For some obscure reason, some airplanes like to keep their feet wet and,
occasionally, even cold. They are piloted and revered by some strange creatures
that live in the wilderness up there, where the ice age seems to be in the
process of receding or advancing, depending upon which season of the year you
are, or if your own feet are wet or freezing.
Anyway, these planes are known as
bush planes, and thanks to some enthusiasts they are being produced in kit form.
When I received my 1/72 vacuformed
Bellanca Skyrocket from Khee Kha Art Products http://www.mtaonline.net/~zdk/
I was impressed by the degree of care and engineering that
was involved in the kit. The resin casts for the detail parts –like engine,
exhausts, propeller, etc- are some of the best I have seen around; clean, sharp
and well detailed. No bubbles or blemishes here. To give you an idea of the
thought put here: the exhaust pipes are handed, and a tiny sub-pipe –slightly
different on each side- branches out to reach the cylinder head matching to
perfection the mark in its position. The resin parts and the clear windshield
were lodged in recesses of the styrene sheet that carried the main parts. The
instructions are very good, but bear in mind that they are there to be read! And
also, as designer/owner Lars Opland states: “A weekender this is not”.
This means: take your time and you will be
images below to see larger images
I also acquired from Khee Kha the
floats kit to make my Skyrocket as a seaplane. Those resin floats
confirmed the high standards of molding, care and detail than the kit
parts hinted about. They even come with a few cleats to detail them; very
tiny parts in 1/72 mind you, but again, flawlessly executed.
A review of the kit was published here:
During the construction I
altered a few parts and replaced some others in order to suit my own
preferences. The styrene sheet is a tad thick, which allows for mistakes
and confers extra rigidity, but at the price of some exercise during the
The in-progress photos,
as usual, will give you a better idea of what I am talking about.
As you all well know, everything seems to go
more or less smoothly during construction. Then
the moment arrives when you just want to be done with it. Mistake.
at this stage where I commit most of my boo-boos. In this case I forgot to
clean the drilling scraps from the interior. Then I placed all the
transparencies, gave them a coat of Future and left the model. Next day
all the white burrs were stuck inside the windows. Lovely. Another problem
arose when I tried to glue the tail feathers –painted separately- to the
fuselage. Since I didn’t dry-fit them before, I had to make all sorts of
adjustments, touch-ups, etc. The self-inflicted decals are a bit oversize,
a fact I realized as I was laying them down on the model. Time ago I
discovered the Jorge Luis Borges’ “Garden of the Forking Paths-
rule” which states that for every mistake you try to correct you make
two more. So I wisely left all those boo-boos for the amusement of
scholars and enthusiasts. Oh well. Don’t tell anybody.
Thanks to Lars Opland (a.k.a. the Alaskan Abominable StyreneMan) we have
three or so bush plane types to cater for some diversity on our shelves.
He is now working patiently, surrounded by
snow, on the next surprise.