109. The kit came out a little earlier this year. The cockpit has about 80 parts by itself. The landing gear, though much simpler than the F4F, still has about 30-40 parts for each wheel and strut assembly. The overall part count is going to be in the 400-500 vicinity -- pretty high for a 1:33 single engine WWII fighter. Printing and surface detail are extremely well done; weathering is limited to gunfire residue and exhaust discoloration. The impression is that of a fairly new plane that's seen limited service.
Halinski seem to be moving toward a level of realism in their kits similar to what some of the best scratch builders and non-paper (wood and plastic) modelers aim for. I've always thought that the focus of card modeling lay mostly in the construction, plastic modeling mostly in the finish, and wood modeling in both. Halinski seem to be aiming to go the plastic modelers one better in the subtlety and detail of their finish, while increasing the opportunity for the builder to excel in the construction area. This is what appeals to me in their approach. Digital Navy seems to be moving in the same direction (e.g., the Fw190) and GPM to a certain extent. I think computer-aided design software is making this possible, allowing designers to move from an emphasis on accuracy to an emphasis on realism. It's not the only way to approach paper modeling, by any means; but it's one (of several) that appeals to me.
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
The new models have gone to the non-glossy paper that most of the other companies are using. The first model I built from this company was their F4J and it was done on glossy paper. I find this type paper hard to work with, glue does not stick as well as it does on the matte paper. I recently bought another F4J to try again and it was still on the glossy paper. I did not like the design of the F4 as they had you build the skeleton and then skin the model. They did not say anything about interconnecting strips and I had a heck of a time matching the skin up. When I build the one I have now I will use these strips as other models I have built using the internal skeleton use these and the fit seems to be much better. I have taken to scanning the models and than printing then out on Exact Index 90# paper at I'd rather work with this type of paper.
Here are the methods of fuselage construction of the last three models I have purchased from Halinski. The F2A Brewster Buffalo uses the internal skeleton that you skin when complete. I do not know if they tell you to use interconnecting strips as the instructions are in Polish. When I build this model I will use them. The F4F Wildcat uses the "butt" and glue technique, in this method you build each fuselage section and then glue them together. BTW This model is weathered while the Buffalo is not, a much more impressive model. The F6F Hellcat use the "connecting strip" method of attaching fuselage sections. Each section has a connecting strip that slides into the next section of the fuselage. The fuselage construction looks very much like the PMI models with the interconnecting strips being colored so you see less of a gap between the sections. The F6F is the latest of Halinski line and without a doubt the most impressive. Coloring, it is weathered, and detail should make this up into a fine model.
from Maurice van Wagtendonk <Maurice.van.Wagtendonk@12move.nl>: The interior detail in the Halinski PzKpfw VI is stunning. Everything is there, down to the torsion bars of the suspension. It brings back memories of the 1:25 scale Tiger I from Tamiya that I built about fifteen years ago. I saw a built up model at the InterModell Exhibition this spring in Dortmund. And don't be mistaken: the model has over 3200 parts. It sports among other very fine details individual tracks that you have to built up yourself. There are 210 track segments, each consisting of 5 parts and a piece of wire so that the tracks articulate and so the model will run. The turret is completely detailed inside and out with gun breach and elevating gun. Also there is a detailed driver's and engine compartment. Not a model for one evening, unless of course you live north of the Polar Circle...The HMS Hood Association have a review of the Halinski HMS Hood.
from Dariusz Lipinski <TonClass@netcom.ca>: I just received HMV model of battleship Baden. Anybody considering buying one, I strongly recommend it. Very well done, although I haven't build it yet and most likely I will not for a quiet a while, so I can't say much about the fit, I can comment on the art work. Being produced using CAD technology it is definitely a beautiful kit. All the lines are very thin, although not as much as one might have expected, those done in Emil Zarkov's F-15 look a bit finer. I don't consider this as a minus, actually they look very attractive indeed and there is a degree of diversification between them in order to accentuate certain details.
What impressed me the most is the deck color. As it was a natural wood on the real ship, perhaps bleached, it looks very realistic on this model. That's a big plus. As to the vertical surfaces, since I do not have historical references, I can't say for sure how close they match original. All I can say, it should look beautiful when assembled.
Also, the assembly instructions are great. I think, Mr. Brand used shade and rendering techniques in his 3D diagrams to improve their appearance. It definitely helped in this department, although in a few instances they might look a bit unclear for a novice in paper ship building department.
Hey, there are even extra four sheets of, as usual, very high quality blank card stock included. Personally I'd prefer to get couple of them printed in model's gray color, but what the heck there are always paints available on the market, or am I mistaken :-)
Overall, the model is well worth it's price and I strongly recommend it. Advice to a novice in paper modeling, better try your steady hand on something smaller before attempting this one.
from Werner Winkler <email@example.com>: I also bought the HMV Baden because I live in the county "Baden" and I thought it was a wonderful model. I began the hull and the guns to finish the hull and the first deck. Some parts are very difficult and of strange construction. I stop now and wait for parts... (deck rails, etc.)
The stern fits well but the bow is very poor. A good idea is the doubling and doubling of the armour-plating of the sides. It looks very good, better than the armour-plating of the sides of Wilhelshavern "Bismarck" and "Tirpitz". For the bow I must say, look at Gerhardt Neubert's "Schleswig-Holstein" bow. This fits fantastic!!
I also finished the 4 turrets, but in gereral you see that there was never a checkup-prebuild after construction and printing. The colours were very good. The instuction is in some cases poor and faulty. Nevertheless this is a very good model when it is finished.
from Lars Kaschke <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Although I agree with the critical remarks on the "Baden" (I made photocopies from which I testbuilt the main turrets, finding no less than 3 serious mistakes) and would be able to add quite a list of flaws in the model "Victoria Louise" from HMV, what I want to emphasize here is that HMV is closing some of the most sorely felt gaps in the card-model market in bringing up models from the Imperial German Navy (they are expanding though: e.g. last year they brought out the "USS Maine"). As they are a very small and young enterprise model-builders should have patience with Scheuer&Strüver, I for myself am quite confident that their models will improve continously.
Lars Kaschke later adds: I recently finished building the Ausfallkorvette "Sachsen" by HMV, contrary to my experiences with the HMV "Victoria Louise" this model fits remarkably well.
from David Green <email@example.com>: An English translation of the history of this S&S model:
Imperial Mail Steamer "Feldmarschall" (1903)
"The era of the Imperial Mail Steamship began in 1886 and lasted exactly 28 years, until the outbreak of the 1st World War. 53 ships were specifically built for the state-subsidised Shipping Line of the German Reich (Empire) to voyage to East Asia, Australia and East Africa. They provided a means of punctually carrying post and passengers between the German Colonies of the Empire, and formed the basis of trade relations that to some extent still exist today. The Mail Steamship route to Africa was taken over by a consortium of ship owners, merchants and bankers under the leadership of Adolph Woermann. Thus the German East-Africa Line (DOAL) came into being. The DOAL is the only German shipping company that was founded as a result of a state subsidy. The Imperial Mail Steamer Feldmarschall was launched on 21/2/1903 at the Reiherstieg Wharf in Hamburg, was commissioned on 24 June, and until 1914 was used on the route from Hamburg around Africa. It was specially designed for the this cruising area. The climate on the coast of Africa was made bearable by lining the walls of the passenger area with marble for coolness. For passenger numbers refer to the specifications above. The between decks accommodation was designed with troop transport in mind (this was one of the justifications for state subsidisation of the line).
Launched: 21 Feb., 1903 as Assembly Number 410 at Reiherstieg Wharf, Hamburg Commissioned: 24 June, 1903 Length: 126,74 metres Breadth: 15,36 metres Mass: 6142 Gross Tons Speed: 13 knots max. Classification: Imperial Mail Steamer Company: German East-African Line Crew: 136 Passengers: 1st Class - 113
2nd Class - 75
3rd Class - 80
Between decks: 120 people Service: Hamburg - around Africa
"When the Feldmarschall arrived in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of German East Africa, in 1914, it and the Steamers Konig and Tabora were made unseaworthy. This was done by removing machinery at the orders of the German Authorities who hoped to prevent the English damaging or confiscating the ship. Despite these precautions she came under fire from HMS Hyacinth on 17 August, 1915. After the British occupation of Dar Es Salaam, the Feldmarschall was repaired in October 1916, renamed Field Marshall by the English, and used as a troop transporter. In February 1919 the Field Marshall brought the last Germans from the former Colony of German East Africa back home to Germany. In 1922 the steamer was sold to Shanghai and named Ling Nam, in 1928 sold to Singapore and named Hong Kheng. On a voyage from Rangoon to Xiamen the ex-Feldmarschall stranded off Chilang Point on 19 July, 1947. The model depicts the Feldmarschall at the point of commission in 1903. It is based on original plans and various photos and illustrations."
I am halfway through building this (my first Hamburg model). A few comments:
1) The tabs on the sides and tops of the hull frames introduce a difficulty factor. I feel it would have saved time and paper to omit them (as in the Wilhelmshaven models). They make it hard to get even surfaces to attach the hull sides and decks (cuts are more accurate than folds). This is a problem when it comes to gluing the railing strips on top of a wavy deck. I had to glue narrow strips in place to hide unsightly gaps. (The separate railings are a nightmare to attach neatly without glue showing. I am aware that the designer probably used this method because he had the option of photo-etched railings in mind).
2) There is hidden detail inside the forecastle which is not visible once the deck is attached (28a-28c) - why bother? This helped cause my lumpy forecastle deck.
3) No diagram of where to attach strips 38/37h - I eventually realised they go either side of the midline hull partition where it protrudes in the bow.
4) I still have not worked out where to put the extra hose-drums (92).
I think the finished model is going to be worth the frustrations.
from Lars Kaschke <firstname.lastname@example.org>: This is a lovely little ship which has received a marvelous attention for detail by its designer (the latest S&S models tend to be a bit overdone in the respect, they have started adding parts which are virtually impossible to be cut out, painted & glued. I wouldn't be surprised when they came up with crewmembers on which you'ld have to glue medals etc. next). I found it rewarding to replace the paper railing with a metal one.
A few minor criticsms:
But these are minor quibbles; all in all the "Beowulf" was a great model to build. I am looking forward for the last of Scheuer & Strüvers early years, the well-known gun-boat "Panther".
- Cardboard is a bit too thick, it is very hard to roll small parts without the paper splitting
- On parts 36d and 38a are no markers to show where these glue onto 36
- the first of the three steering wheels aft would be too high if mounted according to markings
- It is not shown where the stern-lantern has to be glued down, ditto with parts 103
- 8.8 guns: part "g" is not wide enough to fit around the outer barrel
- Big guns: inner barrel too wide
- Davits 107 too long, come in collision with anti-torpedo nets
from Peter Ansoff <email@example.com>: I'm slowly working on a Hathaway USS MACON, which has a foil finish. The MACON is designed with butt joints and splices, plus bulkheads between most of the hull sections. There were two problems: 1) It was difficult to accurately crease the horizontal ridges (formed by the rigid framework of the real airship) and get them to line up properly, and 2) The fit between some of the sections was very poor. I tried to fix the latter by making "darts" and inserting filler pieces, with mixed results. I found that it was very hard to assess the fit before assembling the sections, and somewhat difficult to modify them once they were assembled.
from Matso Limtiaco <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I've built the USS Macon model as Peter has, and had exactly the same problems with fit and finish...parts of the bow sections just don't fit together! I'm not overly impressed with the USS Macon model, as it is definitely what I would call "stand-off" scale...it looks good from a distance, but its lack of accurate detail shows up at close range.
from Stephen Brown <email@example.com>: Heritage Models generously provided a sample model for review purposes. The following is a 'box review' of the Heritage Globe Theatre kit.
The Heritage Models Globe Theatre is a 1:150 scale model of the reconstructed Globe Theatre at Southwark, London. That building is not an exact reconstruction of the original Globe; but of course, no-one now knows what the original looked like, so the exact details are a matter for argument among the scholars. This model differs in some of the details from the other Globe Theatre models I'm familiar with. It is a 20-sided building about 20 cm across and 9 cm high with two wings, which house the stairways to the second and third galleries. Unlike other models, the tiring house does not project above the level of the galleries.
The model comes on 6 A4 sheets. The paper is a fairly heavy stock, caliper 11. There are 99 pieces, plus a few extra of the railings and supports. The model is not bound, but the pieces come in a folded cover with the instructions and historical notes. The instructions are diagrams with brief annotations and look clear and complete. (Part 87 is the only part not called out in the diagrams, but this is clearly a typo; the column labeled "82 to 86" is composed of parts 82 through 87.)
The level of detail, and the level of difficulty, are both moderate. Of course the Globe is subject with potential for enormous detail, as much of the building's interior is exposed. This model includes the steps from the pits to the lower gallery and the gallery railings. The pillars on the stage are modeled in some detail. However, the gallery seating isn't modeled but printed, and the inner stage, chamber, and music balcony are also printed. No ceilings are modeled, and the "heavens" above the stage are omitted. Door and window frames are printed rather than built up. The colouring is subtle but attractive (this model is in full colour, but an earlier edition of the model was in one colour, brown semitones.)
Construction looks to be straightforward, following the diagrams and the numbered order of the parts. The gallery roof, parts 91 and 92, looks like it won't work, but when correctly scored and folded, it does assume the correct shape. The radial score lines are valley folds on the inside of the ridge line and mountain folds on the outside. I don't see any other bits that look tricky or difficult. I will be tempted to slightly darken the interior walls and the underside of the roofs before assembly.
