Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:09 PM Aug 2014

Aeroplane In A Bottle: From This One, I Will Be Getting Some Cash....

This was my entry in a small modeling contest. It took the first prize, which just arrived today --- a very large scale kit, one which I would never build myself, but that I can probably sell off for something around a hundred fifty dollars. Might work out to a dollar an hour on the assembly....

It is built from scratch, in 1/72 scale ( six feet to the inch ), and the wingspan is a bit under nine inches.

It is a Short Admiralty Type 827, one of three which were sent out to Zanzibar in the late spring of 1915, and then were sent up to Basra, and employed by the Royal Naval Air Service in support of Gen. Townsend's drive on Baghdad, operating around Kut-al-Amara when it was taken in September, and subsequently. The 827 was designed as a floatplane, but at least two of those in Iraq, one of which was No. 822, had their floats replaced with wheels, as operating from the surface of the Tigris River presented many difficulties.
47 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Aeroplane In A Bottle: From This One, I Will Be Getting Some Cash.... (Original Post) The Magistrate Aug 2014 OP
Lovely! blogslut Aug 2014 #1
Thank You, Ma'am The Magistrate Aug 2014 #5
Beautiful! And I thought of you, Sir, this past Wednesday evening. NYC_SKP Aug 2014 #2
I Appreciate That, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #6
Wow! A great creation. panader0 Aug 2014 #3
I would like to know that myself. Lochloosa Aug 2014 #4
Thank You, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #7
the albatross had the radiator in front of the pilot too shaayecanaan Aug 2014 #29
Outstanding!!! Cooley Hurd Aug 2014 #8
Glad You Like It, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #11
That's a thing of beauty! cyberswede Aug 2014 #9
I Don't Think Anybody Ever Said That About An Early Short Bros. Product, Ma'am The Magistrate Aug 2014 #12
The history of it is what makes it even more interesting, I'd wager. cyberswede Aug 2014 #15
It Does Indeed, Ma'am The Magistrate Aug 2014 #16
agree hibbing Aug 2014 #22
I admire your skill denbot Aug 2014 #10
Thank You, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #14
Congratulations on First Prize !! Tuesday Afternoon Aug 2014 #13
Thank You, Ma'am The Magistrate Aug 2014 #17
all things WW2 ... he can talk WW2 for hours on end. Tuesday Afternoon Aug 2014 #19
I Do some From That Period, Ma'am The Magistrate Aug 2014 #21
Interwar aviation is a fascinating subject. malthaussen Aug 2014 #44
For Me, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #46
Are those bee hives above the engine the radiator? Brother Buzz Aug 2014 #18
That It Is, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #20
I admire your work because I don't have your patience to build them Brother Buzz Aug 2014 #25
I See You Are Serious About That, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #26
Perhaps if you read his memoir, Going Solo, you could be inspired to build it Brother Buzz Aug 2014 #27
wow Kali Aug 2014 #23
Thank You, Ma'am The Magistrate Aug 2014 #24
Love scale modelling JohnnyRingo Aug 2014 #28
I Enjoy It, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #30
What a wonderful passion. lovemydog Aug 2014 #31
Thank You, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #37
Nice Job cantbeserious Aug 2014 #32
Thank You, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #38
simply lovely azurnoir Aug 2014 #33
Thank You Very Much, My Friend The Magistrate Aug 2014 #42
A glorious piece intaglio Aug 2014 #34
Glad You Like It, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #39
Magnificent work caraher Aug 2014 #35
Thank You, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #40
I did a Google search caraher Aug 2014 #45
Well done.. sendero Aug 2014 #36
Thank You, Sir The Magistrate Aug 2014 #41
Fine work! malthaussen Aug 2014 #43
Very nice, sir. nt awoke_in_2003 Aug 2014 #47


(68,644 posts)
2. Beautiful! And I thought of you, Sir, this past Wednesday evening.
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:21 PM
Aug 2014

I had plans to meet some friends for cocktails in Los Gatos, Ca, and arrived early with time to take a short walk.

I came upon the "Sierra Toy Soldier Company" and, while closed, they had an impressive window display.


The term "Toy" is somewhat dismissive of the seriousness and care taken by enthusiasts of that genre of scale modeling, and it may be that some of their products are not representative of the high quality one finds produced by serious modellers and historians.

