1/72 VEEDAY Avro/Cierva C.30 Autogyro

Gallery Article by Tony Morgan


As the logical outcome of decades of experimental and service use, it is fair to say that the Avro/Cierva C.30 represented the pinnacle of autogiro development. When this aircraft flew in the 1930’s, it was sowing the seeds of obsolescence for all military autogiros. The development of its rotor controls laid the foundation for the helicopters we know today, and while it was capable of “jump” or “towering” take-offs and had almost no landing run, it was incapable of true hovering flight.  Modelling the C.30: 

For a modeller intent on replicating the C.30 there are essentially four options:

  • 1) Azur’s new kit, which is injection moulded with resin detail parts. 

  • 2) Aircraft in Miniature’s multi-media kit (vac-formed fuselage and metal details.) 

  • 3) Veeday’s, limited-run injection moulded kit, now out of production. 

  • 4) Merlin’s multi-media kit (injection moulded fuselage and metal details) also out of production.


Click on images below to see larger images

The Veeday Model: 
True to form with limited-run kits, the level of detailing varies; the external detailing is quite nice, but there is nothing more to the interior than a pair of seats. The parts are moulded in hard and brittle white plastic, and require a good amount of cleaning up to remove flash and mould lines. 

Assembly of the fuselage is straightforward, although the bare interior begs for extra detailing. When I started this kit I had no references, so I left it bare. Not so next time! 

The rotor tower is the first challenge, with the head-fairing and four separate legs to get assembled and mounted to the fuselage. Veeday supplies a good 3-view drawing that helps with planning and placement. I drilled, wired, and super-glued all of the attachment points, which made life much easier, then faired the fuselage mounting points with Milliput. 

Attaching the empennage is much easier, although I did manage to accidentally snap one of the tailplanes in half. The kit-supplied bracing struts are too thick, so I replaced them with brass wire. 

Once I had managed to get the fuselage, rotor mast, and empennage completely assembled, I panicked when confronted with the spindly undercarriage and silver paint scheme. I dropped the whole project back in the box and did not revisit it for more than two years. When a friend finished his copy of the Azur C.30, I was spurred into action and pulled the Veeday kit back out of limbo. 

The undercarriage ended up being much easier to assemble than I expected and feared. I mounted the main struts and lower V-arms first, then built the upper V-arms out of individual pieces of airfoil section plastic strip. The maingear wheels came from an Airfix Puma helicopter. 

I ended up using the engine from an Azur C.30 kit, as the detail of the Veeday engine was rather soft. (The Azur kit will be built as a Focke-Wulf C.30 with an Aeroclub Siemens-Halske engine.)

I fabricated an all-new rotorhead from brass wire, as the kit rotorhead is too big and bulky. This was another sticky wicket in the building of this kit, but luckily a solution came to me during a bout of insomnia. I detailed the rotorhead with plastic disks from the spares box, and yet more (smaller gauge) wire.

The new Tamiya spray paints came to my rescue for the overall silver scheme. (I cannot recommend the Tamiya spray-cans strongly enough, as they are absolutely wonderful!) 

I first painted the aircraft black overall to ensure an even finish and help me spot small flaws, then re-sprayed with Tamiya Gloss Aluminum. The “metal” areas behind the engine were polished with automotive scratch remover. (Bet you didn’t know you could polish the Tamiya metallics!) The exhaust collector ring was sprayed Tamiya Light Gunmetal.

The rudder tri-colors were painted on with Model Master enamels, and depict one of the two C.30’s supplied to Yugoslavia prior to the outbreak of World War II.

I am very pleased with this kit, and I’m really kicking myself for not finishing it sooner. I’m now eager to get to work on the Azur FW-C.30, but I’ve got a few other projects that must be finished first.

Chris Jones, in Scotland, whose Azur kit build-up got me back to this project. 

Petr Zaoral, in the Czech Republic, who gave me the idea of Yugoslav markings and helped a great deal in researching them. 

Tony Morgan


Photos and text © by Tony Morgan