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: I bit, and ordered the Supermarine S-5 racing seaplane. It arrived today, and I am REALLY impressed. It comes in a box, with extensive instructions, and a well thought out booklet. The design is 1:25 scale, with a heavy card ship-like skeleton. The card surfaces are printed on one side and plasticized on the other for a fancy gloss color finish. Lots of good interior details. Well done special surface effects, like scoring the backside of the wings to get the ribbed effect (printed on the backside too, so you know where to score). Tricky bits (like the prop spinner) are molded plastic. Bent wire for some of the rigging. This is a beauriful object to behold, like the Japanese models Myles had (and, I gotta admit) about as expensive). Here is the summer modeling project. Will post more as I cut into it.
Robert Tauxe later adds: This is designed along different lines than any other paper model I have ever built - First you build a sort of armature - like a ship model. This is done by gluing half bulkheads onto a silhouette of the aircraft fuselage, and doing it twice - one for each side. Then you glue the two halves of the fuselage together. Finally you drape long pieces of the covering material around the armature to skin the fuselage. Same with each of the floats. The wings are done in the usual way. This is a real break from the serial cones/ventilation air duct pattern of design that I am used to, and am somewhat in awe of. Obviously the design can be done starting with the usual three views and bulkhead sections, even without a fancy CAD program, for someone willing to cut and test and cut again.
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I am working on the Hobby Model Su 35 at this time and wanted to post some of my experiences while they are still fresh in my mind. I have only finished the fuselage and since it has given me so much trouble I would like to pass this on to anyone else who would like to try this model. I will post a complete review when I have finished the model.
The model comes in booklet form with 16 colored sheets and two black and white sheets. There are two sheets of diagrams which so far are of no use whatever. The printing and color are okay but I did find that there is a difference in shading between the sheets. This shows up particularly on the light brown, the forward part of the fuselage is a different shade than the after section. The dark brown and green camouflage as well as the greys seem to be standard across all the sheets. The instructions are in Polish so were of no help to me. Even if I could read them there is only half a page and I do not know how helpful that would be.
As I said before I have only completed the fuselage so that is what this review is about. The construction of the fuselage is of "egg crate" much the same as most card model ships are. The first six sections are done with the former and connecting strips and the rest of the fuselage is done with the "egg crate" formers. Once the inner formers are built than you attach strips to the top and bottom of the fuselage to cover it. Each strip has a connecting strip on it to connect to the next strip. This is where a ran into the first problem. You now have to figure out if connecting strip 4a goes on connecting strip 4 or connecting strip 5. It turned out that most of the connector strips went on to the next numbered strip as in the previous sentence. There are 15 strips on the top but only 14 strips on the bottom, the bottom jumps from 13 to 15. Since there is a 14 on top I spent several hours looking for the bottom 14 before I figured out there was none.
Make sure that you do a lot of dry fitting before you glue the strips to the frame. The design is very poor especially towards the back and the strips do not fit on the frame correctly. I had to cut apart the frame in several places to get the strips to fit on correctly. Most of the connecting strips are attached to the actual strip itself except for the last two strips on the rear of the fuselage. Because of the compound curves of the two engines, the strips are in three parts. The connector is in one piece therefore you must glue the connector on to the former and then the strip to the connector.So far with the dry fitting and modification to the framing the model seems to be going together correctly.
This is a very difficult model to build due to the lack of adequate diagrams or instructions. The problems with the fit compound this. All this being said it is turning out to be a very impressive model. The Su 35, a version of the Su 27, is a very large fighter so the model is quite big. The shape of the fuselage is very interesting, starting out round at the radome and then flattening out as you go aft. It has two very large engines that have intakes on the bottom of the aircraft. It appears that the designer has successfully combined all this different shapes so that the model looks very accurate. I am assuming that the fuselage, as in most card models, is the most difficult to build. I will let you know if I run into any more problems as I finish the model.
Finally, let me say that this model is well worth building. It is not for beginners so get some experience before you try it. It will make a good comparison with the F14 and F15 when finished. Even with the problems it appears that it will wind up being correct when finished. Several people have reported problems with these brand model but the company does models that no one else does. In my experience they are difficult but look good when finished.
from Thomas Peters <email@example.com>: Check my X-31 website with pics and review. I also have the 1/33 Su-22, Mig-21/93, Saab Draken, Yak-141 and P-39 Airacobra at home AND the 1/72 Space Shuttle with tank and boosters (huge) - all in unbuild conditions.
Level of detail is not as high compared with new GPM and Fly kits. Printing is sometimes basic, too. Quality of kits is a little bit like Geli from Austria. (But the price is the same or higher than GPM or Fly kits...) If I compare the Hobby Model Draken with the Fly kit the Fly is much better!
BUT (!) Hobby Model realize interesting models the other publishers do not: the X-31, AMX, Hawk, Yak-130, Yak-141 (Russian VSTOL-fighter), Su-32/34 and now the Sukhoi S-37 experimental aircraft. I would not recommend any kit that also is produced by other manufacturers.
from Kell Black <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have made two of his models. The fit is GREAT, the instructions are clear, and he includes all the "extras" you might need, such as a bit of wire, a length of bamboo, etc. One thing different about the Kaelin models, though, is that he sometimes writes his instructions on the colored sheets and pieces themselves, so that once you're done, you've no instructional record left. Aside from this slight difference, (and it is very slight!) I count his models among the best.
from Mayer Brenner <email@example.com>: I have my assembled Stearman PT-17 on a shelf across from me as I write. It's a very attractive model that went together quite well, although there wasn't quite enough of the bamboo stiffening material, but a little scrounging took care of that. The construction techniques are a bit unusual, but they work well with the way the fuselage is actually designed. The built-up engine is particularly impressive. All in all, a very nice project.
Kenilworth Press 207-364-7427 PO Box 4 207-364-4336 (FAX) Roxbury, ME 04275 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.peterjvisser.demon.nl/kenilworth/kenilworthe.html
from David Toor <email@example.com>: `We produce a line of card model kits, including new versions of Shakespeare's Globe Playhouse, and about 40 others.
I started Kenilworth Press about 25 years ago after a sabbatical in Europe where I found some MicroModels on remainder and bought a lot of them. After that sabbatical I thought I'd try selling them in the States. Instead, I tried my hand at designing my own, starting with the Portland Head Light here in Maine, where I had a summer place. (I still have a large treasure trove of the original MicroModels.)
Since then the business has taken off (in a modest way) and we've added many models, all of my own design. I recently branched off into bringing out new versions of MicroModels, changed, enlarged, etc.'
from Robert R. Ruth <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Fred Hirsch at Kitty Hawk came up with a temporary solution to getting the Paper Air Force installed on Windows 98. Bring up windows in safe mode, then install. Fred said this is a hit and miss solution and they are still working on the 98 conflict which seems to only hit some computers.
from Werner Winkler <email@example.com>: I note questions about "Kranich-Models", the former GDR manufacturer, with a lot of Russian planes and ships. The CFM-Verlag, Munich, got the copyrights to reproduce and reprint "Kranich-Models" i.e. see "Atomeisbrecher LENIN" and TU134 etc. Mr. Mueller told me that reprint depends on steady demand for that models. The S&S catalog and S&S news will also update you about "Kranich". Also see Thomas Pleiner's Homepage for CFM-news.
from Peter J. Visser <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Leon Schuijt is the biggest paper model publisher in The Netherlands. He's been in business for about 40 years and has published hundreds of models (the first models I build probably were some of his easy buildings). He works with many different designers and the quality of his models varies with the designer. If you go to the S&S site and do a power search for publisher: "Schuijt" you'll get a list of about 60 models that are still available. The models that sell for DM 6 are the easy, children's models, but the more expensive models can be quite good. Besides buildings he also has ships, airplanes, cars and birds.
from Jeff Cwiok <email@example.com>: I believe L'Instant Durable is the top of the line in architectural models, as far as detail and finish are concerned.
from S.O.Michael <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
I lately visited the lovely city of Reims in Northern France which has one of the greatest gothic cathedrals. It is really an amazing cathedral with a whole lot of sculptural work inside and outside. In the shop in the cathedral was shown a built model of L'Instant Durables Cathedral de Reims. It was the first time I saw this model built. And I was somewhat disappointed. The towers were designed with black windows instead of being able to look through - as it is in original. The crown gallery at the west side was just drawn and put on the towers. To make it short, the character of the original - that you have just seen, when you look at the model at the shop - was in my opinion not captured in the model. It is the first disappointment for me of a model by L'Instant Durable. I would like to hear some other opinions about the model.
from Wendy Kwang Yee Leng <email@example.com>: I find that the quality of the JFS product is so-so as compared with the French Line [L'Instant Durable] I was talking about some time back. The colour and print of JFS is rather unrealistic, the card feels like Indian paper; and it is not detailed enough (for example, the staircase is just a flat piece of card with printed lines to resemble the steps, instead of a zig zag piece). In all, the models does not seem to capture the beauty of the castles. Perhaps things should be better after I assemble the castles.
from Jeff Cwiok <firstname.lastname@example.org>: JFS kits don't look too bad once they're built-up. I've seen pictures of some of the castles built and looked pretty good. Also, they do benefit from `modeler enhancements'. You could try and make your own more realistic steps, for instance, from plain card, then use artists water color or some other available hobby paints to match original 'flat' part.
JFS and LS are sort of intermediate quality compared to Wilhelmshaven in ships and planes, in most cases also. My first aircraft was a Lufthansa 707 (out-of-print) by JFS, which brings up an exception; JFS sometimes prints silver subjects on slick coated stock, which produces a more realistic `foil' effect for aircraft skins. Their airship Graf Zeppelin is notable in this regard,as is the Junkers Ju-52, "Richtofen", 30s Lufthansa airliner.
I agree that JFS coloring can be a bit basic, but their kits are often of unique subjects, so you do the best you can with them.
from Thomas Peters <email@example.com>: For the Zeppelin enthusiasts a short review of the all new Schreiber LZ-129 Hindenburg in 1/200 might be interesting. Last weekend I visited a model exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany, where Scheuer & Strüver from Hamburg participated. They had the finished Hindenburg as an eyecatcher on their stand. No question - I had to buy the model :-)
The card model is printed on 14 A4 sheets (about US-letter format), scale is 1/200, the finished Zeppelin measures 124 cm in the length and about 22 cm in diameter. Like other Schreiber kits the instructions consists of some sketches and pics from different assembly states, assembly has to follow the numbered order of the parts. The ripped surface of the Zeppelins hull has to be folded and rounded, it looks much better than the old LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin from Schreiber. All parts of the hull are printed on both sides, showing the Zeppelins framework at the inside. A nice idea, but when you have finished the model you see nothing from it. But with the printing on the inside you can learn the difference between Zeppelin and Blimp. The cabin is highly detailed, the motor gondolas are gems. They are about 2 cm long. You have to build the motor with the propeller. Then you install these assembly into the gondola casing. Another highlight is the promenade deck with its small desks, chairs and even a grand piano!
The finished Zeppelin as seen in Stuttgart looks great, I had to pay 40 DM (about $22 US), I think the price is fair. I haven't built the Hindenburg yet, but I highly recommend it to the Zeppelin lovers.
from Kaye Meldrum <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Who designed Hoherzollern and Neuschwanstein? I see Verlag J.F. Schreiber, is that the designer?
from Benjamin Scheuer <email@example.com>: Both models were designed at the beginning of this century. I'm not sure if Schreiber knows who designed them. The Schreiber Verlag is part of the publishing group Klett (specialising in school-books) and they also produce cardmodels. The company was founded 1831 and was one of the first to publish papermodels. Today there's nobody left in the company with the name Schreiber. And I actually don't know if the Schreibers were designers or "just" publishers. A person called Hubert Siegmund designed most of the models published at Schreiber together with his wife (mostly unmentioned) and renewed old ones (maybe Hohenzollern and Neuschwanstein too). But he died some years ago. Really a loss for us papermodelers.
Both models are not really in scale and especially the model of Hohenzollern has nothing to do with the original - but they're fun to build (I've built them both.)
from David Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The November edition of Marine Modelling International contains an article on building the Schreiber Bremen IV. There are photos illustrating various subassemblies, stages of construction, and some excellent coloured shots of the completed model. Besides being a welcome spotlight on our hobby, I found it interesting because I am putting the finishing touches to the Screiber Bremen V. This is a monster model which I have worked on intermittently for more than a year. The glossy paper used for external features creates an excellent result but is hard to fold and curl neatly, blunts blades quickly and my usual glue didn't stick well. Now that the end is in sight, I appreciate the paper, but not during construction. The lifeboats are each made of 8 pieces of paper (three to 'plank' each side), very good representation but I hated them by the time I got to number 14.
The instruction sheet boasts that the model can be motorised with radio control - I take their word for this. Finishing it for static display was enough for me.
It does make a very impressive LARGE model, but I will stick to smaller projects in future - I don't even have a place to display it. Perhaps I can persuade a hobby shop to use it in their window to attract new converts to paper modelling.
from Matso Limtiaco <email@example.com>: My JFS Hindenburg model is about 80% complete or so, and I thought I'd mention a little about it as I haven't seen a review of this model yet.
First off, this is not a model for beginners. There are a whole lot of REALLY small parts, mostly used in the gondola and passenger compartments, and the placement of each of these parts is not always obvious. Yes, the passenger compartment is intended to be mounted INSIDE the model. You could leave it outside as sort of an external display, but it's really not designed for that - it has part numbers, tabs, etc. exposed otherwise.
