Now that I have gotten the photo booth set up in a corner of the downstairs daylight basement, I should be able to finally get some of the completions from the last couple of weeks documented.
I have always liked doing commercial airliners in 1:72 scale. You might think that the field there is limited, but you’d be wrong. Admittedly the big airliners like the 747, DC-10, and A320 are only available in resin or vac, but there are still many airliners available. Just go take a look at the Draw Decal or Vintage Flyer websites and you’ll see an unusually deep list of propliners and commuter jets. Connies, DC-4s, and of course the ubiquitous DC-3 are heavily represented, but there are other options as well. The DH-91, F-27, Dash 8, even the S-43. In fact I had an article published many years back in Scale Aircraft Modelling on “Airliner Modelling in 1:72 Scale”. So you know that I’m a lifer when it comes to this byroad of aircraft modelling.
Often, the kits that are available are military aircraft that were converted to or from airliners. That is the case with today’s completion, the Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Kondor.
This is the Revell civil version, not the ancient rivet-laden monstrosity from the 1960s. In terms of construction, it does have its nuances: that long fuselage tends to make for a weak central seam, the wings usually require some putty to eliminate the joint, and you have to make a decision about whether to use the supplied passenger windows or just replicate them with Kristal Kleer. This civil boxing comes with the two-blade props.
This model spent a fair amount of time on the Shelf of Shame, but that wasn’t due to construction issues. It was because of the extreme masking that was needed to provide for the black stripes on fuselage and wings. Knowing that job was coming just sucked the air out of the project for a few years. While in storage, other damage came about, such as the wings breaking off and the wheels becoming temporarily misplaced. Luckily, I was able to raid a second kit I had on hand to supply the missing bits, and once my enthusiasm returned, reattaching the wings was not that difficult.
The model had received a coat of Xtracolour RLM63 before going into storage. There seems to be two schools of thought on this color. One advocates for a very light Grey, one for a darker version that is closer to RLM02. Personally, I prefer the lighter version. Unfortunately, Hannants decided that the darker version is the way to go, and unless you can find an older tin at a retailer with pre-change stock, things can become problematic.
I spent two entire evenings masking the plane up for the Black stripes (although Revell supplies these as decals, I preferred to take no chances on the very thick and matte decals). Once I shot the Black, I then had to go through and take all that masking off. And that is when one of the disasters struck: some of the RLM63 paint pulled up off the fuselage. I was panicked, because I thought I was going to have to match the color with some other paint. Thankfully, I found a tin of pre-change Xtracolour. I did some spraying, and it didn’t go too badly.
Next came decals, from a Print Scale Fw-200 airliner sheet (72-238). They were thin but performed well. Then a topcoat of Dullcoat. This is D-ACON “Condor” at the time of the Berlin to New York flight in 1938. It’s a very attractive paint scheme, and has me thinking about making another run at the infamous He-111C from Roden, the only model I ever trashed halfway through construction. Whether the “life’s too short” mantra will restore sanity before I spend the money for another kit remains to be seen. I’ve already built a Lufthansa Ju-86 and Ju-52. Seems like Planet had a couple of 20s/30s small German airliners too.
In general, given the problems that were encountered along the way, I am pretty happy with how it all turned out. I did notice one final thing that needs to be done: adding the passenger windows with Kristal Kleer. I just received the Hannants order that includes that on Friday, so this will be done before too long.
This is completed aircraft #503 (1 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in January of 2019.