1/72 resin Dujin Waco ZQC-6

Gallery Article by Lars Opland on Dec 29 2011


The late Jean Pierre Dujin created a very interesting range of resin aircraft kits during his career in the field. The one that really got my attention was the 1936 Waco ZQC-6 Custom Cabin biplane; one of the more aesthetically pleasing designs from an era full of them. The Waco company managed to weather the Great Depression very well, producing more civil aircraft during the 1930's than the total outputs of many lesser manufacturers combined. Of these, some 120 airframes were C-6 Custom Cabins with various engines, & a remarkable number of these C-6 Wacos saw service on Edo 39-4000 floats in Canada.

The movie "Bush Pilot" is a horrible old b&w melodrama, set in Canada & featuring Waco ZQC-6 CF-BDP as "the light plane" in the script. The plane was evidently leased or rented for the movie from Red Wing Orchards and Flying Service of Whitby, Ontario. I wasn't able to sit through the whole movie, but was able to derive several views of "the light plane" from the video &, better yet, the factory finish for -BDP has been recorded for posterity. Reading it, I knew I had to build this one.


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The fly in the ointment here is that Msr. Dujin evidently worked up the kit from g.a. drawings by the late Mr. Björn Karlstrom.  Commendable as Karlstrom's body of work is, this was not one of his best plan sheets & Msr. Dujin reproduced every error faithfully (the fuselage profile more closely resembles the longer, fatter 1937 Custom Cabins, but the ailerons & horizontal tail are pure 1936...), so building a near-accurate model from the kit proved a bit of a challenge. Along the way, being also a producer of model kits & after-market resin bits, I ended up not only crafting several items for this project but molding them & putting them on the market as well. The windshield (particularly poorly done), engine, prop, control column, instrument panel & floats on this one are all Khee-Kha items. The fuselage halves were also heavily modified (trenches replaced by raised ribs, length adjusted, etc.) & re-molded in resin to avoid having bronze wire tear apart the finish later, in the event of exposure to extreme cold, something quite possible while transporting the model in winter in Alaska, but these items aren't for sale as they are still modified Dujin parts.

This was my first resin kit build, but good advice came from friends on the Wings of Peace forum. 3M Acryl Red auto body filler was used where needed on resin parts, & primary assembly was done with CA glue. Side windows were fashioned from bits of broken CD boxes & glued in place with 7-minute epoxy to avoid fogging. Epoxy is wonderful stuff; doesn't craze styrene, can be wiped off clean before it sets up or easily picked off after it hardens, & makes a fine quick-&-dirty wing or strut fillet that doesn't take hours to dry or require sanding. Since almost all the struts on this plane had fairing cuffs, this last feature was very important here. Fairing strips on the top of the fuselage were created by masking with strips of clear tape & airbrushing a couple layers of primer (grays mixed from Krylon flat white & flat black "Short Cuts" enamels) before removing them again. The red & green paint is Krylon "Short Cuts" Leaf Green & Red Pepper, purchased at the local Fred Meyer store & airbrushed with lacquer thinner. It dried quickly to a hard & durable finish, especially important for the rough handling the model received while I was sanding the belly flat after installing the bottom wing late in the game. A final primer coat of Krylon flat white helped brighten the red, & the trim & code letters were laid out on frisket paper to mask for the final green spray. The gold edging is acrylic craft paint, chosen for the possibility of fixing errors with water & a toothpick; this worked out better than I deserve.

Wing & float N-struts were patterned off my own drawings, then cut out as one-piece items from .040" styrene. All ends were drilled & wire-pinned. All rigging was done with clear monofilament "invisible thread", available wherever sewing supplies are found. All of the smaller items in my sample of the kit were molded far off-center, so my tray of Waco YKS-6 parts was dipped into for the engine, prop & so forth.

Challenging though it was, I am very happy to add this model to the collection...& enjoyed every month of the build. The Hasegawa kit should be out any day now...

Reference sources for this build included:

  • "Waco; the Versatile Cabin Series" by Brandley & Borisch, ISBN 0-9602734-2-5

  • Stills from the movie "Bush Pilot"

  • Stills from the movie "Captains of the Clouds"

  • National Waco Club website

  • ...& more, much more...

Lars Opland

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Photos and text © by Lars Opland