The detail is excellent, right down to the place settings on the dining room tables. Unfortunately, when those tables are mounted inside the model's hull, you can't see them - even with the windows cut out! This is a problem with the model in general...a lot of the detail is invisible, like the printed girders inside the hull structure, when the model is finished. I'm not familiar enough with JFS kits to know if this is par for the course. You could definitely build the model without the passenger compartment or gondola innards, and it would be just as impressive at 49" in length.
The engineering of the kit is pretty solid, although I had all kinds of trouble trying to get the gondola bottom (more compound curves) to fit onto the main assembly. I used round pieces of foam board to stabilize the cylindrical shape of the hull...the thin formers supplied just weren't going to provide enough strength during assembly. A minor problem...the walls of the dining room & lounge are printed at about a ten-degree angle towards the bow of the ship, for no particular reason.
Some of the external markings aren't quite correct, and the two-tone grey doesn't work on the big tail fins...doesn't look exactly like the real thing. But overall, the JFS Hindenburg is a very good model. Give yourself two or three months' worth of weekends to finish the whole thing.
from Thomas Pleiner <Thomas.Pleiner@t-online.de>: The JFS Me 262 design suffers from a color-scheme that is not that authentic as well as from a poor landing gear design. If you have the JFS model with a photograph of the assembled model - this particular one was assembled by me in 1981 when I assembled every JFS model to have them photographed for their catalogues and envelope cover pictures. Together with the Me 262 the new owner of JFS took out of their publications nearly every military aircraft. (If I'm not completely wrong even the Fokker Dr.1 and the Sopwith Camel F.1 were pulled out.)
Issues of the JFS-Me262 from my records: Design Hubert Siegmund in the 1950ies, named scale 1:50, (I'm pretty sure it's 1:55 in reality)
I'm not sure about if JFS also transformed this model to their new envelope design (the Windows-desktop look) in the late 90's - I believe not.
- 195? - 1980
- several print runs on single sheet, either on glossy cardstock or matte cardstock, grammage around 160 gsm for matte, a little heavier for the glossy material due to its higher density, folded, sometimes one edge perforated, black and white verbal instruction glued to one edge,
- 1980 - 1981
- one print run on double sheet, mat, 165 gsm, with envelope cover showing a color painting of the real aircraft.
- 1982 - 199?
- Two (or more) printruns on 165 gsm mat cardstock, re-launched with a photo of an assembled model on the envelope-cover.
from Jeff Cwiok <firstname.lastname@example.org>: By the way, I find the Polish companies, Modelcard and JSC, to be upper-middle level in quality, especially JSC's 1:250 scale series.
from Lars Kaschke <email@example.com>: The "Goeben" from JSC was alright, whereas the "Scharnhorst" is really terrible, numerous serious mistakes, rumors have it that the "Emden" is not better.
from Bruce A. Johnston<BAJ_IPS@compuserve.com>:
"GOEBEN" 1914 Imperial German Battle Cruiser, 1:250 scale. (28" long).
The SMS Goeben has always appealed to me because of its historical context and because the German dreadnoughts were very attractive ships; broad, stable gun platforms with a minimum of clutter above the weather deck. Although the Goeben fired very few shots in anger, it's existence substantially broadened the First World War and contributed to countless thousands of casualties.
When WWI began Turkey was neutral, being courted by the Central Powers and the Allies to enter the war. Then England seized a battleship, the biggest in the world, which they were building for the Turkish navy, and commissioned it as the Agincourt (fought at Jutland in 1916). The Turks were incensed because the ship was fully paid for, largely by popular subscription. Germany saw the opportunity and offered Turkey the Goeben and a cruiser. The Goeben and its escorts crossed the Mediterranean, narrowly avoiding British and French task forces seeking it, and arrived in Istanbul in October 1914 where they were turned over to the Turks. Turkey declared war on the Allies, and the German officers and crews were "interned" on the ships for the duration. The allied powers had nothing as powerful as the Goeben in the region, so the Dardenelles route to Russia was effectively closed. The British/Australian blood bath at Gallipoli, the slaughter on the Turkish/Russian front, the massacres of Armenians and Greeks in Anatolia, and the hard-fought campaigns in the Middle East all arose from the Goeben's presence at Istanbul. Seldom has a single ship had such a profound influence on history.
I bought two copies of the JSC Goeben model (my usual practice: one for building and one for redesign and rebuilding) in a little hobby shop in a back street arcade in Warsaw several years ago, for $2.30 each. I had bought many Polish, German and Austrian models there previously, including several of JSC's 1:400 ships.
Design, Printing, and Card StockThe JSC Goeben comes in a standard A4 book, 14 pages of model and some instructions. I can't tell how accurate the design is because all I have to go on are old photographs, but like many Polish models, it is more complicated then it really has to be, and the fit on some of the more complex parts is chancy at best. Yet many of the refinements possible at 1:250, such as deck camber and railings, are left out. The printing is good, the colors accurate except for rather glaring yellow decks (a wash of tea toned them down nicely). There are accurate patterns for parts to be made from bent wire. I use soft black iron wire for these.
The 0.10" card stock is just passable. Not as bad as the burlap I've seen from other Polish suppliers, but it's too fibrous to crease consistently without breaking the surface and to roll small cylinders smoothly (gun barrels, spars etc.). And it's very hydroscopic - on dry days it's as hard as rock and on damp days it's limp. Deck sag is almost unavoidable.
Instructions are in Polish, and there are few clarifying drawings. The part number sequence is good, although it would help if subassembly parts were numbered xA, xB, xC etc. instead of just continuing the number sequence. But you can live without the instructions: on the whole everything is self explanatory with a bit of examination.
The framework is an extremely strong and rigid combination of rectangular cells and formers. This type of construction has no "give" so a solid building board must be used - there's no other way alignment can be maintained. The hull form is complex, with many setbacks and casemates which have to be installed before the skin is applied.
The big deck pieces and bow and stern fit perfectly, joining smoothly at the seams. The skin is another story, mainly because the armor belt is built up from separate pieces rather than from doubled and redoubled thicknesses of card. There are seams all over the place from so many long, thin, tapering pieces with dozens of glue tabs, and it's almost impossible to keep everything lined up without creating gaps. This is one place where the designer got carried away. I had to do far too much patching and painting to get a decent finish.
With one exception the deck houses and funnels go together well and look good. The center deck house has a complex curved plan with insets and to put it bluntly, the designer blew it: his development of the one piece skin is way off. Much cutting and trimming needed. It should have been built up from two or three pieces.
The deck house ventilator louvers are one of the distinctive and attractive features of this period of German ship design and they come off well. I made a simple jig out of card to get the angles consistent instead of using the tiny triangular braces supplied.
The card stock used is too thick and clumsy for the guns. Even the main guns looked terrible with their gross steps. So I made them out of sanded dowel and painted them. The main turrets and barbettes are very impressive. I made the main guns elevate per the assembly. The rest I glued fast. I prefer not to have models of this type handled.
Deck furniture, masts
The boats are very simple and look good, especially the large launches. Bright yellow decks again! Masts, cranes and all the other stuff go together well, excepted as noted before, the card stock is too thick for small cylinders so I made them out of painted dowel. I hate making dozens of tiny bitts, so I make them from dowel too, with card caps.
I haven't finished rigging yet. Fortunately there isn't much on this model, and the plan and elevation views aren't much help: the high point is the old fashioned radio antenna. I use waxed fine thread, and I don't overdo rigging on modern ships. I think carefully selected rigging to the point where the model looks finished is better than complete detail which, even at 1:250 scale, is too thick and busy, detracting from the model's appearance. Nothing remains but final patching and touch-up on the bare edges.
All my kvetching aside, the JSC Goeben makes up into a very impressive model, one that I'll be proud to display. Except for the bad design features noted above, I'd rate it as moderately difficult. But correcting the construction design faults does take some skill and experience.
Lars Kaschke <firstname.lastname@example.org> adds: I belive deck-sag can be avoided here if one does not leave the comparatively large open space in the middle of the frame unattended. As I found later, this space creates a real problem, because it tends to give in when you glue the superstructure on. I don't think JSC has a good concept for building the frames, they would better in reverting to the traditional concept from Wilhelmshaven.
from Hubert Wolf <HWolf.Co@t-online.de>: I am about to finish one. I found the coloring a bit dull and simple, only grey, black, some red parts and all on a bit yellowish card. Windows are light blue points, that's it. Parts of the hull are printed on different sheets of paper and so came out in different shades of black. There are no printed railings at all, this sometimes looks a bit funny. The parts fit very precisely, and there are lots of them. Actually I am cutting out the 16 boats and have half of the air scoops ready. I added some water-colour to the roofs, the interior of the scoops and to the tarpaulins of the boats (or will add it in this case).
The construction was new to me. The internal structure consists of three 'inverted' boxes, on wich you glue the parts of the hull and the main deck. Before you glue together these three boxes it is required to check the overall length of them with the cut out parts of the hull and the deck.
I like the model very much and would buy it again. BTW, it was the first paper model for which I could use my Dremel drill. There are some holes to make and the card is thin but very strong (and elastic). The decks are doubled and there was no way to punch the holes.
from Thomas Hattendorff <Thomas.Hattendorff@gap-online.de>: I would like to comment briefly on the JSC line of kits. I am building the "Emden" currently and could find no serious fit problems so far. You have to get used to JSC's unique way of using rectangular cells and formers that make up the framework.
Just a few days ago I purchased JSC's brand new "Wien" and the not so old "Lion", both in 1:250 scale. The graphics are excellent and not far away from the HMV-standard. Both are CAD-designed. The "Wien" employs JSC's rectangular cell framework, while the Lion uses an innovative triangular spine upon which you have to glue the formers.
from David Kemnitzer <DKemnitzer@eypae.com>: Landarte publishes a series of large post card like models. The publish both in the United States and the United Kingdom. The US cards are 6-11/16" x 9-5/8". The UK models are 5-7/8" x 8-1/4". The sheets have a wonderful graphic quality with bright colors. I think they are nice enough to frame.
The models are sold as souvineers so they are only available in the vicinity of the subject. Sometimes they are packaged as a set of five or so models. I have tried to purchase directly from the US publisher but they sell only in large quantities -- as I remember a minimum order of about $100. As the US models retail for about $2.50 a minimum order would generate about a hundred models: far too many for me to purchase.
In my collection I have the following (Landarte Graphics USA):
No. 1 Statue of Liberty
No. 2 Chrysler Building
No. 3 Empire State Building
No. 4 World Trade Center
No. 5 Ellis Island
No. 6 Flat Iron Building
No. 7 St. Patrick's Cathedral
No. 9 Smithsonian Institution (Castle Building)
No. 10 U. S. Capitol
No. 11 Washington Cathedral
No. 12 Union Station, Washington, DC
There must be more!
For Landarte Graphics (UK) I have:
No. 1 Tate Museum
No. 2 Clore Museum
No. 4 British Museum
No. 5 Victoria and Albert Museum
No. 7 Tower of London
No. 9 Natural History Museum
No. 12 National Gallery
No. 13 Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery
No. 17 Westminster Abbey
No. 20 Buckingham Palace
No. 21 Hampton Court Palace
No. 25 Windsor Castle
No. 27 Kensington Palace
No. 28 Queen's House, Greenwich
No. 60 Stonehenge
As you can see there are many others that are published that I do not know about. The UK models have a date of 1990 except for Stonehenge which is undated. The US models have dates of 1991 and mostly 1992.
The US address is:
Landarte Graphics, USA
2221 Lovi Road
Freedom, Pennsylvania 15042
412-774-1896, fax 412-774-0384
The Maly Modelarz models vary widely in quality, but in general, the more recent ones are better.
from Strange <email@example.com>: If anyone is interested in Maly Modelarz subscription, it is now available for purchase through the Internet, for $35.00 a year. Since the site is in Polish, here are the instructions: Go to http://www.exportim.com/. On the yellow sidebar, click "Prenumarata Prasy". Next you will see an alphabet of links, click "M". Scroll down, you'll see Maly Modelarz. Click it, then you'll get your shopping cart view. Click on "Zamow" button and you'll see a form, with places for all usual stuff -- it does have comments in English. From there you should be able to finish the process, as most of the buttons and fields do have comments in English. If you need more assistance, please let me know.
from Saul H. Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I just got an order from S&S in Germany and most of the kits I bought were Malys. The models date from 1983 to 1998 and you can really see the improvement in the later models. Here are the Malys I received and my first impression of them:
1. Fokker D.VIII -- The latest model of the group I ordered, made in 1998. Colors and paper good. Nice model worth the money.
2. Albatros D.III -- 1996 Paper good colors okay but the printing is not very good, there are smudges and spots on the model where the ink was not put on the paper.
3. Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden -- 1996 Paper good, colors good and printing good. Nice model worth the money.
4. Yokosuka D4Y4 Suisei -- 1993 Paper and printing good but the colors do not look right.
5. U.S.S. Belleau Wood -- 1992 Paper very rough, colors not realistic at all and printing very bad. It is uneven and the ink is spotty leaving the paper showing through. Do not waste your money on this one.
6. TBD Devestator -- 1991 Paper not good, colors are accurate but are kinda faded out. Printing is okay some spots where the paper shows through but not to bad. Model worth what I paid for it.