Nonetheless, I thought of you, Sir, and you were with me in that moment.

Thank you for the post.



The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
6. I Appreciate That, Sir
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:37 PM
Aug 2014

I have heard of that place. Some while ago I got a letch to do a 54mm figure ( i did a fair amount of figure painting in my teens ), and they are well known on sites where figure modelers gather. There is some extraordinary work done by figure painters.

You may have noted a 'Britain's' entry in the site. That is a good part of where the 'toy' comes from. They were a company selling toy soldiers to children from very long ago, and the style of their castings came to be a standard and collectable all in its own right among people who grew up with them.

Back when they actually gave children things made of lead....

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
7. Thank You, Sir
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:42 PM
Aug 2014

It is the radiator, Gentlemen. Shorts had done a lot of nautical work, and designed something based on steam condensors for the purpose. As long as any water was in it, the jacket around the cylinders would at least be where it would be found. It was not quite so solid as it looks in the model in real life at full size, but it did obscure view somewhat. One of the pilots in Iraq wrote that he would rather not, in such heat, be flying with the radiator in front of his face, but some of these were used for patrols over the North Sea, where I expect the wash of warmed air was welcome.


(6,068 posts)
29. the albatross had the radiator in front of the pilot too
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:16 AM
Aug 2014

The pilots hated it because a single round through the radiator and the boiling water would hit them right in the face.

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
12. I Don't Think Anybody Ever Said That About An Early Short Bros. Product, Ma'am
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 11:14 PM
Aug 2014

Looks only a mother could love....

This is one I have thought about building for some time. I came upon an article in an old amateur history journal which contained a great many photographs taken by an Australian mechanic stationed at Basra in 1915, which included four showing various aspects of this machine ( probably taken, at least three of them, in late December ), which is unusually good documentation for a subject so out of the way as this.

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
16. It Does Indeed, Ma'am
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 11:34 PM
Aug 2014

Most of the models I build have some background to them I find particularly interesting. Sort of illustrations for a bit of history.

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
14. Thank You, Sir
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 11:18 PM
Aug 2014

I post them up here occasionally, when I feel I have something special.

Besides the obvious one of the rigging, the particular challenges of this were the bare engine, and the spoke wheels. Over-heating was a real problem, and they stripped all the cowling panels off the nose to get some air flow to assist the water.

Tuesday Afternoon

(56,912 posts)
13. Congratulations on First Prize !!
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 11:15 PM
Aug 2014

My brother builds models.
I will have to show him this thread.
He will appreciate the hard work and detail. Excellent craftsmanship!

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
21. I Do some From That Period, Ma'am
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 11:49 PM
Aug 2014

Mostly in the early phases, or things that unaccountably could still be found in service. I am fondest of Great War subjects, and of the period between the wars.

Trains can be fascinating. I have run into people who do incredible work making their own rolling stock, often from brass.


(17,175 posts)
44. Interwar aviation is a fascinating subject.
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 11:23 AM
Aug 2014

The pace of development was incredible.

Model trains as well. I'd wondered if you dabbled in that sphere. I subscribed to Model Railroader for years, in earnest of that "some day" that never quite got around to coming. So many magnificent layouts and models. Hundreds of hours spent on the most finicky details. Quite awe-inspiring.

-- Mal

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
46. For Me, Sir
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:53 PM
Aug 2014

Much of the interest of that period is that there was not yet consensus on the 'best' way to make a plane, and it was still possible to get equivalent results from different approaches. So there was great variety.

A lot of the materials I use come from the m,odel railroaders section of the shop, the plastic sheet and such, and a various lettering sheets. When I was very young I had an after-school job in a large hobby shop, and some of their trade was in kits for building rolling stock and locomotives in HO.

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
20. That It Is, Sir
Fri Aug 29, 2014, 11:45 PM
Aug 2014

Glad you like it.

By the time I got to that, dead-line pressure was on, so I made it a solid block with deep scoring. I really should have assembled separate thin planes of sheet, with some small degree of gap between; the thing was not quite so solid, actually, as it looks from most angles.

Brother Buzz

(36,391 posts)
25. I admire your work because I don't have your patience to build them
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 12:36 AM
Aug 2014

With the deadline looming, I'd have pulled out that engine and dropped in an air cooled radial engine and been done with it. I kid!

