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2001 Closed threads from 2001 (read only)

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Old 7 September 2001, 06:31 AM   #1
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I expect I will probably draw some contempt for even mentioning this subject but I, personally prefer to have pilots and observers in the cockpits of my models. This probably goes back to my early years when I hung my models from my son's bedroom ceiling where they would twist on invisible thread and mimic various dogfight altitudes. More than that,though, I think the pilots are an important part of the silhouette of WWI aircraft.

I do very much admire the technical ability of the majority of modelers who detail their cockpits with seatbelts and instruments,etc. but it is not my personal preference. I must admit that pilots can make a model look more toy like if not done well. In that regard I have the advantage of having been a miniature figure wargamer and have many years of experience painting tiny faces. In addition. by the time you include heavy clothing,scarves and goggles there is not much face left to paint.

My problem is the general unavailability of crew figures on the market. So far, I have enough old Revel and Airfix kits left to keep me going but some of those figures are way out of scale or crudely done. I will have to resort to scratch built figures at some point.

I am some what surprised that no one has filled this gap in the aftermarket industry although size is critical depending on the model and judging from what I have seen on the Web there probably is not enough demand.

Just thinking out loud and wondering what others might have to say. * * *
* * * * * * * * * *Bob *???
What's the use of worrying? It never was worth while. So, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!
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Old 7 September 2001, 06:38 AM   #2
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Forgot to mention I am talking about 1/72nd scale in above post. I can see where in larger scales the toy like aspect would probably be magnified to an objectionable point.

What's the use of worrying? It never was worth while. So, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!
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Old 7 September 2001, 07:53 AM   #3
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My plastic models don't have pilots. My R/C models all have pilots, because an empty cockpit just doesn't look right in the air!
Old 7 September 2001, 01:26 PM   #4
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Cleveland Models started this of putting pilots in their models in the early 1930s. it looked rediculous to have the model flying with no pilot. The problem was you had to learn how to carve them. Cleveland kit came with a block of balsa to carve the pilot's bust and head anmd then paint it and make the goggles.
Blue skies 8)
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Old 7 September 2001, 04:44 PM   #5
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I agree with you on this - like you I have painted a lot of wargames figures and I feel confident about painting the detail on crew figures. Ideally I would like to model the planes 'in-flight' but of course there are other problems with this, like modelling spinning rotary engines and propellers. There is an outfit called PropBlur who make PE spinning props. Contact Bill Faulkner at: [email protected]. They started out doing 1/48 but I understand 1/72 versions will be available any time now.

I have been thinking about putting a thick piece of perspex on a lathe and turning it into a rotary engine shape and painting some dark blurs for cylinders. Haven't tried it yet though.

The crew from Airfix's Roland CII are about the best crew figures I have come across. The observer is the same as in the Hannover kit. The Sopwith Pup pilot is also quite nice. I have been thinking about using the figures as a master and casting some new figures in resin or white metal but I don't know enough about the process yet.

Anyone able to help with suggestions on this?

James F
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Old 8 September 2001, 08:26 AM   #6
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A few days ago I visited the MODELLBAUSTUDIO RHEIN RUHR in Essen. I asked Mr. Schorsch (the owner) if there is something planned by firms like PEISER or others. He told me that Peiser offers 1:72 scale figures of the period 1920 - 1925, including mechanics, passengers, airport personnel and pilots. Unfortunately he had none of them on stock. But he is trying to find someone who will produce 1:72 pilots. I immediately ordered 40 pilots but he calmed me down: perhaps at the beginning of 2002!

Today I found two different Peiser kits in Cologne. The one mentioned above (36 persons, including 6 pilots) and another one with German WW2 pilots (26 persons, including 16 pilots).

As far as I know this is the only possibility to have pilots for ´empty aircraft´ like those from Roden etc. *

Hope this helps!
Volker Nemsch
Best regards from Germany
Volker Nemsch

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Old 8 September 2001, 12:36 PM   #7
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Built it on your PC, then make it real
Old 8 September 2001, 02:29 PM   #8
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??? Bury your Airfix pilots up to the cast line in plasticine with a wall round it.Pour in some plaster of paris and allow to set.You will now have a little man half buried in plaster, extricate him carefully and coat the plaster block and little man thinly with linseed oil and replace him in his bed.Build a plasticine wall round the block and fill with more plaster.When this is dry the linseed oil will allow you to seperate the two halves of your mold and rescue the Airfix pilot.
Cut a pour hole in one half of the mould and bind the two halves together with an elastic band.Melt two .44 calibre lead balls and pour in.Wear your flying goggles for this bit as a damp mold can rattle your fillings.Open the mold and a shiny hot pilot will ejaculate into your sweaty palm.The mold will let you get about ten castings before the heat degrades it.
Did you know that on the original forum I was consideed an idiot?
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Old 8 September 2001, 04:40 PM   #9
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NEVER pour hot lead into damp moulds they will blow up and you will need more than goggles. bake empty moulds in oven at 425 for about 1 hour . do this twice over a two day period before pouring in lead. I have cast many model soldiers in this way it works great. but take care hot lead and water is a no, no. Muff
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Old 9 September 2001, 12:02 AM   #10
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Muff old bean, where is your sense of adventure? A damp mold only blows up once. When we were kids many a time we decorated the kitchen ceiling with silver speckly bits.Stop being a harbinger of doom you'll put folk off the job!
For those among you who's bottle has gone at thought of a little bang here is the alternative,the result are better and the danger non-existent.
193 St.Margaret's Road,
NR32 4HN,
Tel:- 01502 518340.
Their WW1 range includes the following, both British and German.
Pilot and gunner seated (superb little figures.)
Set of three aircrew standing (even better ,one chap has his hand to his head, no helmet, and is supported by one of the others.Perfect for a "Taffy" comes home diorama.) :'(
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