7. Harvard 1988 -- 1988 Paper bad, colors are way off and printing is not so bad. Don't think this one is worth buying.
8. Ki-44 Shoki -- 1986 Paper bad, colors are wrong and off color. Printing is spotty with the paper showing through. Don't waste your money.
9. Sopwith Triplane and Camel -- 1985 Paper bad. colors okay but the printing ruins it. The printing is faded and very spotty, you can see the paper on every part.
10. Il-2 -- 1983 -- Worst of the bunch, only reason you might want to buy this is as a collectors item. It has two silhouette models in the back as well as the full model. Paper is bad colors are off and the printing is horrible.
from Saul H. Jacobs <email@example.com>:
Maly Modelarz TBD-1 Devastator
This is one of the transition Maly models designed in 1991. At this time Maly had gotten better inks but was still using the soft paper of their older models. I bought quite a few of their earlier models but decided not to build them as the paper and printing was pretty bad. To put this last statement in perspective, their new models have as good printing and paper as any of the model companies out there. I assume this is because they now have access to much better inks and paper. Since I grew up in Navy towns and spent the first seven years of my military career in the naval aviation I like to build naval aircraft. I never worked or flew in this aircraft but I did both work and fly in the aircraft that replaced it, the TBM/TBF.
The model consists of four sheets of colored A4 paper and one sheet of internal formers. Instructions are in Polish but there are two and a half pages of diagrams, which are very good. I found no problems in following these diagrams while constructing the model. Since I do not like the paper it was printed on, I scanned it and then printed it out on 90-pound Exact Index cardstock. During this process, which I do in Adobe Photoshop, I changed the upper colors to more of a blue which my reference works indicate the actual aircraft was painted.
Looking at the model I would classify it as an intermediate class model. It would be a good model for a beginner, about the same difficulty as the PMI or Modelcard/Modelick models. This is a very well designed model, the fit was one of the best of any card model I have ever done. This is one of the oldest card modeling companies in the world so do not hesitate to buy any of their newer models. For those of you who want to try something a little more difficult than the free downloads this is a good company to start with.
I started construction with the fuselage. Watch the diagrams for construction of the cockpit. The cockpit is detailed but you must build it as you construct the fuselage not after you have finished it. The torpedo that comes with the model fits half inside and half outside the aircraft. I did not cut the hole to fit the torpedo until after I completed the model and that seemed to work just fine. Watch the construction between the engine compartment and the mail fuselage. There is a small piece that mates these and it leaves a space around the engine.
The wings are done in three parts. In order to make sure that I got all three parts I beefed up the internal formers. I doubled the thickness and then I put pieces between the ribs. They use the one vertical former with ribs down this former. I like the method that Fly Model uses where there are internal formers as big as the entire wing. Using this method it keeps the wings from warping when you attach them to the fuselage. When I got the extra formers in-between the ribs the internal structure for the wings was very solid. I glued the center section of the wing to the fuselage and the formers. I then glued the inboard section of the wing to the center section. I did not form the wings but rather matched the inner and center sections on the model and then glued the rear section together. This gave me a good shape and every thing matched up just fine. I then did the same for the outer section of the wing. While on the wings, they did not do the wheel wells on this model. There is black ink to show where the wheels would retract into the wing but there are no wells.
Tail section was very straightforward and went together with no problems. Canopy was a little difficult, as there is much cutting if you want to make it clear. Since the canopy is very large and made of many separate parts of glass It took sometime to get it cut out but is was well worth it to be able to see inside the cockpit. Torpedo is a nice touch and as every thing else on the model went together well. The tail fins on the torpedo are inked on only one side so you will need some gray paint to do the other side. Used my new circle cutter to cut the sections of the wheels out and constructed the wheel struts. I could not figure out how they wanted the tail wheel attached so winged it and got it so it looks as close to the drawing as I could.
Ratings for the model:
- Instructions: Poor (they are in Polish)
- Diagrams: Excellent
- Fit: Excellent
- Coloring: Fair (poor paper and the colors are slightly off)
- Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Very well designed model, the parts fit really impressed me. I would suggest if you do try this that you transfer it onto a better quality paper. This would be a good model to either start on or move from the simpler models on. The model makes up into a very impressive little aircraft when finished.
from <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I am responding to your inquiry about the models of Martinez Casalta. Although I am not involved in their design or manufacture, I am familiar with them, having seen them on display in a department store in Barcelona, the city where I live.
Once assembled, they are extremely high in quality. Only from very close distance can one see that they are made of cardboard and not plastic.
from Anabel <email@example.com>: Their models are just outstanding and you must be very brave to dare doing these kinds of models in Spain.
from Stephen A. Capps <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The MicroModels vary in their difficulty. They range from extremely difficult to nearly impossible! One of the most fun things about them is that they have been out of print since the 1950's. That means the paper you are working with is over 40 years old! Also, they were printed in Great Britain. Great collectors' items!
Each "sheet" is postcard-sized, about 3 1/2 x 5 inches. Models range from about 4 or 5 sheets to twelve sheets per model. Some of the models have many hundreds of pieces, lots of which can be grain-of-rice sized or smaller!
Sometimes, after you have been working with small pieces, you may need a piece that's as big as a pinto bean...then you think, "Wow! What a M O N S T E R - S I Z E D piece!"
I have built the Capitol Building (35 hours), Westminster Abbey (50 hours), and Saint Peters Basilica and the Vatican (100 hours). I have about a dozen more models, waiting patiently in their cigar box, for me to build!
The first MicroModel I did was the The Capitol building including the House of Representatives and the Senate. I think this would be a good first kit for any MicroModeler...one of the main reasons is that the instructions are more complete than most MicroModels. In the instructions, it describes how to make your own tiny "knife/chisel" that you will need to make very tiny cuts (to cut out the columns on the front of the building, etc.). I used an old X-Acto blade and a cheapo Dremel Rechargable Moto-Tool (about $30) to grind my own "micro-chisel" -- you only need one for this model. You will need to grind a 1 millimeter wide chisel, but it wasn't hard at all! In fact, it was fun! It took less than 1/2 hour.
The best stone to sharpen your custom ground micro-chisel is an Arkansas Moon-Stone (ask a any decent knife-shop). It's an artificially made ceramic stone with a very, very fine grain. NOTHING is better to sharpen your small knives (XACTO, etc.). After that, you will want to "strop" them BRIEFLY with a good leather strop (the XACTO leather strop is the best!). With the Arkansas Moon-Stone and the XACTO leather strop, you can get your small knives noticeably sharper than the finest razor! In fact, a razor will seem dull by comparison! You may re-strop your blades in between sharpenings to bring them up to a better-than-razor-edge!
Get some Honing Oil for the MoonStone...you only need about 1-2 drops for XACTO blades.
(E-mail me if you need more info on knife sharpening!) [Mr. Capps has provided more on sharpening in §3.1.4.]
The custom-ground micro-chisel you build here can be used on lots of other models, whether they are MicroModels or not!
Anyway, the CAPITOL BUILDING MicroModel took about 35 hours. Every hour of it was fun! It also teaches you how to build a small box-like foundation out of cardboard, because part of the model sits on this box-like foundation. This was such a good idea that now I put all of my architechtural models on similar "box-like foundations" because of their sturdiness and handsome appearance.
The tools that will help you build a Micro Model are:
- SMALL, CURVED-BLADE Xacto blades...these are much better at making straight cuts than the straight-edged blades. They are slightly more expensive, but very well worth it. You don't use a triangular-shaped straight-edged knife when you are eating a steak! A curved blade works better for steak, and it works better for cutting paper-model parts!
- Smooth-Jawed long-nose needle nose pliers....You crimp the small pieces with the pliers so that you can fold the tiny piece just along the edge of the pliers. Then, after the fold is made, you "squeeze" the fold with the pliers to make the crease extra sharp. Then, after the glue is applied, you can squeeze the glued portions together with the pliers to set the glue hard and fast.
- A good "tacky glue" -- I like Aleenes Tacky glue...it doesn't stink, sets fast, and has a nice "holding action" even during it's short "still wet" period.
- A good scoring tool...I dulled and rounded an old XACTO blade using my cheapo Dremel Moto-Tool.
- A good metal 6-inch ruler with cork on the back. The cork helps to keep it from slipping and sliding. Use this to make straight scoring marks and straight cuts. My ruler had sharp edges when I bought it, and they tended to damage the paper and/or knife blades, so I used a "sanding disk" on my cheapo Dremel Moto-tool to sand all the edges all over the ruler, and they came out smooth and nice. It was easy.
- If you use a Dremel Moto-Tool, be sure to always wear safety glasses. The tool turns at a high RPM, and if a tiny piece of sandpaper or other device were to fly off, it could easily penetrate your eye!
- A plastic cutting-mat. Go to Wal-Mart and get a 12 inch by 18 inch for about ten bucks.
from Bob Del Pizzo <email@example.com>: Rather than download Model Art planes from Paper Paradise (Kittyhawk Software), order them over the phone They will send you not only the 3 1/2" floppies, but also the printed version of the kits. I currently have the P-40M and the Spitfire MKI. The paper versions are printed on specially coated paper with cardstock for the wing formers, bulkheads, etc. I just received these kits and have not yet built them. However, they appear to be of high quality, with the printing in register. The PDF prints are just as good as the included paper copy. The pictures of the completed models shows them to be accurate and of good fit.
The only bad thing that I can say of these kits, is that because they are so detailed, building may be difficult for this scale (1/72). Also, the instructions could be better.
These kits are a great value, high quality, low price. Plus, if you make a fatal mistake when building, you can always print off another copy.
I wanted to build a `state of the art' computer generated card model. ModelArt calls it a Computer Synthesized Model. The difficulty level is 4 stars out of 5 according to the cover sheet provided. It is not for the beginner.
Upon receiving my model from Moshe Lemer Publications, I was immediately impressed by the 21 plus pages (8.5" by 11") and 1029 parts. Once I got over this impact, I got down to reading the instructions. The instructions are in English and very complete. Moshe Lemer has also supplemented the original instructions with additional help pages. I finally reached the point where no matter how much I read, there is nothing like picking up the knife and glue and beginning to work.
There are a number of options you can choose with this model. You must decide what option you want before you begin. You can choose to build it with control surfaces deflected and landing gear up or landing gear down. You can choose to make it with gear down, safety locks in, and all avionics bays open and loaded. You can also choose between the US Air Force and the Israel Air Force versions. It has all the parts needed for the many variations. You can make all the subassemblies first, and then build the main frame. But, sooner or later, you must `bite the bullet' and start. I chose to start with part 1 and build a USAF version with flaps up and gear down.
My first assembly challenge, or maybe a lesson learned, was with the core framework of the wing. This frame is the key and keel for the entire model. Get it right and the rest of the model will follow perfectly. Get it wrong and the appearance suffers.
After completing the wing frame I began to add the skins and frames per the instructions and visual guide sheets. The numerical sequence works well and all the fits are excellent. The fuselage construction is just like the section we see in our McDonnell Aircraft final assembly area. Since I have chosen the gear down version, I installed the wheel well boxes. These add nice detail.
I found the fit of the parts for this kit exceptional. Dry fitting each part carefully and repeatedly before gluing is always the best practice and results in a good fit. As I sit here and hold the center fuselage and wings in my hands (18.5" wingspan) I am pleased. The Air Superiority two-tone gray color is accurate and correct. The markings ('No Step', etc.) are correct. The panel and wing lights are correct.
I began working my way aft through the fuselage and engine section. The more sections I finished the better I got at fitting this precise model together. One error and it will move with you. A small initial error I committed around the wing to fuselage root showed as small gaps later in the finishing of the fuselage side fairings. I can't tell you what I did, but a couple of 1/8" strips taken from a spare matching skin fixed the error. The exact fit is just that and mistakes show up quickly.
Once I finished the fuselage and aft tail pipes, I made the inlet ducts. These assemble very nicely with the external and internal skins fitting great. I was pleased because they looked so real. The forward fuselage took more time, or more precisely I took more care with it. The ring formers and the skins matched perfectly. The cockpit was fun and the detail possibilities are unlimited. With more time I could have scratch-built all kinds of enhancements to put in the cockpit. The radome was easy. The model has a realistic slightly weather appearance, like the F-15C's that sit on the ramp at the St. Louis Air National Guard (nicknamed `Lindbergh's Own'.)
The biggest challenge of the whole job was the clear foil canopy. I wanted to look in the cockpit and see the seat and controls I built. I carefully cut out the canopy pattern and stuck it to the clear foil with Scotch temporary double-sided tape. I painstakingly cut around the patterns. I then cut out the heavier cardboard canopy frame and the thin (very thin) canopy edging. How was I going to glue all this together? I went to my glue shelf and found my industrial strength white glue.
After forming the canopy to the frames, I glued the canopy in place. Other than the seam lines, it is very realistic.
The wheels are a simple lamination job. When I got them laminated, I chucked them up in my Dremel tool and spun them against sandpaper first, and then against a black marker. They look like rubber. The landing gear struts are very detailed but not impossible. The assembly instructions and the picture of the landing gear are not very detailed. I had to do some guessing on the very smallest parts provided (tiny struts and brackets.)
I've reached the point where I must go back over the model to include all the antennae that come on the sheets. These tend to get snipped off and put aside as the larger assemblies are added. I still have 3 belly tanks, 4 Sparrow missiles, and some Sidewinder missiles to complete. I have also spray coated the model with matte finish.
