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Saturday, March 2, 2013

AModel Rutan Voyager


Though I’ve spent the last few entries talking about the models that are entering the front of the production line, that doesn’t mean that the end of the production line has been completely forsaken. While I work to clean up the problematic raspberry ripple paint job on the British Phantom, I completed the Scaled Composites Rutan Voyager.

This is a relatively early AModel release, which by and large means exactly what you think it does. The sprue attachment points are large and the engineering can be charitably described as lacking finesse. But the shape is certainly out of the ordinary, and thankfully the decals are good because there are no aftermarket supplies for a bird like this.

Fit is not bad, but there is a significant amount of filler on the various joins. With an unconventional layout like the Voyager, a lot of stress will be put onto the different wing and fuselage/pod joints, so be sure they are rock solid and cured before picking it up by one wing. Alignment is also an issue that requires attention; the angled relationships between the different flying surfaces can be a bit subtle and looking at photographs is helpful.

In case you are not familiar with the type, this was the first aircraft to go completely around the world without landing or refueling. This was back in the misty prehistory of 1986, piloted by designer Burt Rutan and Jeana Yeager. The flight took 9 days. It must have been a real challenge to get the thing off the ground with a full load of fuel. Rutan designs are always interesting, but not well served in the 1:72 kit market. AModel does do the SS1/WK2, the Global Flyer, and the upcoming Beech Starship, and if you want a true challenge, Unicraft does the Proteus.

Once it received a coat of white paint the process was quick. Decals performed as they should, and even scratched exhaust pipes for the engines didn’t throw up too much of a barrier. Generally speaking, I was pretty happy with how it all turned out, if only because it is satisfying to conquer one in a challenging line of kits. The same reason why I do resins and even the occasional vacform. Maybe it is like postnatal amnesia – I’ve already forgotten the trauma and am ready to start on the AModel Global Flyer.

This is completed model #424 (#5 for the year), finished in February of 2013. 



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