Speaking of patience, I'm still waiting for you to build Roald Dahl's Gloster Gladiator. The Serial number was K7911, if that helps.

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
26. I See You Are Serious About That, Sir
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 12:40 AM
Aug 2014

I will look into it. I have a couple of the new Airfix Gladiator kits. One will be done up as a Chinese machine ( they were the first to use them in combat ), but other subjects remain fluid....

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
24. Thank You, Ma'am
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 12:30 AM
Aug 2014

I can assure you there were things I left off, and others I simplified. In the small scale, it is often best to suggest, rather than try for every single tiniest thing....


(18,619 posts)
28. Love scale modelling
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:11 AM
Aug 2014

And I love airplanes, so I can really appreciate this. I'll bet it was hard researching such an obscure plane.

It's especially impressive in such a small scale. I can't tell it from a larger model. Incredible detail, and I'd like to see some close up shots. Scratch built is awesome!

Why are both ailerons down? (On edit: I see it's shown like this in the Wikki image as well.)

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
30. I Enjoy It, Sir
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:24 AM
Aug 2014

Mostly it is pretty relaxing, though there are times the air gets blue.

Our camera does not really handle close-ups too well: here is one of the engine, though, when it was nearly ready to install....

The ailerons were rigged in a manner common in the pioneer days.. Lines ran from the control wheel to each aileron, but nothing connected the ailerons to one another to make them work in opposition. The control cable to each aileron could only pull it down. When the machine was at flying speed, the slipstream pressed the ailerons up, and their rise was restrained by their control cables to alignment with the wing's camber. When the wheel was turned in one direction, it tightened the wires on one side and pulled one aileron down; it may also have slackened the line to the opposite aileron, allowing it to rise and so reducing the lift it generates on the other wing-tip, but I do not know for certain that was the case. But it would positively pull one aileron down, increasing the lift of that wing tip, and so banking the wings. Since nothing but the slip-stream held the ailerons up, when the machine was at rest they both just hung there.


(11,833 posts)
31. What a wonderful passion.
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:10 AM
Aug 2014

It shows in your beautiful work. It's funny that way isn't it? Some of my favorite accomplishments are things in which it wasn't about the money. It was about the enjoyment. I'm interested in other's passions. Thanks for sharing one of yours.


(45,850 posts)
33. simply lovely
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:19 AM
Aug 2014

thank you for sharing this and you have my admiration for having both the patience and steadiness of hand to accomplish works like this

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
42. Thank You Very Much, My Friend
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 10:03 AM
Aug 2014

Some of the trick is to not be breathing while the hand makes its final move....


(8,170 posts)
34. A glorious piece
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 06:06 AM
Aug 2014

Thank you for sharing. Scratch building of this type and quality is, unfortunately, very rare.

... and I have just had a nasty thought it may be that 3D printing may take some of the skill away if used to print things like the armatures and frames of the models or to detail lumps like engines.

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
39. Glad You Like It, Sir
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 09:47 AM
Aug 2014

Some of us do look towards 3-D with mingled hope and dread. At this point the definition on anything affordable is not really suitable for the craft; deposit in layers leaves perceptible steps which have to be worked out. But there are certainly things I would not mind at all being able to cue up a machine to make, rather than assembling them out of bits sometimes of sub-millimeter size. One of the early uses will probably be for masters from which runs of resin castings can be made.


(6,278 posts)
35. Magnificent work
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 07:48 AM
Aug 2014

When I was young and built kit model planes I always found the WWI era so intimidating because of the rigging... Scratch building is yet again another few orders of magnitude more challenge!

I hope you don't mind linking to your build thread in a modeling forum, which includes a photo of the original aircraft:

The Magistrate

(95,244 posts)
40. Thank You, Sir
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 09:59 AM
Aug 2014

I do not mind at all. Posting here, of course, I try and keep the shop-talk to a minimum.

If anyone would like a bit more of the history, it can be found here:


Are you a member over there, or did the picture come up on a Google search?


(6,278 posts)
45. I did a Google search
Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:27 PM
Aug 2014

I don't recall whether it was an image search or a regular search. I'm not a member there... I still have model kits sitting around and occasionally think, "Maybe some day when I have time..."

Latest Discussions»The DU Lounge»Aeroplane In A Bottle: Fr...