Overall, I am very, very pleased with this model. The small mismatches, smudges, and goofs blend in to the finished model. The eye loses sight of them in the impact of the large and impressive model.
from R. Mark Adams, Ph.D. <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I have completed the fuselage and am now working on the rotors, so I am fairly close to completion. The model itself is truly beautiful- the fit is fantastic, and the appearance of the assembled model has drawn gasps of appreciation from some of my friends who have only seen plastic aircraft models in the past.
1) The connecting strips should indeed be notched, although I found it simpler to do the actual cutting after the strips were installed on the first section.
2) I had good luck with doing the work in the following order: First, form both the section and the connecting strip to shape. Second, make sure the former has been trimmed to fit. Third, glue the crossbar to the section to make the cylinder, leaving the loose ends spiraling out of the cylinder ends. Fourth, glue those ends around the cylinder, and when dry, cut the notches. Finally, once everything is dry, glue in the former.
3) Make sure you score the engine exhaust lines--I didn't do this right, and so far this is the biggest blemish on my model... :-(
4) Also make sure that the engine exhaust former is glued right to the former immediately in front of it in the engine cowling. Predictably, I also screwed this up.
5) Take your time with the fenestron cowling. Mine came out looking great, mostly because I was very deliberate with its construction.
from Jon Murray <email@example.com>: I also have finished my Virgin Helicopter. As usual Emil's design is outstanding. The fits were great. The only down side was that 1/48th scale of the alighting (landing) gear minor details, antennae and handles were too small to cut out precisely. I will probably use brass wire or leave them off.
The model itself is a gem when finished. I enjoyed making this model very much, because of the high quality.
from Tim Ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>: For anybody just now building the kit there are a few minor typographic errors in the diagrams and part sheets:
- On the sheet that contains the rotor assembly parts 79a, 80a and 81a (the cardboard inner supports for the rotors blades) are mislabeled as 78b, 78c and 78d. Part 78a is labeled correctly.
- In diagram 'K', part assemblies 53 and 54 (the left and right rear landing gear arms) are mis-identified as 54 and 55. The nose wheel arm is really 55.
- In diagram 'B' part 12b is mis-identified as 13a.
- On the sheet with connecting strips part 82a is mislabeled as 22a.
As others have said, the fit and finish of Emil's design is fantastic. I printed the kit on heavy gloss finish photograph paper (Hammermill #02655-7 Jet Print Ultra Gloss) with my printer set for maximum resolution. It was the first time that I used any paper like this and I'm still amazed at how I was able to 'work' some the more complex parts without any degradation in the printing or surface coating. I printed the connecting strips onto regular 20 pound ink jet paper but wished that I had used the same paper as the parts were on as it was just too flimsy. I was trying to conserve the 'good' paper (pretty pricy stuff, about $15 US for 20 sheets).
Oh, before I forget ...if you are now building... you can find some good quality photos of Dauphins for reference at the Eurocopter web site. I referred to these for some of the more complex parts like the engine air intakes, the fenestron (tail rotor), etc. I don't have the URL handy but the US Coast Guard seems to use quite a few Dauphins (they call them Dolphin) for rescue and you can find photos at their websites also. Editor's note: Try a search for 'Dolphin' at the USCG web site. Also, there are a lot of pictures at the HEMS London site (where you got the model from.)
from Jeff Cwiok <email@example.com>: By the way, I find the Polish companies, Modelcard and JSC, to be upper-middle level in quality, especially JSC's 1:250 scale series.
from Kell Black <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Anyone ever build a ModelCard model? How's the fit? I noticed that it uses only bulkhead formers (I've got a Lockheed Hudson) and no connecting strips, similar to Maly and MetaModel. I prefer the strip and former method, but formers alone work very well with Maly and Meta. Also with ModelCard? Or is it worth my while to fashion strips, and modify the formers?
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: Have only built one ModelCard plan, a little Italian fighter, that also used bulkhead to bulkhead technique. The fit was OK, but not perfect, and a little blocky. The problem I have is that if the bulkhead is tight, the paper cylinder starts to flare around it, "hourglassing" so that the skin is not a smooth contour.
from Terry Norvell <TNorvell@grwinc.com>: I looked over my half built Modelcard T34/76 last night and noted a few items that you may find helpful when you finally get around to building this kit.
First off, I didn't know that the half filled square symbol in the instructions meant to bevel the edges of some of the pieces that had been stiffened with cardboard. I encountered a few fitting problems while building the body of the tank and applying the colored skin until I figured out that some of the edges needed to be beveled.
The instructions call for 3 or 4 different thicknesses of cardboard for stiffening the required parts. This is essential for a good fit throughout the model.
When applying the colored skin to the sides of the body, the holes for the suspension did not line up well. Once the wheels are applied, you won't be able to see the misalignment, but I did expect a better fit here.
The suspension took a lot of time to make. At first it looked as though the suspension would actually work since the instructions gave the option of adding real springs. Once the suspension was started, it became obvious, to me, that there was no way for the suspension to really move so I omitted the springs and used the rolled paper part that only looks like a spring. It's barely visible once the wheels are in place anyway. The part that holds the spring, or paper spring part, requires an "L" shaped piece of wire. The long part of the "L" is wrapped by the spring and the short portion of the "L" protrudes outside of the body of the tank to attach to the suspension rocker arm. I was careful to cut the wire to the exact length called for in the instructions only later to discover that the sort part of the "L" was not long enough to firmly attach to the rocker arm. I would leave an extra mm or two until it's in place and trim later as necessary.
This is a complex kit. It offers several options for making wire grills over engine compartments. I decided not to make it any more difficult than it already is and used the paper printed grill patterns when provided. I am however considering making individual track links out of stiff cardboard when I get to that point.
I studied the instructions for a long time and found this kit to be a bit intimidating. Once I had a grasp on the building steps and started the model, I became a lot more at ease with it. Patience and perseverance is a must.
from Saul H. Jacobs <email@example.com>:
Review of Marek Pacynski’s Messerschmitt Bf 109FMarek sent me three of his models as thanks for trying to get someone in the U.S. to carry his models. They are carried by S&S in Germany under the Kartonowa Encyklopeidai Lotnictwa. The models are in 1/50 scale and come on A3 paper, at 8,90DM ($4.00US) they are well worth the cost. Marek sent me the models as PDF files across the internet which was a problem since they are in A3 format and my printer will only print 8 ½ by 14 inch paper.
I took the files up to Wisconsin and my son printed them out on the Xerox Docucolor for me. He also informed me that all Office Max’s are no being re-equipped with the Docucolor so if you get files of this size you will be able to get them printed there. When I got home I got a copy of Acrobat and found that I could split the A3 PDF file down into two separate sheets that printed out fine on my HP 712C. The colors came out very well on the inkjet version but were washed out on the Xerox copy. I will put a picture up on my web site soon and you will notice that the number 14 on the sides which is supposed to be yellow is faded and you can hardly see it.
The model is done in desert camouflage, top is sand and the bottom is light blue. An interesting effect is that the fuselage is done in a lighter color while the wings and tail section is darker. As I said the yellow markings and nose faded on the Xerox copy but on the inkjet copy all colors came out. The model does have the makings for a cockpit but the wheel wells are just printed on the bottom. At this stage in my life I do not try and do cockpits or fine detail on the 1/50 models as it is to hard for me to see or manipulate parts that small.
Marek used the "butt" method of construction on all the models he sent me except for this one. There are six strips located on the sheet that has the three views, these are to be cup out and glued around the formers for the sections to be attached to. Construction and fit of the fuselage was straightforward and presented no problems.
Wings are constructed in three parts, the center section and then the two outer wings. Do not worry if the center section does not exactly match up on top, as there are fillet strips that will close any gaps. Make sure you make the cuts where indicated on the bottom so the bottom will form around the fuselage. Marek uses a former inside the fuselage to attach the rudder, I never figured out how exactly it was supposed to fit so I winged it and put it in the best I could. Landing gear is very well done, I use a thin piece of wire inside to give them strength both main and tail gear. I like the idea of doing both sides of the wheel well doors, a lot of companies only do one side leaving you to have to color the other side in your self. The four cooler/intakes went together easily and fit one under each wing, one under the nose and one on the side of the nose. Finally I did the propeller, again I use a small piece of wire in each blade to give it strength. Formers in the spinner fit nicely and the prop looks good on the finished model.
Ratings for the model:
- Instructions: Can not comment on these as Marek did not send any to me.
- Diagrams: Excellent
- Fit: Excellent
- Coloring: Excellent
- Difficulty: Moderate
Over view: A nice little model and should serve as an intermediate step between the easier models and the more complicated models such as the GPM or Fly Models. I built the model in just a few nights and found it a good break from the more complicated models. At $4.00 US from S&S in Germany, well worth the money.
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>:
Building the MS Modelle Demoiselle.This is a delightful model of a curious tiny aircraft - the first ultralight - built in 1909 by Mr. Santos-Dumont in Paris. Like others in this series, it is printed on colored paper of several weights to produce the various parts. More than most paper models, the original structure is duplicated in paper - one gets a good sense of how the original actually went together. The designer makes liberal use of temporary jigs to make sure that all the parts are exactly aligned. They are printed on a separate bright yellow sheet - glue this first to the cardboard stiffener that came with the kit, and you will be ready to use them as they come up in the construction. The instructions are copious, well written, and humorous, with lots of sketches and drawings, but they are in German. The kits are very "user friendly". There are lots of sketches and drawing to help, and all the critical pieces are duplicated , so that if you goof up, you can try it again. The other thing to do before you start the actual model is to make a goodly supply of stiffened thread - this is needed for the wheel spokes and the rigging. I do this with black cotton thread, which I hang with a weight. I then drip thin cyanoacrylate down the thread, and also run a glue stick along it - there may be other glues that would work too, and I am still experimenting. Many of the parts are given thickness by gluing two or three layers together. With the thin paper, my Aleene's glue tended to warp and buckle the paper. UHU Bond All or another waterless glue is what you need here.
You start with the three long tubular spars that form the fuselage structure. I suspect the originals were bamboo. I rolled and glued them around a stiff wire, so that they would be strong enough, and cut the wire with tin snips. Then these three are placed in a jig with three holes drilled in it, so that they are in exactly the right position, and you glue the other ends together. The two lower spars butt against each other, and the upper one is attached to them with a tiny connecting tube of paper. That end of the structure rests on a prop while it dries. You wrap little strips of paper at the marked locations along the length of the tubes, forming the joint points of the structure, and you add all the other tubular elements, cutting them to fit and gluing them in place. Only after this has all dried do you take up the tin snips and cut the fuselage structure free of the jig.
The wing is made in two pieces. Each is built up within with a king of rib structure, that is built up from strips of paper of varying lengths. If you curve these slightly as they are drying, they will hold the wing in shape nicely. The forward leading edge of each wing is cut back to give clearance to the propellor - (surely Mr Dumont miscalculated something here?), and a built up strip of brown paper forms the leading edge along this cut away. Once you have the "ribs" and the "leading edge spar" built up and in place on the lower surface, you just fold the top surface down of the m, and glue it into place, being sure that it is all aligned. After both wings are formed, you glue them together, and glue special strips over the central joint, using a jig to maintain the dihedral as it dries.
Once the wing is finished, you join it to the fuselage by building the final jig, that holds the wing and the fuselage in the right position. You roll the tubes that finish the forward fuselage structure and glue them int place, joining fuselage to wing while it is all on the jig. I used wire inside several of these structural tubes in order to have a rigid and sturdy model. The seat is a basket like affair that fits between the two lower fuselage tubes, I glued the extra duplicate seat to the back of the seat so the basketry is visible on both sides. The flying controls, a handle and a tiny wheel, are mounted on the tubes at the very front of the structure. The motor is a tiny gem - two cylinders, with wire magnetos, a simple brass colored tube sticking up behind that must be the carburetor, and a tiny brass fuel tank. The tank is held onto the plane by little grey straps that wrap around it and attach to the top of the wing. The tail feathers are cut out, glued back to back, glued to each other to form a cruciform fin and elevator, and attached to the end of the upper fuselage spar.
Now you can turn to the wheels. These are unique structures. The idea is to use the stiffened thread as spokes, and trap them between two rings of paper that form the tire. First take one of the tire pieces, that has marks showing where the spoke threads will go, and cut out the inner circle, but leave the surrounding paper attached to the tire. You then glue bits of stiffened thread, in pairs, across that hole - each thread is glued down to the marks, and let this dry. Then take another tire piece, and cut out the inside of that hole (a little circle cutter comes in handy here), again leaving the outside circle uncut. You glue this down onto the other tire, so that the threads are between them - a thread sandwich as it were - being careful to align the holes. This should be held under some flat weight as it dries. Then cut around the outside circle, through the fringe of threads and all, and you have a dandy little wheel. Glue the tiny axle disks on to the center, and it is done. This plane takes three of these wheels, to make up the undercarriage. The two main wheels are fitted with short tubular axles sticking out on either side, and attached to the fuselage structure - it helps to use the final assembly jig while this dries.
A few other stray parts, and it is ready to rig. Here, the key is a fine pair of tweezers, patience and a steady hand. I cut each little piece of rigging to fit by eye, and place it with a dab of white glue at either end. The drawings in the instructions and the photo on the front sheet give you ample and clear advice for this.
The final model is amazingly small and delicate, though sturdy with the wires inside the structure. I suspended mine from the ceiling to keep it out of harms way. The wings are so short and stubby that it hard to see how it ever actually got off the ground. As a model, this is moderately difficult one, because of the number of tiny parts that easily jump off a table onto the carpet. However, because it is simple and relatively straightforward, it is a good introduction to the series of Old Timers that this designer has produced. The design is clever, the ft is excellent, and the instructions clear and well illustrated, though an English translation would be useful.
Pädagogischer Verlag des Leherinnen- und Lehervereins Zürich Ringstrasse 32, Postfach CH-8126 ZUMIKON Switzerland firstname.lastname@example.org
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: Just returned from a quick trip to Switzerland, where I trolled for paper models in Bern. Found a few in one store, that I know I've seen before, but looked harder at this time. They are simple but typical Swiss buildings mostly, published by the Zurich Board of Education (Paedagogischer Verlag des Lehrvereins Zuerich). Cheap too - at 4 Swissies apiece (about $2.90 @). The earliest I found was the Chateu Chillon from 1978, and the latest was a "Walliser Haus" from 1995. The quality is like Fiddlers Green, but bigger format - simple and attractive.
If anyone wants to look for these (and maybe they are not out of print) the hobby store was: Bastelzentrum Bern, Bubenbergplatz 11, CH-3011 Bern, Switzerland.
from Kell Black <email@example.com>: Pädagogischer Verlag LZ publish ONLY Swiss related models, and most of them come on two large A3 sheets, all with instructions in German, some with text in French. The models are very easy, straightforward, and the diagrams are crystal clear, as they are intended to be teaching aids in Swiss classrooms. They have about 60 different kits, and they are grouped in the following categories; transportation, history and culture, geography, Christmas and holidays, activities for young children ages 6-8, and workbooks. We bought and made lots of the architectural and transportation models, such as a City Gate of Basel, the Clocktower of Bern, the reconstructed Roman Home of Augusta Raurica, two Swiss Air Jets, the Airbus 310 and the MD 11, a working cable car and a Swiss rescue helicopter. We found these kits in toy shops and art supply stores, and they cost 2 SF apiece, that is, about $1.50 each.
from David Hathaway <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Got my copy of the STS Lord Nelson model through the post on Friday - superb service from them. These are my impressions of the model - Not built yet!
It comes as a book - "The Jubilee Sailing Trust's S.T.S. Lord Nelson." Published by Papercraft Models, ISBN 0-9531822-0-7 (from the barcode on the front). Stapled and softbound, A4 format. Papercraft Models address is given as c/o 17 Walnut Drive, Larks Hill, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 4NR, UK.
50 pages. 3-5 & 47-50 about the organisation. Lots of photo's and statistics - Ship was named after a famous British admiral who was disabled. 7-10 & 43-46 are instructions, clear with very good diagrams, looks like it may have been done via CAD or a drawing package. 12-42 are the sheets for the model. Printed in full colour on quite heavy card (seems like paperback book cover card). Registration and printing first class. It's a waterline model, with paper masts and all sails. Construction similar to normal ship models, ie a set of ribs on a base with a deck to cover. Lots of details 40 parts for the basic hull, 80 for the fittings and superstructure, 50 for the masts and yards. Rigging plans and full sails included, as are basic card ratlines, but these would/should be easy to replace with string/thread.
Model makes to 55cm long, 33cm high, 17cm wide.
In summary, a well produced and serious model that should be more widely known and sold.
Editor's note: this model may be purchased directly from the Jubilee Sailing Trust, details in the appendix, More Sources for Card Models.
PaperMagic +82 2 871 7025 +82 2 885 2845 (FAX) email@example.com WWW page in English
from Robert Freidus <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The Korean Injung-Gate model just came today. An absolutely brilliant model. It comes in a box, beautifully printed on heavy card, there are ten sheets plus a lovely instruction booklet which gives something of the history of the Changdok Palace, of which the Gate is a part, in both Korean and English. The sheets are 9"x12" and are prepunched. In some manner, the slopping roofs are accomodated, and the entire model slots together. No cutting or glueing. It looks like it will make up to a wonderful model. Pretty expensive at over $20.00 plus the same again in shipping. Still it's my first Korean model and I hope will continue to make more, which they claim they are going to do.
from Kell Black <email@example.com>: I've made several models of the Papermation construction vehicle series: the Bulldozer, the Shovel and the Cistern Type Truck. The 'Dozer and the Shovel are fine models: fully functioning and nicely designed, but the instructions contain a few crucial errors. (Patience will help you overcome these. If I remember correctly, the errors are in part numbering.) The Cistern Truck is very simple, more of a toy than a model, however, I'm a big fan of toys, so I liked it anyway. The designer does have a novel method for the construction of wheels, a jig that assures the uniform size, so even the simple models have something to offer the idea-scavenger.
from Stephen Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Yeah, I liked the PMI P-38 kit. Fit was pretty good, and the frames and spars come on heavy card stock (0.025")--the rest is on regular card (0.008"). It's a shame they don't do more nautical subjects, but I've always thought the P-38 a pretty plane.
from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: The R-1 [Gee-Bee] Model arrived from PMI. This model is a surprise - it is engineered like a ship model, with a three dimensional "egg-crate" armature. After you build the frame, then you add the outer skin, which is not a series of cylinders and cones, but rather several large plates that you fit over the armature. Even the nose cowling is made up this way, and the curving front is modeled by a series of fine gores, rather than a tightening set of truncated cones. The wheel pants are modeled as single pieces that just bend around the wheels - no darts or extra inserts. The color and printing looks fine - will see what the fit is like. I think a project for this summer will be to enlarge it to about a two foot wingspan, and macromodel it in light cardboard. This is the ultimate test of fit.
from David T. Okamura <email@example.com>: This model is a real gem, and in terms of parts, instructions, diagrams and historical background it's by far the most elaborate paper ship model yet to appear on the web. David [Hathaway]'s design work is first-rate, and the subject matter is very unique. Victorian-era ironclads are not a well-known subject, but their unique appearance are quite fascinating. Squat superstructures, round turrets, a clutter of boat davits, awning supports and ventilators in the upper works, and the black, white and buff paint scheme make the Cerberus truly eye-catching.
I've received many compliments from my fellow Ship Modelers Association members when I premiered my model last Wednesday. The IPMS/Orange County folks were equally impressed, voting it First Place in the Advanced Miscellaneous Category. Earlier, the IPMS/Northrop members awarded it a Special Craftsmanship Award in the Miscellaneous Category. (Miscellaneous? I guess it's hard to classify a paper model of a Victorian ironclad.) ;-) Looking at pictures of David's completed ship, you can easily understand why a plastic-based organization would laud such praise.
Take a good look at Peter Crow's photos. Personally, I think Peter's will be the better model once he's finished. The stiffened thread railings really improve the appearance. I rushed the assembly of my model to give David immediate feedback, and thus used wire and thread railings before David created his railing template.
Hopefully, photos of my model will appear on the SMA website next month. My own pictures were terribly blurred, but perhaps I can scan some taken at the IPMS meetings.
I'm really looking forward to David's other subjects. There are so many amazing monitors around the world besides the first USS Monitor, but most people only remember the American Civil War ships. This is a significant omission which David is planning to address, and judging from his Cerberus he will give this "forgotten fleet" the tribute and recognition they deserve.
Don't forget that a primary reason for posting this model free on the internet is to gain public awareness and support behind the eleventh-hour effort to save the Cerberus. This is truly one of the most important naval artifacts still existing, and the situation is critical. To leave this ship to rust into oblivion will rank among preservationists and historians as one of the greatest shames in recent years, just like the scrapping of the WWII carrier USS Enterprise, the stripping and later disposal of the Spanish-American War veteran USS Oregon, or the dismemberment of the former SMS Goeben. If you know of people who might be interested in helping the Save Cerberus movement, please let them know about David's site.
from Thomas Pleiner <Thomas.Pleiner@t-online.de>: PASSAT-Verlag, founded in 1992, consists of five enthusiast cardmodelers and designers. This publisher has generally followed the tradition of the Wilhelmshaven models, but extended the detailing to it's limits. They print only a handful of models of german ships, all in 1/250 scale, printed in limited editions of 500 each. For some models there are photo-etched brass plates available to replace railings etc.
Their line includes these splendid models:
1) German steam vessel "SCHAARHOERN"
2) German vessel "MONTE ROSA"
3) German rescue vessel "BERLIN"/"EISWETTE"
4) German four-master "PASSAT/PEKING"
5) German light ship "ELBE 1"
6) German Navy mine sweeping facility boats Type 343 and 322
All these models are definitely not for beginners. They are more for the "beyond-1000-part-model-maniacs"
The models are available from S&S in Hamburg, but I have no idea who carries them in the USA.
from Peter Ansoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I built Ulrich Ruger's LOTTE solar airship a while back, and wrote a short review of it for "Cardformation Newsletter". LOTTE was designed with overlapping joints between the hull sections, as opposed to butt joints with splice pieces. The overlap method is easier to build, but not as good looking -- you get a segmented effect that interrupts the smooth curvature of the airship's hull. I tried to convert LOTTE to butt joints, but it was too hard because of the fairly exact tolerances. My finished model has butt joints between the first few sections, but a big crease in one of them. I did use butt joints when assembling each "ring" and that worked pretty well.
from David T. Okamura <email@example.com>: I printed out that Skyhawk model designed by New Zealand master designer Phillip Fickling. It is quite impressive, though the details are slightly soft due to the resolution. (The kiwi bird symbol in the service roundel is noticeably pixilated in the full 1:32 scale.) These large printouts also consume a LOT of ink at high saturation (photo quality). It is rather discomforting to watch your ink gauge visibly edging toward "Empty" when there's still six pages to go. ;-)
After looking over all the sheets, I painted the back of some pieces (intakes, fuel probe, exhaust nozzle, etc.) so no white areas will show on the completed model. I also drew a black circle to be glued onto the exhaust nozzle to prevent the hollow "see-through" effect. I'll probably give this to 8-year old Christian Thomas at a future SMA meeting so he can put it together.
I experimented by printing the files at 44% to get approximately 1:72 scale. One advantage was that I could squeeze four pages of parts onto one sheet by flipping and reversing the sheet after each print run, saving ink and paper. The resolution was much sharper, but it was a mistake to print the base since the specifications on the side was almost illegible at that size. Also, the cut lines and slots almost disappeared. As a result, my first attempt to build the Skyhawk in 1:72 was not a success, though a very nice model CAN be made in this scale. (It's better to secure the parts with glue rather than totally relying on the tabs and slots, though.) After the problems I encountered, I did not even try building it in my preferred 1:144.
I've now reprinted this model at 67%, making the scale very close to 1:48. I think this is the best compromise between resolution sharpness and buildability. Some paper is wasted at the corners, but I think this time I'll have a nice model. Despite my bungled first attempt, I really have admiration for Phillip Fickling's work. Anyone who dismisses tab-and-slot models as "too simple" should examine his Skyhawk. He has definitely "raised the bar" on this construction method.
from Joe Cangero <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I've started the V-2 Rocket and just finished the first of the 4 vertical fins.
The fit of the parts is exceptional and everything has gone together perfectly up to this point. The main rocket sections and connecting strips were a snap. So far, the vertical fin assembly has been the most challenging. The template for the interior vertical fin spars/framing was a great idea and helped alot.
I found it easiest to glue parts E2 and E3 together first, followed by B3 and finally part E4. I then took the whole assembly and glued it onto one side of the vertical fin starting with the lower right corner of part E3 (just below part B3 as shown in step #8). I worked my way to the left until I reached the pointed end of part E3, being careful to glue the frame as close to the outer edge of the vertical fin as possible. I then worked my way upward from my starting point (lower right corner of part E3), again gluing the frame as close to the edge of the fin as possible -- proceeding along part B3 and up to the upper right (printed) section of part E2 to the point. After that I shaped the rest of the interior framing and glued it onto the inner vertical fin.
It's very important to score the fold line for the vertical fin accurately to insure all the edges line up with the exposed surfaces of the spars/framing. I was impressed with the tight fit of all these individual components/surfaces. Flat-nosed alligator clips came in real handy when trying to glue the top leading edge together. Keep in mind I did all this while watching TV and using a wooden X-acto box and two sheets of cardstock in my lap as a work surface.
I have a tip for easily creating the formers between the rocket sections. I cut out the "a" (completely round) parts for each former. I then glued the cut out part onto the corresponding former containing the tabs to double the cardstock, rolling it with a foam wallpaper roller to insure a good bond. I easily cut around the doubled part using the "a" part like a stencil, carefully cutting around the tabs. I used small scissors to cut out the inner portion of each former, sort of nibbling with the point -- accurate enough, since no one is going to see it. I quickly had doubled formers complete with tabs for gluing. If you glue the connecting strips accurately, the formers can be press fit just below the V-cut of the connecting strips and they will be in the correct position just below the top edge of the section. Another great idea was to provide extra parts for doubling the formers.
from Todd Anderson <email@example.com>: The model builds up quick, I was able to watch tv and build at same time. However, beware of the fins. They take a little more time as the substructure is very small. I did not try any doubling of parts. It still went together really well. I think it not so difficult for a beginner to try.
from Mark Lardas <Mlardas@flash.net> This company puts out some of the finest paper models of sailing ships I have seen.
Preparing the deck:Start by gluing the deck to the thick piece of cardboard backing as called for in the instructions. Next spray the deck with a clear matte acrylic to seal it. Now let's make that deck look as if it is made up of individual planks rather than a monolithic sheet of cardboard.
Cut the plank lines with a sharp #11 knife. Push hard enough to cut through the top layer of the deck, and into the middle of the original sheet forming the deck. It's even all right if you cut all the way through the original piece, but do not push hard enough to cut into the backing sheet you attached to reinforce the kit's deck. The idea is to define each plank shown as an individual piece, without damaging the structural integrity of the deck. The 1 mm backing sheet is strong enough to maintain rigidity if it is not cut.
This isn't as hard as it sounds. A firm, but not hard stroke will cut through the top layer of cardboard and into the middle without cutting through the bottom layer. I advise gluing the deck to the reinforcing piece before scoring because it is nuisance to glue it on afterwards if you have cut through the bottom layer (which I did occasionally) of the printed deck.
Also, it spoils the effect if you cut into an adjacent plank. I always stopped cutting just before I reached the end of a line, turned the piece around, and cut from what would have been the end point back into the first cut. (If your hands are rock-steady, and your nerves steely, you can skip this, but I am lucky if I clear a low shed with a running start, much less tall buildings with a single bound.) Actually, I cut all of the lines nearly to the end before turning the deck around and back cutting.
Once the planks are defined, look for peeling pieces and glue them back down. (You will also learn how well you spread the glue on the back of the deck at this point - as parts pop off of the backing.)
Now let's give the deck the right texture. Take an emery board and *lightly* sand the deck. Do not sand hard. We are trying to rough up the upper layer of paper, to give a wood-grain texture to it. We want fine scratches in the surface.
Now let's get the deck the right color. The technique I describe works best with Poly-Scale paints. I used the Railroad colors. These are translucent water-based acrylics, absolutely perfect for hand-brushing. If you cannot find these, experiment with other brands of acrylics.
First put a thin layer of a light tan or cream on the deck. Hand brush, so you get brush marks showing. (these should be subtle, approximating wood grain). Put a thin, translucent coat on the deck, always keeping the brush strokes down the length of pieces of wood. Take care around the hatch comings to make sure that you brush across the length of the deck on the transverse pieces.
Do this *very* lightly, you want the lines underneath still showing. You are not so much painting the deck the tan as modifying the yellow of the deck to a more appropriate color.
Once the first coat has dried (takes about 10 minutes with acrylic paints, take a dark brown, and paint lightly along the plank lines. Use a thin mixture so that it soaks into the lines. Before it dries completely, wipe the surface with a kleenex. This removes the excess paint from the surface, and smears a light pattern of dark brown into the plank. When you are done, you have a deck with the seam lines between the plank "caulked" and a light-and-dark brown wood-grain pattern on the planks. (You may need to do this a couple of times to get the effect right.) Once this is done, take some thick flesh-colored paint (yes, flesh), put a little on the tip of a stiff-bristled brush, wipe off the excess, and dry brush the deck. It will catch the high points left by the sanding, adding highlights.
Do a wash of a dark brown or black paint (by the time you have a layer of matte acrylic, and two-three thin layers of acrylic paint on the deck, the paper becomes pretty impervious to the water used to thin the paint). Let the paint run into the seams. Dry-brush with flesh, or the deck tan you used originally again. Repeat until the deck looks right.
The keys to making this work are twofold - use *thin* layers of paint, and use a paint that leaves an absolutely *flat* finish. As you add layers of paint, you add depth to the pigment. The result will be paper that seems to be wood. I showed my finished deck to my wife and her first comment was to ask why I was bothering buying paper models if all I did was replace the pieces with balsa.
This technique also works with plastic models, although you have to make sure you start with a white base - otherwise the result is too dark. You might want to play with this on some scrap cardstock first, until you get a feel for it.
The Frame, Part IHMS Hunter imitates a modeling technique used for wooden models called plank-on-frame construction. An internal framework is consisting of transverse frames which are glued a longitudinal keel is created. Often, a horizontal frame following the waterline at that height is added to increase the strength. Then, the hull is planked over - typically with two layers, and underlayer that serves to define the shape of the hull, and an outer layer, which is planked to imitate the actual appearance of the ship. In a wooden model, the frames would be cut from plywood, with the planks using basswood for the underlayer, and thin hardwood strips for the outer layer to enhance the beauty of the model. Shipyard mimics that technique substituting cardboard for the frames and cardstock for the planking.
In HMS Hunter, the frames are printed on paper, to which cardboard of the appropriate thickness is glued. (In a sense, this is the same technique used for scratchbuilding wooden models, except that the paper templates are tacked down with rubber cement to the framing plywood, so that it can be removed.) The designers specify the thickness of the frames. Getting cardboard of the right thickness is your first challenge. The kit is designed for the indicated thickness, and if your pieces are too thick or too thin, you will have problems. Too thin, and the framing will be rickety. Too thick, and the pieces will not fit if you cut on the lines indicated by the frames.
You can use thinner stock, if you cut slots thinner than those shown, but if you do that, make sure that you cut on the inside of both sets of lines. Otherwise the waterlines will be shifted slightly forward or aft of the design waterlines. This can produce fit problems when you add the planking. It should be minor, but a gap of a millimeter at one end or a slight bulge in the planking is often the difference between a toylike creation and a fine model.
Where does one get 1 mm, 2 mm or 3 mm thick cardboard? That depends on where you live. If you live in a major metropolitan area - or a university town - you can go to a good artist's supply house and check out their selection. If you live in a city that lacks a first-quality artists supply store, craft shops such as Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or Craft's, Etc., are a good second choice. Go to the frame section, and see if they will sell you scraps from matting. It is often good-quality, thick cardboard, and it sold at reasonable prices.
If you live in a small town, use ingenuity. I went to a teacher supply store in town. They had variety of cardboard, but most of the thicker stuff was corrugated. I opted instead for what the store's owner called eight-ply cardboard, a white cardboard that was not quite 1 mm thick. One layer glued to the frame template worked well for 1 mm backing, but two layers was too thin for 2 mm until I added a layer of business-card weight cardstock. That gave me the right thickness.
One thing I did before gluing the three layers together was put the layers at right angles - long edge of one piece to the short edge of the next layer. (I had trimmed the pieces into 12"x12" squares.) Also, the eight-ply had a front-side and a back-side. (They had slightly different reflectivities.) I glued the same sides of both pieces together. By doing this, I had the grain of each sheet going different directions, and the curvature of the sheets. As with plywood, my object was to increase the rigidity of the resulting sheet.
I glued the sheets together with a UHU glue stick. I did not want to use spray adhesive because concerns about its permanence. I did not use white glue because in Texas, in the summer, with summertime humidity, the white glue never quite seems to dry. At least, in the past, when I tried that, and cut into the sheets, the glue in the center was still wet long after the glue on the edges had dried. I applied a thin layer of glue to each sheet, and pressed them together. Once I was done, I pressed the sheets under some encyclopedias overnight.
The result was a rigid sheet of the appropriate thickness. Because the grain keeps changes directions as you cut, and the thickness of the cardstock, you will go through hobby knife blades like beer on a hot August afternoon in Texas. If you have a scalpel, you might want to use that, instead.
from James Nunn <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Shipyard's HMS Cleopatra: I just received the model today, nice to come home to a surprise after a long day at the office. I am building the Garnado in this series so I am familiar with Shipway method of building a model. The printing quality is generally good, one sheet did have some printing slightly smeared. The model is printed on three different papers of two different weights and appears to be of better quality then the Garnado. The model is printed on 23 pages so she is a rather large model.
Now the bad stuff, Several of the hull bulkheads are printed on the back of the rigging plans! The sails are laid out as templates one inside the other so you can not use the paper for sails. The English instruction sheet is a slip of paper 8 inches wide and 3 inches high, needless to say no English instructions are supplied. No attempt is made to make masts or spars out of paper, there are drawing/plans for the masts and I assume you are expected to make them out of wood. The instructions have 8 drawings and 5 photos showing how to build the gun carriages, and nothing showing how to make the trestle trees. With the amount of effort to make the gun carriages and guns I would just purchase them.
The model is built as a plank on bulkhead with two outer layers of paper on the hull, I would estimate that the keel is about 17 inches long. The detail is excellent and the colors used seem to be correct. The over all accuracy to scale is good. However, the guns are over sized, the 1/2 lb swivel guns are the size of 9 ponders and the 18 lb guns are the size of 32s, but I am used to this, most kits I have seen have over sized guns.
My biggest concern is that the instructions for the Garnado show what parts need to be built up on layers of card stock and how thick the stock should be. Very few of the parts for the Cleopatra that need to be thicker than the paper they are printed on show the thickness required. The bulkheads are a good example. They are printed on about 30 lb paper but need to be at least 2mm thick.
I would not attempt to build this model unless you are familiar with building wood plank on bulkhead ship models. If you do not know how ships from the age of sail were built you would find this model extremely difficult, and even if do it will be a challenge.
All in all Shipyard models are the best I have seen in full hull sailing ships and lets face it if paper models were easy we would not build them.
Mark Lardas <Mlardas@flash.net> responds"Several of the hull bulkheads are printed on the back of the rigging plans! The sails are laid out as templates one inside the other so you can not use the paper for sails."Well. . . you cannot use that paper for sails. Paper is a great material for model ship sails. I have used it on wooden and plastic kits as well as paper kits. If you look at my Baltic boat (it is in the library display on Saul's page) you can see that I replaced the kit sail with a scratch paper one.
I generally replace the kit sails because they really don't work well. Paper models with sails tend to use slick coated paper that does not look like sailcloth. (It looks like slick, coated paper.) If you go down to a printer, you can find bond paper with textures more closely approximating sailcloth. I use a very fine weave pattern paper for the 1:100-1:90 scale models I build, and a second, coarser pattern for 1:32-1:50 scale models.
The advantage of roll-your-own sails is that you can make the sails as they really went together. Cut strips to represent the panels, overlap slightly, glue together. Add a thin strip around the edge for the seams, and appropriate strips for the reef bands, reinforcing, etc. Glue on a bolt rope and reef points, and you have a sail that Columbus or Nelson could appreciate.
Except for the bolt rope the whole thing goes together very quickly. You can shape the sail -- if you really want it billowing cut the panels so that they are slightly tapered at the ends. Works like a champ and adds a lot to your model. This is what I plan to do for the HUNTER when I get to that stage.
Sails on the Shipyard kits do not show reef bands or reinforcing, so you need to correct that, anyway. Additionally, they are printed only on one side. There are no seam lines on the back. However, the shape of the sails is fine, which means they are great templates. You can measure the width of the panels, and see where the edge seams strips are. (BTW, these are pasted on the front of the sail.)"No attempt is made to make masts or spars out of paper, there are drawing/plans for the masts and I assume you are expected to make them out of wood."Not that hard. You can do that with a razor saw and a #11 knife. (Or just a #11 knife. Purists (I not among them) start with a square strip, carve off the corners (to make an octagon) and then round off the center part of the stick. I use a dowel, and use the #11 knife as a scraper to taper it.
You can use toothpicks for small spars or gaffs. India ink for coloring them black, although you will need white paint, if you have to make white spars or masts."The model is built as a plank on bulkhead with two outer layers of paper. I would not attempt to build this model unless you are familiar with building wood plank on bulkhead ship models. If you do not know how ships from the age of sail were built you would find this model extremely difficult, and even if do it will be a challenge."A full-rigged ship is a lousy first kit. Start with a cutter or sloop (one mast) or something with two masts max (brig, snow, ketch, schooner, etc.). Schrieber's Yacht America is a good starter kit, although that is not square-rigged. HUNTER is as good, if you don't mind building a cutter (which uses lapstrake construction, with the planks overlapping) as a smooth-sided ship.
from Mark Lardas <Mlardas@flash.net> Just got my copies of Shipyard's Trinidad and Cleopatra. Look good. Two quick comments:
- It looks as if Bellona may be on hold. Cleopatra is marked #4. Trinadad is marked #5. The Cleopatra book has pics of Bellona on the inside back cover, but list Trinidad and Revenge as the next two on the back. On the Trinidad, it shows the Revenge, and a 18th century Xebec in the on-deck circle.
- Even Jove nods? Trinidad is their first kit outside of the 18th century. Regardless, they seem to have done their research well, and have avoided many of the subtle traps that lay in wait. (for example, they have almond-shaped deadeyes, instead of round ones -- good call.) However, they stepped in a couple. First, they show the major lines belayed to pin racks. In 1492 they only used belaying pins to secure flag halyards. Everything else used kevels and cleats. 1519 is not much after that. Widespread use of belaying pins seem to have appeared in the early 1600s, between 80 to 100 years later. It may not seem like a big point, but to me it's like seeing a jet-powered WWI fighter. Also, they use blocks for the course spar lifts, rather than sheaves built into the mast. (Kind of like the ones on the mizzen and bonaventure masts, only on a square sail, there is one sheave on either side of the mast, instead of one on top.) Couple of other minor points.
Stipp-Bastelbogen GbR (+49) (030) 44 73 11 58 Stirl & Ippen (+49) (030) 44 62 537 (FAX) Postfach 35 0351 D-10212 Berlin Germany Info: email@example.com Orders: firstname.lastname@example.orgStipp publish a line of small buildings in model railroad scales. Their models are carried by Scheuer & Strüver in Germany. They also accept orders at their website, but I'm not sure if they will ship overseas.
from Peter Wehrhahn <PeterWehrhahn@t-online.de>: The Stipp models are so called photorealistic card models. The models are relatively simple boxes with roof and some add-ons. They are completely done in paper. The good looks of the Stipp models are because they used photos as the starting point for the construction. Here in Germany we have a model railroad magazine which published some smaller models from Stipp as centerfolds in Z, TT, N and HO scale. Most if not all Stipp models are available through Scheuer & Strüver.
from Lars Kaschke <email@example.com>: Nearly all models from Wilhelmshaven fit perfectly, I strongly recommend:
-Schleswig-Holstein (pre-dreadnought battleship), very detailed
-Leipzig (light cruiser), not as heavily detailed as the Schleswig-Holstein, but also perfectly constructed
-Stier, a raider from WW II. Highly detailed and to be built with hidden guns, searchlights, reconaissance-plane etc.
-Henschel Hs 123
from Jeff Cwiok <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Also, regarding the discussion of the FORRESTAL kit. I remember this one as being rather impressive except that the GREEN flight deck color put me off. Looked like billiard table felt, rather than dark bluish gray as per the real ship! In fact the vertical surfaces are light green vs. light gray as well. I think this was the single biggest disappointment in the whole Wilhelmshaven line. The colors on most of the others was good to superb, and held out such promise for the carrier kit, but for me the promise was not fulfilled in reality. I think, therefore, that this is the single main reason you do not see more built up Forrestal kits. It's not that such a large model is too much challenge for an experienced card modeler (I feel I could tackle it), rather the realization that it would have to be hand colored as well to look right that makes it too daunting a prospect! This is the next thing to scratchbuilding.
Is this still the case, or was this one of the kits reworked by Möwe? If ever a card kit cried out to modified, it's 1200! If I knew this model had been re-colored ala 1236, Hamburg, I would snap it up pronto!
Then there's the case of the moldy green wood decks. Several of the recent kits with wood decking, such as 1248 Tirpitz, 1255 Moltke, 1258 Prinz Eugen & 1261 Graf Spee seem to have too dark a deck color (which may be authentic for wartime), but with a definite greenish hue which looks odd. Apparently caused by printing bright yellow over blue-gray. Last time I checked mixing blue & yellow makes green!! 'Nuff said!! The situation with older kits colors may be inherited from previous owners, but not new production. No excuse.
from Stephen A. Capps <email@example.com>: To start building the Bismark (39 inches long), you need a 43 inch wooden plank, about 8 inches wide, very flat, no warping, well-planed and smooth. You tack down the framework of the hull of the ship to this with small dabs of glue. Later, after the whole ship is finished, you slide a razor between this wood plank and the ship-paper-hull-bottom to sever the glue spots and free up the ship, so you can mount it on a really fine plank. My working/modeling plank is cedar, which is easily wood-worked and also smells fine!
There are lots of complex, curved, double-sided paper folds to make, which is fun. Lots of these are railings (so sailors don't fall over the edge). Lots of lifeboats, a few seaplanes, and GUNS GUNS GUNS AND MORE GUNS!!!
The guns swivel right-to-left and elevate up and down (fun!). I didn't really like the right-to-left swivel mechanism's in the big guns (they swiveled on a push-pin or tack needle) so I build my own large diameter "hollow cylinders" out of paper. These "hollow paper cylinders" are glued to the deck, and the guns sit atop them. The guns have slightly larger hollow paper cylinders descending from the bottom of them, and they friction-fit over-and-around my custom-made deck-mounted cylinders, so they swivel-and-hold-their-position exquisitely! Much better than what the instructions say.
There are other swiveling parts, such as range-finders (to help aim the guns). I sandpapered small wooden-dowel sections to friction fit the cylindrical mounts for these pieces so that they also would swivel right-to-left.
Other fun pieces include very-small-spotlights, air-vent funnels, and making the smooth curves of the hull. ONE GREAT MODEL, That's For Sure! I have worked about 110 hours on it so far...Looks like it will be a 200 or 250 hour project!
from Jeff Cwiok <firstname.lastname@example.org>: My sub was based on the old Wilhelmshaven kit 1225 'U-Boot (Kriegsmarine)(2 modelle) which reproduced the dimensions and details of the type IX a/b long range u-boat, and was fairly accurate (for a starter model). When this was discontinued in favor of new 1225 'U-995', I was perplexed, as this was a smaller type VIIc, a totally different design!! I bought it anyway, and sure enough, same size part outlines but U-995ish details and thus neither `fish nor fowl'!! Discarded the upper hull and built the lower hull minus the incorrect saddle tanks. Added this to my original 1225 u-boat, creating a full hull type IXa, which I christened 'U-37', the first of the class. So it wasn't a complete loss. [See U-37 here.]
Wilhelmshaven got complaints about this, and apparently decided it reflected badly on their reputation and have now discontinued it! (but not before selling all copies in print). Hopefully they will re-issue the old 1225 as a type IX 'U-boot', AND issue a new TRUE type VIc 'U-995' in the near future. Perhaps we could encourage them?
from Jeff Cwiok <email@example.com>: I built this in the mid '80s, so i'll have to see what i remember about it. First, I find I had forgotten about bulkhead formers # 7 & #8 being reversed, but in checking a second unbuilt copy see that it is indeed the case! I do remember doubling all frame,deck & hull pieces, and gluing the waterline plate down to a building board till the hull was complete and thoroughly dry. This last bit is especially important with small models such as this, due to the shallow hull depth. The centerline former may not have enough vertical strength, even doubled, to resist the tendency to warp or bow along the length of the hull without help. I leave small models like this on the board several weeks, (so, I work slow!) before removal. If removed too soon the hull may still hog (bow up in the middle) or sag (bow up at the ends). You can still procede with basic superstructure work this way, but I remove it before getting too detailed as the waterline often needs touching up to close any gaps where the glue did not stick. This for me over the years has been the most troublesome area of the basic construction. The waterline glue tabs will invariably move out of the way of the hull piece, and there is no way to get inside to force them into contact. With my current small model (which has been on the building board for a year now; I think it's dry ;-) ) I cut all the tabs away, and added extra layers of card strips along the waterline, up to 3/16" [1cm] thick to provide a firm gluing surface. Any uneven areas can be sanded smooth to match the frame with fine grade sand paper. Seems to have done the trick.
Once the hull is done, the finer work begins. One thing tricky was the Engine Room casing, part#18. I remember doubling some blank card stock and then triming a piece until it fit inside the very shallow box formed when the sides are folded up.The sides are glued to the edge of this, and built up at the long sides with more card in strips to match the curve of the deck. This eliminates the need for the tabs and slots, as the piece is now solid and provided a better, firmer base for the missile launchers to set on.
The Exocet missile launch canisters I detailed with 1mm wide strips of colored card taken from the spare bulkheads on the back sheet, and wrapped around the canister in the fashion of the large ribs provided as parts #41b.
The 76mm gun started out alright till I came to parts #40j, k & l. These assembled looking more like a chinese 'coolie hat', rather than the rounded dome shape expected. I worked in another ring of colored material trimmed from the spare bulkheads on sheet 2. As I had already mixed some watercolor paint into a close matching shade of gray to stain the cut edges of parts this was used touch up the turret top. I wanted a smoother look, however, so I then coated the dome top with several layers of white glue, each thinner than the last until it was nice and smooth & rounded. Then another coat of the watercolor to blend it in, sealed in a matte clear coat.
The final tricky bit was the masts. I found these easier than expected,though. The key was to pre-score and pre-fold the legs before cutting out the little triangles between the braces. To prevent weak or broken braces, always cut away from the intersections starting at each corner going only half way then coming back along the line from the other direction. And, of course, use a fresh sharp blade to keep the strain on the parts which remain to a minimum!! Then tint the cut edges and the white side of the mast legs before gluing the mast tower closed.
The rest was straight forward enough, though I did add some extra bits, such as a clear plastic windscreen, wire yardarms and topmast, monofilament whip aerials and my first try at brass etched hand rails. But the kit will look fine without these. I also painted the Bridge windows & portholes with gloss black after sealing them with a little thinned white glue. Otherwise the paint will absorb and lose the gloss. The usual white & light blue window effect just doesn't look right to me.
Another possibility here I've toyed with is to punch out the ports & cut out the windows, tint the cut edges then glaze from the back side with some thin cellophane material taken from the windows in envelopes and painted black on the inside for depth. Haven't done it yet, but will try this next time.
Jeff's Schnellboot can be seen at his web page.
from Thomas Pleiner <Thomas.Pleiner@t-online.de>: The Wilhemshaven Me262 is the most authentic card-model of that aircraft I know. It was designed by Gerhard Neubert in the late fifties (if not, it must be around 1960 at the latest.) It's perfectly drawn and the color-scheme seems to me to be very authentic. It's a cloudy dark blue-grey on a lighter grey-blue. Undersides of wings, fuselage, engines and rudders show the correct German Luftwaffe light-blue. Anyhow, the Nazi cross is not shown on the fin. The landing gear is fantastic as well as the engines and the outlets of the on-board cannons. Needless to say all the parts fit together very well. Unfortunately in the late fifties/early sixties Wilhelmshaven models did not come with the cockpit interior. (As far as I know the first Wilhelmshaven model with a cockpit interior was their second design of the Lockheed F-104G Starfighter in 1962 - it may be interesting to know that the second design of the Starfighter - carrying German signs - replaced their first very simple design from 1956 showing USAAF signs)
from Fil Feit <firstname.lastname@example.org>: The struts have tabs on the end, and slits on the wings, but the inner struts (the ones that go from the top wing to the fuselage) are quite thin and prone to breakage. Despite care and best effort, one strut is bent and staying that way.
Nice model, btw. I'd recommend it as a nice biplane, average difficulty. The finished model sits on my monitor and impresses visitors. It has some optional parts (eg, there's the choice of a fully detailed cockpit, or you can just put in a simple insert).
- check the fit of the strut into the slit. Make sure that the fit is perfect. I left the slits a bit too tight, and that contributed to the bend.
- think non-paper. Pins inside the thinner struts is a great idea.
- translate and understand the entire instructions first. They suggested a different order for assembly than I used; I suspect the change would've helped a lot.
- build a jig. When assembling the wings (and wheels), the model needed to be upside down, standing on its tail, and resting on the lower wing. Whenever I decided the right way to support the model, I'd grab a handy box and cut it into a temporary stand.
from Jeff Cwiok <email@example.com>: I found the dark deck color a bit disappointing as a bright pale tan would be more realistic for a holystoned deck of this era. BTW, the color also seemed a bit olive to me, so I checked it in incandescent, fluorescent and sunlight. The effect was less noticeable under fluorescent light (things that make you go hmmmm). A scan revealed the color mix as R = 145, G = 139, B = 78, which shows too strong a green content for a true brown. At any rate while I had it on the computer I just changed the color to light tan & printed it out; problem solved.
from Mayer Brenner <firstname.lastname@example.org>: I recently completed the Enchanted Carousel. It makes an attractive and perfectly functional little carousel, with no major construction problems. For smooth operation, the mechanism (particularly the reduction gear assembly) did require a good deal of sanding and fine tuning, but the final result seems more than robust enough to keep turning for a long time to come.
from Fil Feit <email@example.com>: The YZF-R1 is not so much a difficult model as a complex one. I just finished the frame (part C) and have a few comments....
- more precision is required than on some models. There are many closed shapes; sharp creases and careful folding help make them look good.
- hone your origami skills. One part required "pressing in" to form a very complex shape. There are a couple of large parts that most manufacturers would have made from multiple pieces. It's fun to see how it goes together, but not simple.
- planning is required, to make sure that you're folding and glueing the part in the necessary order.
- the diagrams help, but there are a couple of places that I've found where I had to guess a bit. I think I need a full-size bike here, to compare. Maybe that's what they had in mind. :-)
- work on that patience you're lacking. It'll make those large and complex parts go together better!
- the level of detail is quite amazing. Are the controls and guages reversed in the UK? Hmmm... I'll have to go to a Yamaha dealer and see if I'm building a left-hand model, like they would have in Japan or the UK.
from Dave Caldwell :
Zio Prudenziati’s War Prize MustangFirst, let me say this I like my models bigger! That being said, let me say this the fit and design on this itty bitty Mustang is superb. Be assured that this is not a beginner’s model. I had to do it twice and I am sure that the third time will be even better. The method of joining seams instead of overlapping them is a challenge, but the result is worth the time to master the technique.
The color scheme and markings are eye catching and the details are excellent. Everybody recognizes the distinctive shape of the Mustang’s fuselage. If you don’t get the look of that "goldfish belly" scoop right it won’t look like a Mustang. Zio has it just right. The doubling of colored parts to give you the inside and outside of landing gear doors and the multiple parts for the landing gear adds lots of interesting detail to the finished model. The landing gear itself didn’t even need a toothpick for strengthening. The prop comes out two-sided, which I think is a plus. The instructions consist of an exploded diagram that provides adequate direction. Some of it you have to ponder a little, but I think that’s part of the "Zio" experience.
Any complaints? Well, yes. The wing construction is mystifying. Too many small parts. I am afraid that I am still uncertain about exactly how to attach it to the fuselage in the way Zio intended. I think that the section directly behind the cockpit could use a tab or two to hold the shape. I also need a better method of attaching the prop. Mine had to be glued in place, so it doesn’t spin. Will I build more Prudenziati’s? You betcha. My plan is to get the CD and enlarge the models by printing them over four sheets instead of one (a poster setting on some inkjet printers). I have tried it with one of Zio’s Spitfires and the details hold up very well. It is also big enough for a klutz like me!
Conclusion: I don’t recommend this as your first model, but after you get the basics, build one, or two, or one twice. I think you will recognize the talent that went into designing it. When you are done you will have a well-detailed, historically accurate model, a real sense of accomplishment, and an urgent need to build more of Zio’s stuff!!
firstname.lastname@example.org| Steve Brown |